The TEACH Program provides students the opportunity to complete in five years an undergraduate degree in a core arts and science major and a Master’s of Education degree with State of Illinois secondary education teaching certification in a content area related to their major. As a combined degree program of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the College of Science and Health, and the College of Education, the Program is collaboratively governed and coordinated by faculty from all 3 units.
The Program is designed to draw on the expertise of LAS and CSH faculty who teach in the majors of English, Mathematics, History, the Sciences, and Social Sciences to ensure strong content knowledge preparation of students and facilitate the transition from being learners of content to teachers of content to diverse adolescent populations. The Program also draws on the expertise of faculty in the COE’s Secondary Education Program and Educational Policy Studies and Research Department to immerse students into essential issues and themes of education and theories and practices of teaching and learning. Such issues as educational inequality, politics of schooling, identity politics, social justice, identity development inside and beyond formal school settings, historical, cognitive, sociocultural, and sociopolitical nature of human development and society are integrated with issues of pedagogical content knowledge, critical pedagogy, constructivist teaching practices, theories of teaching and learning, curriculum development, and professional practice. Ensuring that students understand all these issues is integral to the Program design and delivery and to the preparation of teachers.
The measure of the academic quality of the Program relies on clearly articulated features of exemplary teacher-education programs. These include:
- a “common, clear vision of good teaching that permeates all coursework and clinical experiences…”;
- a “well-defined standard of professional practice and performance…”;
- a “strong core curriculum taught in the context of practice” and including understanding of human development and learning, social and cultural contexts, curriculum assessment, and subject-matter pedagogy;
- an “extended clinical experience” that supports ideas presented in coursework;
- an “extensive use of case methods, teacher research, performance assessments, and portfolio evaluation…”;
- “explicit strategies” to help students confront their own beliefs and assumptions about learning and students and to learn about the experiences of diverse people; and
- “strong relationships, common knowledge, and shared beliefs among school- and university-based faculty.” (Darling-Hammond, L. . Constructing Teacher Education. Journal of Teacher Education, 57, 300-314.)
Students may apply to the Program during the spring of their junior year. They must complete the Junior Year Experiential Course TCH 320, Exploring Teaching in an Urban High School, and meet other application criteriaprior to applying. The curriculum of the Program consists of three components:
- Courses necessary to satisfy requirements for a baccalaureate degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences or College of Science and Health in one of the following state of Illinois secondary certification content areas: English; History; Math; Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, or Physics); or Social Sciences.
- A set of five courses that will be taken by students in the Program while they are still undergraduates; three of these will also fulfill graduate degree requirements. These courses will serve as a bridge to the 5th year Master’s coursework.
- A fifth year of graduate courses which, together with the three double-counted courses mentioned above, will satisfy the requirements for a College of Education Master’s in Education and a secondary-education certification in the student’s discipline.
A full description of Program requirements for each content area can be found in the College of Education catalog.