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Elementary Education

Elementary Education

The Elementary Education major leads to certification in Illinois to teach students in self-contained kindergarten through ninth grade classrooms. Candidates who major in Elementary Education may also choose to complete additional hours to earn a middle school endorsement in one or more content areas, which qualifies them to teach those subjects in a departmentalized middle school setting. Candidates who complete WIU’s Elementary Education program are highly knowledgeable, reflective teachers committed to creating positive learning communities and using research-based strategies that enable all students to be successful.

Program Coursework and Field Experiences

In addition to specific general education coursework, candidates complete numerous courses in the major that provide opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to be successful teachers. Elementary Education majors complete four literacy methods courses, two science methods courses, two social studies methods courses, and two math methods courses. The program includes coursework focusing on understanding and accommodating the needs of diverse learners, using technology to enhance instruction, and ways to work with and support parents and families.

Candidates observe students during the freshman and sophomore years of the program. During the junior year, they tutor students and provide assistance in local classrooms. In preparation for student teaching, candidates teach half days for at least twelve weeks during the first semester of the senior year and teach lessons in all content areas. The program concludes with a twelve-week student teaching experience. In both the senior field experience and student teaching, candidates complete a teacher work sample to document their ability to positively impact student learning.

Program Accreditation

WIU’s teacher education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The Elementary Education program is nationally recognized by the Association for Childhood Education International. Through the completion of required coursework, field experiences, and student teaching, candidates develop the competencies delineated in state and professional teaching standards.

Career Paths

Graduates are employed as teachers in self-contained K-8 classroom. With additional coursework, candidates who earn one or more middle school endorsements are eligible to be employed as middle school teachers in a departmentalized setting.

Why Choose Elementary Education at WIU

We prepare candidates to meet the highest standards in teaching. Candidates graduating from the Elementary Education program are empowered teachers who are, in turn, able to empower all learners in their classrooms.

We emphasize the development of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to enhance and motivate student learning.

The strength of the Elementary Education program at WIU is reflected in the number of major courses and field experiences candidates complete that prepare them for teaching in their future classrooms. Through this program, future elementary education teachers

  1. Acquire knowledge of the content they will teach and techniques to make the content meaningful for all students;
  2. Develop an understanding of the unique characteristics and needs of diverse learners;
  3. Learn to use research-based teaching practices to promote the growth, development, learning, and potential of each student;
  4. Gain experience in the use of research-based principles to plan effective instruction, integrate technology in instruction, assess student learning, and create and maintain positive, safe learning environments;
  5. Use professional dispositions, including those that promote fairness and reflect the belief that all individuals can learn, to positively impact student learning; and
  6. Reflect upon and continually improve their teaching.

Courses in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction are taught by full-time faculty, most of whom have a doctorate degree in their field. Our faculty have taught in a variety of public and private school settings and have been recognized for their excellence in teaching, scholarship, and use of technology in the college classroom. Faculty are actively involved in a variety of professional organizations, provide continuing education workshops for teachers, and publish books and articles in state, national and international journals.

The Elementary Education program emphasizes the importance of knowledge, commitment, action, and reflection in becoming an effective teacher. Department faculty provide experiences that enable candidates to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to become skilled, competent, and creative teachers who are able to facilitate students’ learning. The individual assistance that faculty provide candidates ensures this goal is achieved.

At A Glance

  • Degrees Available: Bachelor of Science in Education, Master of Science in Education
  • Minor Available? No
  • Graduate Degree Available? Yes
  • Campus: Macomb & Quad Cities
  • Study Opportunities: Honors, Teacher Certification

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