Elementary Teacher Education

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General Studies Requirements

The State of Michigan requires teacher certification candidates to complete an approved program of general or liberal education, including English, literature, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, natural or physical sciences, and the arts.

HUMANITIES 6 credits, including: English Composition (FYWR)
NATURAL SCIENCE 9 credits, including: Biology elective
Earth 255
Physics 420
SOCIAL SCIENCE 9 credits, including: History 260
Polsci 111
Ling 111
MATHEMATICS 9 credits, including: Math 385
Math 489
Elective; Math 105 or higher, or Stats 250
CREATIVE ARTS 9 credits, including: Physed 255
Physed 336
Educ 427 or Mused 408

Effective for students beginning Fall 2019 or later

Teaching Majors

Each teaching major is comprised of a coherent program of study. We have outlined general studies requirements and designed teaching majors to benefit from the University of Michigan's rich academic resources while meeting State of Michigan requirements for provisional certification. Teaching interns in the undergraduate elementary teacher education program choose from the following teaching majors.

Teaching Majors:
Language Arts
Integrated Science
Social Studies

To request a copy of archived teaching major course requirements for 2003-2009, please email temajorminorarchives@umich.edu.

Professional and Pedagogical Preparation

Each semester the focus of the professional coursework changes and adds to your evolving base of knowledge and understanding. The undergraduate elementary teacher education program includes three semesters of practicum and one semester of student teaching. There is a different focus for practicum each semester based on the course of study and emerging themes for that term.


As a student in a professional program, clinical or field experience - real-life experience in the real settings and circumstances of your chosen profession - is an essential part of your preparation. In each of the first three terms you will spend six to nine hours per week in classrooms - observing the classroom in action, collecting data on student learning and teaching practice in conjunction with your coursework, and contributing to instruction by tutoring, co-teaching, and planning with mentor teachers and your university partners. In semesters one and two, you will be placed with a practicum partner. In semester three, you will be placed on your own in your student teaching classroom.

The culminating field experience is the student teaching term, when you will follow the calendar and schedule of your placement classroom for a period of 14-15 weeks. During this experience, you will spend five days per week for the full school day immersed in the classroom. You will slowly and deliberately take on all aspects of instructional responsibility, building toward lead teaching, when you will be responsible for most or all aspects of the school experience for your K-8 students. Lead teaching generally happens in the 8th-10th week of the student teaching experience and lasts 2-3 weeks. 

School Partnerships

Substantial field experience in a diverse array of classrooms, urban to rural, is a key component of each semester of the program. You should expect at least one field placement in Ann Arbor and at least one placement in an outlying district (e.g. Plymouth/Canton, Ypsilanti), and you should expect to be assigned to grade levels spanning kindergarten through sixth grade.

Undergraduate Elementary Teacher Education Program Course Sequence

Following are the courses and experiences that define each semester of your program:

Year One (Junior Year)

Fall (semester one) Winter (semester two)
EDUC 307 Practicum and Seminar - 1 credit EDUC 307 Practicum and Seminar - 1 credit
EDUC 391 Educational Psychology - 2 credits EDUC 403 Literacy II - 3 credits
EDUC 392 Foundations of Education + Culturally Responsive Pedagogy - 2 credits EDUC 415 Children as Sensemakers II - 2 credits
EDUC 401 Literacy I - 3 credits EDUC 414 Managing to Teach II - 1 credit
EDUC 415 Children as Sensemakers I - 1 credit EDUC 431 Facilitating Discussions and Teaching Children Social Studies - 3 credits
EDUC 414 Managing to Teach I - 1 credit EDUC 443 Teaching Students with Exceptionalities - 1 credit
EDUC 416 Teaching with Curriculum Materials - 1 credit  
EDUC 444 Digital Technologies K-8 - 1 credit  
12 credits 11 credits
MATH 385 (3 credits) is often taken this semester. Students will also often take EARTH 255 (3 credits). Students sometimes taken one of the following Creative Arts Methods courses: EDUC 427 (art) or MUSED 408 (music), each three credits. MATH 489 (3 credits) is often taken this semester. Students will also sometimes take PHYSICS 420 (3 credits). Students sometimes take PHYSED 255 (3 credits).

Year Two (Senior Year)

Fall (semester three) Winter (semester four)
EDUC 307 Practicum in Teaching Methods - 2 credits EDUC 301 Directed Teaching in the Elementary Grades - 12 credits
EDUC 392 Foundations of Education + Working with Families - 1 credit EDUC 303 Seminar: Problems and Principles of Elementary Education - 2 credits
EDUC 414 Managing to Teach III: Beginning the School Year - 1 credit EDUC 443 Teaching Students with Exceptionalities - 2 credits
EDUC 411 Teaching Elementary School Math - 2 credits EDUC 444 Teaching with Digital Technologies - 1 credit
EDUC 421 Teaching Elementary School Science - 2 credits  
8 credits 17 credits
Students often take EARTH 255, EDUC 427, or MUSED 408.
Total program credits = 48

The elementary program uses time flexibly to give you the best preparation for teaching. You will experience some classes that are roughly one month long, some that are roughly nine weeks long, and some that last the entire semester. 






Week 1

Children as Sensemakers I (science & language arts)

Educational Psychology

Teaching with Digital Technologies

Teaching with Curriculum Materials (science, math, social studies)

Managing to Teach I (Scarlett)

Foundations of Education + Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

Literacy I

Clinical practicum

Professional workshops & seminar 






Managing to Teach II (science & literacy) (Mitchell)

Children as Sensemakers II (math) (Mitchell/Scarlett)

Year 1 Assessment

Facilitating Discussions and Teaching Children Social Studies

Teaching Students with Exceptionalities 

Literacy II

Clinical practicum

Professional workshops & seminar






Foundations of Education + Working with Families

Teaching Elementary School Science

Managing to Teach III: Beginning the School Year (Mitchell)

Teaching Elementary School Math

Clinical practicum

Professional workshops & seminar






Clinical practicum

Professional workshops & seminar 

CaSM: Children as Sensemakers; M2T: Managing to Teach; TwCM: Teaching with Curriculum Materials; FCD: Facilitating Classroom Discussions; Y1/2A: program assessments; Mitchell: takes place at Mitchell Elementary; Scarlett: takes place at Scarlett Middle School

Being certified as a teacher in the state of Michigan and being a student in the teacher education program entails certain key requirements.

Criminal Background Check

Before you are eligible to begin the Teacher Education program you must take steps to satisfy criminal background check requirements for the School of Education and for the school district(s) in which you will be placed. You will receive detailed instructions from your program administrator about completing the criminal background check process.

Blood-Borne Pathogens Training

Before you begin the program, you are required to complete training to handle blood-borne pathogens. To complete the blood-borne pathogens training go to the Global Compliance Network website. For instructions on accessing the training module on the site and completing the training please see the blood-borne pathogens training instructions sheet. Training typically takes 30 minutes or less.

Licensure in Michigan

In addition to the requirements of our program, the State of Michigan has requirements with which you must comply in order to receive teacher certification. These requirements are applicable to all of the teacher certification programs within the state. These requirements include CPR (child and adult) and first aid training; and successful completion of the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Basic Skills test and relevant subject-area tests.

CPR & First Aid Training

Michigan Public Act 18 of 2003 requires all teaching interns to be certified in CPR (child and adult) and first aid prior to being recommended for teacher certification. The legislation stipulates that this training must be completed through the American Red Cross or American Heart Association.

Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC)

Subject Area Tests

The subject area tests should not be taken before your final year in the program. We strongly recommend that you wait until you have completed most or all of your major university-based coursework before attempting the subject area tests.

Dates and locations of the tests as well as registration information and practice tests are available on the MTTC website: www.mttc.nesinc.com.

Before being recommended to the state for teacher certification, you must take and pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification in Elementary Education. Additionally, elementary teaching interns who wish to teach in subject-specific classrooms in grades 6-8, must take and pass the MTTC test in their teaching major. The program strongly encourages elementary teacher candidates to take and pass the appropriate subject-area tests for their teaching major. So, as an elementary teaching intern, you can expect to take two MTTC tests while in our program.