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Early Childhood Education Commons

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Graduate Student Independent Studies

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Full-Text Articles in Early Childhood Education

A Reason To Read: Discovering A Purpose For Books Through Play, Sara Russell Dewey May 2019

A Reason To Read: Discovering A Purpose For Books Through Play, Sara Russell Dewey

Graduate Student Independent Studies

Children need desire and motivation to learn. This study examines the responsive, child- centered teaching practices of a reading and literacy specialist as she helps a student, with low motivation for reading, find a reason to want to read. Although her student is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and aspects of autism come up in this study, the focus here is not on teaching children with autism. Since no two children with a diagnosis present similarly, teaching to a diagnosis is not individualized or sensitive enough to meet the educational and emotional needs of a student. Instead, teachers must ...


Elements At Play: Influences Of Gender On Play In Single-Sex Settings, Elizabeth "Lily" Geiger Apr 2019

Elements At Play: Influences Of Gender On Play In Single-Sex Settings, Elizabeth "Lily" Geiger

Graduate Student Independent Studies

This thesis will examine the ways that gender impacts dramatic play in early childhood classrooms by analyzing experiences in two single-sex school environments. The paper will review past and present literature as it pertains to the general topics of play and gender and pose insights about the role that both play in single-sex classrooms. It will also take into consideration the various gendered elements of our world and the impact of our social environments. The aim of the paper is not to propose next steps for gender education, but to examine current work through descriptions and observations in two classroom ...


How To : An Original Picture Book For Children, Morgan Wright Mar 2019

How To : An Original Picture Book For Children, Morgan Wright

Graduate Student Independent Studies

This independent study was focused on the creation of an original, social-emotionally oriented “how to” picture and poetry book for children ages five through seven. A wide variety of books for children, from old classics to recent publications, deal with themes relevant to children’s social-emotional lives. However, many of these books are written in narrative fiction form, or are framed using a logical, adult-centered lens. The goal of this book project was to create poetry and illustrations which authentically conveyed the unique emotional textures and roundabout logic of childhood associated with everyday experiences. Child development research included cognitive and ...


Critical Pedagogy In Practice: Reflections Of A K-5 Educator, Kelly Gresalfi Sep 2018

Critical Pedagogy In Practice: Reflections Of A K-5 Educator, Kelly Gresalfi

Graduate Student Independent Studies

The author illuminates major theoretical concepts integral to critical pedagogy as they apply to grades k-5 through a selective review of the literature and reflection on how these principles intersect with her personal and teaching experiences. A candid analysis of the author's ongoing journey to put these ideas into practice, including ways in which she has felt successful and areas she continues to find challenging, is offered. Suggestions for ways in which elementary school educators can approach their teaching practices and classroom structures through the lens of critical pedagogy are included. Reactions to the thesis from several of the ...


L’Dor Vador: Storytelling For The Holiday Cycle In A Jewish Early Childhood Setting, Krista Bogetich Jul 2018

L’Dor Vador: Storytelling For The Holiday Cycle In A Jewish Early Childhood Setting, Krista Bogetich

Graduate Student Independent Studies

Storytelling is an effective and appropriate method of engaging young children in complex concepts such as values and ethics. This paper provides rationale for using storytelling in an early childhood setting, background information on Jewish holidays, and highlights the values in the stories told during those holidays. It includes synopses of stories told through original storytelling, descriptions of activities incorporated in the experiences, as well as children’s responses and photographs of children’s work.


Facilitating A Block Program In Kindergarten And First Grade: A Manual For Kindergarten And First Grade Teachers, Hannah Rau May 2018

Facilitating A Block Program In Kindergarten And First Grade: A Manual For Kindergarten And First Grade Teachers, Hannah Rau

Graduate Student Independent Studies

Many preschool classroom have unit blocks. Unfortunately, not as many early primary classrooms incorporate blocks into their programs. This paper discusses the power of using unit blocks in a Kindergarten and first grade. The first three sections of the thesis focus on the importance of a unit block curriculum in early primary classrooms by discussing the developmentally-appropriate ways blocks invite problem solving and mathematical and scientific thinking. The final section is a teacher’s manual designed as a guidebook to support teachers who are starting a block program in their Kindergarten and first grade classroom. In this manual, critical components ...


A Case For Child Life Specialists To Be Trauma-Informed, Kathleen Romano Apr 2018

A Case For Child Life Specialists To Be Trauma-Informed, Kathleen Romano

Graduate Student Independent Studies

According to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network [NCTSN] (2003), “trauma occurs when a child experiences an intense event that threatens or causes harm to his or her emotional and physical well-being”. Roughly one in four children will experience a traumatic event before the age of sixteen. Due to the prevalence of traumatic events, it is necessary for healthcare professionals to know and understand the implications these experiences may have for children and their families. Child life specialists, who are a part of the interdisciplinary team in hospitals, provide a unique perspective with their knowledge of child development and coping ...


Process & Research Of Dyslexia? A Book On The Demystification Of Dyslexia For Students With Dyslexia, Anna Slavin Apr 2018

Process & Research Of Dyslexia? A Book On The Demystification Of Dyslexia For Students With Dyslexia, Anna Slavin

Graduate Student Independent Studies

This paper focuses on the ways in which the demystification of dyslexia for diagnosed or pre- diagnosed students alters their ability to self-advocate. It examines effective ways of demystification and, specifically, how literature can be used to directly teach children how to talk about their difference. This review of research highlights positive and negative effects of providing students with learning disability labels. It also notes that the majority of studies on the subject show that providing students with a label for their learning variations positively impacts self-esteem and academic engagement. However, it is noted that a dearth of children’s ...


From Page To Place: Wordless Picture Books And Field Trips For A 21st Century Curriculum, Margaret Stein Apr 2018

From Page To Place: Wordless Picture Books And Field Trips For A 21st Century Curriculum, Margaret Stein

Graduate Student Independent Studies

With the purpose of education being to produce successful world citizens, the educational system must grow with the changing economic and social climate. Operating in a creative and knowledge-based economy, students educated in the 21st Century must be in an environment that fosters creativity, critical thinking, and recognition of complex patterns in order to thrive in the new economic structures. Proposing a curricular sequence using wordless picture books and field trips to develop and strengthen these skills, this paper focuses on the growth of literacy in all forms as the strongest foundation for creating curious and life-long learners. Utilizing the ...


The Meal Gap: A Food Activist Curriculum, Kameshia L. Shepherd Apr 2018

The Meal Gap: A Food Activist Curriculum, Kameshia L. Shepherd

Graduate Student Independent Studies

The Meal Gap: A Food Activist Curriculum is a series of fifty-four lessons for fourth grade students that introduces them to the topic of food insecurity. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations initiated the World Food Summit in 1996 to discuss and call attention to the “widespread undernutrition and growing concern about the capacity of agriculture to meet future food needs” (Food and Agriculture Organization, n.d.). The June 2006 Policy Brief of the FAO reaffirmed the 1996 definition of food security, which states that “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical ...


Lucy Takes The Stage: A Story For Children With Anxiety, Rachel Beckman Apr 2018

Lucy Takes The Stage: A Story For Children With Anxiety, Rachel Beckman

Graduate Student Independent Studies

Childhood anxiety is explored through the lens of child development as well as children’s literature. The book written for this integrated masters project was created to help engage children around age 5, recognizing that it could be for ages 5-7, in thinking about anxiety. Anxiety disorders in children can take many different forms, but the major distinction between a disorder and normal worries is that it causes stress that disrupts normal functioning. Additionally, read-alouds are a common and beneficial way to introduce children to literature in schools. Young children can learn to read, take another’s perspective, as well ...


A Case For The Inclusion Of Graphic Novels In The Classroom, Brittany Rosenberg Apr 2018

A Case For The Inclusion Of Graphic Novels In The Classroom, Brittany Rosenberg

Graduate Student Independent Studies

This paper will explore the use of graphic novels in the context of the classroom, ultimately arguing that graphic novels not only deserve a place in elementary through high school classrooms, but are an effective and successful learning tool. The paper is divided into four central arguments utilizing a review of relevant literature to support each section’s argument. It will begin with an examination of the motivation for the paper’s creation, detailing the circumstance unto which the author of this paper decided to write it. The paper will then move into the four central parts. Part one will ...


Pizza Bagel Sundays, Kate D'Auria Apr 2018

Pizza Bagel Sundays, Kate D'Auria

Graduate Student Independent Studies

Kate D’Auria worked on an independent study where she created her own children’s book. The book is called Pizza Bagel Sundays and was illustrated by Yan Gabriella Peropat. Pizza Bagel Sundays is a memoir about her childhood and how she grew up in a single parent household. Though single parenting is one of the focuses of the book, it does have other themes such as family, love and how we spend time together. Research was done to see what other types of children’s literature is out there and see where the book fit in. Look at the ...


Childhood Anxiety, Julia Post Apr 2018

Childhood Anxiety, Julia Post

Graduate Student Independent Studies

The following paper closely examines anxiety in school-aged children, especially those predisposed through environmental and biological factors. While there are many typical worries and fears in children, atypical signs that point to an anxiety disorder include severity and high frequency of worry and avoidance behavior. Anxiety disorders affect roughly a third of children ages six through eleven, and early intervention and cognitive strategies are extremely effective in giving children coping skills for their separation, social, or generalized anxiety. Some of the treatment plans examined in this paper include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Narrative Therapy and ...


The Sky's The Limit: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum On Sustainable Architecture Within Urban Communities, Sierra Van Ryck Degroot May 2017

The Sky's The Limit: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum On Sustainable Architecture Within Urban Communities, Sierra Van Ryck Degroot

Graduate Student Independent Studies

As trees continue to fall and buildings rise in our expanding internationally-linked cities, the future of technology, design and the health of the environment rests on instilling the importance of sustainable practices in future generations. In this interdisciplinary curriculum unit designed for grades 3-5 in the New York City metropolitan area, students are studying and then developing their own models of multi-purpose skyscrapers, utilizing sustainable technologies to reduce environmental impact.


Play As A Social Justice Issue In Early Childhood Education, Britt Kroll May 2017

Play As A Social Justice Issue In Early Childhood Education, Britt Kroll

Graduate Student Independent Studies

Play is a vital part of the early childhood experience to develop in cognitive and social-emotional realms. Schools are taking away an important tool for children to process new information and build skills needed for lifelong problem-solving by allowing less time for play in early childhood classrooms. This research combines data gathered to show the unique benefits of play in both cognitive and social-emotional areas, as well as qualitative data collected in a play-based and a non-play-based classroom.

The research defends the importance of play-based learning in early childhood and equips teachers with rationale to use play as a tool ...


Writing In Journals As A Tool For Expressing Ourselves: A 6-8 Week Long Writing Curriculum For A 3rd/4th Grade, Self-Contained, Special Education Classroom., Christine Carosotto May 2017

Writing In Journals As A Tool For Expressing Ourselves: A 6-8 Week Long Writing Curriculum For A 3rd/4th Grade, Self-Contained, Special Education Classroom., Christine Carosotto

Graduate Student Independent Studies

The following writing curriculum is intended for students aged 8-12 years old in a 12:1, self-contained special education classroom setting. Through journal writing instruction, this curriculum aims to provide support to students struggling with foundational writing skills. These skills include: topic selection, stamina, organization, awareness of audience and sentence clarity. This unit’s theoretical foundation is grounded by the core components of a Writers Workshop model, the belief in developing social and oral language skills as a pre-writing tool and the importance of providing writing opportunities that incorporate choice in both topic and response format in order to increase ...


"See, Two Yellows Make A Rectangle!": Constructing Meaningful, Emergent Learning Moments In A Structured Special Education Program, Lucy Bayer May 2017

"See, Two Yellows Make A Rectangle!": Constructing Meaningful, Emergent Learning Moments In A Structured Special Education Program, Lucy Bayer

Graduate Student Independent Studies

This paper explores the relationship between emergent, child-driven learning and the structured curricula of a special education program. Relying on current research and theory as driving forces, the author designed and implemented a series of math lessons with a small group of kindergarten students in a self-contained, special-education setting. The paper begins in narrative form, detailing the author’s journey to her current line of inquiry. Empirical research and educational theory about both emergent, child-driven learning and math instruction are then summarized. The following two chapters chronicle the author’s work with her students. These chapters are presented as both ...


An Unconventional Once Upon A Time: A Need For A Children's Book Describing The Challenges Of A Deployed Spouse, Rachel Adams May 2017

An Unconventional Once Upon A Time: A Need For A Children's Book Describing The Challenges Of A Deployed Spouse, Rachel Adams

Graduate Student Independent Studies

There are many texts that focus on a child’s experiences and difficulties when a parent is away in the army or at war. Currently, there are no books that provide the perspective of a parent or spouse's struggles in dealing with their loved one who is away, and taking care of what is left at home. This independent study had a purpose of not only providing another resource for children to cope, but to allow for them to gain perspective of someone else’s experience as well. The story written speaks not from a child’s perspective, but ...


Outside Classroom: Unstructured Outdoor Play In Early Childhood Education, Valerie Lockhart Jun 2016

Outside Classroom: Unstructured Outdoor Play In Early Childhood Education, Valerie Lockhart

Graduate Student Independent Studies

This independent study examines the benefits of unstructured outdoor play in early childhood education through the lens of an original children's book and correlative research.


Sensory Processing Handbook For Early Childhood Educators, Kristina De Michael May 2016

Sensory Processing Handbook For Early Childhood Educators, Kristina De Michael

Graduate Student Independent Studies

This handbook is to help educators of young children understand the role of sensory integration and recognize how sensory processing difficulties may impact a child's everyday life.


Utilizing American Sign Language In The Early Childhood Setting, Samantha Hakim May 2016

Utilizing American Sign Language In The Early Childhood Setting, Samantha Hakim

Graduate Student Independent Studies

Explores the benefits of using American Sign Language (ASL) in a general education classroom as a tool for classroom management, as well as a way to create an inclusive setting for deaf and hearing impaired children.


Touch Screen Technology In The First Three Years, Sara Baumgarten May 2016

Touch Screen Technology In The First Three Years, Sara Baumgarten

Graduate Student Independent Studies

There has long been debate about the use of screen technology with young children. The first part of this paper reviews the literature currently available, looking at previous research about television viewing as well as emerging research about touch screens. The second part takes observation of three toddlers, ages 20-26 months, using iPads as well as playing with traditional toys and analyzes the differences in play and the developmental skills demonstrated by each.


A Culturally Sensitive Support Group For Chinese Families : Redesigning The Bright Beginnings Curriculum, Jenny Wong May 2016

A Culturally Sensitive Support Group For Chinese Families : Redesigning The Bright Beginnings Curriculum, Jenny Wong

Graduate Student Independent Studies

The purpose of this thesis is to explore the goodness-of-it between the Bright Beginnings curriculum and people who identify with the Chinese culture.


My Backpack : A Children's Book About Separation, Susan B. Bloch May 2016

My Backpack : A Children's Book About Separation, Susan B. Bloch

Graduate Student Independent Studies

This thesis opens with a copy of "My Backpack," a fictional book based on actual events to be read to children between the ages of three and four years prior to their entry to preschool and as a support during the separation process during the first weeks and months of school. The author then continues with an explanation of the genesis of the book, a developmental section incorporating theorists' views on separation for children ages 3 and 4, children's reactions and responses to the book, and a review of other valuable books on separation.


Teaching Self-Advocacy For Students With Developmental Variations In Primary Grades, Sarah E. Sloane May 2016

Teaching Self-Advocacy For Students With Developmental Variations In Primary Grades, Sarah E. Sloane

Graduate Student Independent Studies

Discusses children who have disabilities, refered to in this paper as "developmental variations," and how they are either not taught how to advocate for themselves or are not given an opportunity to do so. This paper explores the various components to teaching this skill.


The Apple Trees School : Adapting The Developmental-Interaction Approach In South Korea, Jeffrey B. Rogers Aug 2015

The Apple Trees School : Adapting The Developmental-Interaction Approach In South Korea, Jeffrey B. Rogers

Graduate Student Independent Studies

In August 2016, one year from this writing, a team of educators will embark on adapting the developmental-interaction approach to a newly founded early elementary school in Gyeongsan, South Korea. This paper seeks to address the challenges and rewards inherent in such a project through examining critical issues such as intercultural competence and teacher relationships


The Benefits Of Art For Children With Special Needs : A Guidebook For Teachers, Rachel Rothberg May 2015

The Benefits Of Art For Children With Special Needs : A Guidebook For Teachers, Rachel Rothberg

Graduate Student Independent Studies

This thesis gives information to educators about the benefits of art with children, specifically those who require special education. It will examine different lessons and activities that can help achieve positive results for children. It includes specific lesson plans, sample artwork of children, brief assessment of these sample works, a personal narrative of individual experience, and interviews with an occupational therapist and art therapist.


Testing The Global Ratings Of Environments [Groe] In South Africa, Melissa Aives May 2015

Testing The Global Ratings Of Environments [Groe] In South Africa, Melissa Aives

Graduate Student Independent Studies

The author retested an observational tool called the Global Ratings of Environments. The tool was used in nearly six early childhood development (ECD) centers across two provinces. A detailed report of observations and findings are included in this paper. Also included are recommendations and revisions of the GROE for future use.


A Closer Look At The Relationship Between Socioeconomic Status And Childcare, Dawn Campbell May 2015

A Closer Look At The Relationship Between Socioeconomic Status And Childcare, Dawn Campbell

Graduate Student Independent Studies

Discusses how childcare quality varies visibly across the five boroughs of New York City and how the quality of childcare centers is very different for families of lower socioeconomic status.