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Eastern Washington University's major in Children's Studies was the first in the nation. The curriculum of this interdisciplinary program focuses on the developmental, learning and social issues of children from birth to 18. The Children's Studies major incorporates coursework from departments across the University, including Education, Sociology, and Counseling, Educational and Developmental Psychology.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Children's Studies?
A new approach to studying children and childhood globally and reflectively from the perspectives of various disciplines through the following set of shared principles:
- Childhood should be studied in its own right
- Children should be the units of observation rather than families or schools
- Children should talk about their own experiences
- Childhood should be seen as part of the social structure
- Children should be studied in the present as well as in relation to their future as adults
- Childhood should be seen in an intergenerational context
- Individuals studying children should be looking open-mindedly for new theoretical and methodological developments
What is unique about the program?
The Children's Studies program is an interdisciplinary degree that combines educational disciplines, in order to provide students a holistic approach to understanding children's lives and experiences. This approach enables students to develop a "tool box" of skills that allows them, as graduates, to work with a variety of children in different settings and situations. Courses in the program assist astudents in learning to critically examine and reconsider their current perceptions of childhood. In addition, students learn to honor children's rights and the way children understand the world.
What are the strengths of the Children's Studies Program at EWU?
- Honors children's rights, children's voices, and the diversity of children's cultures.
- Provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding children's lives and experiences.
- Supports multiple career paths in work with children.
What are some career opportunities?
The major has options: early childhood education, community program development and research. Students completing a degree in Children's Studies might consider careers such as:
- Head Start, Early Head Start, ECEAP teacher
- Preschool teacher
- Center director
- Head teacher
- Lab schoolteacher at community colleges
- After-school program director
- Children's museum staff
- Community recreation program staff
- County extension specialist
- Social Services
- Youth shelter worker
- Facility provider for at-risk children
- Adoption counselor
- Parent and family support
- Family Literacy
- Childcare licenser
- Foster care supervisor
- Juvenile justice worker
- Family mediation (Court)
- Policy analyst
- Child life specialist
- Child health worker
- Early interventionist
What is the focus of the curriculum?
The interdisciplinary Children's Studies major provides students a strong holistic background in the study of the development and learning of children, from birth to adolescence, in a variety of social contexts. Theory and practice from the disciplines of sociology, psychology, and education, form the foundation for this integrated curriculum. The Children's Studies major will fulfill partial requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree.
What are the admission requirements for the program?
Completion of a high school (or equivalent) degree is required for admission to EWU. Students considering a major in Children Studies are required to take two years of a single foreign language in high school, or one year of a single college-level foreign language.