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What Kind of Degree Do You Need to be a Teacher?

Majors Overview February 22, 2013

Aspiring teachers who want to pursue teaching careers at the secondary, middle, kindergarten or elementary school level should seek admission to an approved teacher education bachelor degree program. Apart from acquiring basic educational qualification, aspiring public school teachers would also need to obtain licensure in their state before they are allowed to practice their profession.

Teachers Degree Requirements

An aspiring K-12 teacher can seek admission to a four-year undergraduate degree program in education to enter the profession. Prospective middle or secondary school teachers need to specialize in the subject they want to teach, such as English, biology, history, mathematics, or music. For instance, a prospective candidate who aspires to teach math would enroll into advanced courses in mathematics along with an educational course, such as implementation of technology into coursework. An aspiring elementary school teacher could seek admission to early childhood or elementary education degree program that focuses on imparting basic knowledge of educational psychology and education, while delivering instruction in all subjects included in grades K-8 coursework.

Program Coursework

Subject areas such as human development, multiculturalism, instructional strategies, and student assessment methods are included in the coursework relating to a bachelor degree program in education. Individual projects and group assignments are combined in the coursework required to be completed in classes that cover subject areas in communication principles and educational technology. Students enrolled in a majority of bachelor degree programs in education are usually required to complete some form of practical fieldwork, this is usually participation in an internship program at a school in the locality where the work completed by prospective teachers are supervised by a licensed teacher.

Licensure Requirements for Teachers

Licensure is a compulsory requirement for those aspiring to work in a public school, in the United States. While requirements differ from state to state, common prerequisites require aspiring teachers to complete a teacher education program, such as an undergraduate degree program in education and to pass a state-administered examination. Typically, licensure requirements also include supervised teaching experience that candidates usually gain through teaching internships. After licensure, teachers may have to maintain licensure by taking part in continuing education programs or periodic testing.

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