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New early education program to offer certification

By By Kelly Quackenbush/The Meridian Star
March 16, 2001
Teaching the young child is the focus of a new certification program starting this summer at The University of Southern Mississippi.
The new curriculum is for students seeking to become teachers in grades K-4. It is being offered through the USM Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education.
Research findings confirm that children up to the age of eight learn differently from older children, Falconer added.
Students who wish to earn certification will have to apply exclusively for admission to the K-4 certification option, and not for the existing K-8 program.
The program is similar in part to The National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards for early childhood professional preparation. These elements include: promoting child development and learning, building family and community relationships, observing and assessing to support young children and families, teaching and learning by connecting with children, integrating meaningful curriculum and supporting learning by becoming a professional.
The NAEYC is an organization of early childhood educators and others dedicated to improving the quality of programs for children up to grade school.
Kelly Quackenbush is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at kquackenbush@themeridianstar.com.

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