Elementary Teacher Education
Degree: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science
Elementary teaching is a challenging profession. Elementary teachers are required to teach numerous subjects every week (including academic subjects like reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies, and perhaps subjects like media or computer literacy, visual arts, music, physical education, and others). Elementary teachers must attend to the social, personal, and physical needs of their students, as well as to their academic and intellectual needs. And, unlike professionals in many caring professions, they must work with a group of many individuals all at once—sometimes up to 30 or 35 children at a time, in increasingly diverse schools. The elementary teacher education program at the University of Michigan is a practice-based program in which teaching interns—which is the term we use for prospective teachers—learn to engage in high-leverage teaching practices in ways that reflect both a "subject-matter serious" perspective as well as an ethical orientation to the work of teaching. Thus, the program is centered on teaching practice, content knowledge for teaching, and a set of ethical obligations. The program aims to support interns to be well-started beginning elementary teachers able to engage in teaching that meets the needs of all of their students.
As a prospective teacher in the undergraduate elementary program, you will be part of an intense four-term program. Students typically begin the program during their junior year. The program is structured so that, each semester, you participate in both academic and professional coursework while working in an elementary classroom. Experiences within each term are complementary; the work in one school setting or in one course complements the work in another school setting or course. Your knowledge and confidence will grow in successive terms, as coursework and fieldwork build upon and expand what you have already learned.
The undergraduate elementary teacher education program prepares you to teach in:
- Elementary K-5 all subjects (K-8 All Subjects Self-Contained Classroom)
- Grades 6 through 8, in subject-specific classrooms, if state-mandated tests in the teaching major is passed.
With successful completion of the program, you will earn a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree in education and will be recommended to the State of Michigan for elementary teacher certification.
Already have a bachelor's degree? You can earn a second bachelor's degree and our recommendation to the state for your teacher certification! Up to 94 credits from your previous bachelor's degree may be eligible for transfer, enabling you to complete the program in just two years.
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