M.S.Ed. in Elementary and Middle Level Education
Students may choose to specialize in elementary education (grades PreK-4) or middle level (grades 4-8 with content areas in literacy, math, science or social studies). Courses and field experiences weave together research, theory, and practice. Course assignments are integrated with fieldwork experiences so that students learn to take an inquiry stance toward their own teaching and to think deeply and critically about classroom practice.
The program requires full time study, beginning in early July and finishing the following May. In lieu of a master's thesis, students design a web-based portfolio addressing a critical issues that arises fro t heir teaching, supporting their arguments with artifacts fro their teaching experience.
ELEMENTARY EDUCATION (Grades Pre-4)
In the elementary eduction program, courses are designed to draw on current research and theoretical frameworks, as well as field experiences in urban settings. In the summer, students take a school and society course that focuses on the historical and sociological underpinnings of educational inequity and engages students in fieldwork, examining the structures and assets of an urban school community. In addition, students participate in an early childhood community field placement while taking courses in early childhood learning and development, children's literature, and a field seminar that draws together the importance of community and family contexts in early learning. A series of year-long modules beginning in the summer helps student teachers to engage the whole child through the incorporation of the arts, health and sexuality education, and the use of technology to support learning. Finally, during the summer student teachers begin their year-long course, Teaching Diverse Learners, which focuses on teaching special education students and English language learners.
Student teaching takes pace in both the fall and spring semesters. Students are paced with carefully selected mentor teachers and are clustered within schools. Each student teacher has a Penn Mentor (field supervisor), who visits weekly, observing and providing support, responds to reflective journals, and leads site meetings with the school teams.
During the fall, students take courses designed to develop their pedagogical skills in each of the following content areas: literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies, along with a field seminar that is designed to integrate theory with practice. In the spring, the focus is on curriculum, as students develop an integrated unit of study for their classes, and move on to the final section of the program where the focus is on practice, as the students assume full responsibility for their classroom teaching. Teacher inquiry and reflective practice are key elements of the program.
MIDDLE LEVEL EDUCATION (Grades 4-8)
Middle level student teachers will be fully integrated into the structure and course of study described above for the elementary program (grades PreK-4), developing a solid grounding in how children grow, develop, and learn, and how their families, communities and schools affect their engagement in learning. For middle level teachers, the fall segment of the child development course will focus on early adolescence. In the spring term, middle level teachers will take an advanced, upper-level teaching methods course in their content area (literacy, math, science or social studies) and the student teaching placement will take place in a middle level, content-specific classroom. Middle level teachers continue with the field seminar that will help them to integrate their field-based experiences with their university learning, and will culminate in the development of a web-based portfolio organized around their inquiry questions.
EDUC 560 Child Development: Preschool to Early Adolescence (continues into the fall)
EDUC 544 School and Society
EDUC 535 Literature for Children and Adolescents
EDUC 523 Social Studies Methods in Elementary/Middle Schools
EDUC 520 Literacy Methods in Elementary/Middle Schools
EDUC 521 Science Methods in Elementary/Middle Schools
EDUC 531 Mathematics Methods in Elementary/Middle Schools
EDUC 515 Field Seminar
EDUC 540 Teaching Diverse Learners
EDUC 555 Advanced Field Seminar
EDUC 540 Teaching Diverse Learners
EDUC 627 Middle Level: Advanced Teaching Methods Course (content specific)