The Early Childhood Studies (ECS) program at Ryerson provides an incredible opportunity to learn all about childhood development and experiences, and how to provide environments that support both children and their families. Just like any other program at Ryerson, there are myths or misconceptions that students may have about ECS. In this blog post, three of the top myths are going to be debunked!
Myth #1: Our coursework involves simply babysitting/playing with kids all day, or doing arts and crafts
Fact: The biggest misconception is that ECS is nothing but an all-day babysitting program, with little depth in the courses and overly simple tasks to complete. This is so not true! The courses we take in ECS dive deep into the biological, psychological and sociological experiences of childhood. We also create activities, which go far beyond simply ‘playing’ (though they are very fun) and implement them with children. These activities encourage learning and development – they involve a lot of consideration to ensure that they provide enriching experiences, while also supporting the children’s interests! Critical thinking is also a major skill that we work to develop, by questioning major theories and finding new ways to approach education.
Myth #2: The ECS program is only a good option if I want to be an early childhood educator or teacher
Fact: Though becoming an ECE or primary school teacher are two very popular career pathways amongst students in this program, there are so many other options you may choose to pursue! You may be interested in becoming a speech language pathologist, child life specialist, family support worker, working in law/advocacy and so many others! If the career involves working with children, chances are the ECS program would be a great place to start. The ECS website provides a more extensive list of potential career paths.
Myth #3: There won’t be much hands-on experience to put the theories we learn into practice
Fact: There is so much hands-on experience in ECS! This is probably my favourite aspect of the program and what I think makes it so interesting – to go from learning about theories in the classroom to actually interacting with and/or observing the children and seeing these theories come to life. For example, in the observations course, we observed the children during their play and noted evidence of developmental theories. In the environments course, we toured many different areas on and off campus and determined if they were enriching spaces for children. And of course, there’s field placement all four years (with an international option in fourth year!) where we get to work directly alongside children and their families, implementing our skills and knowledge!