Elementary Education, K-6 or K-8 Certification

The Elementary Education major offers concentrations in K-6 and K-8 teacher certification, and prepares students for the New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE) elementary education teacher certification candidacy. The curriculum addresses both state and national standards and integrates theory and practice in a balance of coursework and field experiences.

The curriculum requirements for the K-6 certification are listed below. To be certified as an elementary teacher for grades K-8, candidates must complete a content concentration in a core subject area (mathematics, social studies, English language arts, or science), as defined by the most current NHDOE standards, and earn a passing grade on the middle school Praxis II exam for their chosen field.

Requirements for certification may change, subject to changes made by the NHDOE. Teacher candidates can find the latest NHDOE standards at education.nh.gov/index.htm.

Certification-only Option: Students may pursue K-6 and K-8 certification only following the same curriculum requirements below.

Use the Course Planning Matrix to see when Elementary Education courses will be offered.

Curriculum Requirements

  • 3
    Recognizing that social behavior occurs within an intercultural context, that include ethical components, students will develop the basic knowledge and foundations necessary to understand and influence social behavior in a diverse society. Texts, readings, and learning modules have been chosen and/or designed to facilitate the student?s ability to understand the nature of social behavior cross culturally.
  • 3
    Provides the pre-service elementary education classroom teacher with knowledge of theories of children's growth and development for the purpose of building capacity for developmentally appropriate decision-making ('habit of mind') throughout the career. Examines the characteristics and needs of children, and the multiple interacting influences and the interrelated domains of development - physical, cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic, and aesthetic. Reviews child development knowledge base, research, and theoretical perspectives. Introduces a multitude of means for assessing children's growth and development in schools, including, but not limited to: observation and record keeping, informal and formal classroom assessments, district-wide standardized test data, interviews with families and/or caregivers, children's self-assessment, and testing done to determine the presence or absence---and nature of---an "educationally handicapping condition", as defined by federal special education law. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Prepares pre-service elementary education professionals to design curricular units of study in the content areas. Familiarizes candidates with state and national standards for children's learning in the social studies, sciences, and health education, and the integration of the Common Core Standards into content-area instruction. Introduces a curriculum design model that utilizes the alignment of learning goals and assessments as the anchor for instructional practices. Students are required to design a content-rich unit of study for an elementary classroom. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Designed for both pre-service educators, as well as practicing teachers, the course introduces differentiation in the elementary classroom as a means to educational equity and excellence. Introduces cognitive frameworks of differentiation including student characteristics (readiness, interest, learning profile) and curricular elements (content, process, products). Examines the process of planning instruction and assessment that affords all children with access to learning. Considers the impact of differentiation applied to the learning environment, and supports teachers to ?unlearn? classroom management in favor of learning classroom leadership. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Introduces to pre-service elementary education professionals, and renews in practicing teachers, the values of inclusive education, and the belief that all children can learn. Provides basic information about special education laws and systems, and outlines the role of the classroom teacher in the identification, instruction, and evaluation of children with disabilities. Considers the current deficit-driven categorical framework for special education, and introduces the concept of neurodiversity in it's place. Supports candidates to understand and implement a menu of classroom supports and accommodations for children with and without disabilities, teachers, related service providers, and families, including but not limited to: Universal Design for Learning, assistive technology, educational specialists and related service providers, peer and adult supports, and social relationships. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Children today will grow up to be problem-solvers in the 21st century. Many of the problems they will solve do not yet exist, and the vast majority of solutions will depend upon one?s understanding and application of science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) practices. How do we help prepare elementary educators to facilitate the development of the creative and innovative skills in children necessary to be the problem solvers of the future? Using the problem-based learning (PBL) model, an approach that challenges children to learn through engagement in real world problems, this course will engage pre-service teachers and in-service teachers in developing understandings about the components of quality problem-based learning, as well as helping them devise ways to facilitate these learning strategies in their classrooms. Students will develop a PBL project that utilizes STEM skills, knowledge, and understanding - examining this approach through a "hands-on" and "minds-on" manner - guiding students through the experience, and through the reflection and dissection of that experience.
  • 3
    Prepares the pre-service elementary educators to teach mathematics to all children in K-8 public school settings. Teaches mathematical concepts and pedagogical skills via active engagement and self-reflection in learning concepts such as fractions, ratio and proportion, Geometry, and measurement. Familiarizes students with national and state math standards for elementary educators. Thoroughly examines the Common Core Standards in Mathematics for K-8 learners. Considers the developmentally appropriate use of technology in math education. Finally, considers the differentiation of "scripted curriculum" so that all children---regardless of their diverse learning needs----can access mathematical learning opportunities in the classroom. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    Provides the pre-service elementary education classroom teacher with the foundations and framework for designing and implementing literacy instruction, with an emphasis on curriculum, methods and materials for the primary grades. Introduces foundations of reading and writing instruction taught in the context of one another, and thoroughly examines the Common Core Standards for Language Arts for K-8 learners: literature, informational text, foundational skills, writing, speaking and listening, and language, including visual literacy and visual representation. Focuses on word study, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, core reading programs and stages of writing development in a balanced reading framework. Considers the differentiation of language arts instruction, assessment and environment so that all children---regardless of their diverse learning needs---can access language arts learning opportunities in the classroom. Requires ten (10) field hours of observation, teaching, or interview.
  • 3
    This course builds on the understanding, knowledge, and skills of EL 5700, with an emphasis on the teaching of reading. Utilizes research-based, evidence-based reading instruction of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, oral language, and writing through case studies and application of classroom instruction to implement culturally and developmentally appropriate reading and writing instruction for particular groups of children or an individual child, inclusive of all abilities. Includes Common Core Standards for Language Arts for K-8 learners cross-walked with student and practitioner assessments for effective multimodal literacies integration. Requires ten (10) hours of field observation, and/or teaching, and/or interview. Prerequisite: EL 5700.
  • 3
    This course is designed especially for mainstream teachers who want to know more about how to better meet the needs of English language learners (ELLs) in their classroom. It provides an in-depth examination of widely-used, evidence-based techniques for teaching non-native speakers of English within the mainstream classroom. In addition to an overview of current theories for teaching English language learners, the course foregrounds strategies and practical hands-on ways for engaging, teaching and assessing ELLs within the K-12 mainstream classroom. Participants gain a theoretical grounding as well as practice with scaffolding content for language learners, and developing individualized learner strategies. This course includes instruction in using CALLA, the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach, and SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol), with ELLs.
  • 3
    Practicum-based course introduces students to the value and practical application of incorporating the arts into educational, cultural, recreational, and human service settings. In addition to classroom lecture and discussion, a series of workshops with professional artists and teachers will allow students to observe a variety of teaching methods and philosophies. Basic skills and materials will be developed and discussed in creative drama, puppetry, music, theatre, poetry, art, and movement.
  • 3
    This course is designed to provide a background in qualitative classroom-based research. Students design a research project in which they find and frame a research question that they will investigate through interview, observations, participant observations and/or analysis of artifacts. They will write up and present the results of this limited study.
  • 3
    Understanding the Imagination, Creativity and Innovation Continuum and its place in education and the work place, plays an increasingly important role in the success of learner and workers in our society. The ability to imagine or to conceive of something new, leading to the creation of new realities and possibilities that advance current practice in our classrooms, businesses and organizations in new and innovative ways is an essential skill set needed in the 21st century. Whether in a classroom of learners, a non-profit organization or the boardroom of a major corporation, imagination, creativity and innovation are an essential component of success, leading to increased engagement, ownership and vision in all that human beings touch. This course is an exploration of the important role imagination, creativity and innovation play in our everyday lives, seeking to demystify and honor the creative process, unlocking the power of possibility in each one of us.
  • 6
    This culminating field-based teaching experience for elementary certification candidates affords the candidate with an opportunity to apply theory to practice, and to build upon the dispositions, understandings, knowledge and skills developed thus far in the program. The successful candidate does not leave the experience knowing fully "how to teach", but instead has a strong and balanced practice, and knows how to learn to teach---an important distinction given the dynamic nature of the field, and of our times. The successful candidate will demonstrate competence in all state and national initial teacher certification standards for elementary education professionals. Candidates will work with a University supervisor and field-based mentor teacher to determine a schedule for the experience that includes observation, co-teaching, and solo teaching. Four (4) observations will be conducted by the University supervisor. The mentor teacher provides daily feedback. Both will complete formal midterm and final evaluations of candidate's teaching. Participation in an online seminar is required of all teaching interns. There are three (3) options for scheduling 300 hours of the teaching internship experience: 1. a focused 300 hour (12 weeks) full-time public school placement approved by the Office of Educator Preparation. 2. a part-time (minimum 2 days per week) public school placement totaling 300 hours approved by the Office of Educator Preparation. 3. 300 hours integrated into the work responsibilities of an employed elementary education paraprofessional or professional, per approval of the employing school district and the Office of Educator Preparation. Candidates must submit passing Praxis II: Elementary/Multiple Subjects Scores to the University prior to registration.
  • Total for MEd in Elementary Education, K–6 Certification – 45 credits

*Both passing PRAXIS II: Elementary Education/Multiple Subjects test scores and passing NH Foundations of Reading scores must be submitted to PSU prior to registration (see Office of Educator Preparation for required timeline).

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