The pioneering early-years educator Friedrich Froebel recognised the profound influence that community and social context had on whether and how young children’s playful explorations were facilitated or limited.
As awareness increases of the critical importance of the early years of children, so too does the need for early-childhood professionals who have the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary for guiding and supporting young children’s learning in partnership with their families, and for critically evaluating the social and political contexts in which that learning
To help meet this increasing demand, the University of Roehampton, London Online announced today the addition of an online Master of Arts in Early Childhood, developed by the scholars and experts from the University’s School of Education. The School was founded upon Froebel College, one of the University’s four constituent colleges, and draws on the University’s long history of teacher training.
The new online MA in Early Childhood programme was designed to prepare early childhood professionals to work with young children and their families in supporting the development of the whole child – body, mind and spirit – to help ensure future success in school and throughout life.
Students in the online programme can learn to identify evidence-based solutions to real-world situations while developing the skills to foster healthy development and learning based on early childhood theory and practice.
“The first years of a child’s life are of critical importance for growth and development, which is why the University’s new online MA in Early Childhood programme aims to prepare educators and those who care for young children with the skills, knowledge and attributes needed to become leaders and advocates for the positive development of young children by building on the strengths of them and their families and by responding to the challenges they may face,” said Dr Peter Elfer, principal lecturer in Early Childhood Studies. “Students will be able to deepen their professional practice, improve leadership skills and develop their research capacity in order to apply their knowledge in culturally responsive ways.”
Based on Froebelian principles, the programme provides a grounding for adults who work with young children in a variety of roles, including early childhood educators, childcare professionals, education consultants and policy specialists, as well as those who work in social work and children services with young children. With students and faculty located in a wide range of countries, the online format provides the opportunity to gain a global perspective in order to critically analyse and apply research to meet the needs of young learners from diverse cultural backgrounds and settings.
The MA in Early Childhood programme joins a suite of online education programmes, including the MA in Educational Leadership, MA in Learning and Teaching, MA in Inclusive Special Education and MA in Technology and Learning Design. These programmes are part of a growing portfolio of online masters degrees at Roehampton in areas of study including business and management, psychology, public administration, public health and theology.
Through these programmes, adult learners around the world can gain the critical thinking skills and practical knowledge they need to expand their expertise and advance their careers. In a collaborative online environment that fosters learning, students engage with a diverse global community through blogs, message boards and chat groups. Students are not required to have an undergraduate degree in early childhood studies. Roehampton Online also recognises relevant professional experience in place of a bachelors degree as an alternative route to admission.