Childhood Education

MA in Childhood Education, Grades 1-6, Initial Certification

Prepare for an exciting career at the forefront of childhood education

This master of arts program leads to eligibility for New York State initial teaching certification for grades 1-6. Through coursework, field experiences, and student teaching, you'll learn pedagogical skills and strategies centered around understanding how children learn and the multiple contexts in which learning occurs. You will develop as a reflective practitioner through thoughtful discussions and interactions around the critical educational issues of our time, especially issues of developmental, linguistic, cultural, and racial diversity and educational equity.

A dual initial certification MA program in Childhood Education and Childhood Special Education is also available. NYU Steinhardt also offers an MA leading to professional certification in Childhood Special Education.

What you'll learn
  • Theories of how children learn at different developmental stages and in different contexts, and strategies to support learning
  • An understanding of the relationships between schools, families, and community-based organizations, and how these influence children's learning
  • Pedagogical methods and core content knowledge in elementary school subjects

See curriculum and degree requirements for this master's program.

How you'll learn

Teach Young Children in a Variety of Educational Settings
You'll complete 100 hours of field experiences prior to student teaching for two semesters in a New York City public school, early childhood center, or public or private childcare center. You will have the opportunity to observe how children learn at different ages in a variety of settings through recursive teaching experiences.

Develop as a Reflective Practitioner
Our philosophy is that the central component of your development as a teacher/researcher is continual reflection on your own and others’ teaching practices. You will develop powerful tools to address the needs of young learners and promote educational equity for all children.

Advocate for Social Justice in Children’s Education
Learn a principle-based set of teaching practices that considers the needs, lifestyles, languages, and cultural patterns of the communities we serve. Your course of study will center on children’s educational experiences, informed by the belief that children are competent persons actively engaged in meaning making in the multiple contexts of home, school, and community. You will become part of a graduate learning community that actively advocates for institutional changes which value early childhood education as a vital part of children’s educational experiences.

Study Abroad
As a student in our graduate program, you'll have several unique opportunities to study teaching and learning abroad:

Prepare for a career as a
  • Teacher in public or private childcare centers, early childhood centers, and elementary schools
  • Teacher educator or researcher in colleges and universities
  • Curriculum or educational program developer in schools, colleges, and universities
  • Editor or publisher of children's books and educational materials
  • Children's television writer or producer
For more information about this MA program, please contact

Nathan Tovar
Graduate Student Services Counselor
East Building, 239 Greene Street
New York, NY 10003