7 Ways to improve English Writing Skills

I’ve never really spoken about writing, as far as I know. So, this one has been highly requested. I know a lot of you are doing your IELTS exams, so I have got seven top tips that are going to help you improve your writing.

So, my first tip for improving your writing is keep it simple. Now, I know this seems really, really obvious, but I always say to my students simple done accurately is better than complicated done inaccurately. In other words, it’s better to keep things simple and do it well, rather than over-complicate everything and do it badly. So, in English writing exams, you want to show off your English, but you want to show off your accurate English, not all this English that you don’t know or haven’t learnt yet. Now, that leads me on to point number two. In order to avoid making mistakes in your writing, it’s a really, really good idea to have a collection of set phrases and keywords that you can use in that exam.

So, my tip number two is prepare key phrases. Now, you do have to be careful with this. You don’t want to rehearse what you’re going to write, but you do want to have a nice selection of things that you could possible say if the time arises. Now, especially on the IELTS exam, and I know a lot of you are studying for this but this really goes for any academic writing exam, you want to have linking words and key phrases prepared. Now I’m going to give you a list with two examples for each point. It doesn’t cover everything that you need to know, but if you study everything in the list, you will be much, much more prepared for your English writing exam. So, pay attention, and if there’s any point that you think, “I really could expand on that,” go and do your research, and prepare yourself. You want to make sure that you have a variety of different ways to … compare: “in the same way,” “at the same time,” contrast: “on the contrary,” “however,” give examples: “for instance,” “to illustrate,” give your opinion: “from my perspective,” “from my point of view,” generalise: “overall,” “all things considered,” to express certainty: “undoubtedly,” “of course,” to express partial agreement: “in a way,” “to some extent,” to show cause: “owing to,” “due to,” to show effect: “for this reason,” “consequently,” to mark time: “to begin with,” “following this,” to add information: “furthermore,” “moreover,” to express condition: “unless,” “provided that,” and to conclude: “in summary,” “in short.” So that’s just a very brief list showing you exactly what you need to study to be fully prepared for any English writing exam.

Now, point number three, and definitely, definitely, definitely for academic writing, i.e. English tests or university pieces, do not use contractions. Or is that don’t use contractions? So, cannot to can’t, do not to don’t, shall not to shan’t, I am to I’m, these are all examples of contractions, and in your writing exams you want to avoid these. I know that you guys really, really, really want to keep your word count down because you are restricted, and you want to show off as much as you possibly can, but I’ve got lots of tips for reducing your word count coming up, so make sure that you do not feel tempted to include contractions in your academic writing.

So, tip number four, reduce your word count. Use as few words as possible. Completely contradictory, because I’ve just told you that you should not use contractions. But I’ve got some really, really good mini tips within this big tip to help you keep your word count down and your English level up. The first one is avoid these dead weight words like “very,” “so,” “a lot,” “really.” I have mentioned this before in a video, but if you want to show off your English, avoid these; they’re pointless. They are empty calories in English. Replace them, instead, with a strong word. So instead of saying “really happy,” I would say, “I am elated.” Instead of saying “so scared,” I would say “terrified.” Okay? So, by using strong words and avoiding these boring words, you can reduce your word count by a fair bit. Now, another way to really reduce your word count but really improve the quality of your writing is avoiding “there is” and “there are.” We want everything to be as clear as possible, and sometimes “there is” and “there are” can act as fillers; they add extra words to our sentences.

So, I’m going to give you an example so you can see this and bear it in mind next time you’re doing an academic piece of writing. Sentence one: there are many problems that we may encounter. There are many problems that we may encounter. Sentence two: We may encounter many problems. We may encounter many problems. The first sentence has eight words. The second sentence has five words. You have reduced your word count, and you have increased the quality and the clarity of your writing. So, make sure you apply this in your next exam.

Number five, read the right documents. Read the right pieces of writing. I know many of you like to read in your spare time, you like to do it for fun, and a lot of you will read books in English, which is amazing for improving you spelling and improving your vocabulary as well. But if you’re trying to get a good score in an academic writing exam, you might not be reading the right kind of thing. Look at the potential pieces of writing that they’re going to ask you to do. Are they asking you to write article, reports, essays? Maybe they’re asking you to write all three. If they are, read all three. You need to go online or go to your library and read articles, read reports, read essays, read reviews. Do everything you can to familiarise yourselves with all the styles of writing.

Number six is one that you will have heard in school so many times; but, I’ve worked as a teacher for many, many years, and I get so frustrated with silly, stupid mistakes that I know that my students know. They don’t make these mistakes when they’re speaking, so why do they make them when they’re writing? So many times I’ve gone and I’ve prepared a lesson because I’ve seen that there were some very clear mistakes in my students’ writing. And I prepare a lesson to correct this mistake, and when I go to teach it they say, “But teacher, we already know this; this is baby stuff.” And it’s because they don’t check their work. I have a clear example of this. I used to work as a proofreader.

I used to check through documents before they got sent off to publishers to make sure that they were all correct, that there was no spelling mistakes, there were no grammar mistakes, there was nothing, nothing wrong, they were all perfect. And I was amazing at doing this. I could get every single mistake. Just by looking at a document from a distance I could pick out those errors. However, if you follow me on Instagram, you will see that I make spelling and grammar mistakes all the time. Why? Because I don’t check; I don’t check my writing. I am a native English speaker, and I make spelling mistakes. Granted, many of them are due to auto-correct on my phone, which I am battling with. But a lot of them are my fault. And I don’t check them, so I don’t see them. I know when you finish an exam, you’re like, “Ugh, I’m done; I want to move on to the next question,” but you can avoid so many point deductions just by checking through your work, so please, please, please, make it your absolute priority. I personally think it’s much better if you write less and check more; fewer words, higher accuracy. And I know normally I promote fluency over accuracy, but not in writing exams. In writing exams, you want perfection. Now, number seven is perhaps the most relevant and the most difficult of all, especially if you’re in really remote parts of the world.

Number seven is write and get it checked. Write and get it checked. And unfortunately, the getting it checked thing is a lot harder than it seems. You want to write as much as possible, checking it, of course. It used to really annoy me when my students would come in with five essays. I was so happy that they’d done that, but then I saw that they’d made loads and loads of stupid mistakes, and I just thought, “Ugh, why didn’t you check it? “I’m just correcting the same thing over and over again.” But write as much as you can, check it, and then see if you can find somebody to correct it. Now, I’m not saying find a complete stranger. It’s got to be in their interest to correct it as well. I personally think it’s very unlikely that you’re going to find a random teacher on the internet that will be willing to check your writing for free. However, there are lots of services and pen pal sites if it’s like a mutual exchange. If you find somebody who wants to learn your language and they can help you with your English, then you can do that. Or, like I mentioned, on services such as Lingoda, and you can just have a straight hour of analysing writing that you’ve already done and already sent them. But I will say, especially to my younger viewers, really, really, really be careful when you’re contacting people online to practise your English. Make sure it’s a trustworthy person, because there are so many predators that want to talk to you, especially young girls, to “practise their English,” and it doesn’t actually turn out to be a English practise. It turns out to be something quite different, so please, please, please be careful. If you’ve got the funds, and if you’ve got the time, get a proper teacher and pay them to help you. Is there any way that you’re going to be guaranteed the proper skills, and the proper qualifications, and also the proper incentive. Why would a random stranger on the internet want to help you with your writing? What’s in it for them? Always think about that. Right, guys, that’s it for today’s lesson. And I’ll se you soon for another lesson.

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How to choose a Homeschool direction

It’s that time of year again! Time to start making important decisions regarding academics for our children.  Shall we homeschool?  And if so, what curricula choices should we consider.  Do we stick with what we have been using?  Do we try something new, some new essays help 24/7 services?  With all the choices available, it is difficult to know what to choose and when to try using it.  Do you feel like you are caught in a cyclone of curricula choices? Are you being tossed around in a whirlwind; wanting what’s best for your child?   (Me too!)  If you do not already know what works for you; if your children do not love learning; the following is for you!

Many articles and books tell you to stick with one choice, your kids will adjust.  I beg to differ with this line of thinking.  I don’t want my children to simply adjust, I want them to have fun, to be engaged and to develop a lifelong love for learning!  Does this sound like something similar to what you are aiming for?

While I have used many a summer to “try on” different ways of learning, I usually stick with what we have planned for the school year, and try very hard not to switch things around on them in mid-stream.  It is so nice when you happen upon the perfect educational system for your children are young or just starting to homeschool.  But if you don’t find it… keep looking.  Don’t bounce around too much though,  children need consistency.  But they also need to enjoy what they are doing or you are just out for a major headache.

Here are some crucial considerations for your journey: 1) Learn how they learn, 2) Learn what they love, 3) Learn what resources to utilize.  As you can see, learning is for everyone.

Here’s a “go to” plan for learning what your children love.   Choose three to five various methods of learning to ‘try on’ over the next few months.  Spend about four weeks on each option.  If your children really dislike something you’re trying, ditch it and move on!  You don’t have to spend four solid weeks enduring something they (or you) can’t tolerate.  In about three weeks you will have a good idea weather they like it, love it, or hate it.  Spending less than three weeks does not usually give enough time to fully experience the material and understand what you are doing.  If your child(ren) are not wanting to stop at the four week mark, by all means keep going!  When your child(ren) are engaged, experiencing positive challenges and enjoying what they are doing; you are on the right track.

These are just a few helpful hints and resources to give you a baseline for discovering how your child learns, what your child enjoys, and where to find what you need.  Some will work for you, others will not.  Embrace the flexibility that is learning; take what you need and leave the rest!

Our family has tried some of these and others.  When we first started to learn how to notebook, it lead to lapbooking.  Lapbooking quickly lead to a complete and total enjoyment of learning for my kiddos.  Now we are doing many lapbooks as well as our strong literature based studies.  We really enjoy reading and I’ve created many unit studies around books for my children.  This way, we can read what they love as well as learn things like history, geography, and other subjects along the way with our lapbooks.  We still use worksheets for math, but recently are venturing into math lapbooks as well.

It really is important to invest the time in knowing and understanding your child(ren).  Investigate their learning styles.  Explore what they love.  Utilize the resources that support their abilities and their enjoyment.  If they hate it; stop it!  The most important thing to remember when homeschooling is this:  Make learning FUN and they will remember more of the information you are trying to impart!

Uniform Violations for Kids and Teens

Here may be between the most aggravating write-up mind teachers and father and mom are probably to study for just about any pretty prolonged time.


Here is really a advised checklist of problems children can do to increase an ugly university uniform, the moment safely out while using university gates and away in the beady eye balls scrutinizing for uniform infractions.

  1. Roll over the waistline of the university skirt to hike them an effective 4 inches previously regulation level. A cozy tip for pleats is the fact that if you protection pin the pleats pretty first they don’t warp at any time you roll them.


  1. university caps for boys are the geekiest creation within history while using world. in spite with this particular if you move the maximum skyward you can hold the gain of looking not just geeky, but colourful too.


  1. Flat brogues for ladies make even the nicest legs seem dumpy. in spite with this particular you can produce a passable heel lift by adding three or even more heel facilitates within the shoe. This could make your calves tighten when you stroll and it is really a marked advancement over the Farmer Jones motif.


  1. alter your tights within girl’s toilets before leaving for home, for just about any finer denier. The wide kinds make your legs seem like planks.


  1. university shirts will ought to often be clean, however, you could make your arms seem slimmer by rolling up even the short sleeves in the cuff. Even much better with a summer time tan. Even much better with a momentary tattoo.


  1. Sneak your mother’s stitching appliance and sew darts in to the back once more of the university blouse. Boys’ shirts also gain from this little trick, specifically if the boys in query happen being fit.


  1. Knot your university sweater around your guitar neck quite than wearing it within normal way. not just does it seem stylish, it hides the sleep while using geek outfit by dangling down the front or back. move up the back once more while using university shirt for additional effect.


  1. There are some problems even a university uniform cannot camouflage, being a example great clean, shiny hair, completely clean skin, a great number and so on. Also, you could make even the worst feasible uniform seem sexy if you discover out to stroll properly. look at out the many internet websites which offer advice. However, exercising in your own home in front while using mirror before developing an idiot of your do it yourself at school, fundamentally because a number of those jogging postures can hold the contrary final result and cause yourself to seem even more ridiculous compared to uniform. ladies can put on their frizzy hair up which could make them seem taller. Boys can test the heel lift method if there are no sports programs to expose the artifice.


  1. utilize some makeup before leaving for university if you’re going to get away with it but don’t overdo. Thickly utilized makeup with a university uniform looks diminished cost and this actually isn’t really the impression anybody would wish to convey. Vaseline could make pretty good clear mascara as well when you don’t need to wash it off. Colourless mascaras are good too but more expensive. pretty number of teachers or father and mom object to some contact of lighting blusher, as prolonged as its skilfully applied. Practice first.


  1. will ought for you space a number of authority returning toward you, try to discover someplace to sit down before are spotted. A seated number is tougher to look at out for hemlines.


Grip Tips – Help Your Child Develop an Age Appropriate Grip(part 2)

Now which you understand the progression of grips, what how can you are doing to support facilitate these grips? fundamentally the most effective GRIP TIP can be to toss apart all lengthy and solid writing implements. youngsters have little arms and should use little writing implements. I strongly recommend which you separate all the crayons into halves or thirds. Use golf pencils and sharpen them so they really are 2-3 inches long. a few mums and dads and instructors are commonly shocked once they are asked to complete this “silly” act. However, the end result is within most circumstances well really worth it. If a writing put into action is lengthy or tall there may be space to the child to retain it with all types of whacky grips. once the put into action is short, there may be only space to the 1st three fingers to retain it. This will at some stage encourage a best tripod grip!


Now which you understand how to market dexterity when writing, what happens once the child appears to don’t have stability? ordinarily a deficiency of balance is indicated by very sloppy writing, print can be quite faint, or even the child has issues writing regarding the line. another probability is the real truth that child is attempting to compensate for his / her deficiency of balance by holding on to their pencil possessing a “death grip.” that is each time a child may overlap their fingers over other fingers. For example, a child may wrap his thumb across the the front using the pencil and his index finger. This at some stage delivers about a tight webspace. The child will often create with very difficult pressure, separate the tip using the pencil, or complain of hand suffering next just a few minutes. An effective GRIP TIP to market balance can be to tuck somewhat subject into the palm so the real truth that final two fingers have to retain the object. Any subject would suffice, as lengthy since it is comfy in the path of child. A favored product can be to utilize a penny and phone call it a “magic penny.”

Please keep in feelings that these methods may specify off hand fatigue when your child 1st efforts to utilize them. that is because your child’s muscle categories have witout a question been educated in executing a distinctive way. you are at some stage retraining your child’s muscles. However, as quickly as your child’s muscle categories adapt, your child’s handwriting is running being on its method to success!


Grip Tips – Help Your Child Develop an Age Appropriate Grip (part 1)

Does your child retain his pencil or crayon possessing a “death grip?” Does she retain it too lightly or touch it only using the strategies of her fingers? Does your child complain that his hand hurts so he cannot full his assignments at school?

As an occupational therapist in the school area I commonly see youngsters applying inappropriate grips when writing. Why is commonly a pencil grip so important? An appropriate pencil grip will straight influence your child’s handwriting. If his/her hand turns into exhausted too quickly, they will not would want to hand write. children will make an effort to continue being apart from handwriting altogether, which at some stage has effects on their academics.

There are developmental stages to grips, much like a child learns to crawl before they walk. The 1st stage can be to retain the writing put into action like a fist, that is definitely called a gross grip. that is growing the durability and balance inside the pinky factor using the hand. balance is extremely necessary once the child is anticipated to create for lengthy intervals of your time and effort years next that is developed. The 2nd stage can be to retain the pencil possessing an electronic pronated grip. that is where by way of the child holds the pencil at its tip with his thumb and forefinger and the palm of his hand is on best using the shaft using the pencil. that is growing the durability and dexterity inside the 1st three fingers using the hand. Dexterity is extremely needed to enrich fluidity and success when writing. The 3rd stage can be to retain the pencil in the tip using the eraser pointing up and the shaft using the pencil rests inside the area between the thumb and forefinger. This area is named the webspace. The webspace must be open up and loose to be able to not specify off anxiety inside the hand. In addition, the final several fingers using the hand must be tucked into the palm for balance (which was learned in stage one). at the moment it is common to the child to shift his hand like a unit. He could also use his entire arm when coloring. that is acceptable if it is practical for his/her developmental age group level. the subsequent stages incorporate this tripod grip. However, the principal objective can be to shift only the strategies using the fingers even however the arm and wrist are stable.


Masters in Early Childhood Education

A Masters in early childhood education is a degree that can lead to greater job opportunities and increased salary.  The prerequisite for this degree is a Bachelor’s degree, and the Masters in early childhood education generally takes 2 years to complete.

Some degree programs are designed for currently licensed or certified teachers who want to enhance and improve their existing teaching skills. Other programs are designed for those who are not currently teaching.  Program offerings vary by institution, as do thesis requirements.  Degrees awarded are often a Master of Education (M. Ed.) or a Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Science (M. S).  Some institutions offer a Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.).

Masters in Early Childhood Education:  Coursework

Coursework in a Masters in early childhood education program typically covers an in-depth practical and theoretical knowledge of pedagogy appropriate for very young children.  Childhood development is also emphasized.  Other courses may include early childhood education theory, diversity and multiculturalism in education, technology in early childhood education, child psychology, play theory, and courses in analysis and research.

What Skills are Developed in a Masters in Early Childhood Education Program?

For the student whose undergraduate degree is in early childhood education, the Master’s will build on existing classroom and communication skills, allowing the student to learn more about age-appropriate teaching skills in a variety of topics.  A Masters in early childhood education will improve the students’ abilities to communicate with parents and other administrators, to understand the research as it pertains to trends and issues in early childhood education, and to develop curricula for learning in early childhood.

Masters of Early Childhood Education:  Job Outlook

Many who earn a Masters of Early Childhood Education are currently employed in a public school system, and earning this degree can help them advance in their jobs salary-wise or to advance to new and specialized positions within the school system.  Some job titles that may be available are: educational specialist, behavioral therapist, early intervention specialist, or child care consultant.

Others who hold a Masters in early childhood education might find careers as a childcare or preschool administrator, which is a managerial and human resource position, managing the hiring of staff and helping to shape the curriculum within an early childhood education center.  A Masters of early childhood education may also prepare graduates for a career as a post-secondary education instructor, teaching others the theory behind and practical application of early childhood education.

Masters of Early Childhood Education:  Salaries

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2010 the mean annual salary for preschool and childcare administrators was $50,410.  This is the national mean, so of course there will be fluctuations in this figure by region.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the May 2010 mean annual salary for post-secondary education teachers was $64,370.  Again, this is the national mean, so expect variations from this figure.

Healthcare benefits, paid vacations, sick leave, and other benefits are not included in these figures, and these benefits are all things to consider when assessing the salary range for any position.  The bottom line is that a Masters in early childhood education will create new job and salary opportunities for those who hold this degree.


Early Childhood Education Degrees

Employer requirements for a career in early childhood education vary by facility and state.  Whether hiring a daycare worker, preschool teacher, or elementary school teacher, though, most employers require at least an associate’s degree in early childhood education.

Teacher licensure requirements vary from state to state, but states typically require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree of early childhood education teachers.  Obtaining early childhood education degrees at the Master’s or Doctoral level will open up further career opportunities and the potential for increased income. More advanced early childhood education degrees can lead to careers outside of the classroom in policy and administration.

Early Childhood Education Degrees: Associate’s

An Associate’s degree, sometimes referred to as a two-year degree, is a course of study that requires at least a high school diploma or a GED as a prerequisite.  Typical coursework is in child growth and development and methodology in teaching of the young child.  Students who earn this degree may work in childcare facilities, day cares, or as teaching assistants.

Early Childhood Education Degrees: Bachelor’s

Public schools, and many private schools, require that those who teach have a bachelor’s degree at the minimum.  Regulations regarding licensure vary from state to state, though.  Early childhood education degrees at the bachelor’s level usually take 4 years to complete, and the prerequisite for this degree is a GED or a high school diploma.  Early childhood education bachelor’s degrees entail general education coursework (typically for the first 2 years of study) followed by courses in early childhood education.  Coursework generally covers classes in classroom issues, psychology, and pedagogy.  Instructional methods for pre-Kindergarten through grade 3 are usually the focus of these degrees.

Early Childhood Education Degrees:  Master’s

A bachelor’s degree is a necessary prerequisite for earning early childhood education degrees at the Master’s level.  Usually, the Master’s degree in early childhood education is an M. Ed. (Master of Education).  Some schools offer the Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) or Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree as well.  Usually, with the Master’s degree comes a higher salary, and often increased career opportunities.  Coursework for the Master’s of Early Childhood Education develops an in-depth practical and theoretical knowledge of pedagogy appropriate for very young children.  Childhood development is also emphasized.  The thesis requirement varies by institution, but the degree generally takes about 2 years to earn.

Early Childhood Education Degrees: Doctorate

Following the completion of a Master’s degree, some students may opt to further their studies by earning a Ph. D. in Early Childhood Education.  Just as a Master’s degree opens more career opportunities, a Ph. D. may lead to career opportunities in postsecondary education or administration.  Generally, Ph. D. programs in early childhood education involve intensive and extensive research in the way children learn. Students in these programs study curriculum development and classroom methodology as well as facets of administration and psychology of the learner courses, to name a few.

This degree typically takes 3 to 5 years to complete.  Those who hold the Doctorate in early childhood education may pursue careers in leadership within early childhood education facilities or take jobs shaping policy as it pertains to early childhood education.


Early Childhood Education Classes

Coursework in early childhood education generally requires a variety of classes and practical experience. As with any other degree, the type of degree sought will dictate what classes one takes, and early childhood education classes move from the general to the specific as a student earns higher degrees.

Degrees at varying levels will require different early childhood education classes, and what classes are required or offered as electives vary depending on the degree-granting institution. While the requirements for teaching in a public school vary from state to state, all states have some form of licensure requirement that requires a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree and experience in student teaching.

Early Childhood Education Classes:  Associate’s Level

This two year degree generally requires that the student take general classes in child growth and development and methodology in teaching of the young child.  Coursework may include early childhood education classes in child guidance; health, safety, and nutrition; creative activities; and educational technology.  While classes vary by institution, the early childhood education classes one takes for an Associate’s degree in early childhood education are the most general of those required for early childhood education degrees.

Early Childhood Education Classes: Bachelor’s Level

Students in a Bachelor’s of early childhood education program take classes that typically cover classroom issues, psychology, and pedagogy.  Requirements, of course, vary by institution, and requirements also depend upon what prerequisites a student may have completed.  Instructional methods for pre-Kindergarten through grade 3 are usually the focus of this degree, and early childhood education classes may include introduction to teaching; technology and education; teaching classes in specialized areas such as reading, play, arts; and teaching English language learners.

As part of the coursework for a Bachelor’s degree students are typically expected to perform hands-on teaching in the form of a student teaching position.

Early Childhood Education Classes:  Master’s Level

Early childhood education classes at the Master’s level develop an in-depth practical and theoretical knowledge of pedagogy appropriate for very young children.  Students take classes in childhood development as well as psychology, pedagogy, and often in specialized areas.  The thesis requirement varies by institution, but if the program requires a thesis, the student can expect to take classes that will help them prepare to write the thesis, such as research methodology, documentation, and writing classes.

Early childhood education classes at this level will vary depending upon whether the degree is designed for teachers who already have their certifications or for students who are not yet certified or licensed.

Early Childhood Education Classes:  Doctorate

Students in doctoral programs will take even more specialized early childhood education classes.  In addition to studying curriculum development and classroom methodology, students may also take classes that cover various facets of administration and psychology of the learner courses, to name a few. In preparation for writing a dissertation, early childhood education classes at this level may include statistics, research and methodology classes, writing classes, and classes devoted to special topics or specialized areas of interest that the student may want to include in his or her doctoral research.