Coursework is rooted in evidence-based effective practices for teaching and learning and incorporates the most up-to-date and relevant approaches and issues in education.
Over the first four semesters, along with their General Education requirements, students take an array of introductory social studies-related courses in American and world history, sociology, psychology, geography, economics, and political science, as well as an introductory education-related course. After satisfying all entrance to major requirements, students become teacher candidates and begin more in-depth coursework in a number of areas, including history, American studies, women’s studies, minority studies, sociology, anthropology, geography, and political science.
Seven core education courses undergird the teacher certification and are taken throughout the student’s final four semesters. These courses include everything from “Learning Theory and Instructional Procedures” (EDUC 314) and “Social and Cultural Factors in Education” (EDUC 315) to “Strategies for Effective Teaching in Inclusive Classrooms” (EDUC 459) and “Diversity and Cultural Awareness Practices in the K-12 Classroom” (EDUC 400). In “Teaching Secondary Social Studies” (EDUC 415), candidates engage in an in-depth examination of the aims and purposes of social studies, selecting meaningful content, engaging students with critical and transformative learning experiences, and designing relevant and purposeful lessons and instructional units. All courses are taught by highly qualified and experienced teacher educators with backgrounds in adolescence, educational psychology, special education, education history and theory, and social studies issues, curriculum, and pedagogy.
The SESST program comprises two main field experiences. EDUC 313 is a two-credit experience tied directly to EDUC 314, affording teacher candidates to make clear connections between theory and everyday practice. The second is the capstone experience, student teaching, where candidates are placed with an experienced mentor teacher in a partner school district for 13-15 weeks. We are also proud to offer a new experience in the form of a year-long clinical residency, the Teacher Residency Collaborative, where teacher candidates are placed with a mentor teacher during the fall semester three days a week and candidates are with the same mentor full time in the spring semester. More information about the residency is available on the Teacher Education website.
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