The primary mission of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is to admit qualified teacher candidates who are committed to academic excellence in order to be successful in general studies, professional studies, content teaching fields, field-clinical experiences, internship, and professional involvement with schools and communities. The department is committed to developing teacher candidates to reach their full potential of becoming successful teachers, administrators, and university professors capable of providing effective professional leadership roles at the local, state, national, and in the global community.
The goals of the Elementary and Secondary Education Teacher Education Program are for candidates to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the content and content-related pedagogy of the teaching field.
- Be able to organize a student-centered and democratic classroom.
- Apply principles of human growth and development and constructivist learning, and as a result of reflection, critical thinking, and sound reasoning; they adjust teaching methodologies to meet the needs of all students.
- Work with the community within and outside the school environment.
- Continue as lifelong learners who seek new knowledge and experiences.
- Engage in professional development and scholarly endeavors that enhance teaching, student learning, and the profession.
- To provide prospective teacher candidates with the required content knowledge, technological skills, dispositions, and pedagogical approaches for effective classroom instruction and student learning in the content areas of elementary education, mathematics education, general science education, and English language arts education.
- To provide prospective teacher candidates with field experiences in public and/or private schools in and beyond the State of Alabama, commencing with the freshman year with expanding experiences throughout the sophomore, junior, and senior years.
- To provide each prospective teacher candidate with a full semester teaching internship experience under the supervision of a certified clinical faculty in his/her academic discipline.
- To expose prospective teacher candidates to current educational research and products of research in teacher education.
- To prepare teacher candidates for graduate school with the appropriate content knowledge and pedagogical approaches to ensure their success in preparing for advanced academic degrees (masters, educational specialists, and doctoral) to enable them to serve as teachers, school counselors, administrators, university professors, and in other related areas.