Elementary & Early Childhood Education (EECE)

Male student in class

Teachers play an important role in the life of a developing child. They support students' educational needs as well as act as mentors, guides, helpers, and advocates. Teachers are crucial in the lives of children.

The Elementary & Early Childhood Education (EECE) program helps students develop into educators, professionals who will care for and connect with their future students.

EECE is designed to support teacher candidates’ understanding of teaching and learning in preschool through eighth grade.

Goals

The EECE program views education as much larger than any set of standards or performance-based measures of teachers or students. The program seeks to amplify the voices of students and teachers here at Penn State as well as in school classrooms and daily life around the U.S. and the world.

Core Values

To do so, the program embodies four core values:

  1. citizenship
  2. diversity
  3. inquiry, and
  4. leadership.

These core values inform the development of teacher candidates who work with students to re-imagine their worlds.

In recognizing that “education is a complex problem solving endeavor” (Penn State College of Education Conceptual Framework), the EECE program takes on the challenge of preparing teacher candidates for the demanding and diverse work of teaching. The program embraces the Conceptual Framework that incorporates research, professional practice, and standards; specifically, the program incorporates the Penn State Teacher Education Performance Framework to support the structure and implementation of course work and experiences in the program.

Program Features

Teacher candidates within the EECE program engage in course work and field experiences that are designed to enhance their understandings of teaching and learning.

Student on computer in class

The program provides teacher candidates with a strong foundation of research-based teaching methods in subject and discipline areas. Course work incorporates recent research regarding pre-service teacher education, teaching methods, and children’s learning.

Teacher candidates also engage in three field experiences, which includes the culminating experience of student teaching.

Upon successful completion of all requirements for graduation, students receive a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. To be certified to teach, students must also meet all clearance and testing requirements specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Teacher candidates in the EECE program choose one of three options: