BA in Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood EducationThe Early Childhood Education 37 credit major is a dynamic and diverse program, calling upon students to be immersed in contemporary theories of development, rich curriculum studies, and in-depth training in contemplative traditions, all of which supports the ground of developing teachers from the inside out. In addition, students’ learning is expanded by observations, service learning, lab assignments, and international service work, which foster the students’ practical classroom experience from day one.

This major draws upon the richness of Boulder’s contemplative early education community, including Alaya Preschool, Naropa’s lab school. Program courses emphasize the integration of mindfulness—awareness with holistic teaching practices. Observation-based child development courses emphasize emotional development. Students explore contemplative teaching skills drawn from holistic and spiritual traditions, such as Waldorf, Montessori, Shambhala, and Reggio Emilia. Teaching skills grow from firsthand observation practice and course study with master teachers in a variety of contemplative preschool settings.


The culmination of the BA degree is the internship course, in which students apprentice with experienced teachers in Naropa’s lab school or other early education programs. This highly individualized on-the-job training helps students develop and refine their teaching skills in exemplary educational environments. (Students are strongly encouraged to take no more than 12 credits during the internship.)

Entering the Major

In accordance with University policy, students can declare their major at any time. In order to progress through the coursework in this major, students should take the following important course pre-requisite at the earliest opportunity: EDU245 Education, Culture, and Critical Pedagogy. Because of the nature of this program, it is important to meet with program faculty either before you declare or soon after. Please consult with your Academic Advisor to plan your schedule in the program.


All students must submit a portfolio, according to department guidelines, of their work prior to graduation. The portfolio is part of the undergraduate Early Childhood Education degree program requirements.