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Foundations of Education

Studies in the foundations of education focus on the process of education itself. Continue reading to learn more about the undergraduate and graduate programs that can lead to an administrative, counseling or instructional position, as well as what to expect in terms of job growth and salary.

Is the Study of the Foundations of Education For Me?

Overview of the Field

If you decide to study the foundations of education, you'll have the chance to develop an in-depth understanding of the historical, social, and philosophical aspects of learning. In particular, you'll study the forces that have shaped education systems and policies across diverse cultures, and learn how to analyze their relevancy and effectiveness. Educational contexts will also be covered, including factors related to the environment, race, gender and class mobility.

Career Options

Career options for educators can be found in education administration, instructional coordination, school counseling and teaching. You might also be employed as a child care center director, education policymaker community organizer or youth worker. Additional education, experience or licensure might lead to a career in the juvenile justice system or social work.

Employment and Salary Information

Nationwide, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected an average increase in employment for elementary and middle school teachers, instructional coordinators and school counselors from 2012-2022. In the same 10-year period, a slower-than-average growth in employment was expected for high school teachers, as well as elementary, middle and high school principals. Between 2012 and 2022, openings for college and university professors were projected to increase by a faster-than-average rate.

As reported by the BLS in May 2013, kindergarten and elementary school teachers earned median annual salaries of $50,230 and $53,590 respectively. In the same month, middle and high school teachers had corresponding annual incomes of $53,940 and $55,360. As of May 2013, the median annual salary for an elementary or secondary school administrator was $88,380, while instructional coordinators and school counselors earned $60,610 and $53,600, respectively. In the same month, the BLS reported that college and university teachers who taught education courses had median annual incomes of $60,170, while postsecondary administrators earned $87,410 a year (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Work in Foundations of Education?

Undergraduate Programs

In an undergraduate education program, you may study a range of educational philosophies, beginning with the European classicists and including current academic trendsetters. You'll also learn how to conduct a research inquiry while taking classes in comparative education, curriculum theory and moral development. Internships and study abroad options can also be found in some programs. You'll need a state-issued license to teach in a public school, which typically includes completion of an approved teacher preparation program, a background check and a passing score on an exam.

Graduate Programs

A graduate degree in a relevant field of study, such as an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree or a Master of Social Work (MSW) is the usual requirement for obtaining a position as a school administrator or social worker. As an aspiring education administrator, you'll most likely need several years of experience in the field. Graduate areas of specialization can include topics in education research, technology and urban communities. You might also choose to concentrate on the history of American education and methodology.