Bachelor’s degree programs in elementary education feature a combination of classroom theories, pedagogy techniques, and general education knowledge with hands-on classroom instruction. Those that graduate from these programs will be prepared for entry-level jobs in private and public schools as well as state licensure.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Elementary Education
Prospective teachers enrolled in a bachelor’s program in elementary education are taught management and instructional techniques related to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. They’re trained to assess and evaluate typical child development, and they also delve into intervention strategies aimed at benefiting at-risk children.
They are also taught how to use computer-based and digital technology to serve instructional purposes. Completion of a supervised internship is typically expected of students, who can thereby gain classroom experience.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to meeting GPA standards. This is in addition to the passage of a basic skills test and direct submission of an application to the university or college to which admission is sought.
Coursework within elementary education bachelor’s degree programs usually covers a broad range in pedagogy techniques, social studies, math, science, and language arts. Classes related to child development, psychology, and school policy are also typically incorporated in curricula. Core coursework may include these topic areas:
•Children with disabilities
•Family and community relations
•Planning and assessment
Job and Wage Outlook
A job growth rate of 17% has been predicted for kindergarten and elementary school teachers over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). This growth is expected to be higher in inner cities and rural areas. In May 2012, elementary teachers brought home an average annual wage of $53,090 (BLS).
Continuing Education and Professional Certification Choices
Licensure is mandatory for public school teachers. While each state may have its own requirements, general requirements include passage of an exam, completion of a bachelor’s program, and a minimum number of hours related to teacher training.
Some states also require teachers to pursue continuing education by earning a master’s degree. Advanced studies in educational practice, theory, and research may be obtained through graduate programs in elementary education.