PK-3 Early Childhood Education

early childhood at sjsu

PK-3 Early Childhood Education (ECE) Specialist Instruction Credential

Focuses on developmentally appropriate practices for young children in grades PK through 3rd grade. Throughout this grade span, PK-3 teachers are expected to design, implement, and facilitate learning activities that engage students according to their developmental needs. Classroom learning activities need to value and consider each child’s cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic, and cultural experiences, and other relevant background characteristics, assets and abilities as well as any area(s) of special needs. Developmentally appropriate practices foster young children’s joyful learning and help maximize the opportunities for all children to achieve their full potential.


This credential authorizes the holder to teach all subjects in a self-contained general education classroom setting and to team teach or to regroup students across classrooms, in preschool through grade three. The English learner (EL) authorization provided through this credential aligns with the EL authorization that is earned upon completion of a Single, Multiple, or Education Specialist teaching credential program.

ECE work


PK-3 Credentialed Teachers are transformative educators who use their knowledge of human development and developmentally appropriate practice, partner with families, and engage with communities to respond to the holistic learning needs of preschool-aged through third grade students. These teachers make child-centered pedagogical choices guided by theory and research, and leverage cultural wealth to empower students in order to create equitable and inclusive learning environments for all students.

ECE work


We prepare candidates to be transformative leaders in the field and to develop an educational philosophy that challenges societal and educational injustice. To this end, we engage culturally sustaining and linguistically responsive practices in our courses and fieldwork and prepare candidates to commit to informing their efforts to create inclusive early educational experiences through inquiry, reflective practice, and family and community engagement. Through interdisciplinary coursework, candidates are prepared to take collaborative, integrative, and developmentally appropriate approaches to teaching, attuned to families’ identities, while supporting children’s social-emotional and academic development.