This article talks about Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree programs in Elementary Education and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and certification and continuing education choices.
Master of Education (M.Ed.) Programs in Elementary Education
Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs in Elementary Education prepare individuals to teach specific subjects and manage a classroom. Some of these programs are specifically designed for licensed teachers while others prepare students for initial teaching certification.
These programs typically contain theoretical and practical coursework in subjects like learning techniques and curriculum development. Some schools offer different tracks according to a student’s experience level or interests. For example, individuals interested in research or earning a doctorate can prepare a thesis while those interested in teaching may take a comprehensive exam or complete a teaching experience.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold an undergraduate degree, often in the subject they wish to teach, or in education. Applicants may also be required to complete one or more standardized tests, such as the Miller Analogies Exam or the Graduate Record Examination, and have teaching experience and a valid teaching certificate.
Coursework includes theoretical courses that students can use to develop an effective learning setting for those with different learning abilities. There may also be practical coursework in specific topic areas or in methods of teaching individual subjects, such as reading and math. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:
•Students with disabilities
•Psychology of learning
•Teaching English language learners
•Technology for teaching
Program graduates may seek leadership or teaching positions. They may choose from possible job options such as:
•Elementary education administrator
•Elementary school teacher
•Elementary education specialist
Job and Wage Outlook
Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth of 12% has been predicted for elementary school teachers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $53,090. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, elementary, middle and high school principals are expected to see a slower job growth of six percent. In May 2012, the average annual wage for education administrators of elementary and secondary schools was $87,760.
Certification and Continuing Education Choices
Individuals who had not obtained teaching licensure before they entered a Master of Education (M.Ed.) program will need to satisfy state licensing norms to pursue careers as teachers. Each state may have its licensing standards including competency exams and background checks. Individuals seeking administrative positions may have to satisfy different licensing standards. While certifications are not typically a requirement, they may result in career advancement. Board certification in general education and specific subjects is available through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Other professional organizations offer additional certifications for administrators and teachers.
Program graduates who seek continuing education may enroll into Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs with elementary education specialization options and subsequently pursue post-secondary education or administrative positions.