Magazine article National Forum

The Preparation of Elementary School Teachers

Magazine article National Forum

The Preparation of Elementary School Teachers

Article excerpt

The liberal education curriculum should not replace the subject matter or teaching field component of the teacher education program. Elementary education students also should be required to have an interdisciplinary academic major consisting of at least thirty-six semester hours that includes work in the subjects most frequently taught in the elementary school: English/language arts, physical/biological/earth sciences, mathematics, fine arts, humanities, physical/health education, social sciences, and reading. These subjects should be integrated in methods courses and subject matter courses to increase their relevancy for prospective elementary teachers.

Traditionally, education at all levels has been compartmentalized and departmentalized beginning in the first grade and extending through college. The predominant curriculum is a grouping of subjects or disciplines clumped together as a series of distinct and sometimes disparate courses. As a result, students are rarely taught the interrelatedness of the various disciplines. Because elementary teacher education students are products of this same type of education, the system and the process are perpetuated. …

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