Teacher Education: Middle Level Education (5-9) (Bachelor of Science)
The organizing theme of the Program is "Education for High Achievement and Personal Efficacy." The Program provides a minimum of four supervised internships whereby university students participate in the most highly successful middle level school programs that are within reasonable commuting distance.
Students who satisfactorily complete the program earn a minimum of 127 credit hours of study across three areas: General Education, Academic Concentration, and Professional Studies. This design ensures that each student achieves a balance of academic and professional preparation to meet the expectations and challenges associated with teaching at any level. During the students' first year they enroll in a required advising course where faculty guide them in devising an eight semester plan that is balanced across three areas of study. Those three areas are briefly described below.
General Education: Students earn credits in liberal arts and sciences from an array of disciplines such as: English, Mathematics, Social Science, History, Political Science, Humanities, Diversity, and Art. Most of these courses are generally completed during the first three to four semesters, and since students sometimes transfer from one program to another, these credits easily transfer to other degree programs in the College of Education and Social Services as well as other colleges within the University.
Academic Concentration: Every Teacher Education student is required to complete an academic major referred to as a "major concentration." Students enrolled in the Middle Level Program organize their concentration around two disciplines in order to accomplish the middle level licensure requirement for two teaching areas. This design is referred to as an IDIMC (Individually Designed Interdisciplinary Major Concentration), and it consists of 18 credits in each of two disciplines for a total of 36 credits. For example, one student might choose to combine Science and English while another decides on Mathematics and Social Studies. These academic combinations enable a student to teach in multiple areas as a member of a middle level team consisting of two to five or more teachers. Program advisors and students work closely together, especially over the first two years, to design an IDIMC that accommodates the student's interests and fits the needs of middle level teachers. One of the two areas must be an approved Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) content area (English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies).
Professional Studies: Courses that concentrate on the professional work of teaching span all four years. These studies are grounded in theory, research and policies associated with the very best practices in middle level education. Studies of young adolescent learning and development, teachers and teaching, literature for young adult readers and special education are taken in the first two years as Pre-Professional Requirements. These courses include a minimum of one field placement with a middle level team of teachers. More heavily field-linked courses in curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, team organization, literacy, mathematics, and evaluation and assessment are taken the last two years.
Fieldwork: The faculty is committed to providing students as much field experience as possible and practical. Four courses (EDML 56, EDML 261, EDML 171, EDML 285) are primarily field-based, and while taking these courses students will enjoy working with teachers on four different teaching teams. Emphasis is placed on high levels of integration between campus-based learnings and field experience to insure that students are sufficiently oriented and prepared for the real work of exemplary middle level schools.
Cohort: Cooperation and collaboration among teachers is a hallmark of middle level teaching teams. That same spirit is given emphasis through building a cohort of middle level teacher education students who take courses together, and who participate in professional activities such as school events and professional conferences. Additionally, the Middle Level Teacher Education Program includes a Teacher Advisory Committee composed of exemplary middle level teachers from area schools who consult with students and faculty about the Program, field placements, job searches and other issues related to advancing one's professional development and beginning career.
Professional Portfolio: In their first year, students are introduced to the process of documenting and preserving samples of their professional work and development. These samples are maintained in individual portfolios that grow cumulatively semester by semester. A final Professional Portfolio is assembled during the student teaching semester to more fully define the professional background and aspirations of the novice teacher. This final portfolio constitutes completion of the Program, and it is valuable to seniors reflecting on their preparation and accomplishments as well as beginning a job search. This full portfolio is drawn upon to create a more succinct “presentation portfolio” for use in interviews. Seniors also receive faculty guidance in creating resumes and applying and interviewing for teaching positions. The demand for teachers well prepared for teaching middle level schools is such that the portfolio is an excellent and comprehensive way to present one’s candidacy.
A typical, but not all-inclusive, program outline follows:
|EDFS 001 - Race and Racism in the U.S.
Diversity Course (fulfilled by EDFS 001)
|EDSS 055 - Making a Difference: Exploring Education||3|
|General Education Courses||9||9|
|EDFS 002 - School and Society||3|
|EDML 024 - Learners, Development & Learning||3|
|EDML 056 - Teachers & the Teaching Process||3|
|EDSP 005 - Issues Affecting Persons with Disabilities
Diversity Course (fulfilled by EDSP 005)
|EDML 177 Children's Lit. & Literacy||3|
|General Education Courses||6|
|EDML 260 - Teaching Young Adolescents||6|
|EDML 261 - Teaching Practicum I||3|
|EDML 270 - Middle School Organization and Pedagogy||6|
|EDML 171 - Teaching Practicum II||3|
|EDML 285 - Student Teaching Internship||12|
|EDML 286 - Internship Support Seminar||3|
|EDML 287 - Literacy & Mathematics||3|