Most programs include curriculum planning for different stages of child development, including activities that aid emotional, social, motor skills and language development. Students learn to engage children with games, books, movies, artwork or computers. Some programs also teach students to evaluate a child's interests early in development, because preschool is often a child's first exposure to the sciences, creative arts, writing and music. Students might explore psychology and nutrition while developing curriculum-writing skills, and gain knowledge of classroom-reading techniques in order to keep children focused. They could learn to use reading to expand children's vocabularies and expose them to different remedial concepts. Programs include student-teaching experiences as well as classroom lectures.
Bachelor's Degree in Preschool Education
Coursework consists mostly of didactic learning, although many programs require students to complete one or more student teaching sessions. Here are some classes that might appear in the curriculum:
- Child psychology
- Health and nutrition
- Special needs methodologies
- Classroom and instructional management
- Curriculum writing
- Early childhood assessment and evaluation
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expected the employment of preschool teachers to grow 7% between 2014 and 2024, about as fast as average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). Growth in this field is due to a growing population of preschool-aged children and the widespread importance of early-childhood education.
According to BLS figures, the median annual salary for preschool teachers was $28,570 in May 2015. The highest-paid preschool teachers earned more than $51,990 annually, while the lowest-paid earned roughly $19,130 or less per year (www.bls.gov).
Earning a bachelor's degree in early childhood education prepares aspiring teachers to work with pre-kindergarten-age children. These programs equip future teachers to handle all aspects of teaching children and preparing for and managing a classroom.