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 124 credits of study across three areas: General Education, Professional Studies, and Fieldwork. 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.
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 055, 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 learning and field experience to ensure that students are sufficiently oriented and prepared for the real work of exemplary middle level schools.
The Middle Level Education program promotes collaboration through the use of a cohort model. 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 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.
Finally, like all teacher education students at UVM, participants in this program use authentic assessment to demonstrate their growth over time. 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 possible curriculum in Middle Level Education:
|Diversity Category One:
EDFS 001 - Race and Racism in the U.S.
|EDML 055 - Brain Research & Learning Theory||3|
|General Education Courses||9||9|
|EDFS 002 - School and Society||3|
|EDML 024 - Learners, Development & Learning||3|
|Diversity Category Two:
EDSP 005 - Issues Affecting Persons with Disabilities
|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|
* The number of electives depends on the degree of course overlap in the general education, IDIMC, and diversity requirements. It is possible to have one course fulfill two requirements but the credits only count once.