Pre-Kindergarten Through Sixth Grade Master's Level Licensure Program
The Elementary Education Program prepares candidates to teach students in grades PreK-6. Drawn from research and theories in child development, teaching, and learning, the course work and field experiences prepare teacher candidates to employ a cross disciplinary approach to instruction that reflects an understanding of the diverse nature of learners and their families.
The JMU elementary program seeks to foster in its candidates an empathic understanding of the ways that children are affected by social contexts and by the children's own abilities/disabilities; the knowledge and pedagogical skills to support each child's right to success; and belief in the value of each child. Our candidates are guided in:
- Critically challenging conventional wisdom and common practices to identify hidden assumptions and activities that constrain or privilege some at the expense of others.
- Learning to ask questions and developing an inquiring approach motivated by the desire to understand the world in its myriad complexities.
- Reflecting deeply on and constructing positive relationships with others.
- Expressing knowledge, skills, and attitudes in ways that communicate with others and provide a forum for the creative and academic expression of the profession and the self.
- Developing an appreciation for the global connection of all humanity and our interdependence on the finite, natural resources of the earth.
- Experiencing life among people whose social contexts are unlike the candidates' own to broaden and deepen respect for and sensitivity to various cultures and social contexts.
- Knowing and appreciating the process of human unfolding throughout the cycles of life from conception onward, particularly throughout the period of childhood.
The courses in the Elementary Education program are sequentially organized throughout the junior and senior years and continue in the graduate program. Field experiences are provided along with course work to enable candidates to apply their knowledge in a variety of settings. Candidates must be accepted in teacher education to begin the ELED course work.
Assessment occurs each semester, and performance is reviewed at the end of each semester. Candidates must demonstrate satisfactory performance before moving on to the next semester. Satisfactory performance includes a "C" or higher in all education course work and an overall 2.5 GPA, demonstration of professional behaviors, and acceptable performance in practica and on key assessments.
Candidates in this program must meet with the head of the Department of Early, Elementary and Reading Education to declare the minor in elementary education, be assigned a date to start the ELED courses, and be assigned an adviser in elementary education. A limited number of candidates can start the ELED course work each semester.
Candidates must apply to student teach in the fall before their graduate year. At that time, students must be fully accepted into teacher education, be admitted unconditionally to graduate school and have a 3.0 graduate GPA.