Spring Semester, 2006
ECE 7700 - Scientific Foundations of Early Childhood
Feland L. Meadows, Ph.D.
PHONE: 678-797-2161
Early Childhood Campus
3391 Town Pointe Parkway,
Suite #4120
January - May, 2006 (Afternoon or weekend schedule to be announced)
Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L. and Cocking, R. R. Eds. 2000. How People Learn: Brain, Mind,
Experience, and School. National Academy Press.
Freire, Paulo 1985 The Politics of Education. Bergin and Garvey, Publishers.
Gatto, John T. 1992 Dumbing us Down – The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling. New
Society Publishers.
Katz, L.G. and Chard, Sylvia C. (1989). Engaging Children's Minds: the Project Approach.
Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Lillard, A.S. 2005 Montessori, the Science Behind the Genius. Oxford University Press.
Montessori, M. [1936] 1989. The Secret of Childhood. N.Y.: Ballantine Books
Mooney, Carol G. 2000 Theories of Childhood, Redleaf Press.
Standing, E.M. 1984 Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work. Fairfield, PA: Plume.
Warner, Sylvia Ashton 1963 Teacher, Simon & Schuster
Readings on the Web: : Innovations in Early Education: The International Reggio
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 Prepared Environment, which serves as the essential third element for
effective learning. They will discover that the Sensitive Periods provide the most powerful times for
learning. They will develop new insights into the nature of child development and will learn that
respect for the child’s inner teacher serves as the integrating principle for the effective education of
young children.
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.
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 NETS*T 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
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;
Classroom attendance and participation is absolutely essential to success in this course. According to
KSU policy, every student is expected to attend all class sessions and related field experiences.
Furthermore, the accreditation of this program by the Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher
Education (MACTE) requires that candidates attend a minimum of 90% of all classes in every course
of the program. The Pan American Montessori Society (PAMS) requires the same attendance
minimum for International Certification.
The only excused absences are documented personal illness, military duty, or jury duty.
Any unexcused absence will result in the lowering of the student’s grade. A candidate that is absent
more than 10% of the time will be required to repeat the course in order to qualify for international
Professional conduct requires that each candidate show respect for others. This includes coming to
class on time, staying for the entire class period, and cooperating with colleagues in class. In the
event of an absence, the candidate is 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, Katz 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 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) Complete all observation assignments.
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.
Late Work: Assignments are considered late if not turned in during class on due date. There will be a
10% deduction of total possible points for each day that work is late. Assignments are always
accepted early and may be sent as an attachment through email.
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.
Course Outlines will be prepared to match the assigned calendar of classes.
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. (1996). The culture of education. 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.
Chard, Sylvia C. (1992). The Project Approach: A Practical Guide for Teachers. Edmonton, Alberta:
University of Alberta Printing Services
Edwards, C., L. Gandini, and G. Forman. (Eds.). (1993). The Hundred Languages of Children:
The Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
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, 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. & T. Revenson. 1978. A Piaget Primer: How a Child Thinks. New York:
International Universities Press, Inc.
Standing, E.M. 1984. Maria Montessori: Her Live 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., & A.S. Honig. 1994. Encouraging positive social development in young children.
Young Children 49 (5): 4-12.
Wolery, M., & J. S. Wilbers, eds. 1994. Including children with special needs in early childhood
programs. Washington, D.C. : NAEYC.