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Child Development

 

The Child development program in the School of Education at Bar-Ilan University is the first program in Israel established in this field. Over the years, we have accumulated extensive knowledge, experience, and acquired an excellent reputation in Israel and abroad.

 

Program Objectives

  • 1. Providing instruction to outstanding students toward Master's and doctoral degrees, with a focus on early childhood research.
  • 2. Providing instruction to educators in training, consulting, management, and supervision in the field of early childhood.
  • 3. Providing instruction to educators whose intention is to specialize in teaching in academic settings.

 

Studies in the program are designed to enable educators and other experts in the field of early childhood to acquire professional knowledge and conduct research on various aspects of emotional-social, cognitive, and motor development of infants and toddlers, particularly with respect to the quality of human interactions and other environmental variables.

 

Students learn to identify risk factors in the development process and ways to evaluate quality learning environments for infants and very young children, both at home, in child care facilities outside of home, and at kindergartens. In addition, they learn to design educational interventions and to share the acquired knowledge with families, caregivers, and educators.

 

The program includes practical training designed to enable the acquisition of practical knowledge in education and care in early childhood, appropriate for out-of-home frameworks for infants and toddlers. Training is based on theoretical and research knowledge acquired during the course of academic studies. Students gain knowledge and skills involving the use of methods of observation, measurement, and evaluation of emotional/social, motor, and cognitive development of infants and toddlers, the quality of physical environment of the therapeutic-educational framework, and the facilitating skills of educators.

 

In the course of studies in this program, students also acquire skills in planning educational intervention tailored to the needs of individual children and in organizing developmentally appropriate play environments.

 

Curriculum

 

The curriculum combines theoretical and research studies with practical experience. Study content and scope of academic hours change depending on the track and are listed in detail below. In addition to the child development curriculum, students must meet the requirements in basic Jewish studies and in English, as specified on the website of the Master's Degree committee.

 

The curriculum of the Child development program spans two years (three for students on the thesis track). In addition, as part of the studies, each student must register for one of two options for practicum: practicum in sensory processing and self-regulation in early childhood or practical training in early childhood educational intervention toward a certificate in guidance and counseling in early childhood (see below). The curriculum is structured, and the students must complete the entire curriculum and meet all obligations in every academic year.

 

Learning tracks

 

Track A: Master's degree in child development with a thesis

This track is intended for students interested in obtaining a Master's degree (MA) in child development, which includes writing a research paper (thesis) as part of the curriculum. Theoretical studies totaling 18 hours per year are spread over two years. Classes are held on Sunday and Monday (classes on Sunday only one year). The program includes the acquisition of theoretical knowledge and professional skills together with academic development and research.

 

Track B: Master's degree in child development without a thesis

The track is designed for students interested in obtaining a Master's degree (MA) in child development without writing a research paper (thesis). Theoretical studies totaling 22 hours per year are spread over two years and include a broad base for activities in the field of child development. Classes are held two days a week, on Sunday and Monday or on Monday and Wednesday. Students in this track are required to take a final examination as determined by the Master's degree committee of the School of Education.

 

 

Practicum options

 

Practicum in sensory processing and self-regulation

 

This practicum integrates the workshop in sensory processing and self-regulation as the basis for normative and deficient development with a practicum in the issue of individual congenital differences in sensory processing and self-regulation as a basis for adjustment of the educational/therapeutic work in the field of early childhood.

 

The practicum provides the theoretical and practical tools for understanding the individual nervous-sensory-based congenital differences in the behavior of infants and toddlers and the effect of these differences on the functioning and development of the child.

 

Within the framework of the workshop the up-to-date survey is provided about sensory processing and the effect of these processes on the child's ability for self-regulation and adaptive behavior. Emphasis is placed on the influence of these individual differences between children on the quality of interaction with adult caregivers and understanding of the processes of mutual regulation in caregiver-child interactions as a basis for development of the child. Within the framework of the practicum students gain experience in analyzing videotaped caregiver-child interactions, with emphasis on the interpretation of the child's behavior through understanding the child's sensory- regulatory profile and the processes of mutual regulation in interaction with the caregiver.

 

Practical training in early childhood educational intervention

Intended to train professionals in the field of development and early childhood education (from birth to age three), who have the ability to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge (in child development, evaluation methods, and educational approaches) and its implementation in educational-therapeutic frameworks.

 

Practical training is intended for students studying for a Master's degree in child development toward a certificate in the field of instruction and counseling for early childhood. Students spend one day a week (study days are: Monday to Thursday) for 5 hours, in the first semester in the infant class and in the second semester class in the toddler class. Training continues through the semester break. In the course of the year, students receive personal guidance by one of our instructors once every three weeks. Training includes video footage of the students' interactions with children. Training is accompanied by a practicum and theoretical course on Sunday afternoons at the university.

 

Studies for a certificate in the field of instruction and counseling in early childhood

 

The exacting nature of the educational-therapeutic activity in the field of early childhood, as well as new scientific developments in the field, require a permanent framework for professional training that includes support for team members to enable them to provide quality education and care to infants and toddlers. Ongoing training supports the development and consolidation of skills and motivation to implement the knowledge acquired in the training and continuing education programs, and contributes to forming an educational-professional perception of the team members.

 

Currently, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is implementing standards of operation for  educational frameworks for infants and toddlers. One of the first steps in implementing the standards includes adding an educational instructor to every framework that serves young children from birth to age three. To perform training in these frameworks, a certificate from the Ministry of Industry and Trade will be required.

 

Requirements for obtaining a professional certificate of instructor/consultant in the field of early childhood include:

 

  • 1. Master's degree in child development with a focus on early childhood.
  • 2. Three additional professional courses taken at the university outside the framework of the academic curriculum, for an additional fee.

 

Application process

Applying for a Master's degree in child development is subject to the following conditions:

 

  • 1. Bachelor's degree in the field of early childhood or in related fields, with a GPA of at least 85*.
  • 2. Two letters of recommendation.
  • 3. Completing the applicant profile and questionnaire.
  • 4. Submitting a resume with a recent photograph.

 

* Experience in education and working with young children is a prerequisite only for the practicum track in practical training in early childhood educational intervention.

 

In addition to the application form, applicants must submit to the secretariat of the Master's degree committee of the School of Education two structured letters of recommendation. We suggest that one of the recommendations be by an academic course lecturer (preferably, a seminar) and the other from a professional who knows the applicant based on field experience. The recommendation forms can be found here. Recommendations must reach the Master's degree committee office directly and not through the applicants (it is suggested to provide the recommenders with an addressed stamped envelope).

 

In addition to submitting the recommendations, applicants must complete and send in the questionnaire to the Master's degree committee offices of the School of Education, together with a resume and a recent photograph.

 

To be invited for an interview applicants must complete all the steps of the registration process, and the following documents must be present in the student's file:

  • 1. Two letters of recommendation
  • 2. The applicant's questionnaires and resume
  • 3. A current photograph

 

The questionnaires and authorizations must be sent according to the information below. Applicants whose files are not complete will not be invited for an interview:

 

Master's degree committee

Child development program

School of Education

Bar-Ilan University

Ramat-Gan, 52900 Israel

 

Program director - Dr. Esther Adi-Yaffa

Email: japhae@biu.ac.il

Tel: 03-5317106

Fax: 03-7384029

 

Last Updated Date : 20/12/2018