In the course of this program, you will pass through four stages of professional development; each stage will move you out of your "student's seat" and up to the front of the class!
During years one through three of the program, you will complete your General Education course requirements as well as complete most of your related coursework. You will begin preparing your Learning Portfolio during your freshman year and complete it in your senior year. During stage one, your main responsibility as learner and future teacher is to accumulate the essential content knowledge to teach Social Studies. You are also required to take and pass your Praxis I exam.
In years two and three, you will begin the transition from college student to teacher/educator. This is the time to learn about the psychological and cultural make-up of adolescent students in middle and high school. During this time, you will focus on questions, such as: (a) Why do adolescent students feel, think, and behave the way they do?; (b) How do adolescent learners learn?; (c) How does diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and academic strengths affect adolescents' motivation, learning, and behaviors?; (d) How do teachers effectively instruct, engage, and manage adolescents with diverse backgrounds? During this time, you will take the following three courses: (1) EDUC413, (Adolescent Development and Educational Psychology), (2) EDUC414 (Teaching Exceptional Adolescents), and (3) EDUC419 (Diversity in Secondary Education). Your first classroom observations will take place in EDUC413 and EDUC419.
You will take EDUC420 (Reading in the Content Areas), HIST491 (Planning a Course of Instruction) and HIST492 (Integrating Instructional Technology into Social Studies teaching) during the Fall semester of your senior year. HIST491 is your "Methods" course. In this course, you will begin to put the pieces together from stages one and two. You will learn how to create course materials and lesson plans that meet State and National standards. You will develop effective teaching strategies that reflect your acquired content knowledge plus your understanding of adolescents and how they best learn. Through classroom observations, you will also learn more about the learners and classes you will be teaching during the Spring semester. You have now moved to the front of the classroom!
During the Spring semester of your senior year, after you have completed all of your coursework and have passed your Praxis II exam, you will spend fourteen weeks student teaching in a middle school or high school classroom EDUC400 (Student Teaching: Social Studies) is your 9-credit teaching practicum. You will work closely with your cooperating teacher, your supervisor, and your Methods professor. At the same time, we will prepare you in your student teaching seminar, HIST493 (Problems in Teaching History and Social Studies), to seek out and get that perfect teaching position---to get a job at last!