Child and Family Contexts Concentration
This concentration provides exposure to various teaching and learning methods, while focusing on the larger contexts of schools, families, and society.
Schools, families, and society interact in many ways that affect student learning and success. Students will receive extensive grounding in teaching methods for a wide range of academic subjects and will also gain insights into the important roles that families and societal conditions have on schools and learners.
Educational Studies (a non-licensure major)
The educational studies major at Saint Mary's University provides opportunities for students to study education theory and examine the processes involved in teaching and learning. The program emphasizes the study of social and cultural factors that affect education institutions and the ways education processes are used in other settings. Students completing this major will connect education coursework to social advocacy by choosing a concentration in adult education contexts; child and family contexts; religious education; or youth development and leadership.
Many occupations in the areas of human services, psychology, sociology and theology include a need to understand education. The educational studies major prepares students to work in fields related to social and behavioral science, to pursue employment in the area of educational policy, to do graduate study in Education or a related field, and to enter the teaching profession in settings that do not require state licensure. (These include adult basic or adult ELL education, community education, environmental or outdoor education, Head Start, long-term volunteering, Montessori or Waldorf training, museum education, religious education and youth leadership.) The major is also appropriate for students whose special interest in law or business requires a deep understanding of educational issues.
Although the educational studies major does not lead to teacher licensure, it is possible to "cross over" during the undergraduate program from this major into an education major that does lead to certification. The major is also designed to support students who may be interested in pursuing a teacher licensure program at a later date. One way this can be accomplished is through an undergraduate completion program. Students following this path are encouraged to meet with School of Education advisors early in their course of study to identify which courses meet undergraduate general education requirements and also are needed for teacher licensure.
The educational studies major is a creative partnership between the departments of education, social science and theology based on their shared dedication to preparing undergraduates to provide educational services in diverse and rapidly changing settings. Guided by Saint Mary's mission, this major prepares students to make ethical decisions and to be effective advocates for those who are vulnerable in society. Each student declaring the educational studies major will have two academic advisors – one in education, and a second in social science (for concentrations in adult education contexts, child and family contexts or youth development and leadership) or in theology (for the religious education concentration).
- Adult education contexts (e.g., behavioral and mental health, recreation or program development)
- Child and family contexts (e.g., school readiness and developmental intervention programs)
- Religious education (e.g., schools, parishes and curriculum development)
- Youth development and leadership (e.g., behavioral and mental health, mentoring and recreation)
A. Educational Studies Core
This course provides a general introduction to human relations, cultural diversity and Indian cultures as these concepts relate to teaching and learning in the K–12 classroom. Emphasis is placed on providing the students with additional knowledge, expertise or skills in creating a classroom learning climate conducive to supporting differences in cultural, ethnic, racial and gender backgrounds. Special emphasis is placed on gaining an understanding of Minnesota and Wisconsin Indian cultures.
In this course, the concept of learning is examined through the cognitive, social-emotional, moral and physical developmental stages of learners. Principles of teaching and learning are developed in the context of learning theory, teacher effectiveness, learner differences, and building a positive classroom climate. Students engage in the central question: What do highly effective teacher leaders know, think and do with respect to learning, development, and learner differences? Students also participate in a significant clinical experience.
This course is designed to prepare future teachers to utilize 21st century technology tools in and out of the classroom to improve student-learning opportunities. Pre-service teachers will learn how to engage with current technologies for instruction, identify multi-media tools to support student learning, and become familiar with tools of technology that can be used to communicate effectively with parents and students. An electronic portfolio will be used to demonstrate learning.
General Psychology provides an overview of the methods, fundamental principles, and major perspectives which define the discipline of psychology. Intrapersonal and/ or interpersonal psychological processes involved in the biological basis of behavior, sleeping and dreaming, conditioning and learning, cognition, lifespan human development, abnormal psychology, and psychological treatment. Classical and contemporary research and perspectives including the biological, cognitive, behavioral, psychodynamic, humanistic, sociocultural and evolutionary perspectives are explored. Students are actively involved through application, interactive exercises, simulations, and projects.
B. All of the following:
The initial focus of this course emphasizes historical, philosophical, and sociological foundations of education. Students examine connections between theory and practice on topics within these contexts. Topics include today's students, teachers, school, teacher effectiveness, current issues, school reform, and professionalism. A second focus of the course is an extensive field experience where students observe and participate in elementary, middle, and secondary classrooms. Throughout the course an emphasis is placed on developing skills in human resources and the use of reflective practice in teaching.
This course is a general introduction to the effects of substance abuse and provides basic familiarization with chemical and public health education programs in the school and community. The course is designed to meet the Minnesota statue for obtaining a teaching license.
This course emphasizes further work in kindergarten, elementary and middle level philosophy, curriculum and instructional strategies. An emphasis is placed on the integration of music into various curriculum areas to meet the needs of diverse learners. Students are actively engaged in: 1) understanding the creative developmental characteristics of children and adolescents; 2) designing and teaching appropriate lessons; 3) musical production; 4) using music as an alternative assessment tool; and 5) the reflection process as a means of professional development. The pre-service teacher is expected to demonstrate professional dispositions of a principled and purposeful instructional decision-maker.
This course is designed to help pre-service teachers develop knowledge, methods, and evaluative tools to become competent in teaching science in kindergarten through eighth grade. Students learn how to plan science programs, to choose from a range of effective teaching techniques, and to evaluate student learning using current informal and formal assessment practices (using science content standards for primary, intermediate, and middle school). Topics include lesson and unit planning, the Minnesota content standards, national standards, and questioning skills.
This course is designed to help pre-service teachers develop knowledge, methods, and evaluative tools to become competent in teaching social studies in kindergarten through eighth grade. Students learn how to plan social studies programs, to choose from a range of effective teaching techniques, and to evaluate student learning using current informal and formal assessment practices (using science content standards for primary, intermediate, and middle school). Topics include lesson and unit planning, the Minnesota content standards, national standards, questioning skills, and sample activities in each strand of social studies.
This course emphasizes further work in kindergarten, elementary and middle level philosophy, curriculum and instructional strategies. An emphasis is placed on the integration of art into various curriculum areas to meet the needs of diverse learners. Students are actively engaged in: 1) understanding the creative developmental characteristics of children and adolescents; 2) designing and teaching appropriate lessons; 3) artistic production; 4) using art as an alternative assessment tool; and 5) the reflection process as a means of professional development. The pre-service teacher is expected to demonstrate professional dispositions of a principled and purposeful instructional decision-maker.
This course emphasizes the math concepts and skills taught in childhood and early adolescence settings and the instructional methods that enable students to learn those concepts. National and state standards are studied in relation to math instruction in kindergarten through eighth grade. Students also learn to prepare lesson plans and performance assessments using the state and national math standards for primary, intermediate, and middle school.
Students participate in constructivist learning experiences to master the knowledge, dispositions, and skills needed to teach literacy from kindergarten through middle school, with a focus on phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. National, state, and Common Core standards and curriculum guides are used to develop appropriate teaching plans for primary, intermediate, and middle school students. Students master lesson planning and performance assessments using the literacy content standards. Field experiences augment classroom readings, discussion and activities of developmental stages of listening, speaking, reading and writing in children.
This course presents learning activities and methodologies for teaching children/early adolescents health, physical education, and outdoor education. The pre-service teacher is expected to demonstrate professional dispositions of a principled and purposeful instructional decision-maker.
The purpose of this course is to help students understand and apply assessment theory to real-world situations. Appropriate practices for the construction, analysis, and interpretation of teacher-made and standardized assessment instruments are examined. Methods of monitoring student progress, evaluating student work and grading are practiced through a variety of student activities.
This course provides pre-service teachers with philosophy, organizational structure, and methods central to middle level education. Particular emphasis is placed upon interdisciplinary planning, team teaching, student advising, and cooperative and exploratory learning. An emphasis is placed on developmentally appropriate practices and addressing diverse needs of learners.
This course focuses on the concept of youth in contemporary society in terms of their behaviors, roles, experiences, and treatment. It does so within the context of the evolution and structural development of two major social institutions: the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The course uses a sociological framework to emphasize the social, economic, and political realities of childhood in American society.
A comprehensive study of the family and associated institutions, theories and research in American family structure and function, cross-cultural comparisons, family interaction dynamics, disorganization, and change is included.