The Concordia University Chicago early childhood education doctoral program focuses on the preparation of confident and competent leaders who can provide the voice for young children and who will dedicate themselves to ensuring all young children have access to equitable, appropriate and quality opportunities for care and learning at every age and in every environment.
The degree is built upon the candidate’s prior work in the field. The program provides a theoretical and practical framework for advanced work and leadership in the field of early childhood with an emphasis on current research.
The focus of this program is to prepare early childhood professionals to assume leadership roles in three major areas:
Recent graduates of the program have become early childhood leaders in universities, multisite programs, educational planning, and governance and management.
The course work provides the opportunity to receive a high-quality educational program that encourages the development of skills and competencies needed throughout the candidate's professional career as an accomplished early childhood educator, administrator, researcher, policy and advocacy specialist or other leadership roles.
The EdD/PhD program provides the opportunity for current and future leaders in the field to extend knowledge in early childhood education and develop understandings of current and future issues in the field. These opportunities are organized into coursework, practical experiences in the field, and research.
The program will enable candidates to:
Upon completion of all coursework and dissertation requirements, candidates will have theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in the following:
Throughout the program, candidates will be required to reflect on their beliefs and practices as they relate to early education. That reflection will emphasize the development of competency and servant leadership within the context of integrity and Christian values.
For the EdD, Practitioner Track (10 hours)
For the PhD, Researcher Track (16 hours)
Candidates will examine current research in child development and its relationship to early childhood educational process and practice. The course explores the impact of growth and behavior in the areas of intellectual, social, physical, emotional, creative, and spiritual development of young children as well as the latest in brain research as it relates to cognitive development and well-being of children from culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse backgrounds.
This course is an in-depth exploration of the issues and concerns of the leadership and supervision in diverse early childhood settings. Candidates will gain experiences in models and theories of administration and supervisions, public relations, advocacy, & marketing, management styles and skills, team building, best practices of organization operations and management, as well as standards and compliance.
This course examines current research, trends, and issues in the early education of children with emphasis on interpreting and applying research data to principles and practices of early childhood education. Candidates will explore issues that influence the education of young children and best practices appropriate for all learners.
This course explores the relationship between theory, research, and practice of characteristics and potential factors that impact child care and education of young children. Candidates will examine current research on culturally, ethnically, economically, socially, gender, and linguistically diverse learners. Investigation of a wide range of materials, instructional approaches to early childhood, assessments, and technology-based practices will be evaluated through the aforementioned lenses.
A study of a variety of types of assessments used for program evaluation, curriculum design, and young children’s learning and development is the focus of this course. Selection, administration, analysis, and interpretation of formal and informal individual, program, and personnel assessments currently available to early childhood professionals will be an integral part of the course.
This course explores research and practices of a variety of curriculum models. Current trends toward data driven instruction, and evidence-based curriculum development will be examined. Focus on effective and appropriate curriculum planning and instructional practices across all content areas will be explored.
This course examines the research, theory, and best practices related to cognition, language, and literacy in early education. Candidates will explore the importance of early experiences in reading and writing as well as the quality of instruction and adult-child interactions as a means to create successful learners.
A study of the historical and current legal trends and issues involving legislation and policy in early childhood education will be the focus of this course. Candidates will explore roles of social advocacy, development of advocacy skills, and collaboration and consultation with other professionals and staff in early childhood education. The course addresses the understanding and responsibilities of early childhood professionals on record keeping, identification and mandated reporting, safe ty practices, and communication of legal issues.
This course explores the research and practices surrounding the relationships between families, communities, early childhood professionals, and policy makers in providing appropriate early child care, education, and funding. In-depth study, analysis, and discussion of strategies for developing culturally appropriate family-professional partnerships will be explored. Students will address the advocacy needs, opportunities, and practices necessary to build dialogue with all early childhood stakeholders as a spokesperson for young children.
Candidates will participate in a structured internship in the field of early childhood education. Supervised field experiences and opportunities to acquire and apply knowledge about early childhood education and related employment opportunities will be designed to link university course work to real world situations.
Application of change theory to large and small organizations. Leadership strategies for successful change implementation.
Educational policy-making at the macro (national, regional and state) and micro (local and institutional) levels. Selected educational policies.
Ethical theories and practice of school district leadership.
In this course students will examine the ethical dilemmas of leadership, the foundations and context of moral choice and the moral implications of decision making. In doing so, the purpose is to make visible the ethical challenges and decision criteria facing leaders, the role of politics and power in organizations and the leader’s ability to promote and infuse organizational ethics and integrity into the culture.
Principles of research theory, methods, inquiry, problem formulation, data collection, literature searches, and ethical considerations. Emphasis on how to design a doctoral-level research study.
This course introduces students to survey and instrument development including issues related to operationalizing variables, survey construction, sampling, coding, analysis, and evaluating the reliability and validity of survey research methods.
Principles and application of action research planning, implementation and reflection in educational environments. Exploration of collaborative, participatory and individual approaches to action research methods that can be utilized to improve schools and/or organizations.
An introduction to quantitative analysis of data. Statistical software will be used to explore descriptive and inferential statistics using both non-parametric and parametric techniques.
This course explores the theory, design, and application of mixed methods research.
An introduction to advanced statistical concepts including multivariate analysis, linear models, hierarchical linear models, factor analysis and data management. Students will use statistical software packages and will learn to write basic syntax for custom analysis.
This course will prepare students to utilize naturalistic inquiry in their own research, most immediately, the dissertation experience. Students will be able to reflect on choices of inquiry paradigms, the goodness of fit between the problem and the approach chosen to explore it, the selection of appropriate instruments, and the role of the writer in the presentation of findings.
This course is designed to build a theoretical and practical knowledge base through skills, tools, and techniques needed to increase effectiveness and expand opportunities within early childhood leadership. Practical, relevant, and designed content around key industry standards and business practices in the areas of marketing, grant writing, record keeping, legal structures, for both nonprofit and for-profit program design will be included.
This course explores the development of moral, ethical, and spiritual formation in the life of young children. Candidates will research theory, and best practices related to church and agency programs, faith-based curriculum and creativity.
Candidates will explore the research and theories of instructional models and delivery systems as they relate to practitioners, researchers, and policy makers.