Early Development, Principles, and Practices

3 Units
Credit Validation

Course Description

Credit Validation for San Diego County Office of Education's TK Pathway for Credentialed Teachers Participants Only

Influenced by The California Early Childhood Curriculum Alignment Project (CAP), and in consideration of credentialed teachers working with children in Transitional Kindergarten (TK), this course will examine the progression of development in the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional domains and will support students to identify developmental milestones for children from conception through early childhood. Students will gain knowledge about the architecture of the young child’s developing brain and how this brain development sets a foundation for all learning and behavior. Throughout this course there will be an emphasis on interactions between biological processes and environmental factors. Students will observe young children and analyze characteristics of development at various stages according to developmental theories.

As students deepen their understanding of the stages of development, they will then learn about the historical contexts and theoretical perspectives of developmentally appropriate practices in early learning and care settings for young children.  This course will also introduce best practices for developmentally appropriate learning environments, curriculum, and effective pedagogy for young children, with an emphasis on relationships and how play is crucial to children's learning, growth, and development.

Course Details

Number of Units:  3.0 graduate level extension credit(s) in semester hours

Who Should Attend:  This course provides continuing education for invited educators in San Diego County, that have a current California multiple subject teaching credential, and who are currently teaching or intend to teach Transitional Kindergarten. Those who are currently teaching or intend to teach Transitional Kindergarten, but do not have knowledge, experience, and/or enough coursework to meet the newly established requirements to teach Transitional Kindergarten, would benefit most from this course.  The ideal student for this course would have [1] knowledge of education and pedagogy, [2] experience in the K-12 sector, and [3] need additional coursework in child development and/or early childhood education.

Enrollment Requirement:  Be prepared to provide the 5-digit code sent with your SDCOE invitation during enrollment. If you feel that you are eligible for this program and did not receive the code, please contact the San Diego County Office of Education at [email protected] to proceed with your enrollment. Participants that are not eligible for enrollment, will be dropped from the course and refunded, less a $25 processing fee.

Third Party Payments:  USD will accept purchase orders or district credit card payments at the time of enrollment, please contact program coordinator at [email protected] to set up third party payment of an individual enrollment or group enrollments.


Students enrolling in this course must have a bachelor's degree and California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential

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Course Options

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What You Will Learn

  • Explain how brain development, the stages of development and early childhood pedagogy are foundational knowledge for understanding child development
  • Demonstrate an understanding that teacher child interactions and building relationships are essential to a rich learning environment
  • Explain how play is a crucial, instrumental focus in early childhood education and is at the root of all learning and development in young children
  • Demonstrate an understanding that play is central to designing developmentally, culturally, and linguistically responsive learning experiences for young children


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Learning Method Information

Courses offer a convenient, yet rigorous style of learning that allows you to structure your education to suit your schedule while keeping you on pace toward achieving your educational.

Credit Validation

The University of San Diego’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education offers graduate-level extension credit for work completed in trainings, workshops, conferences, induction, credentials, and other professional development programs not offered directly by USD. Complete one of the above and a member of our division will help you earn credit for your hard work and dedication to continuing your education.

Key Benefits of Credit Validation Courses

Make Your Work Count

Earn credit for your previous work in trainings, workshops, and conferences through a simple process.

Advance Faster

Save money by earning credit for work you completed and get one step closer to salary advancement.

Work Towards a Degree

Many receiving institutions may accept credits towards degree programs, giving you a head start in earning a graduate degree.