Back to top

Child and Youth Studies: Creative Pedagogies in Education

The Creative Pedagogies in Education specialization immerses you in the sociocultural world of teaching and learning, preparing you to focus on the strengths and ideas of the learner, multi-model expressions of understanding, and responsive teaching practices. You will learn how to plan, create and facilitate engaging, culturally relevant learning environments to impact the lives of children, youth, families, and the communities in which they live.

When you choose the Creative Pedagogies in Education specialization, your coursework will be determined by the age range of learners with whom you wish to work in your career. You may choose an emphasis on early learners, birth to age five, or an emphasis on older children and youth, including young adults.

Focus on Early Learners

Do you want to impact children’s lives when it matters most? The first five years of life build the foundation that shapes children’s future growth, development, health, happiness, and learning achievement. Nationally and locally, there is a great need for early childhood professionals to work with children and families in community-based learning environments. The need is even greater for educators who understand sociocultural perspectives on education and how they impact issues of social justice. As you focus on early learners, you will:

  • Expand your understanding of the importance of relationships, families, and communities on children’s development.
  • Explore the Reggio Emilia approach to learning, an internationally renowned philosophy of education, and develop your own “image of the child”.
  • Plan, create, facilitate, and evaluate engaging learning environments.
  • Embrace young children’s potential and possibilities.

Focus on Intermediate and Older Learners

Would you like to be a game-changer for children and youth? There is no shortage of children and youth needing more than school can provide to reach their full potential. You can impact their lives with fresh perspectives, innovative programs, and a heart for social justice. Millions of children and youth receive social, emotional, physical, health and academic support from a variety of community-based education programs every year. As you focus on intermediate and older learners, you will:

  • Learn how to incorporate drama and arts-based learning to build creative, collaborative and learner-focused programs.
  • Rethink the roles of learner and educator, as well as the essential role of the family and community.
  • Plan, create, facilitate, and evaluate engaging learning environments.
  • Understand the role of community-based education in the lives of children and youth.

Culminating Internship and Capstone Project

In your culminating year, you will engage in a year-long internship, learning hands-on about teaching and learning opportunities in a community organization. Placements are made based on your specialization, learning trajectory, and career goals. The internship provides the space to apply what you have learned, reflect on your practices, and challenge yourself to grow in new directions.

During your internship, you will select a Capstone Project, using all you have learned and experienced to impact children, families, the community, and the organization. You will use critical reflection, problem-solving skills, and action research to identify community problems and propose solutions to create lasting change. The Capstone Project allows you to share your knowledge and skills while also learning something meaningful to you and your organization.

Community internship details

Featured Coursework

  • Arts-Based Integrated Learning
  • Early Childhood Pedagogy
  • Equity and Diversity in Education
  • Literacy, New Media, and Creative Pedagogies
  • Redefining Roles: Investigating Reggio-Inspired practice
  • Teaching and Learning with Drama

Career Paths

Students who successfully complete the Child and Youth Studies Creative Pedagogies in Education Specialization have a variety of interesting career options, including:

  • Administrator, Teacher, Home Visitor – Community-Based Early Care and Education Programs
  • Caseworker, Regulatory Specialist – Government Agencies
  • Child Life Specialist, Family Liaison – Pediatric Hospitals
  • Education Director, Outreach Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator – Community Action Organizations
  • Education Specialist – Youth Development Organizations and Arts Organizations
  • Education Liaison – Public/Private Partnerships
  • Museum Educator, Program Coordinator – Museum Programs
  • Program Manager – Non-profit Organizations
  • Service Coordinator, Family Support Coordinator, Policy Analyst – Advocacy Organizations
  • Tutor, Program Manager – Tutoring and School Support Programs


Prospective student?
Request more information