The University of Oklahoma College of Education's Elementary Education program is truly a hands-on experience for students. As soon as students are fully admitted to their major within the college, they begin spending time in classrooms. Undergraduate students complete four field experiences in rural, urban and suburban settings in a variety of local schools observing and tutoring children in basic skills.
This real-world education is coupled with what students learn in the classroom. The curriculum focuses on first grade through sixth grade (and possibly up to eighth grade) in social studies, science, language arts and math. Students study areas such as educational psychology, child development, pedagogy and teaching methodology. The curriculum for a Bachelor of Science degree with teaching certification is designed to be accomplished within four years, though this can vary depending on when the student enters the program as a fully admitted student to the college.
An Elementary Education student graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. A student could also pursue a Master of Education, a Doctor of Philosophy or a Doctor of Education degree. Students who obtain a master's degree may be certified as reading specialists.
Upon successful completion of the program, students are recommended for certification as elementary teachers (grades 1-8) which include the OSAT and PPAT. A few additional courses in a core content area (Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies) and passing the appropriate mid-level OSAT exam can lead to an additional endorsement to teach a specific subject in the middle school grades (6-8).
Elementary Education students typically have interests in working with and spending time with school-aged children and in working with others to achieve shared goals. High school preparation should include seeking opportunities in the community to work with children in both group and individual settings.