Concordia University

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Child Studies MA

Admission Requirements

Applicants will be selected on the basis of past academic records, letters of recommendation, field experience, and the relevance of their proposed research to the areas of specialization of program faculty. To be accepted into the program, a student is required to have an undergraduate degree with a minimum of a B average and a significant concentration in child studies, education, or related discipline. In addition, at least one year of professional experience in the field of child care, education, or related areas is desirable. Bilingualism is an asset, but not a requirement. The equivalence of foreign degrees is assessed by the School of Graduate Studies, and is determined by consideration of the total length of program study (primary through university) as well as the quality and content of post-secondary study and its relevance to this program.

Proficiency in English. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate that their knowledge of English is sufficient to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. Please refer to the Graduate Admission page for further information on the Language Proficiency requirements and exemptions.

Requirements for the Degree

  1. Credits. A fully qualified candidate is required to complete a minimum of 45 credits.

  2. Courses. Students may enter either Option A or B outlined below and must complete CHST 600, CHST 603, CHST 605, CHST 606, and CHST 608 as the core segment of their program.
     

Academic Regulations

  1. Academic Standing. Please refer to the Academic Standing section of the Calendar for a detailed review of the Academic Regulations.

  2. Residence. The minimum residence requirement is one year (3 terms) of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study.

  3. Time Limit. Please refer to the Academic Regulation page for further details regarding the Time Limit requirements.

  4. Graduation Requirement. To graduate, students must have completed all course requirements with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.
     

Master of/Magisteriate in Arts with Thesis (Option A)

  1. Core Courses. CHST 600, 603, 605, 606, and 608 (15 credits).

  2. Elective Courses. A minimum of 9 credits from CHST 610, CHST 614, CHST 618, CHST 620, CHST 622, CHST 624, CHST 630, CHST 632, CHST 640, and CHST 650 chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.

  3. Thesis Proposal. CHST 697 (3 credits).

  4. Research and Thesis. CHST 698 (18 credits).
     

Master of/Magisteriate in Arts with Internship (Option B)

  1. Core Courses. CHST 600, 603, 605, 606, and 608 (15 credits).

  2. Elective Courses. A minimum of 12 credits chosen from CHST 610, CHST 614, CHST 618, CHST 620, CHST 622, CHST 624, CHST 630, CHST 632, CHST 640, and CHST 650 chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.

  3. Internship Seminar & Field Placement. CHST 695 (9 credits).

  4. Internship Report. CHST 696 (9 credits).
     

Courses

The following courses are offered:

Required Courses

These courses are required of all students and form the foundation for further courses in the program.

CHST 600 Advanced Child Development
This course presents an overview of the theories that have helped to shape the field of child development. The impact of various theoretical approaches (e.g., psychoanalytic, cognitive, behavioral, social) is examined by providing perspectives on issues of both historical and contemporary importance.

CHST 603 Seminar: Issues in Child Studies
This course provides students with an overview of the field of child studies. Students are introduced to diverse issues through the work of program faculty, invited scholars and student initiatives.

CHST 605 Quantitative Methods of Inquiry
This course introduces students to the philosophy, principles, and techniques in quantitative inquiry in the social sciences. Specifically, it focuses on the main quantitative methodologies of inquiry that are necessary for conducting research and interpreting data in child studies. The course covers techniques for addressing quantitative research questions in the field, including gathering, organizing, analyzing, and communicating data. Statistical techniques that are commonly used to address such questions are covered, with appropriate computer software for key methodologies. Laboratory work is provided to give students practical experience with such software.
Note: Students who have received credit for CHST 607 may not take this course for credit.

CHST 606 Qualitative Methods of Inquiry
This course introduces students to the philosophy, principles, and approaches in qualitative inquiry in the social sciences. Specifically, it focuses on the main methodologies of inquiry that are necessary for conducting and interpreting qualitative data in child studies. The course covers techniques for addressing qualitative research questions in the field, including gathering, organizing, analyzing, and communicating data. Appropriate methods for the coding and analysis of qualitative data are covered, with laboratory work to support students’ practical experience with qualitative data.
Note: Students who have received credit for CHST 607 may not take this course for credit.

CHST 608 Field Observations
Prerequisite: CHST 605 and CHST 606, or equivalent.
This course addresses a range of observational techniques for observing children in their natural environments (e.g., running records, time and event sampling, rating scales). Students learn to use a variety of observational methods, analyze the information, and write reports. Students spend approximately 2-3 hours weekly in an appropriate setting to conduct the observations.
Note: Students who have received credit for CHST 604 may not take this course for credit.

Elective Courses

These courses focus on (a) the child and (b) the wider community. They are offered on a rotating basis with the exception of CHST 630 which is offered every year.

CHST 610 Applied Cognition and Learning
This course provides an overview of the ways in which cognition has contributed to the understanding of how children engage in the content of school subjects, such as mathematics, science, literacy and history. Topics include general cognitive processes, such as memory, transfer, metacognition, and expertise, as well as those related to learning in specific content areas. The course examines ways in which theory and empirical findings can and have informed instructional practice.

CHST 614 Social Processes
This course addresses issues regarding the development of critical social processes in the life of the child, which have implications for later functioning. Topics include the importance of early emotional development (e.g., attachment, temperament, emotional regulation) for social interaction, peer relations (e.g., friendships, bullying and victimization, prosocial behaviour), the development of self and social understanding, the role of play in development, and gender roles and socialization.

CHST 618 Childhood Settings
This course examines a variety of extra-familial settings in which children and families function (e.g. child care, kindergarten, elementary school, after school programs, recreation programs, hospital settings, programs for children with special needs). Various aspects of these programs are examined such as mission statements, program philosophy, training requirements, regulations, and professional development requirements. Methods to evaluate the quality of the settings are presented. Students learn to analyze a specific program of their choosing and write a case study report. Guest lectures and field trips to different types of settings may form part of the course.

CHST 620 Children’s Play: From Theory to Practice
This course introduces students to the topic of play with an emphasis on relating theory to practice. Historical and modern theories (e.g., psychoanalytic, cognitive, and social cognitive) of play are discussed. Various definitions and types of play that emanate from theoretical approaches and different approaches to measuring play are covered, as well as the relationship between children’s play and domains of development and culture, and curriculum and teaching. Issues related to designing developmentally appropriate play spaces and materials are examined.

CHST 622 The Family
This course addresses major theoretical perspectives on family functioning and the nature of parenting (e.g., transitions to parenting, attachment, child rearing styles, parenting children with special needs) and family relationships (e.g., parent-child, sibling, grandparents). Issues related to the modern Canadian family are also discussed (e.g., single and adolescent parents, divorce and remarriage, parental employment, child care, transition to school, and diversity of family lifestyles).

CHST 624 Curriculum Models in Childhood Settings
This course examines principles and models of curriculum in relation to a range of early childhood settings, including daycare, after school programming, kindergarten, and elementary school. The focus is on analyzing current curriculum models from different perspectives as well as identifying and discussing issues related to curriculum design and implementation. Student interests and areas of study are taken into account in the selection of the readings, interactive curriculum materials, and resources.
Note: Students who have received credit for CHST 601 may not take this course for credit.

CHST 630 Issues in Education: Language, Literacy, Numeracy, and Scientific Reasoning
In this course, students reflect on specific aspects of cognitive development and their impact on education. Topics are offered on a rotating basis and may include the development of language, literacy, numeracy and/or scientific reasoning. The literature on selected topics is examined, with particular emphasis on both classic and current research.

CHST 632 Issues in Inclusive and Special Education
This course examines theoretical issues in inclusive and special education and focuses on educational practices that provide all children with equitable access to learning. Curricula, policies and practices in educational settings are analyzed and provide students with an in-depth understanding so as to meet the needs of diverse learners.

CHST 640 Special Topics in Child Studies
Note: Subject matter varies from term to term and from year to year. Students may re-register for this course provided that the course content has changed. Changes in content are indicated by the letter following the course number, e.g., CHST 640A, CHST 640B, etc.

Note: For elective course descriptions and further information regarding thesis and internship guidelines, consult the Guide to the MA in Child Studies available from the Department of Education.

Directed Study Course

CHST 650 Directed Study
Students may enrol in a directed study under faculty supervision in order to undertake specialized study of theoretical or research-related topics. Permission of the Graduate Program Director is required.

Internship Option

CHST 695 Internship Seminar and Field Placement (9 credits)
Prerequisite: CHST 605 and CHST 606, or equivalent.
The internship is designed to provide students with the opportunity to investigate an applied problem or topical issue in child studies. Course requirements include a seminar in both terms. In the first term, students are required to keep a journal, conduct on-site observations, and formulate a written proposal for the internship project. In the second term, students will conduct their project and maintain their journal. Students are required to spend a minimum of 75 hours in the field placement in the first term and an additional 125 hours (minimum) in their second term.

CHST 696 Internship Report (9 credits)
The final report is a detailed record of the internship project and includes a description and analysis of all work produced for the field placement. In addition, all instruments, curricular materials, journal entries, and other supporting documents are included in the final report.

Thesis Option

CHST 697 Thesis Proposal (3 credits)
Under the supervision of a thesis supervisor, the student writes a proposal presenting a research topic; the overall goal of which is to demonstrate that the student is capable of undertaking an independent research project.

CHST 698 Research and Thesis (18 credits)
The thesis consists of the formulation and presentation of the research results which are then defended before a committee consisting of the student’s supervisor and at least two other scholars from the department and/or scholars from relevant disciplines in other departments or institutions.

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