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(1) The program requires that successful candidates:

(a) demonstrate an understanding of young childrenꞌs (birth-age 8) characteristics and needs encompassing multiple, interrelated areas of childrenꞌs development and learning including physical, cognitive, social, emotional, language, and aesthetic domains as well as learning processes and motivation to learn;

(b) base their practice on coherent early childhood theoretical perspectives, current research about brain growth and development, and the importance of play;

(c) apply their understanding of multiple influences on young childrenꞌs development and learning including family, community, cultural, and linguistic contexts, temperament, approaches, and dispositions to learning (including initiative, self-direction, persistence, and attentiveness), motivation, attachment, economic conditions, health status, opportunities for play and learning, technology and media, and developmental variations;

(d) understand the potential influence of early childhood programs, including early intervention, on short- and long-term outcomes for children;

(e) demonstrate the ability to use developmental knowledge including strengths of families and children to create physically and psychologically safe learning environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child;

(f) know about, understand, and value the complex characteristics and importance of childrenꞌs families and communities including home language, cultural values, ethnicity, socioeconomic conditions, family structures, relationships, stresses, childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences, supports, and community resources;

(i) understand the effects of childhood trauma on social, emotional, physical, and behavioral development and be able to demonstrate trauma-informed classroom management strategies; and

(ii) demonstrate a knowledge of the implications of secondary trauma;

(g) create respectful, reciprocal relationships with families using a range of formal and informal strategies such as home visits, parent-teacher conferences, family nights, and transition planning into and out of early childhood programs including kindergarten;

(h) promote and encourage family involvement in all aspects of childrenꞌs development and learning including assisting families to find and refer resources concerning parenting, mental health, health care, and financial assistance;

(i) demonstrate essential knowledge and core skills in team building and in communicating with families and colleagues from other disciplines to encourage familiesꞌ participation in curriculum and program development as well as assessment of childrenꞌs learning, including identification of childrenꞌs strengths and needs;

(j) recognize the goals of assessment and summarize, analyze, and use assessment information gathered through ongoing, systematic observations and other informal and formal assessments, including play-based assessments and developmental screenings to:

(i) learn about childrenꞌs unique qualities;

(ii) guide instruction; and

(iii) evaluate effective curriculum to maximize childrenꞌs development and learning;

(k) make ethical considerations when administering and interpreting assessments including:

(i) an understanding of family context and involving families in the assessment process;

(ii) recognizing the importance of establishing positive conditions for assessment (in familiar settings with familiar people); and

(iii) avoiding bias and using culturally sensitive assessments that have established reliability and validity;

(l) create a caring community of learners that supports positive relationships; promotes the development of childrenꞌs social, emotional, and friendship skills; and assists children in the development of security, self-regulation, responsibility, and problem solving;

(m) utilize a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching skills and strategies supportive of young learners, such as integrating curricular areas; scaffolding learning; teaching through social interactions; providing meaningful child choice; implementing positive guidance strategies; and making appropriate use of technology;

(n) provide curriculum and learning experiences that reflect the languages, cultures, traditions, and individual needs of diverse families and children, with particular attention to the cultures of the children and families in the classroom and to American Indians and tribes in Montana;

(o) use a variety of learning formats and contexts to support young learners, including creating support for extended play, creating effective indoor and outdoor learning centers, teaching primarily through individual and small group contexts, and utilizing the environment, schedule, and routines as learning opportunities;

(p) design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful, integrated, and challenging curriculum for each child using professional knowledge, Montanaꞌs Early Learning Standards, Montana Content Standards (K-5), and Indian Education for All;

(q) integrate and support in-depth learning using both spontaneous and planned curricula and teaching practices in each of the academic discipline content areas including language and literacy; science; mathematics; social studies; the performing and visual arts; health and well-being; and physical development, skills, and fitness by:

(i) demonstrating knowledge and understanding of theory and research and applying knowledge in the areas of language, speaking and listening, reading and writing processes, literature, print and non-print texts, which are inclusive of texts from and about American Indians and tribes in Montana, and technology; and planning, implementing, assessing, and reflecting on English/language arts and literacy instruction that promotes critical thinking and creative engagement;

(ii) demonstrating knowledge, understanding, and use of the fundamental concepts of physical, life, earth, and space sciences to design and implement age-appropriate inquiry lessons to teach science, to build student understanding for personal and social applications, to convey the nature of science, the concepts in science and technology, the history and nature of science, including scientific contributions of American Indians and tribes in Montana;

(iii) demonstrating knowledge, understanding, and use of the major concepts, and procedures, and reasoning processes of mathematics that define number systems and number sense, operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis statistics and probability in order to foster student understanding and use of patterns, quantities, and spatial relationships that can represent phenomena, solve problems, and deal with data to engage students in problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections, and representation, including culturally inclusive lessons and examples relating to American Indians and tribes in Montana;

(iv) demonstrating knowledge, understanding, and use of the major concepts and modes of inquiry from the social studies, the integrated study of history, government, geography, economics including personal financial literacy, and an understanding of the social sciences and other related areas to promote studentsꞌ abilities to make informed decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse democratic society, including the cultural diversity of American Indians and tribes in Montana, and interdependent world;

(v) demonstrating knowledge, understanding, and use of the content, functions, and achievements of the performing arts (dance, music, drama) and the visual arts as primary media for communication, inquiry, perspective, and engagement among students, and culturally diverse performing and visuals arts inclusive of the works of American Indian artists and art in Montana;

(vi) demonstrating knowledge, understanding, and use of the major concepts in the subject matter of health education to create opportunities for student development and practice of skills that contribute to good health for all young children; and

(vii) demonstrating knowledge, understanding, and use of human movement and physical activity as central elements to foster active, healthy life styles, including health nutrition, and enhanced quality of life for all students;

(r) base curriculum planning on the understanding of the particular significance of social, emotional, and behavioral development as the foundation for young childrenꞌs school readiness and future achievements;

(s) uphold and use state and national codes of ethical conduct for the education of young children and other applicable regulations and guidelines to analyze, resolve, and discuss implications of professional ethical dilemmas with respect to the child, family, colleagues, and community;

(t) collaborate with multiple stakeholders, including:

(i) teachers in preceding and subsequent grade levels to increase continuity and coherence across ages/grades;

(ii) families and interdisciplinary professionals to meet the developmental needs of each child; and

(iii) relevant community and state resources to build professional early learning networks that support high quality early learning experiences for young children and their families;

(u) use formal and informal assessments, early learning professional knowledge, reflection, collaborative relationships, and critical thinking to analyze and continuously improve professional practices with young children and their families;

(v) identify and involve oneself with the distinctive history, values, knowledge base, and mission of the early childhood field;

(w) engage in informed advocacy for young children and the early childhood profession; and

(x) demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions during well-planned and sequenced clinical experiences working with children and families in two different age groups (3-5 and 5-8) and two types of the settings:

(i) one of which must include a Kindergarten-3rd grade experience in an accredited school setting for a formal student teaching experience; and

(ii) the second clinical site may include state-licensed child care centers or homes, Head Start, and community or school-based preschool programs.

History: 20-2-114, MCA; IMP, 20-2-121, MCA; NEW, 2014 MAR p. 2936, Eff. 7/1/15.

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