EDE 526: Early Childhood Learning through Play (PreK-4)

EDE 526  Early Childhood Learning through Play (Pre-K-4)

(This course has been approved by the Maine Dept. of Education for Early Childhood Education certification.)


Judy Fricke, Instructor



Designed for educators from pre-school through grade 4, this course will help early childhood educators to integrate children’s creativity, play, and the arts into their curriculum in a way that fosters learning and growth and meets accountability measures.  Course activities will enable educators to articulate the importance of creativity and arts-based learning to families, colleagues, and administrators.

This course is for prospective and practicing early childhood educators, pre-school to grade 4,  who are expected to teach for understanding in accordance with an increasing number of state, local, and national benchmarks. Current research supports the understanding that children learn through play.  The importance of arts-based learning is emphasized to educators of young children and participants will learn how to integrate play and each of the art forms across the curriculum.  The course covers the foundations of creative thought, the creative arts, and creative teaching and assessment.



Creative Thinking and Arts-Based Learning: Preschool Through Fourth Grade (with MyEducationLab), 5/E  Joan Isenberg, Mary R. Jalongo, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2010.

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  • A laptop is required. Please bring to the first session. Internet access is a requirement during the course. If this is problematic for you, please contact the instructor. Many of the resources for the course will be accessible to participants on a wiki site.



Upon successful completion of this course, educators will be able to:

  • Understand through a study of current research, the benefits of play and the arts in education
  • Learn how to engage children in music, movement and dance, drama and art
  • Learn how to integrate play and the arts across the curriculum
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the foundations of creative thought
  • Learn to assess the creative process and products of children
  • Use technology to interact with colleagues and build resources together
  • Create an Action Plan to incorporate strategies learned in the classroom.