This post is sponsored by ChildCare Education Institute. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my honest personal opinion.
One of the accomplishments I’m most proud of from my career is earning my master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I loved learning about the ways little ones learn best, how to connect with them in the classroom, and how to prepare them to be successful in life. And even though I’m not currently in the classroom, I still love learning about these topics whenever I can!
That’s why I was so excited to partner with ChildCare Education Institute(CCEI), the leader for online professional development, to take a course on hands-on learning in the early childhood classroom.
What is ChildCare Education Institute?
ChildCare Education Institute®provides high-quality, online training courses and programs, applicable to those who work in an array of child care settings, including center-based care, Head Start, family child care, prekindergarten classrooms, after school environments and more. Over 150 English and Spanish training courses are available to meet licensing, recognition program, and Head Start Requirements. CCEI also has online certification programs that provide the coursework requirement for national credentials including the CDA, Director and Early Childhood Credentials. CCEI, a Council for Professional Recognition CDA Gold Standard℠ training provider, is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and is accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
- 99 percent of students say they would recommend CCEI to others
- Over 4.4 million online course hours completed
- Graduated over 12,000 early childhood professionals from CDA and other certificate programs
- Web-based coursework, available 24/7/365
- 30 hours of new content added each year
- IACET CEUs awarded for completed coursework at no additional cost
Cur 112: Constructivist Learning Theory and Approaches to Hands-On Learning
After looking through ChildCare Education Institute’s extensive course curriculum, I chose to take an Intermediate course called CUR 112: Constructivist Theory & Approaches to Hands-On Learning.
This course had a great balance between theory and practical tips. It reviewed many of the principles I learned in my grad school days, such as the definition of the constructivist learning theory (and the contributions of Piaget, Vygotsky, and more to this theory), the differences between Monetessori and Reggio Emilia, and how hands-on learning should really be called “minds-on” learning. My top 3 take-aways from this course were:
- Respect for the child must come first in an early childhood classroom, and allowing the children to lead (while the teacher guides) is truly the most effective way for little ones to learn.
- Scaffolding is key when moving little ones along on their journey toward mastering certain skills. And there’s no rush! Slow down and focus on the process of learning, not the product.
- Children will never learn critical thinking skills, social skills, or emotional coping through rote memorization. And aren’t those the skills we truly want them to have learned before leaving our classrooms?
Overall, I was really happy with the content from the course CUR 112: Constructivist Theory & Approaches to Hands-On Learningfrom ChildCare Education Institute. The information was developmentally appropriate for early childhood classrooms, and it reminded me of the way our littles learn best!
As far as the techy side of things, CCEI’s site was really easy to navigate!
Once you log in, you can choose your course from the hundreds they have available. You can complete up to 6 courses per day! Each course hour is .1 CEU, and you’ll receive a certificate that you can turn in to your center or administration.
Once you choose your course, CCEI provides you with handouts to take notes, and you work at your own pace through the material. And the great part is you don’t have to finish the course all at once! If you need to stop for any reason, you can pick up right where you left off the next time you log in. You can also scroll back through the slides to review the information. It’s very convenient for the busy world we live in!
There are assessment questions every few slides to make sure you are staying engaged and understanding the most important points of the course, and there are also opportunities to reflect on your own teaching experiences. This course also had a few videos, which was great to be able to see both Montessori and Reggio Emilia classrooms in action. At the end of the course, you take a short quiz to demonstrate that you understand the materials presented.
If you’re looking for quality professional development for early childhood education that is affordable, effective, and convenient, I highly recommend CCEI! You even get a free trial courseto see if CCEI is right for you. Definitely check them out today!