Early Childhood Education Master's Degree

Get an overview of master's degree programs in early childhood education. Read on for details about online learning, prerequisites, the curriculum and the job outlook for teachers at the preschool through third grade levels. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education Online?

Master's degree programs in early childhood education are available in online as well as on-campus formats. Online courses often feature interactive discussions and group assignments. Lessons may be administered through Internet discussion forums, Web-based classroom software or recorded lectures. Professors and students communicate through e-mail, chat rooms and message boards.

Are There Prerequisites?

You need at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for master's degree programs in early childhood education. Some programs only admit students with a teaching credential or teaching experience; for this reason, you may be required to submit letters of recommendation and a resume. Additionally, expect to turn in standardized test scores, college transcripts and a statement of purpose.

What's the Curriculum Like?

Coursework in master's degree programs in early childhood education surveys pedagogical models and provides training in student psychology and research methodologies. This program typically culminates in a comprehensive exam, or a research-oriented thesis that is overseen by an advisor. The following are classes that might appear in the curriculum:

  • Literacy for young children
  • Inclusive education models
  • Instructional technology
  • Early education principles
  • Human development
  • Drawing and painting for learning
  • Curriculum development
  • Student assessment

What Is the Job Outlook and Pay?

As a graduate of a master's degree program in early childhood education, you could work as a preschool teacher or elementary school teacher. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the educational levels that are considered early childhood are usually preschool through the third grade (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported a median annual salary of $25,700 for preschool teachers, $48,800 for kindergarten teachers and $51,660 for elementary school teachers in May 2010.

Additionally, the BLS projected an employment growth rate of 13% for K-12 school teachers and 19% for preschool teachers from 2008-2018. Growth in this profession is expected to be driven by an expanding general population and an increased emphasis on early childhood education, according to the BLS.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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