The programme has three areas of orientation: Preschool Education for Teachers, Preschool Education Management, and Education to Age 3. The objectives are to give preschool educators outstanding practical skills and teach them the basic theories of preschool education, making them proficient in teaching, management, research, publicity, writing and training in urban and rural preschool settings, teacher-training institutions, and educational-administration departments. In addition, elective courses allow students to pursue their own interests.
I. Orientation and training objectives
The Preschool Education for Teachers Orientation aims to cultivate excellent kindergarten teachers ideologically, intellectually and physically, and adapt them to the professional standards of preschool education. They will fill positions in rural and urban kindergartens, and demonstrate both innovative and practical abilities. The training objectives are as follows.
First, to gain a good command of the knowledge and skills required for preschool education, and become familiar with the morals and other qualities expected of teachers.
Second, to gain strong practical abilities in terms of child observation, class organisation and management, and design and implementation of classroom activities.
Third, to learn the basics of educational research, cooperation and reflection, to gain proficiency in active learning, and to gain the awareness and ability to promote self-development.
The Preschool Education Management orientation aims to cultivate preschool management professionals with strong leadership skills who have already qualified as kindergarten teachers. The training objectives are as follows.
The first is to gain a solid and systematic professional familiarity with preschool education, including teaching, inspections and assessments.
The second is to become familiar with the relevant guidelines, policies and rules of the Party and country as well as advanced educational ideas, keep pace with reforms, be innovative, and be able to formulate and implement development and work plans based on the real-world situations of kindergartens and other institutions.
The third is to become able to engage in preschool management based on an understanding of education, management and psychology.
The Education of Ages 0 to 3 orientation aims to cultivate practice-oriented professionals qualified for teaching and administrative management in care, health and educational institutions for children under the age of three. The specific objectives are as follows.
First, to master the care and education of children aged 3 and under, and gain sound professional ethics.
Second, to gain strong abilities in all the different types of work required at early-childhood educational institutions.
Third, to gain teaching and research abilities, become good at dealing with practical problems, and gain the ability to learn and develop actively and independently.
II. Course system
The curriculum is set up to give priority to the practical requirements of kindergarten education, but without neglecting theory. Emphasis is placed on integrating the basic theoretical, professional, instrumental and practical aspects of the courses, as well as on the connection between social development and market demand, in order to keep them practical and accessible. The compulsory and optional courses are arranged to provide continuity and depth, and are organised into the following three modules: foundation courses in education, including Pedagogy and Psychology; specialised foundation courses, such as Principles of Preschool Education and Child Psychology; and specialised courses, including Health and Care of Preschool Children, Children’s Games and Toys, Kindergarten Curriculum and Activity Design, Care and Education of 0 to 3-year-olds, Guidance on Family Education for Children, Kindergarten Assessment, Child-development Consultation and Guidance, Kindergarten Organisation and Management, Research in Preschool Education, Modern Education Management, Education Law, Infant Education, and Design of Toys and Parent-child Activities for Children Under 3. Furthermore, the programme includes numerous electives.
III. Teaching Team and Course Resources
With regard to teaching and resource construction, experts in the field of pre-school education are employed as editors-in-chief and lecturers, and come from famous universities such as Beijing Normal University, East China Normal University, Northeast Normal University, Shanghai Normal University and Southwest University. At the same time, the course teams unite distance-education and multimedia experts to guarantee quality. They are committed to helping students become expert in early-childhood education. The Pre-school Education programme currently employs nine full-time tutors, including three with doctorates; one full professor and four associate professors; and five with overseas experience as visiting scholars.
The degree-course resources developed for the programme include printed teaching materials, audio-visual materials, online courses and IP courseware. Some courses have developed micro lectures, and all the digital teaching materials are based on tablet and cell-phone mobile devices. Learning is supported in an all-round way, and several high-quality course resources have been produced. The printed teaching material for Assessment of Kindergarten Education Quality was given the top China University Press Award award for teaching materials; the materials for Modern Education Management were included in the “11th Five-Year-Plan” for higher education; and Principles of Pre-school Education and Curriculum and Activity Design for Kindergartens, Games and Toys for Young Children, Nursing and Education for Children Under 3, Counselling and Tutoring on Issues of Children’s Development were named OUC “exquisite online courses”.