Interested in Human Ecology? Let an expert from Georgia Southern explain what students can expect next fall

Interested in Human Ecology? Let an expert from Georgia Southern explain what students can expect next fall

November 7, 20193 min read

Coming next fall, Georgia Southern University School of Human Ecology will debut the Birth to Kindergarten Teacher Education Program.

The program offers students the opportunity to apply for a Georgia teaching certificate at the completion of all program requirements.

The program was designed to operate with a strong social justice lens.

“We, the program developers and supporters, know how important it is to recognize the role that contextual influences like race, religion, income level and family structure play in a child’s growth and development,” said Georgia Southern Associate Professor of Child and Family Development Dina Walker-DeVose, Ph.D. “Our program seeks to cultivate cohorts of teachers who are equipped with a sound knowledge base that is grounded in research, a teaching pedagogy that is culturally responsive and flexible to the needs of diverse groups of children, and a spirit of advocacy to support and fight for each and every child, particularly those who are marginalized in our society.”

Associate Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, John Kraft, Ph.D., said the decision to house the program on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah was influenced by M. Ann Levett, Ed.D., alumna and superintendent of Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools. Levett is experienced in developing early childhood education centers.

“Dr. Levett’s vision is more than childcare or pre-k in the ordinary sense,” Kraft said. “She wants these children to experience a holistic program that integrates systemic child development and educational programming and intervention. Birth to kindergarten certified teachers are the foundation for her early childhood education centers.”

Walker-Devose said program graduates will have experience working with young students, and they will benefit from a financial standpoint because of the specific training.

“Our students will enter the classroom feeling well-equipped for the difficult task of meeting children at their current level of mastery and moving them toward identified goals,” she said. “They will be able to do this while recognizing that certain contextual factors such as race and family income have real impacts on student outcomes. Equipped with this knowledge, skill set and a teaching license, they will be compensated at higher rates than those who are not licensed.”

Walker-Devose said Southeast Georgia communities will be one of the biggest benefactors of the program.

“Every community that is touched by the children who will be educated by the amazing teachers we will produce will benefit from the program,” she said. “Research shows a positive return on investment for every dollar that is invested in quality early childhood education. This body of research is another reason that society should be looking for ways to support its youngest learners and fairly compensate those trusted with their care and education.”

Are you a reporter looking to learn more about Human Ecology and how it will positively impact communities not just in Georgia but potentially across America? Then let our experts help.

John Kraft is the associate dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Georgia Southern. He has written about human social behavior and is considered an expert in the field. Dr. Kraft is available to speak with media regarding this topic – simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.

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  • John Kraft
    John Kraft Dean

    John Kraft is the interim head of the college of behavioral and social sciences and has written about human social behavior.

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