Balanced Literacy Focus in an Early Childhood Education Program
The balanced literary focus refers to an approach to teaching reading that combines a traditional phonetic approach with the emerging whole language methodology, using gradual and contextual exposure to words and letters. Many bachelor's degree programs in early childhood education provide training in the balanced literacy approach.
Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education
A bachelor's degree in early childhood education provides the training necessary to become a teacher at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary level. Programs with a focus on the balanced literacy approach will explore this topic through courses on the teaching of reading or teaching theories and methods.
A high school diploma or its equivalent is necessary for admission to an early childhood education program. High school coursework in English, psychology and sociology are beneficial.
Early childhood education programs explore child development, as well as various educational theories, approaches and teaching methods. Balanced literacy is usually discussed in courses dealing with reading, such as:
- Language and literacy development
- Literacy strategies
- Literacy acquisition
- Children's literature
- Curriculum development
- Acquisition of reading
- Instruction of reading
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Employment for teachers at the early childhood and elementary level is expected to grow at an average rate during the period from 2008-2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). In 2008, Kindergarten teachers earned a median salary of $47,100; elementary teachers earned $49,330.
Certification and Continuing Education
Early childhood teachers with an interest in the balanced literacy focus might consider pursuing a graduate certificate program in reading or literacy that provides further in-depth exploration of the balanced literacy approach. Teachers can also seek voluntary board certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as a literacy and reading specialist for early and middle childhood.
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