FALL 2012
COURSE NUMBER & TITLE: ECE 7700 - Scientific Foundations of Early Childhood
INSTRUCTOR: Feland L. Meadows, Ph.D.
PHONE: 678-797-2161
OFFICE: 3391 Town Pointe Parkway, Suite #4120
CLASS MEETINGS: August - December, 2012; Mondays and Wednesdays 5:00 – 6:15
Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L. and Cocking, R. R. Eds. 2000. How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience,
and School. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
Freire, Paulo. 1985. The Politics of Education. South Hadley, Mass.: Bergin and Garvey, Publishers.
Gatto, John T. 2001. Dumbing us Down – The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling. Gabriola Island,
BC, Canada: New Society Publishers.
Lillard, A.S. 2005. Montessori, the Science behind the Genius. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Lillard, Paula Polk 1996. Montessori Today -- A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to
Adulthood. New York, N.Y.: Schocken Books.
Montessori, M. [1936] 1989. The Secret of Childhood. Chennai, India: Orient Longman Private Ltd.
Mooney, Carol G. 2000 Theories of Childhood. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.
Warner, Sylvia Ashton .1963. Teacher. New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster
Suggested Texts:
AMI, 2005. Maria Montessori – 1870 – 1952. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Association Montessori
Readings on the Web:
Many students have a completely erroneous idea regarding how young children develop and learn.
This course will provide them with the philosophic and scientific foundations for understanding how
children actually do develop and learn. It will also serve to introduce them to an entirely different,
research based, scientific system of education for young children. A thorough grounding in the
Conceptual Framework presented in this course will provide students with vital insights that will be
necessary for them to comprehend the other courses they will take as part of the Teaching Excellence
Phase of this Early Childhood 2.5-6 Year Level Concentration.
Students will develop an understanding of the research based Conceptual Framework of a proven,
Scientific System of Education designed to serve children from 2.5 to 6 years of age. Students will
learn the importance of the Montessori Prepared Environment, which serves as the essential third
element for effective learning. Students also discover that the Sensitive Periods provide the most
powerful times for learning. In addition, they develop new insights into the nature of child
development and learn that respect for the child’s inner teacher serves as the integrating principle for
the effective education of young children. This course includes an extensive field experience.
Verification of professional liability insurance is required prior to placement in the field.
Collaborative Development of Expertise in Teaching and Learning
The Professional Teacher Education Unit (PTEU) at Kennesaw State University is committed to
developing expertise among candidates in initial and advanced programs as teachers and leaders who
possess the capability, intent and expertise to facilitate high levels of learning in all of their students
through effective, research-based practices in classroom instruction, and who enhance the structures
that support all learning. To that end, the PTEU fosters the development of candidates as they
progress through stages of growth from novice to proficient to expert and leader. Within the PTEU
conceptual framework, expertise is viewed as a process of continued development, not an end-state.
To be effective, teachers and educational leaders must embrace the notion that teaching and learning
are entwined and that only through the implementation of validated practices can all students
construct meaning and reach high levels of learning. In that way, candidates are facilitators of the
teaching and learning process. Finally, the PTEU recognizes values and demonstrates collaborative
practices across the college and university and extends collaboration to the community-at-large.
Through this collaboration with professionals in the university, the public and private schools, parents
and other professional partners, the PTEU meets the ultimate goal of assisting Georgia schools in
bringing all students to high levels of learning.
Philosophy of Montessori Classroom Management
The Montessori classroom is a carefully Prepared Environment in which a rich array of graded,
structured materials that are related to both the curriculum areas and the children’s stages of
development are available for presentation one-on-one to each child by the teacher. Teachers
prepare individualized education plans for every child based upon their observation of the child’s
interests and level of development. As a result, children are happy and are much more engaged in
their work than children in classrooms where there is only one lesson plan for the entire class and
some of the children misbehave because they are either bored or do not understand what is going on!
In a Montessori multiage classroom a great deal of positive peer modeling is taking place that
benefits the younger children. The older children, who have been in that class with that teacher for
one or two years, have a very positive influence upon the younger children in the class. Thus, the
younger children quickly learn to emulate the peaceful disposition and the orderly behavior of their
older peers. As a result, Montessori teachers do not have to resort to the “Positive Reinforcement”
and other kinds of teacher imposed “behavior management” strategies that teachers find it necessary
to use in other kinds of classrooms.
A variety of materials and instructional strategies will be employed to meet the needs of the different
learning styles of diverse learners in class. Candidates will gain knowledge as well as an
understanding of differentiated strategies and curricula for providing effective instruction and
assessment within multicultural classrooms. One element of course work is raising candidate
awareness of critical multicultural issues. A second element is to cause candidates to explore how
multiple attributes of multicultural populations influence decisions in employing specific methods
and materials for every student. Among these attributes are age, disability, ethnicity, family
structure, gender, geographic region, giftedness, language, race, religion, sexual orientation, and
socioeconomic status. An emphasis on cognitive style differences provides a background for the
consideration of cultural context.
Kennesaw State University provides program accessibility and accommodations for persons defined
as disabled under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990. A number of services are available to support students with disabilities within their
academic program. In order to make arrangements for special services, students must visit the Office
of Disabled Student Support Services (ext. 6443) and develop an individual assistance plan. In some
cases, certification of disability is required.
Integrated Use of Technology: The Bagwell College of Education recognizes the importance of
preparing future educators and K-12 students to develop technology skills that enhance learning,
personal productivity, decision making, their daily activities in the 21st century. As a result, the
ISTE NETST Technology Standards for Teachers are integrated throughout the teacher preparation
program enabling teacher candidates to explore and apply best practices in technology enhanced
instructional strategies.
Specific technologies used within this course include exploration and use of instructional media,
especially microcomputers, to assist candidates in their acquisition and understanding of the scientific
foundations of Early Childhood Education. Candidates will also develop skills in the use of
productivity tools such as multimedia, local-net and Internet, and will feel confident to design
multimedia presentations, use and create www resources, and develop an electronic learning
Uses of Technology in the Montessori Teacher Education Program
Students bring their notebook computers to class where they are given documents for 6 Student
Manuals which contain the essential information about every material and presentation that they will
learn to give over the two year period of study. Each of the presentation texts has a section in which
students can key in their description and understanding of each of the more than 1,250 presentations
that the Instructors will model for them in class.
Students are required to search internet sources for information related to certain themes that their
Instructors present in class. They also must search for picture resources with which to illustrate
certain aspects of their teachers’ manuals and to use in the manufacture of Sensorial, Language,
Mathematics and Science teaching/learning materials that they will use with the children.
Upon completion of this course, candidates will:
1. understand the conceptual framework which serves as the basis for one of the most effective,
research based, systems for the education of young children;
2. understand how scientific research lead to the landmark discovery of the importance of a prepared
environment as the third essential element in the teaching learning equation;
3. understand how work with scientifically designed manipulative materials provide children with the
most effective, developmentally appropriate means for their self-construction;
4. understand The Secret of Childhood through the development of new insights into the nature of the
stages of childhood growth and development which lead to a more effective approach to the
education of young children;
5. understand the significance of efforts to achieve the development of a peaceful world by
transforming the consciousness of our society through the education of the child;
6. understand how respect for the child's inner teacher serves as the integrating principle for the most
effective education of young children;
7. understand the importance of the of first six years of life, when the child’s “absorbent” mind is so
busily at work exploring the environment, assimilating and sorting information, constructing
intelligence, establishing character and determining personality;
8. understand why the sensitive periods of development are the most powerful times for learning;
9. understand how the emergence and development of concentration through the child’s voluntary
work has a transforming effect upon the child’s demeanor and behavior;
10. understand and assist the process of second language acquisition;
11. understand why the Early Childhood Educator herself/himself must be transformed!
Candidates will also be able to:
1. identify the research which validates this scientific system of education for young
2. explain the differences between this scientific system of education and other
3. apply the pedagogical principles derived from this conceptual framework;
4. describe the principles of scientific pedagogy to peers and parents;
5. discuss and debate the nature of effective early childhood education and its role in
achieving a reform of the unscientific and developmentally inappropriate methods
currently being used in many child care centers;
MACTE Competences to be achieved in this course
Early Childhood (2.5-6)
a, b, c, d;
a, b, c, d, e;
a, b, c, d, e, f;
a, b, c.
Classroom attendance and participation is absolutely essential to your success in this course. KSU
policy requires every student to attend all class sessions and related field experiences.
MACTE accreditation requires you to attend a minimum of 90% of the time in order to qualify for
certification. This means that you can only be absent 2 times. The only excused absences are
documented personal illness, bereavement, military duty, or jury duty. Any unexcused absence will
result in the lowering of your grade by 5 points. Anyone who is absent 25% of the time will not pass
this course.
Professional conduct requires that you show respect for others. This includes coming to class on
time, staying for the entire class period, paying attention and remaining engaged in the class activities
and cooperating with colleagues in class. In the event of an absence, you are responsible for all
material, assignments, and announcements presented in class.
1) Class participation and discussion
Paying careful attention to lectures and presentations and participating in discussions in class are
important, because we believe that learning is an interactive endeavor which requires the presence
and participation of all class members to facilitate learning. All candidates are required to read
related chapters of the textbooks and assigned readings before the class meetings. Classroom
discussions will be based upon lectures and presentations of the instructors as well as assigned
research and readings and the questions students bring to the class.
2) Provide evidence of having read and understood assigned texts
Prepare reviews of assigned books by Freire, Gatto, P.P. Lillard, Mooney and Warner in which you:
a) communicate clearly the premise and purpose of each text,
b) evaluate the influence that the author’s message should have upon education,
c) describe how your work as a teacher can benefit from the author’s ideas.
3) Conduct research and prepare a 10 page report
a) locate and review the literature related to your assigned topic,
b) prepare a written report and
c) give a presentation on your topic in class.
4) Demonstrate your understanding of the Conceptual Framework
a) Prepare a “Reader’s Digest Condensed Book” of The Secret of Childhood.
b) Be prepared to give an explanation and “chapter and verse” of each concept in class.
5) Participate in all required fieldwork experiences
a) Develop your ability to observe child behavior with understanding in the light of the knowledge
and insights you have gained in this course.
b) Carefully observe one particular child.
c) Record and report your observations.
6) Prepare effectively for tests and examinations.
Assignments: All assignments must be typed and should represent your best efforts to produce high
quality, graduate level work.
1. All assignments must be typed double spaced in 12 pt. Times New Roman font.
2. Place your name, the course number and title and the date at the top RIGHT of the first page.
3. Staple the pages of each work together. DO NOT place them in a plastic folder.
4. Be sure to keep a hard copy of each paper you turn in.
5. Each paper should represent your best efforts to produce the highest possible quality of work.
6. Late Work: Assignments are considered late if not turned in during class on the due date.
There will be a 10% deduction of total possible points for each day that work is late.
Assignments are always accepted early.
Tests: All tests must be taken on the day and time they are scheduled. No rescheduling of
tests/quizzes will occur.
1) Class participation and discussion
2) Book Reviews
3) Research and Reports
4) Condensed Book and Defense
5) Field Work Reports
6) Tests and Final Examination
Total 100
Grades will be assigned as follows:
Every KSU student is responsible for upholding the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct, as
published in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs. Section II of the Student Code of Conduct
addresses the University’s policy on academic honesty, including provisions regarding plagiarism
and cheating, unauthorized access to University materials, misrepresentation/falsification of
University records or academic work, malicious removal, retention, or destruction of library
materials, malicious/intentional misuse of computer facilities and/or services, and misuse of student
identification cards. Incidents of alleged academic misconduct will be handled through the
established procedures of the University Judiciary Program, which includes either an “informal”
resolution by a faculty member, resulting in a grade adjustment, or a formal hearing procedure, which
may subject a student to the Code of Conduct’s minimum one semester suspension requirement.
The University has a stringent policy and procedure for dealing with behavior that disrupts the
learning environment. Consistent with the belief that your behavior can interrupt the learning of
others, behavior fitting the University’s definition of disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Refer
to the Kennesaw State University Undergraduate Catalog, 2003-2004, pages 314-315 for further
Other General Policies and Regulations of Student Life have been developed by Kennesaw State
University. These policies (Handling Student Code of Conduct Violations at KSU) include:
1Academic Misconduct, 2) Disruptive Behavior, 3) Sexual Assault, are found on pages 240-244 of
the 2003-2004 Kennesaw State University Undergraduate Catalog.
It is expected, in this class, that no professional should need reminding of any of these policies but
the policies are there for your consideration. The activities of this class will be conducted in both the
spirit and the letter of these policies.
Evaluation of a Model Early Intervention Program Serving At-risk Children in Irvine, California.
A Research Based Conceptual Framework for Teacher Education.
The Stages of Human Growth and Development.
Young Children are Different, Have You Noticed? What is essential is invisible to the eye.
The Four Levels of Education.
The Sensitive Periods of Development: THE Most Powerful Time for Learning.
Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work (slide presentation).
Motor Development and Refined Control of Movement through Exercises of Practical Life.
The Prepared Environment as Faith.
The Sensorial Foundations of Intellectual Life as Hope.
The Transformation of the Guide as Love
Peace Through Education, Dream or Reality?
Required readings are the ones identified above.
Berk, L. E. & A. Winsler. 1995. Scaffolding Children’s Learning: Vygotsky and Early Childhood Education.
Washington, D.C., NAEYC
Brainerd, C. J. 1978. Piaget's Theory of Intelligence. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc.
Bruner, J. 1960. The Process of Education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Bruner, J. 1966. Toward a Theory of Instruction. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Bruner, J. & Maya Pines. 1971. The Development of Intelligence in Babies, in Segal, J. (Ed.)
Mental Health Program Reports, Washington, D.C.: U.S.D.H.E.W.
Bruner, J., K. Kaye, & K. Lyons. 1971. The Growth of Human Manual Intelligence in Maya Pines, Bruner, J.
1973. Going Beyond the Information Given. New York: Norton.
Bruner, J. 1983. Child's Talk: Learning to Use Language. New York: Norton.
Bruner, J. 1986. Actual Minds, Possible Worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Bruner, J. 1990. Acts of Meaning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Bruner, J. 1997. Celebrating divergence: Piaget and Vygotsky in Human Development,
Vol. 40, No.2, pp 63-73.
Bruner, J., J. Goodnow, & A. Austin 1951. A Study of Thinking. New York Wiley.
Evans, R. 1973. Jean Piaget: The Man and His Ideas. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc.
Fowler, William, 1962. Cognitive Leaning in Infancy and Childhood in Psychological Bulletin
Vol. 59, No.2, pp. 116-152. American Psychological Association.
Gardner, H. 1983. Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligence. N.Y.: Basic Books
Gindis, B. 1999 Vygotsky’s Vision: Reshaping the Practice of Special Education for the 21st Century; in
Remedial and Special Education, Vol.20, No. 6.
Kramer, R. 1988. Maria Montessori, A Biography. N.Y.: Addison-Wesley.
Lillard, Paula Polk 1973 Montessori, a Modern Approach. N.Y.: Schocken Books
Meadows, F. 1993 Evaluation of a Model Early Childhood Education Program for At-Risk Children in California,
IUSD Monograph.
Moll, L. (Ed.) 1990. Vygotsky and education: Instructional implications and applications of
sociohistorical psychology. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.
Montessori, Maria 1994 The Absorbent Mind. Oxford, England: Clio Press
Montessori, Maria 1995 The Discovery Of The Child. Oxford, England: Clio Press
Montessori, M. [1914] 1965. Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook. N.Y.: Schocken Books.
Montessori, M. 1915. The California Lectures of Maria Montessori, 1915. Oxford: Clio Press
Montessori, Mario M., Jr. 1976. Education for Human Development. N.Y.: Schocken Books
Montessori, M. [1936] 1988. The Secret of Childhood. N.Y.: Ballantine Books
Piaget, J. 1972. To Understand Is To Invent. New York: The Viking Press, Inc.
Rogoff, B. 1990. Apprenticeship in thinking: Cognitive development in social context.
N.Y.: Oxford University Press.
Sigel, I. and R. Cocking. 1977. Cognitive Development from Childhood to Adolescence:
A Constructivist Perspective. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Singer, D. & Revenson, T. 1978. A Piaget Primer: How a Child Thinks. New York: International Universities
Press, Inc.
Standing, E.M. 1984. Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work. New York: New American Library-Plume Books
Vygotsky, L. S. l997. The Collected Works, Volumes 3 and 4. M. Hall, trans., R.W. Rieber, Ed.
Vygotsky, L. S. [1930-1935] 1978. Mind in society: The development of higher mental processes.
Eds. & trans. M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner, & E. Souberman. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press.
Vygotsky, L. S. 1956. Selected Psychological Investigations. Moscow: Izdstel’sto Akademii
Pedagogicheskikh Nauk SSSR.
Vygotsky, L. S. 1962. Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA. MIT Press.
Wertsch, J. V., ed. 1985 Culture, Communication and Cognition: Vygotskyan Perspectives. N.Y.: Cambridge
University Press.
Wertsch, J. V., & B. Rogoff. 1984. Eds. in Children’s learning in the “zone of proximal development” 1-6.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Wittmer, D.S., & Honig, A.S. 1994. Encouraging positive social development in young children. in
Young Children 49 (5): 4-12.
Wolery, M., & Wilbers, J. S. eds. 1994. Including children with special needs in early childhood programs.
Washington, D.C. : NAEYC.