What Are the Requirements for a Career in Elementary Education?

People interested in careers in elementary education need at least a bachelor's degree in education or teaching. This article fully explains the requirements for a career in elementary education. Schools offering Elementary Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Paths

The requirements for a career in elementary education vary by state. Most states offer both traditional and alternative routes for becoming an elementary school teacher.

Important Facts About This Degree

Online Availability Bachelor's degrees offered online; experience requirements may require on-site work
Degree Fields Elementary education, interdisciplinary studies, early childhood education
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent
Specializations Early childhood, English as a second language, special education, math, science, social studies

Traditional Path

The standard for a career in elementary education is a four-year bachelor's degree in the field. A bachelor's degree program in elementary education includes courses on basic subjects, such as mathematics, reading, history, social studies, and science. The programs also contain classes that discuss teaching methods, pedagogy, and educational philosophies.

After completing a bachelor's degree in elementary education, graduates would then need to take their state's teacher certification exam. The exam varies by state, but generally includes questions about elementary-level content and inquiries about teaching methods. Prospective teachers who want to specialize in particular elementary subjects, like reading or math, can take specific exams that target content and pedagogy for only those subjects.

Alternative Certification Requirements

Alternative certification programs (ACPs) are designed for working professionals who would like to become certified teachers. They instruct students on the pedagogy and education philosophy required for a career in elementary education or secondary education. ACPs require that students have a bachelor's degree in any field before being admitted into the program.

Graduates of ACPs must take the same certification tests as those with bachelor's degrees in elementary education. The only real difference is that ACP graduates often need to prepare more for their exams. This is largely because they may not have as much content knowledge or training on pedagogy as those with four-year degrees in elementary education do.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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