Field of Study: Education, General
Programs in education, general, teach people the theories of learning and teaching. Students learn how to plan a curriculum. Students also learn about school safety and health. They also select a subject of interest (i.e., math, English, to name a few) to learn in order to teach students at the K-12 level.
What is the best way to teach children and teenagers? Should they be told what to do and when to do it, or should they be allowed to make their own choices? What about blending the two techniques? In addition, in an age where many schools are facing budget problems, how can you make sure your students are getting the best education when funds aren't available for things like field trips and electives? These are a few of the questions you'll tackle when studying to be a teacher.
In programs in education, general, you take courses about educational systems, including public, private, and charter schools. You learn how to plan classes and how to evaluate student progress. You study human development and child psychology. You also learn different theories on how children learn and the best ways to teach them.
You use this information to learn about planning courses and designing teaching materials. And through student teaching, you get to apply the information that you've learned and try out ideas that you've developed.
The program doesn't stop there. You also learn about the specific subjects you wish to teach. For example, if you want to teach history and social studies, you take several history courses. You learn about the major historical developments in the U.S. and abroad.
History is just one example. You may wish to teach math, English, a second language, art, dance, business, or agriculture. This is not an exhaustive list, so make sure to look at several schools to see if there is a match for your interests. If you want to teach sociology at a high school, programs are out there.
In most cases, you earn a bachelor's degree in your chosen field (such as history) with a concentration in education. This means that you take a standard set of history courses, for example, with additional education courses. In some cases, however, you might major in a field and then return to school to get your teacher's certificate.
Keep in mind that certain subjects are only taught at middle and high schools. (You usually can't be a history teacher at an elementary school.) Many programs of this nature focus on adolescents and teenagers. To learn more about programs that focus on kids by age, see the programs of study "Elementary Education and Teaching," "Middle School Education and Teaching," and "Secondary Education and Teaching."
Many schools offer programs in education, general. Most often, you get a bachelor's degree. Typically these programs take four years to complete. However, requirements are constantly changing and it is common for an undergraduate degree in education to take five years.
In addition, several schools offer graduate education programs. These typically take one to five years to complete after you finish your bachelor's degree. Most graduate schools focus on a specific area or method of education.