Contact Us

Have a question for Childhood Studies? Contact us.

Dr. Nancy Casey, Chair
ncasey@sbu.edu
(716) 375-2141
Plassmann Hall Room B48
St. Bonaventure University
St. Bonaventure, NY 14778

What Can I do With This Major?

CHILDHOOD STUDIES

Become a leader & advocate for children and families

SBU Childhood StudiesThe undergraduate major in childhood studies is designed for students who want to develop knowledge and skills necessary for careers working with children and families in a wide variety of settings.

Childhood studies majors develop skills that are valued in the work force, including those that focus on child development from multiple perspectives, such as an understanding of typically developing children, special needs children and the needs of young children; an understanding of planning and organization of programs; and a strong emphasis on collaboration and community involvement.

This major provides students with a strong foundation in the liberal arts. The courses in the major will help students develop expertise in areas such as:

  • Child development
  • Understanding special needs children
  • Planning and preparing programs, events and activities
  • Behavior and behavior intervention
  • Collaboration with families and community members

Childhood studies majors complete an internship in a community setting during their senior year. The internship is individually designed to meet the career goals of each student. During the internship, the student identifies a problem to be studied, a program to be developed or a collaborative partnership to develop. Students work with university faculty and site supervisors during this internship.

A wide range of career options are open to students completing the major.  Sample career paths might be those in areas such as:
  • law as a child advocate
  • children's publishing (print & web)
  • social work
  • school or community counseling
  • children's museums
  • children's theater
  • day care operations
  • recreation
  • advocacy/public service
  • health and wellness
Childhood studies majors are encouraged to pursue a minor related to their career goals.  Potential minors are: 
  • Journalism/Mass Communications
  • Sociology or Social Work
  • Psychology
  • Business
  • Political Science
  • Philosophy of Law
  • English
  • Theater

Casey, Nancy Cunniff

Titles/Responsibilities Department Chair
Associate Professor
Academic School
School of Education
Academic Department Elementary Education
Contact Information Office Phone: (716) 375-2141
E-Mail: ncasey@sbu.edu
Website: http://sched.sbu.edu/faculty/ncasey/ 
Office Location/Hours
Courses Taught
  • Field Block 1:  9-credit integrated experience including
    • EDUC 304. Methods, Models, and Management of Instruction 
    • EDUC 310. Methods for Teaching Elementary Social Studies and Language Arts 
    • EDUC 312. Developmental Reading 
       
  • Field Block 2:  9-credit integrated experience including 
    • EDUC 401. Diagnostic and Prescriptive Reading 
    • EDUC 425. Organization and Assessment for Elementary Classrooms 
    • EDUC 430. Methods for Teaching Elementary Science, Math and Technology 

 

  • EDUC 505. Technology for Educators and Counselors 
  • University 101: Skills for the Good Journey
Academic Degrees
  • Ed.D., Instructional Technology and Media, specializing in Computing in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1988 
    • Dissertation title: "The Graphical Representation of Programming: A Study of the Comprehension of Novice Programmers."
     
  • M.A., Computing in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1983
  • M.Ed., Early Childhood Education, Rutgers University, 1979
  • B.A., Early Childhood and Elementary Education, College of St. Elizabeth, 1974
Other Education
Professional Background
Accomplishments
  • Principal investigator on a $1.16 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3), 1999-2003
  • Development of electronic portfolio design and process for St. Bonaventure University’s School of Education graduates
    • Casey, N. (2003). "From 0 to 60: Up to Speed with eFolios in One Year."  Technology in Teacher Education Annual, 2003. Charlottesville, Va: Association for Advancement in Computing in Education. Presented at SITE 2003.
    • Casey, N.  (2001). "Growing Towards Excellence: A Developmental Approach to Portfolio Development for Beginning Teachers." ACEI Annual Conference, Toronto, CA:  April 2001.
    • Casey, N. (2001). "E-Folios for Educators: Electronic – and Truly Portable – Portfolios." PAC-TE Annual Conference, Hershey, Pa. October 2001.
     
  • Seel, N.M. & Casey, N. (2003). Changing conceptions of technological literacy.  In P. Attewell & N.M. Seel, (Eds.) "Disadvantaged Teens and Computer Technologies." New York: Waxman Publishing Co.
  • Taylor, R. P. & Cunniff, N. (1988). Moving computing in education beyond rhetoric. Teachers College Record,  89:3, 360-372.
Teaching Philosophy

I am a teacher.  I believe that teachers have the most important role in our society. They have the awesome responsibility of supporting, leading, guiding and coaxing others as they learn. They have the enviable opportunity to see others discover and to see learners embrace new worlds. Being a teacher is a way of thinking about the world. It compels one to view every interaction with an eye towards growth -- of self and others. This is not a simple vocation.

I am a constructivist educator. As a constructivist, I believe that each learner builds his or her own understanding of the world. As Vygotsky proposed, learning is socially constructed, and it is through interactions with others that learning takes place. Students need opportunities to collaborate with each other and with me as they learn and learn to teach. I want my students to become empowered by their own learning and development as teachers. I continuously work to create situations where students can take charge of what they need to learn.

Teaching university students is a continuously challenging situation. My beliefs about teaching and learning in this setting are influenced to a large degree by Piagetian theory. Students must experience disequilibrium and cognitive dissonance in order to learn. Students must have experiences that cause them an acceptable degree of cognitive discomfort, but in situations where they can build relationships between what they already know and the new learning.

As a teacher, I am a learner. I seek challenges; I solve problems. I believe that I must travel alongside my students in the teaching-learning process. I have come to believe that there are no perfect tools and no exclusively "right" ways to teach. I embrace new technologies with an appreciation of the worlds they can help us explore, but I also appreciate traditional techniques.

The educational context specific to a pre-professional undergraduate school in which all students major in education is unique. These students have already made difficult and important life choices. They have chosen the field of education as their career, and thus their study is a recursive activity. Even more importantly, the education about education should be metacognitive. I believe that I have a responsibility to help my students develop as teachers who make a difference, teachers whose classrooms will be healthy, supportive environments in which their own students can grow and learn.

Current Research Interests/Projects
  • Parent perceptions of first-year students’ transition difficulties
  • College teaching: Improved student engagement through active and collaborative teaching
  • Problems faced by first-year college students: barrier to success
Other Interests/Community Involvement

Childhood Studies Fact Sheet Image