Curriculum and Instruction

Elementary Education - Undergraduate Program

Boy with science project

Illinois Certification

Completing the elementary education undergraduate program enables candidates to teach in self-contained classrooms in grades one through six.

To teach in specific subject areas in departmentalized middle school settings, candidates must complete additional coursework to earn one or more middle school endorsements through a focused program once the elementary education program has been completed.

Candidates in Macomb may pursue both Elementary Education and Special Education certification by completing the dual certification program.

Strengths of the Elementary Education Program

Coursework and classroom experiences are offered to prepare future teachers to

  • utilize the best practices of teaching which are emphasized in multiple science, social studies, math and reading/language arts methods courses
  • assess and document student learning in a variety of ways
  • accommodate the needs of diverse groups of students
  • work with parents and utilize community resources
  • use technology to create meaningful learning experiences
  • create effective learning environments
  • motivate students to become lifelong learners
  • reflect on their practice and engage in continuing professional development

Coursework

The Elementary Education program includes extensive coursework focusing on the methods of teaching in the elementary classroom. Candidates complete four literacy methods courses that prepare them to teach reading, writing, speaking, and listening. One course addresses teaching literacy in primary classrooms, while a second course focuses on teaching literacy in intermediate and middle school classrooms. A course in children’s literature prepares candidates to use literature to support all areas of the curriculum. Candidates also complete a course that prepares them to assess and provide appropriate instruction for struggling readers.

Two social studies methods courses prepare future teachers to teach students about their heritage and help them develop a global perspective. Candidates learn how to teach science in the elementary classroom and how to use inquiry as a tool for integrating the sciences. Candidates also complete two courses that prepare them to teach mathematics in elementary and middle school classrooms.

Future teachers learn how to integrate technology into their classroom instruction. Required coursework prepares them to work with students who have diverse learning needs and to work with parents, families, and the community to enhance student learning.

Field Experiences

Future teachers apply these skills as they tutor elementary/middle school students in after school programs, assisting in homework completion, reinforcing skills, and/or providing enrichment activities. They also aid in elementary classrooms, assisting the classroom teacher and working with individual or small groups of children. Candidates teach at least 30 lessons in mathematics, science, reading, language arts and social studies during a twelve-week (half days) field experience in the first semester of the senior year.

Student Teaching

Elementary Education candidates complete a sixteen-week student teaching experience. Student teaching can be completed in the following regions:

  • REGION A Chicago Suburbs (North, West and South)
  • REGION B Chicago Public Schools (City of Chicago)
  • REGION C Quad Cities (including Bettendorf/Davenport IA)
  • REGION D Western/Central Illinois (Quincy, Peoria, Macomb)

Program Requirements

    1. Coursework: Majors complete a minimum of 122 semester hours.
  1. Required Assessments
  2.  Grade Point Requirements
  • Pre-elementary education: cumulative GPA of 2.5 is needed to enroll in C&I 170, C&I 270 and LLA 313.
  • Elementary Education: cumulative and major GPA of 2.75 is needed for admittance and continuation in the Teacher Education Program.

   4. Criminal Background Check

Prior to any field work in schools/agencies, the National Sex Offender, the Illinois Methamphetamine Manufacturer, and the Illinois State Police Child Murderer and Violent   Offender Against Youth registries will be checked by the candidates education advisor.  *In addition, candidates may also need to supply a Fingerprint criminal background investigation report to each individual school district prior to any field work.  Candidates may be prohibited from completing field work if a registry check or background investigations disclose arrests and/or convictions deemed problematic.  Information may be obtained in Horrabin Hall 40; questions may be directed to the Licensure Officer; 309-298-2117. (NOTE: Federal Law requires candidates to submit a Fingerprint backgournd investigation report to school distrcits prior to student teaching.)         

5. Assessment of Professional Dispositions

Disposition 1 Collaboration: Collaboration is valued in education. Effective collaboration means working with other members of a group (students, parents, or peers) exchanging ideas, sharing experiences and learning processes, and building communities. Group members work together toward common goals. Collaboration is valued inside and outside the classroom as a way to create strong communities.

Disposition 2 Commitment to Learning: Active learning and professional development create exemplary educators. Valuing research, learning in all areas of instruction, problem solving, self-reflection and personal growth creates exemplary students and educators. Through participating in professional development, learning of best practices, and actively engaging in new ideas and knowledge building, individuals show a commitment to learning in and beyond the classroom.

Disposition 3 Valuing Diversity and Equity: Valuing the diversity and uniqueness of all groups and using responsive non-discriminatory practices are essential in education. Individuals implement a variety of practices and strategies that meet the needs of all learners in and outside the classroom. They develop knowledge about ways in which groups and individuals are culturally, historically, economically, and socially shaped. They provide examples of the belief that all students can learn. They show respect in both words and actions for diverse groups, including students, peers, instructors, or advisors.

Disposition 4 Responsibility and Respect: Responsibility and respect are vital for learners and educators. Responsible individuals are prepared, act independently, demonstrate accountability, reliability, and sound judgment. Respectful individuals are empathetic, respect others’ views, and demonstrates integrity.  They prioritize health and safety to minimize absences and illness. They accurately report information and take initiative in learning, professional, and personal environments (i.e. online presence). They are engaged, on-task, and responsible in all educational and professional environments. They make ethical decisions, are reflective in all learning experiences and situations, and are responsible for their behaviors and choices. They demonstrate respect for others, including peers, students, instructors, parents, and supervisors.

Candidates must demonstrate the following dispositions: http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/teacher/advising/dispositions.php

Information about the assessment of dispositions can be found at http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/teacher