Early childhood education course approved for Burnaby secondary school students

With the approval of two new courses, Burnaby secondary students can immediately have the opportunity to learn about early childhood education in a way previously only available at the post-secondary level.

Burnaby high school students interested in careers in early childhood education may soon be able to start with a pair of new courses approved by the school board this week.

Early Childhood Education Assistants 1 and 2 are designed for Grade 12 students and will provide them with opportunities to learn about early childhood education in ways previously only available at the post-secondary level, according to a report presented at the school board meeting Tuesday.

This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills to become “successful caregivers in both professional and personal settings” and help them qualify for the ECE assistant certificate.

“In addition, it offers transferability to a full ECE program with Burnaby Community and Continuing Education or, potentially, other ECE post-secondary programs after secondary school,” says the report. “This allows successful students to go down the path of choice more quickly and more easily; it can contribute directly to jobs in childcare and/or easier transitions to other ECE programs and further post-secondary training.”

ECEA 1 focuses on child development, principles of good practice, and the role and responsibility of educators in child safety and health, while ECEA 2 focuses on human development from conception to childhood, with an emphasis on young children.

Together, the two four-credit, 120-hour courses are designed to teach “the theoretical foundations of early childhood education, as well as the practical application of hands-on learning in childcare settings.”

These new courses are called Board/Authority Authorized courses.

Such courses are developed by teachers (in this case by Burnaby North Secondary teacher Elizabeth Byrne, Lochdale community primary school coordinator Teresa Toth and ECE Community and Continuing Education program marketa Soldat program coordinator) who wish to explore content outside the boundaries of the provincial curriculum, responding to local needs or provide choice and flexibility for students.

BAA courses must be approved by the school board before the school year in which they are offered, and they only proceed if enough students apply.

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