Department Chair: Assistant Professor Monica McEnerny
The Education Department offers both graduate and undergraduate programs. The undergraduate program leads to licensure in Elementary Education or Secondary Education. All students may also add a Special Education Endorsement and a Middle Grades Endorsement.
The department has a long-standing commitment to the liberal education of teachers. The undergraduate program complements and integrates the liberal arts and sciences with a professional course sequence; all undergraduates wishing to become teachers must complete a liberal arts or science major as well as complete the requirements for one of the education licensure sequences. In addition, each student choosing to become a teacher is responsible for developing a portfolio. The portfolio is built during all semesters of the undergraduate experience. It will demonstrate individual learning and growth as well as how individual course work and field experiences work together to foster proficiency in meeting Vermont State regulations and standards.
Students interested in teaching art must choose Elementary or Secondary licensure. Students interested in teaching Spanish must choose Secondary licensure. In consultation with a liberal arts advisor in Art or Spanish and an Education advisor, you will have the opportunity to plan a major course of study that is designed to provide you with the content knowledge needed in teaching Art or teaching Spanish as a second language.
The Education Department faculty hold high expectations for their students. As a result of the teacher education program, students are expected to meet a variety of goals: an ability to demonstrate knowledge of teaching and learning processes, classroom planning and management strategies, working effectively with all students in inclusive classrooms, and appropriate assessment procedures. As a result of the liberal arts major and core requirements, students will also be expected to demonstrate depth of understanding in the liberal arts and sciences of their choosing.
Courses within the department and field experiences in the local schools focus on the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to be successful in the contemporary school system. Classroom discussions and interactions among students foster group problem solving and individual reflection. Beyond the classroom, the department fosters a supportive and reflective climate through advising and sponsorship of student organizations.
Field clinical experiences are those in which the student becomes involved in a collaborative relationship in a school and/or community environment. They are an integral part of all programs. In the schools the student is expected to develop and play a variety of important roles: observer, helper, tutor, and ultimately teacher. The role becomes more complex as students advance in their program, which culminates in a semester long student teaching experience. A minimum of 80 scheduled hours of field experience is required prior to student teaching.
Teaching in the elementary and secondary schools requires a strong liberal arts background. At Castleton, students can develop their knowledge of the liberal arts disciplines through the general education requirements that pertain to all programs. In addition,elementary education majors must either possess or develop strong content knowledge across the four critical liberal arts areas addressed in the elementary classroom: English, history/social studies, mathematics, and science.
The Education Department collaborates with liberal arts and local K-12 faculty to offer an innovative program for prospective teachers. Opportunities for deep study in education occur early in the students' educational career as they are introduced to pedagogical practice and theory, as well as to the electronic Portfolio process that they will use throughout their program to record and assess their progress toward the goal of achieving teacher licensure.
Along the way, gateways will be used to assess teacher candidate progress through the program.
In their final year, students hone their pedagogical expertise through previously acquired content knowledge with extended opportunities both to work in local schools with teachers and to meet and discuss theory and practice in site-based seminars. Students will take EDU 4031 - Educational Collaborations in the semester before they undertake student teaching. This course will broaden and deepen the prospective teacher's understanding of teaching philosophies, theories, and practices. Prospective teachers will reconsider their curriculum thus far while they work:
- to extend their knowledge in the areas of literacy, learning theory, and inclusion; curriculum, instruction, and assessment; diversity, social justice, and service learning;
- to extend their skills, including reflection, inquiry, and action research; collaboration within the wider school community; classroom leadership; and c) to strengthen the professional dispositions required of excellent teachers. Prospective teachers will continue to work on their electronic portfolios, practice reflective and analytical writing, and heighten their commitment to the enterprise of teaching and learning. Students should expect to spend 180 hours in the field and an additional 120 hours in university classrooms.
During the final semester, interns registered for EDU 4871 and EDU 4872 will work full time in the local school setting with a mentor teacher alongside of colleagues from their Education and Liberal Arts program. EDU 4720 , the Student Teaching Seminar will provide interns with a weekly opportunity to debrief that work as well as progress toward successful passage through the final gateway, licensure. In addition to the requirements for state licensure, students must earn a "meets standards" on the portfolio.
To be recommended for licensure the student must:
- Complete all university and departmental course requirements.
- Pass Both the Core Academic Skills Test for Educators and Praxis Subject Assessments test.
- Exemplify in conduct and attitude the maturity, judgment, ethical standards, and dedication expected in the teaching profession.
- Receive a grade of "B" or better in EDU 4871 , EDU 4872 and a "Pass in EDU 4720 .
- Complete all coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.0 in Education courses.
- Submit Licensure Portfolio and appropriate application materials for review by the Castleton Licensure Committee.
NOTE: A student may be advised to discontinue the student teaching experience at any time, if, in the professional judgment of the university supervisor, the Education Department chair, the cooperating teacher, and the Education/Liberal Arts faculty, the student does not possess the attitudes and competencies noted above.
For more information please visit our website at www.castleton.edu/education