History of Early Childhood Education

ECED 420 (3.0) Online – Course Outline


Three assignments consisting of two essays each


Political and social factors which influenced movements and trends in early childhood education in North America, pre-Kindergarten through primary. (UBC Calendar)

ECED 420 is a required course in the Diploma in Education – Early Years Education and in a BA Minor in Education, Early Childhood Education.  This course is an elective for the Certificate in Enhancing Early Learning for the Certificate in Kindergarten Instruction.


  • To gain a historical perspective of the roots of early childhood education practices in North America
  • To become familiar with the programs and contributions of pioneer educators in the field of early childhood education
  • To study the various theoretical and philosophical paradigms upon which early learning programs are based
  • To become aware of recent events in early education and childcare, and the place of early childhood education in North American life
  • To develop a framework for critical analysis of and reflection on the information and theories covered in this course
  • To provide students with a theoretical foundation upon which they can begin to develop and clarify their own philosophy of early childhood education and practice


1 Introductions to ECED 420
2 Historical Overview of Childhood and Education
3 European Roots of Early Childhood Education
4 Beginning of Early Childhood Education in North America
5 Kindergarten Pioneers
6 The Progressive Kindergarten Movement
7 The Child Study Movement and Developmental Theories
8 The Nursery School Movement and the Lab Schools
9 Maria Montessori, Reggio Emilia and the British Infant School
10 Childcare and Social Policy Week
11 The Evolution of Early Childhood Education Curriculum
12 Current Issues in Early Childhood Education in North America


This is an online course. Students are required to have a computer, access to the Internet, and a Campus Wide Login ID and password to access the course website.

There is no textbook required.


Your EZproxy connection will allow you to access library resources from your computer on or off campus. For more information, go to http://services.library.ubc.ca/off-campus-access/connect-from-home/


Telephone: 604.822.2013, or toll-free in North America: 1.888.492.1122
Email: pro-d.educ@ubc.ca

Latest Revision on: April 20, 2017