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What Courses Do You Take When Earning a BS in Elementary Education?
Are you hoping to become a teacher in an elementary school? If so, you probably know that all 50 states require at least a bachelor’s degree for teacher licensure. While some states are flexible on what type of bachelor’s degree you need, many require you to have completed a course of study focused on education. That’s why, if you want to be a kindergarten teacher or an elementary school teacher, you should seriously consider earning a BS in Elementary Education.
A BS in Elementary Education is a bachelor’s-level education degree focused on the knowledge and teaching strategies needed to succeed in the classroom. Some BS in Elementary Education programs, like the one offered at Walden University, even feature a curriculum designed to prepare you for teacher certification.
But what does that curriculum look like? Here’s an overview of what you can expect.
General Education Courses
As with nearly all bachelor’s degree programs, a BS in Elementary Education program will require you to take general education courses in a range of subjects. These courses are intended to provide you with foundational knowledge and elevate your critical thinking abilities. Generally, you’ll complete several courses in each of the following subjects:
- Written and oral communication
- Arts/humanities (including classes in literature and fine or performing arts)
- Mathematics/natural sciences (including higher-level math, like statistics, and at least one science lab)
- Social sciences (including classes in world history and multicultural, ethnic, linguistic, global, or religious studies)
As you work to complete all of your general education requirements, you’ll also be taking courses specifically for elementary education students. In most programs, you’ll be expected to complete a series of lower-level courses before you can proceed to higher-level courses. These lower-level courses focus on subjects that future kindergarten and elementary school teachers need to learn in order to succeed in their field. They typically include:
- Child Development: An examination of the prevailing philosophies and theories of child development
- Concepts of Health Promotion: An exploration of the factors that influence health and the evidence-based methodologies for promoting better health
- American Government and Politics: An examination of the American government and the roles of government branches and the American citizenry
You will move on to these after you complete your lower-level courses. These are your “teaching degree” courses that prepare you for the tasks and challenges of an elementary school classroom. Some of the higher-level courses you are likely to take include:
- Child Development, Motivation, and Learning: An exploration of the social, physical, emotional, and intellectual growth of children as related to learning and the motivation to learn
- Effective Practices: Planning, Instruction, and Assessment: An examination of the effective practices for elementary education and the challenges of the modern classroom
- Community-Building for Effective Classroom Management: An exploration of the strategies for fostering a sense of community in the classroom and developing positive relationships with and among students
- Exploring Dimensions of Literacy K–6: An in-depth study of early literacy development and the strategies for helping students learn to read and develop vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, writing skills, content-area literacy, and media literacy
- Social Studies and the Arts K–6: Instruction and Assessment: An in-depth study of teaching strategies designed to educate students on social studies and the arts, and help them become effective citizens of a democratic and culturally diverse society
- Mathematics K–6: Instruction and Assessment: An in-depth study of the conceptual understanding, procedural skills, and application of knowledge needed to help students acquire mathematical skills
- Science K–6: Instruction and Assessment: An in-depth study of the ways to use developmentally appropriate strategies to promote modes of inquiry and analytical skills in science education
The final step in earning a BS in Elementary Education—and an important step in qualifying for teacher certification in most states—is to spend time in an actual classroom. Typically, your program will place you in a local elementary school classroom, where you will gradually assume complete teaching responsibility and take full control of the classroom for four weeks during a 12-week placement.
How Can You Earn Your BS in Elementary Education?
Earning an education degree takes time and commitment—a reality that can make completing a bachelor’s in Elementary Education challenging if you work full time or have family responsibilities. But, thanks to online learning, earning a bachelor’s degree is more possible than ever for busy adults like you.
When you choose to earn a BS in Elementary Education online, you’ll be able to complete the majority of your coursework from home or anywhere else you have internet access. Plus, online bachelor’s programs offer flexible scheduling, giving you the power to attend class at whatever time of day works best for your life.
For your demonstration teaching experience, online education institutions like Walden University will help you find placement at an elementary school in your community. Such conveniences are why so many working adults are turning to online teaching degrees. They’re a great way to gain the knowledge you need to become a certified teacher.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a BS in Elementary Education (Teacher Licensure) degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.
Note on Licensure
Walden University is approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching to offer the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education that leads to Minnesota licensure in elementary education (K–6). However, before Walden can recommend a candidate for teacher licensure, the candidate must also pass the required exams for Minnesota licensure adopted by the Minnesota Board of Teaching, undergo a Minnesota background check, and complete any other Minnesota Board of Teaching requirements beyond completion of Walden’s state-approved teacher preparation program.
Individuals interested in pursuing teacher licensure in states other than Minnesota may qualify for a comparable license by virtue of completing the Walden Minnesota-approved teacher preparation program; however, individuals must review their state’s teacher licensing regulations to ensure the program meets all requirements, paying particular attention to any requirements specific to out-of-state program completers. Prospective students seeking to be licensed in states other than Minnesota must research their state licensure requirements to determine (1) if they are required to complete a state-approved licensure program, and (2) if there are any other requirements that apply, especially requirements pertaining to programs provided by out-of-state (except Minnesota) or online institutions.
Individuals enrolling internationally must be supervised by a teacher with a valid U.S. state teaching license, in a school that follows a U.S.-based curriculum at the appropriate grade level for the license. Prospective students must check that the program is accepted for teaching credential in the state they intend to apply for licensure.
Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide general information on state licensure; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with all licensure requirements in the state they wish to teach. Walden makes no representation or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure or endorsement.
Walden offers both state-approved educator licensure programs as well as programs and courses that do not lead to licensure or endorsements. Prospective students must review their state licensure requirements prior to enrolling. For more information, please refer to www.WaldenU.edu/educlicensure.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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