ERIC Number: ED392785
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Nov
Reference Count: 0
An Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Major at a Four-Year Liberal Arts College: A Quest for Quality and Communication among Departments.
Van Voorhis, Judith L.; DeMarie-Dreblow, Darlene
In describing the Early Childhood Interdisciplinary Major at Muskingum College (Ohio), this paper presents a model for small liberal arts colleges to consider in providing training for future early childhood professionals. This interdisciplinary early childhood major draws from departments typically found in many small liberal arts colleges, bringing together the resources and expertise from the departments of business and sociology as well as psychology and education to provide the collaborative foundational core and/or areas of specialization. The three areas of specialization in the program are child development research, human services preparation, and administration. The impact of the interdisciplinary major is described, as well as strategies for building inter- and intra-department support. Challenges the interdisciplinary major poses include the need to help students develop a cohesive identity as early childhood majors and incorporation of new faculty into the program. Some of the features that make this interdisciplinary major attractive for early childhood teacher educators include: (1) a valuable body of knowledge and expertise is available for students earning a degree in early childhood; (2) an interdisciplinary focus in early childhood uses existing faculty resources; (3) an area of specialization in addition to the core strengthens the major; and (4) areas of specialization which meet the individual student s needs and interests enhance student motivation and commitment. Core requirements, areas of specialization, and electives are listed in appendices. (Contains 11 references.) (ND)
Descriptors: Curriculum Development, Early Childhood Education, Education Majors, Educational Innovation, Higher Education, Interdisciplinary Approach, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Preservice Teacher Education, Student Interests, Student Motivation, Teacher Education Curriculum, Teacher Educators, Teaching Methods
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Interdisciplinary Cooperation; Liberal Arts Colleges; Muskingum College OH
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (Washington, DC, November 29, 1995).