Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Elementary Education Program Areas of Study

The Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation Elementary Education program is a competency-based program that enables teacher candidates to earn a K-8 teaching certificate online (except for the in-classroom component demonstration teaching, and in-classroom field experiences prior to demonstration teaching). This program consists of three balanced areas of study, performance- and competency-based assessments, and the creation of a professional portfolio. The program also includes an early field experience and a supervised teaching practicum in a real classroom and thus prepares students for initial teacher licensure.

Foundations of Teaching

Foundational Perspectives of Education
This course provides an introduction to the historical, legal, and philosophical foundations of education. Current educational trends, reform movements, major federal and state laws, legal and ethical responsibilities, and an overview of standards-based curriculum are the focus of the course. The course of study presents a discussion of changes and challenges in contemporary education. It covers the diversity found in American schools, introduces emerging educational technology trends, and provides an overview of contemporary topics in education.

Instructional Planning and Presentation

Instructional Planning and Presentation for Elementary Education
Instructional Planning and Presentation assists students as they continue to build instructional planning skills. Topics include unit and lesson planning, instructional presentation strategies, assessment, engagement, integration of learning across the curriculum, effective grouping strategies, technology in the classroom, and using data to inform instruction.

Psychology for Educators
This course prepares candidates to meet the expectations of society and prepares future educators to support classroom practice with research-validated concepts. The course helps future educators to create a framework for refining teaching skills that are focused on the learner, through engaged inquiry of integrating theory, critical issues in psychology, classroom applications with diverse populations, assessment, educational technology, and reflective teaching.

Fundamentals of Diversity, Inclusion, and Exceptional Learners
Students will learn the history of inclusion and develop practical strategies for modifying instruction, in accordance with legal expectations, to meet the needs of a diverse population of learners. This population includes learners with disabilities, gifted and talented learners, culturally diverse learners, and English language learners.

Classroom Management, Engagement, and Motivation
Students will learn the foundations for effective classroom management as well as strategies for creating a safe, positive learning environment for all learners. Students will be introduced to systems that promote student self-awareness, self-management, self-efficacy, and self-esteem.

Educational Assessment
Educational Assessment assists students in making appropriate data-driven instructional decisions by exploring key concepts relevant to the administration, scoring, and interpretation of classroom assessments. Topics include ethical assessment practices, designing assessments, aligning assessments, and utilizing technology for assessment.

Mathematics Content

Mathematics for Elementary Educators
Mathematics for Elementary Educators III engages pre-service elementary teachers in mathematical practices based on deep understanding of underlying concepts. The course covers important topics in statistics, measurement, and covers geometry from synthetic, transformational, and coordinate perspectives. This is the third course in a three-course sequence.

Instructional Planning and Presentation

Instructional Planning and Presentation in Elementary Education
Instructional Planning and Presentation assists students as they continue to build instructional planning skills. Topics include unit and lesson planning, instructional presentation strategies, assessment, engagement, integration of learning across the curriculum, effective grouping strategies, technology in the classroom, and using data to inform instruction.

Elementary Education Methods

Elementary Reading Methods and Interventions
Elementary Reading Methods and Interventions provides students seeking initial teacher licensure in elementary education with an in-depth look at best practices for developing the reading and writing skills of all students. Course content examines the stages of literacy development, the balanced literacy approach, differentiation, technology integration, literacy-assessment, and the comprehensive Response to Intervention (RTI) model used to identify and address the needs of learners who struggle with reading comprehension. This course has no prerequisites.

Language Arts Instruction and Intervention
Language Arts Instruction and Intervention helps students learn how to implement effective language arts instruction and intervention in the elementary classroom. Topics include written and spoken English, expanding students' knowledge, literature rich environments, differentiated instruction, technology for reading and writing, assessment strategies for reading and writing, and strategies for developing academic language.

Elementary Science Methods
Elementary Science Methods helps students learn how to implement effective science instruction in the elementary classroom. Topics include processes of science, science inquiry, science learning environments, instructional strategies for science, differentiated instruction for science, assessing science understanding, technology for science instruction, standards based science instruction, integrating science across curriculum, and science beyond the classroom.

Elementary Mathematics Methods
Elementary Mathematics Methods helps students learn how to implement effective math instruction in the elementary classroom. Topics include differentiated math instruction, mathematical communication, mathematical tools for instruction, assessing math understanding, integrating math across the curriculum, critical thinking development, standards based math instruction, and mathematical models and representation.

Application of Elementary Social Studies Methods
Application of Elementary Social Studies Methods helps students learn how to implement effective social studies instruction in the elementary classroom. Topics include social studies themes, promoting cultural diversity, integrated social studies across the curriculum, social studies learning environments, assessing social studies understanding, differentiated instruction for social studies, technology for social studies instruction, and standards-based social studies instruction. This course helps students to apply, analyze, and reflect on effective elementary social studies instruction.

Application of Elementary Visual and Performing Arts Methods
Application of Elementary Visual and Performing Arts Methods helps students learn how to implement effective visual and performing arts instruction in the elementary classroom. Topics include integrating arts across the curriculum, music education, visual arts, dance and movement, dramatic arts, differentiated instruction for visual and performing arts, and promoting cultural diversity through visual and performing arts instruction. This course helps students to apply, analyze, and reflect on effective elementary visual and performing arts instruction.

Application of Elementary Physical Education and Health Methods
Applications of Elementary Physical Education and Health Methods helps students learn how to implement effective physical and health education instruction in the elementary classroom. Topics include healthy lifestyles, student safety, student nutrition, physical education, differentiated instruction for physical and health education, physical education across the curriculum, and public policy in health and physical education. This course helps students to apply, analyze, and reflect on effective elementary visual and performing arts instruction.

Effective Teaching Practices

Elementary Disciplinary Literacy
Elementary Disciplinary Literacy examines teaching strategies designed to help learners in grades K–6 develop the literacy skills necessary to read, write, and think critically while engaging content in different academic disciplines. Course content highlights strategies to help learners distinguish between the unique characteristics of informational texts while improving comprehension and writing proficiency across the curriculum. Strategies to encourage inquiry and cultivate skills in critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity also are addressed. This course has no prerequisites.

Preclinical Experiences

Preclinical Experiences in Elementary Education
Preclinical Experiences in Elementary Education provides students the opportunity to observe and participate in a wide range of in-classroom teaching experiences in order to develop the skills and confidence necessary to be an effective teacher. Students will reflect on and document at least 75 hours of in-classroom observations. Prior to entering the classroom for the observations, students will be required to meet several requirements including a cleared background check, passing scores on the state or WGU required basic skills exam and a completed resume.

Demonstration Teaching

Supervised Demonstration Teaching in Elementary Education
Supervised Demonstration Teaching in Elementary Education involves a series of classroom performance observations by the host teacher and clinical supervisor that develop comprehensive performance data about the teacher candidate’s skills.

Teacher Performance Assessment in Elementary Education
The Teacher Performance Assessment is a culmination of the wide variety of skills learned during your time in the Teachers College at WGU. In order to be a competent and independent classroom teacher, you will showcase a collection of your content, planning, instructional, and reflective skills in this professional assessment.

Professional Portfolio
You will create an online teaching portfolio that includes professional artifacts (e.g. resume and Philosophy of Teaching Statement) that demonstrate the skills you have acquired throughout your Demonstration Teaching experience.

Cohort Seminar
Cohort Seminar provides mentoring and supports teacher candidates during their demonstration teaching period by providing weekly collaboration and instruction related to the demonstration teaching experience. It facilitates their demonstration of competence in becoming reflective practitioners, adhering to ethical standards, practicing inclusion in a diverse classroom, exploring community resources, building collegial and collaborative relationships with teachers, and considering leadership and supervisory skills.

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