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Master of Arts in Child Study

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  • Objectives
    The Master's program in Child Study enables students to focus on issues related to Child Study from a developmental perspective. These issues may include the child in the family, the community or the school environment, with areas of concentration in language development, cognitive development, social development, lifeskill development and well-being, curriculum and instruction, childcare, children and technology, and special needs.
  • Practical experience
    There is an optional internship associated with this program.
  • Academic Title
    Master of Arts in Child Study
  • Course description
    THESIS OPTION (A) - PROGRAM STRUCTURE
    CORE COURSES: (18 credits)
    CHST 600 (3 cr) Advanced Child Development
    CHST 601 (3 cr) Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education
    CHST 603 (3 cr) Seminar in Child Study
    CHST 604 (3 cr) Observation and Evaluation of the Young Child
    CHST 607 (6 cr) Methods of Inquiry
    GENERAL ELECTIVES: 6 credits chosen from:
    CHST 610 (3 cr) Cognition and Learning
    CHST 612 (3 cr) Language Acquisition and Development
    CHST 616 (3 cr) Theoretical Perspectives on Children & Technology
    CHST 618 (3 cr) Early Childhood Settings
    CHST 620 (3 cr) Theories of Play and Social Behavior
    SPECIALIZED ELECTIVES: 3 credits chosen from:
    CHST 625 (3 cr) Topics in Concept Development
    CHST 635 (3 cr) Topics in Curriculum and Instruction
    CHST 645 (3 cr) Topics in Children and Technology
    CHST 655 (3 cr) Topics in Language Development
    CHST 665 (3 cr) Topics in Socialization
    CHST 675 (3 cr) Topics in Child Study
    THESIS OPTION (18 credits)
    CHST 697 (3 cr) Thesis Proposal
    CHST 698 (15 cr) Research and Thesis

    INTERNSHIP OPTION (B) - PROGRAM STRUCTURE
    CORE COURSES: (18 credits)
    CHST 600 (3 cr) Advanced Child Development
    CHST 601 (3 cr) Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education
    CHST 603 (3 cr) Seminar in Child Study
    CHST 604 (3 cr) Observation and Evaluation of the Young Child
    CHST 607 (6 cr) Methods of Inquiry
    GENERAL ELECTIVES: (9 credits chosen from)
    CHST 610 (3 cr) Cognition and Learning
    CHST 612 (3 cr) Language Acquisition and Development
    CHST 616 (3 cr) Theoretical Perspectives on Children & Technology
    CHST 618 (3 cr) Early Childhood Settings
    CHST 620 (3 cr) Theories of Play and Social Behavior
    SPECIALIZED ELECTIVES 9 credits chosen from:
    CHST 625 (3 cr) Topics in Concept Development
    CHST 635 (3 cr) Topics in Curriculum and Instruction
    CHST 645 (3 cr) Topics in Children and Technology
    CHST 655 (3 cr) Topics in Language Development
    CHST 665 (3 cr) Topics in Socialization
    CHST 675 (3 cr) Topics in Child Study
    INTERNSHIP OPTION (9 credits):
    ___CHST 693 (9 cr.)

    Core:
    CHST 600 - ADVANCED CHILD DEVELOPMENT
    This course will provide a study of theories of child development and current research. Various
    theoretical approaches to child development (e.g., cognitive developmental, ethological, social
    learning) will be addressed and will serve as the basis for examination of the social, emotional,
    and cognitive development of the child.

    CHST 601 - CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
    This course will examine principles and models of curriculum and instruction as they relate to
    preschool and primary education. Students will develop critical and analytical skills relevant to
    the discussion of curriculum issues.

    CHST 603 - SEMINAR IN CHILD STUDY
    This course serves as an introduction to the M.A. in Child Study program. Its objectives are; to
    introduce students to the diversity of areas related to the development, socialization and
    education of children; and to discuss current issues in the child study field. This course may
    include talks by faculty members describing their areas of research and a discussion of
    processes for selecting a research topic and appropriate methodology.

    CHST 604 - OBSERVATION AND EVALUATION OF THE YOUNG CHILD
    Observational measurement is an important technique in the evaluation of skills and behaviors
    of young children. It eliminates the necessity for young children to be able to read and
    comprehend the directions required in a pencil and paper form of evaluation. The process of
    assessing via observation makes it possible to address behaviors that otherwise might be
    unmeasurable. Students will be taught formal and informal observational methods. The
    particular advantages and/or disadvantages of all formats will be discussed. Students will be
    required to complete a number of observational assessments and standardized evaluations.

    CHST 606 - AN INTRODUCTION TO QUALITATIVE AND CASE STUDYRESEARCH
    This course examines issues and techniques in design and interpretation of research studies
    8 Department of Education
    involving qualitative data and the use of case studies as an analytical tool in child study.

    CHST 607 - METHODS OF INQUIRY
    This course provides an introduction to the philosophy of inquiry and to the main
    methodologies of inquiry that are particularly appropriate to Child Study. This course also
    provides laboratory work with appropriate computer software for each methodology.
    General Electives:

    CHST 610 - COGNITION AND LEARNING
    This course will examine cognitive and behavioral approaches to human learning. The
    implications for early education of current theory and research on information processing will
    be covered. Topics such as knowledge acquisition, memory, attention, problem solving, and
    cognitive versus associative theories of conditioning will be covered.

    CHST 612 - LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND DEVELOPMENT
    Consideration of how young children acquire language is important to understanding their
    cognitive, social and emotional development. This course is designed to provide students with a
    theoretical background in language acquisition and development as well as competencies in
    observing children's speech and in providing a suitable environment for rich language
    development. The ways in which a child acquires the sounds, meanings and syntax of language
    will be examined.

    CHST 616 - THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ON CHILDREN AND TECHNOLOGY
    The course concentrates on the interaction between young children and technology. Particular
    emphasis of the course is on the use of microcomputers in the classroom environment with the
    central focus being the child. Topics such as how technology affects social and cognitive
    development in addition to an examination of the effects of “new technologies” such as
    multimedia and the Internet in the classroom are discussed. Knowledge of technology is not
    required.

    CHST 618 - EARLY CHILDHOOD SETTINGS
    This course provides an overview of the many early childhood settings that serve young
    children and their families. The historical and current development of child care, nursery
    schools, kindergarten and primary school are reviewed. Learning will occur through the study
    of cases, guest presentations, field trips and student projects.

    CHST 620 - THEORIES OF PLAY AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
    This course will explore the value of play in the development and education of the young child.
    An historical perspective of play will be presented and the major theories of play in relationship
    to child development will be studied. Issues to be considered include the role of play in social,
    emotional and cognitive development, play materials and skill development, and the role of
    play in the curriculum.

    Specialized Electives:
    *Note: These courses are offered on an occasional basis and this list includes all special
    topics offered previously.

    CHST 625 - TOPICS IN CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT
    Minority Status & Learning - (Winter 1998) This course examined the relationship between
    membership in a minority group and educational outcomes for an individual. Topics examined
    included: self-concept and esteem, development of prejudicial attitudes and their relationship to
    educational process, psychological testing in multicultural settings, bilingualism and
    multilingualism and their relationship with educational attainment, and psychological
    foundations of multicultural education.

    Learning Through Peer Interaction - (Winter 1997). The purpose of this course was to
    introduce students to general motivational and learning theories underlying learning through
    peer interaction and specific theories of cooperative learning. Students studied the research on
    group processes and productivity and on various instructional strategies that involved students
    interacting together to learn, such as cooperative learning methods, peer tutoring, cross-age
    tutoring, and dramatic play. Through class lectures, interactive activities and student-led
    seminars students also learned about: the components of effective cooperative learning in
    general and for young children in particular, the role of the teacher in peer interaction
    techniques, and evaluation strategies for learning through peer interaction.

    CHST 635 - TOPICS IN CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION
    Children’s Literature - (Summer 1997) This course was designed to encourage an appreciation
    of children’s literature and its pivotal role in the life of young children. Classes comprised
    lectures, small group discussions, reading and writing in a variety of genres. Suggestions for
    ways of using story, poetry and drama in the classroom were covered.

    Movement Education - (Summer 1993) This course examined the contribution that Movement
    Education makes to the total education of children. Particular attention was paid to the work of
    10 Department of Education
    Rudolf Laban's Descriptive Analysis of Movement. Topics covered include: the evolution of
    movement education and its integration in the elementary school curriculum; movement
    concepts; body, space, effort and relationships; the nature of analysis of dance, games and
    gymnastics.

    Critical Issues in Special Education - (Winter 1993) This course was intended for those
    students who wanted to examine the development and status of special education and services
    to students with disabilities into regular, mainstreamed integrated settings. The concept of
    integrated teaching was presented in this course not so much as a specific system for teaching
    but, as a philosophy and teaching style that builds on and extends practices that are
    developmentally appropriate for all children.

    Curricular Issues and Controversies in ECE - (Fall 1992). An issue, by definition, is a point of
    debate - something about which there is doubt and controversy. If I have one view of the truth
    of a matter and you have an opposing view, and we recognize no arbitrating body of
    authoritative knowledge to settle our differences, we have an issue. In a sense, issues point to
    our collective ignorance, to that about which we need more knowledge. In this course, students
    were given the opportunity to select, research, present, and debate issues of importance to early
    childhood education. In addition, through extensive reading and writing, students learned how
    to conduct certain narrative forms of inquiry that enabled them to document applied and
    perceived forms of curriculum and, more importantly, helped them to uncover both hidden and overt curriculum in their own practice or in the practice of others.

    Issues in Child Care Programming - (Summer 1991) This course explored overall issues of day
    care programming related to educational philosophies, political directives, governmental
    regulations, managerial principles, curriculum, and professional advocacy.

    CHST 645 - TOPICS IN CHILDREN AND TECHNOLOGY
    Microcomputers in Education: (Summer 1990) This course examined various aspects of
    educational computing including such topics as: teacher perceptions and use of the
    microcomputers in the classroom, evaluations of software and hardware as they apply to the
    education of the young child, microcomputers and instructional control, the sociological effects
    of microcomputers, and the future of microcomputers in the school. This course also focused on
    the practical use of microcomputers in the classroom and ways to implement them effectively
    into the curriculum.

    CHST 655 - TOPICS IN LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
    Literacy in Cross-Cultural Perspective - (Fall 1997) This course explored the topic of literacy,
    using a cross-cultural perspective. The course developed in students a critical understanding of
    literacy -- the scope of its meaning, its forms, and the myths surrounding it. Various types of
    literacy were examined (basic literacy, scientific literacy, media literacy, cultural literacy, visual
    literacy) and various theses were explore d (literacy and “progress”, literacy and national
    development, literacy and “liberation” of the masses, literacy and social context, the literacy
    “crisis”).

    Recent Issues in Emergent Literacy - (Summer 1991) This course explored the writing process
    of emergent readers and writers. Participants experimented with writing as a means of discovery
    in a writing workshop setting, and considered the application of this experience to classroom
    teaching. Recent research was examined.

    Second Language Acquisition and Development - (January 1990). This course dealt with
    models of second language acquisition. The effect on learning of such variables as age,
    personality, attitude and classroom environment was examined. Students reviewed the work of
    prominent Canadian researchers on the results of immersion programs at different age levels.
    Strategies used by the learner for communication purposes and for language development were
    examined. Students participated in seminar discussions and selected a particular area for further
    study.

    CHST 665 - TOPICS IN SOCIALIZATION
    Gender and Education (Winter 1998) This course examines the educational process in light of
    the effects of the cultural, social, familial and economic, structures on gender differentiation.
    Specific emphasis was on feminist pedagogy and critical pedagogy and how these approaches
    in teaching and learning can provide a possibility for social change in a western, industrialized,
    gender differentiated society.

    The Influence of Childcare and Kindergarten (Winter 1994). This course examined issues in
    the socialization of young children. Major approaches to the study of socialization were
    reviewed. The focus of the course was on the role of childcare and the school in the
    socialization of children.

    CHST 675 - TOPICS IN CHILD STUDY
    School and Society (Fall 1997) This course was concerned with the family, the educational
    system, the economy and the political system, and with the relations between them. The main
    concern was with social institutions and the socialization process with which they are involved.
    Particular emphasis was placed on the social class differences in the conditions of socialization
    and educational opportunity, and on social class differences in educational achievements.
    Administrating Early Childhood Programs (Summer 1990, 1996). This course was designed to
    provide several perspectives that enabled the students to better understand the role of the
    director in early childhood care programs. Each class was divided into a lecture period and
    group discussion based upon reading assignments, and personal experience. Students were
    expected to read selected materials and kept a journal on these readings prior to attending each
    class in order to facilitate group participation.

    The Popular Culture of Childhood - (Fall 1995). Although our knowledge base is growing
    steadily, early childhood education continues to reverberate with many issues of controversy.
    One topic, which abounds with issues, is culture. What do we mean by culture? Is there a
    culture specific to childhood? Is it universal? What are the relationships between the culture of
    childhood and schooling? What is popular culture and what does it have to do with curriculum
    and education? What distinguishes popular culture from culture? These are the kinds of
    important questions that we considered during this course, by drawing on our own personal
    experience, conducting research, and reviewing the research literature. This course introduced
    students to the methodology and perspective of the field of Cultural Studies, with a particular
    focus on critical theory and text analysis. Students had the opportunity to conduct their own
    research into an aspect of popular culture of childhood and to explore the significance of
    popular culture to their own graduate studies and work as educators. This course also provided
    a valuable opportunity to broaden perspectives on issues of race, gender, and social class as they
    related to the culture of childhood.

    Children's Behavior Problems - (Fall 1993) This course focused on the nature of children's
    behavior problems and on methods of modifying behaviors. Topics covered included
    observational tools, programming suggestions, reinforcement techniques and evaluation
    methods.

    Peace Education - (Summer 1993) Participants developed an understanding of the sources of
    violence in children's lives, the short and long-term effects of experiencing and witnessing
    violence, and the strategies to help young children cope with violence. Students also explored
    the positive aspects of conflict and conflict resolution theory.

    History of Childhood - (Winter 1989, 1993) This course examined aspects of the history of
    childhood in the context of Western society. It focused both on conceptual (for example on
    explanations and perceptions of the nature of childhood), and on issues in the social and
    psychocultural, history of childhood (the child vis-à-vis the family, work, play, the school etc.).
    The dominant historical-theoretical perspectives were set against recent critical literature.

    *DIRECTED STUDY/READING COURSES
    CHST 680 - Directed Study (3 cr)
    CHST 681 - Directed Study (3 cr)
    *Students are permitted to take a maximum of two directed study (reading) courses. In all
    cases prior approval from the student’s advisor and instructor are required prior to registration.
    See the graduate program assistant to obtain the appropriate form.

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