Child Development Skills For Today’s Professionals

Child development

Working with children is an extremely rewarding profession. That’s one of the many reasons why it’s such a popular career path. However, it’s important to note that a career in childcare is more than just babysitting. Talk with any early childhood educator, and they’ll tell you that there are certain skills one must possess in order to excel in this profession. For example, a strong foundation and working knowledge of child behavior, culture, development, and curriculum is needed in order to be successful within this industry.

With that being said, let’s take a closer look at the skills needed in order to pursue a profession in child development and how the Bachelor of Arts in Child Development1 at Ashford University can help you gain this skill set.

Ability to Interpret the Stages of Child Development

As children grow, they go through a variety of developmental milestones that have their own physical, emotional, and social components. Being able to understand these stages of development and interpret them is an important skill that promotes further development in the child’s life.

The online child development curriculum at Ashford University is designed to help you learn to interpret the stages of child development through real world examples and interactive coursework.

Courses like ECE 205 Introduction to Child Development will give you a strong overview of child development from birth to age eight. This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore the various theories of child development. In addition, developmental milestones and developmental domains will be explored at each of the stages of child development.

Support the Critical Role of Play in Children’s Learning

Recognize the role of playing in the education of children. Playtime and recess may seem like leisure activities, however, they are instrumental when it comes to the development of children.

A recent article published on the National Association for the Education of Young Children states that teaching children to play has to be as intentional and systematic as teaching literacy or math, and at the same time must take a form very different from adult-initiated practices often used to teach these content-related skills (Bodrova & Leong 2012).

As previously mentioned, the coursework at Ashford University will help you explore the significant impact of play on the development of children. The online classroom fosters discussions and activities related to major theorists, current research on play, the developmental stages of play, and current trends and topics related to play.

Develop and Construct Curriculum

A structured path is a key component to a child’s educational growth. This structure is why having the proper curriculum in the classroom is so important. Being able to construct and develop curriculum is an alien skill that most educators learn over time, but it’s a necessary skillset nonetheless.

Think of curriculum as a map. If you need to get from one place to another, you’ll more than likely map out your journey. The same goes for the classroom. Curriculum is the map that will guide the children through their educational development.

At Ashford University, you’ll gain hands-on experience with curriculum development in early childhood and teaching strategies with a developmentally appropriate approach. You’ll prepare curriculum and practice teaching strategies that illustrate the characteristics of play and creativity.

Understand Family Structure and Cultural Backgrounds

The landscape of education is changing as we are starting to see much more diversity in the classroom. A recent report in the New York Times stated that enrollment of Hispanic and Asian students in American schools has increased by more than 5 million since the 1990s.

Educators will need to recognize the role diversity plays in their student population and understand how the relationships children develop with their family, school, and the world in which they live contribute to their development.

The Bachelor of Arts in Child Development aims at helping you harness this skillset by allowing you to explore various community resources that further the development of the child’s potential.

Apply Your Knowledge

Finally, being able to apply what you’ve learned in the online classroom to the real world is what will set you apart from the crowd. Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development will not only prepare you for careers in social work, childcare, and special education, but it will give you the skills to utilize your knowledge as an advocate for children, families, childcare, and education.

Written by Ben Cummings, Digital Marketing Specialist for Bridgepoint Education.

References

Diversity in the Classroom. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://projects.nytimes.com/immigration/enrollment

Leong, D. J., & Bodrova, E. (2012, January 1). Accessing and Scaffolding Make-Believe Play. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/201201/Leong_Make_Believe_Play_Jan2012.pdf

For more information about on-time completion rates, the median loan debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit http://www.ashford.edu/pd/obacd.

1Successful completion of this degree programs does not lead to certification or licensure in any state. It is the student's responsibility to determine individual state requirements for teacher certification or licensure.

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