Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education

SPAD Banner

Degree programs in Early Childhood and Elementary Education (ECEE) could be your start to an exciting and fulfilling career in teaching! Our initial and advanced programs are designed for prospective teachers who hope to teach children ages Birth through age 5 and/or Kindergarten through Grade 5 or practicing teachers who want to become even more effective.

Using a clinical model of preparation in four developmental phases, we engage our teacher candidates in multiple and varied field experiences with children representing the diversity of our urban and regional communities and populations. We combine these classroom-based experiences with courses focused on learning effective instructional strategies across all content areas and for all learners. We prepare and support teachers who are critical thinkers, problem solvers, and professional leaders making a positive and sustained impact on children's learning.

Teacher Education
See all Teacher Education Programs
Meet Our
ECEE Faculty
Signature Partnership Schools

The Early Childhood and Elementary Education (ECEE) faculty have a deep and sustained investment to improving the educational experiences for children attending neighborhood schools in the urban communities of Louisville. Illustrative of this commitment is the clinical partnership model to teacher education implemented at three elementary schools (Atkinson, Portland, and Cochran) and the Early Learning Campus (ELC). The partnerships exemplify a direct service model of community engagement and a context-rich perspective for teacher preparation.
Read More

Many of the teacher preparation courses (e.g., language arts methods, reading methods, building learning communities, social studies methods, mathematics methods and science methods) are taught at the school sites by ECEE faculty to highlight the critical role context plays in enacting culturally responsive pedagogy. As part of the coursework, UofL students admitted to the professional program are immersed in these Signature Partnership schools 1-2 days each week, whereby they engage in a broad array of teaching experiences, service learning opportunities, and parent/community engagements. In doing so, these aspiring teachers begin to understand the particulars of the local neighborhoods in which the schools are situated and deepen their knowledge of the children and families in the communities in which they serve.

Partnership Schools

J. B. Atkinson Elementary

Gavin H. Cochran Elementary

Portland Elementary
    • 2018 Outstanding Elementary School Principal of the Year

Faculty Strengths

The Early Childhood and Elementary Education faculty includes nationally and internationally recognized experts in their content fields. The faculty is committed to pursuing studies and issues that affect education, both locally and nationally, including the nature of pedagogy and learning, and cultural diversity. ECEE faculty members are not only great teachers who demonstrate the kinds of practices they advocate for work with Birth-Grade 5 students, they are also researchers who study topics currently important in the field of education; writers of highly valued books, chapters, and articles; presenters at international, national, and state conferences; leaders in professional organization; award winners for their teaching and research; and service providers locally and beyond.

If you are interested in collaborating with ECEE faculty on research, consider contacting the faculty member directly and/or applying to the Curriculum and Instruction doctoral program.

ECEE Scholarship Winners

Shannon Brasher Congratulations to the Early Childhood and Elementary Education (ECEE) scholarship winner, Ms. Shannon Brasher. She will begin her M.Ed. program fall 2018 with a $5,000/per year scholarship for a period of two years. She has expressed interest in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, with a particular focus on Gifted/Talented. As the ECEE scholar she will demonstrate her interest in classroom-based research.

Shannon Brasher Undergraduate Elementary Education student, Ms. Shelby Miller, was awarded the 2018-19 Ayako Phillips Scholarship which provides $5000 for the Fall 2018 semester and $5000 for the Spring 2019 semester. The Ayako Phillips Scholarship is awarded based on merit with preference to a graduate from a Jefferson County Public Schools. As a former elementary teacher, Ms. Ayako Phillips continues to be an avid supporter of teacher education and provides this generous support for a CEHD's elementary education student each year.

Opportunities for Students

The Early Learning Campus offers Early Childhood students the opportunity for hands on learning experiences.

Early Learning Campus
Kappa Delta Pi
Council for Exceptional Children
Kentucky Education Association
International Learning
Summa Cum Laude Distinction

Dual Certification
ECEE offers three dual certification programs. Students can elect to certify in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education (Birth to Kindergarten), Learning & Behavior Disorders (grades K-12), or Moderate & Severe Disabilities (grades K-12) in addition to their certification in Elementary Education (K-5).

ECEE Mission and Vision
The mission of the ECEE Department is to cultivate highly effective educators of Birth through Grade 5 children in diverse educational settings.