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Department of Education and Community Studies

Early Childhood Education

As an education major concentrating in early-childhood education (PreK-2), you’ll gain the expertise, skills and confidence to teach young children.

Approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, our programs provide you with the training required to earn your state teaching license in early-childhood education. Bonus? Through hands-on learning opportunities, you’ll develop your education philosophy, create a portfolio and hone your classroom-management skills.

In the early-childhood education program, you will:

  • Deepen your understanding of how young children develop and learn.
  • Gain practical experience teaching the all-important foundation topics of reading, math and science.
  • Build your expertise by choosing from a wide variety of electives, including cultural diversity in the schools, children’s literature and comparative politics.

Hands-On Learning

You’ll gain invaluable classroom experience during your pre-practicum and practicum student-teaching. It’s your chance to take what you’ve learned at Merrimack and apply it at one of the many schools in the area.

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the education program, you’ll be well-equipped to pursue a career in education. Positions may include:

  • Nursery school, kindergarten or first-grade teacher
  • Guidance counselor
  • School administrator

What You’ll Take

All early-childhood education majors take a combination of required and elective courses to satisfy human-development, teacher-education, and subject matter knowledge requirements. Of the 124 credits required for your degree, you must complete 24 credits of human development courses, 48 credits of teacher education courses, and 24 credits of subject matter knowledge courses in addition to a semester of student teaching.

You must have a minimum of a 3.00 GPA in your required courses prior to entering your student-teaching semester. To graduate with a degree in early-childhood education and teach in Massachusetts, you must also pass the MTELs.

Courses in the School of Education and Social Policy are scheduled to account for instructional time that is commensurate with credits earned.

Required Courses

Human Development

BIO 1106

Human Biology
(fulfills STEM in LS Core)

EDU 2130

Diversity, Social Justice and Ethics
(fulfills D and E in LS Core)

HDE 1000

Introduction to Human Development

HDE 2000W

Research Methods and App. Stats
(fulfills W and Q in LS Core)

Plus one of the following:

EDU 2230

Applied Adolescent Psychology
(fulfills X in LS Core)

EDU 2240 

Adult Development

EDU 3200

Language and Social Processes

EDU 4500

Language Acquisition and Literacy Curriculum Development

PSY 3310

Development of Intelligence/ Thinking
(fulfills SOSC in LS Core)

PSY 3340

Developmental Psychopathology
(fulfills SOSC in LS Core)

PSY 3380

Psychology of Aging
(fulfills SOSC in LS Core)

SOC 3850

Sociology of Aging
(fulfills SOSC in LS Core) 

Teaching and Education

EDU 2210                          

Child and Adolescent Development
(fulfills a SOSC and X in LS Core)

EDU 2310

Introduction to Early Childhood Education

EDU 3310

Teaching Reading and Language Arts

EDU 3340

Teaching Mathematics and Technology

EDU 3360

Teaching Science, Health and Physical Education

EDU 4220

Differentiation and Inclusion

EDU 4221

Strategies for Group Management

EDU 4320

Teaching Social Studies

EDU 4340

Children’s Literature

EDU 4500

Language Acquisition and Literacy Curriculum Development 

EDU 4582

Sheltered English Instruction

EDU 2500

Pre-Practicum I (and Seminar)

EDU 2510

Pre-Practicum II (and Seminar) 

EDU 4905 

Practicum: Early Childhood Education and Seminar (Fulfills X in LS Core) 

1. Electives (choose one)

CRM 2000      

Youth, Deviance and Crime
(fulfills SOSC and D in LS Core)

EDU 3620

Cultural Diversity in the Schools
(fulfills D and X in LS Core)

HDE 4260

Introduction to Counseling Across Professions

EDU 4480

Critical Education: Theory, Literacy and Pedagogy
(fulfills D in LS Core)

PSY 3250

Cultural Psychology
(fulfills SOSC and D in LS Core)

SOC 3330

Racial and Ethnic Minorities
(fulfills D and SOSC in LS Core)

SOC 3450

Sociology of the Family
(fulfills SOSC in LS Core)

WGS 1010

Gender and Society
(fulfills SOSC and D in LS Core)

WGS 2010

Intro to Ethnic Studies
(fulfills SOSC and D in LS Core)

2. Electives (choose six)

American Civilization (choose one)

HIS 1106     

U.S. History I
(fulfills H in LS Core)

HIS 1107

U.S. History II
(fulfills H in LS Core)

POL 1100

Politics of the United States
(fulfills SOSC and X in LS Core)

Literature (choose one)

ENG 1500 

Major British and World Authors
(fulfills AL in LS Core)

ENG 1550

Major American Authors
(fulfills AL in LS Core)

ENG 2050

Introduction to Literary Studies
(fulfills AL in LS Core)

Math (take both)

MTE 1410   

Foundations of Mathematics I
(fulfills Q in LS Core)

MTH 1412

Foundations of Mathematics II
(fulfills Q, STEM, and X in LS Core)


SCI 1000     

Investigations in Life and Physical Science
(fulfills STEM in LS Core) 

World Civilization (choose one)

HIS 1119         

Euro Experience: Antiquity to Reformation
(fulfills H in LS Core)

HIS 1120 

Euro Experience: Early Modern to Present
(fulfills H in LS Core) 

POL 1500 

Comparative Politics
(fulfills SOSC and D in LS Core)

More Info  


Isabelle D. Cherney

Dean and Professor