Elementary Education (Pre K-4) Major

The Elementary Education PK4 major is an accredited program approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and aligned with the requirements for teacher certification in PK4. Students will also engage with content and pedagogical approaches relevant to grades 5 and 6 which will enable them to add certification for grades 5 and 6 via additional testing. Throughout the Elementary Education PK4 program,  students integrate theory with practice through coursework and field experiences in PK4 classrooms in local schools. 

The undergraduate Teacher Education programs are built upon a strong liberal arts curriculum provided through the General Education Program (GEP) at Saint Joseph’s University. This enables students to integrate their understanding of interdisciplinary content with an understanding of developmentally appropriate pedagogy. 

Goal 1: The student will demonstrate an understanding of learner development.

Outcome 1.1: The student will explain how learning occurs—how learners construct knowledge, acquire skills and develop disciplined thinking processes.

Outcome 1.2: The student will identify readiness for learning and explain how development in one area may affect performance in others.

Goal 2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of learning differences.

Outcome 2.1: The student will identify the different ways students learn.

Outcome 2.2: The student will differentiate instruction based on how students learn.

Goal 3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the central concepts of PK-6 teaching.

Outcome 3.1: The student will identify and describe major concepts, assumptions, debates, processes of inquiry, and ways of knowing that are central to PK-6 teaching.

Outcome 3.2: The student will identify and describe PK-6 content standards and learning progressions.

Goal 4: The student will plan instruction that supports PK-6 student learning.

Outcome 4.1: The student will plan for instruction based on appropriate curriculum goals and content standards.

Outcome 4.2: The student will plan instruction that is responsive to the identified strengths and needs of individual learners.

Goal 5: The student will demonstrate understanding and effective use of multiple methods of assessment.

Outcome 5.1: The student will define and interpret types of valid and reliable education assessments (including screening, diagnostic, formative, summative, and authentic) and identify principles of their effective use.

Outcome 5.2: The student will analyze and interpret assessment data to identify patterns and gaps in learning, to guide planning and instruction, and to provide meaningful feedback to all learners and their guardians.

Goal 6: The student will demonstrate an understanding of educating for social justice.

Outcome 6.1: The student will describe key elements of interacting positively and respectfully with those of different racial, ethnic, language and socioeconomic backgrounds and sexual orientations.

Outcome 6.2: The student will identify and describe practices and policies that reinforce inequalities and that undermine PK-6 student learning, as well as what can be done to challenge such practices in order to create a more just society.

INTASC Standards

Standard #1: Learner Development. The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Standard #2: Learning Differences. The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

Standard #3: Learning Environments. The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.

Standard #4: Content Knowledge. The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

Standard #5: Application of Content. The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Standard #6: Assessment. The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.

Standard #7: Planning for Instruction. The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

Standard #8: Instructional Strategies. The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Standard #9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice. The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard #10: Leadership and Collaboration. The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

The traditional undergraduate programs includes a minimum of 120 credits distributed across three components: A General Education component divided into Signature Courses, Variable Courses, and an Integrative Learning requirement; a Major and Divisional component; and Free Electives. In addition to course requirements as specified in each area, students must complete one certified course in each of the following overlay areas1:

  1. Diversity, Globalization or Non-western Area Studies,
  2. Ethics Intensive
  3. Writing Intensive, and
  4. Diversity

Overlay requirements are part of the 120 credit requirements

General Education Signature Courses

See this page about Signature courses

General Education Variable Courses

See this page about Variable courses. Six to Nine courses

General Education Overlays

See this page about Overlays.

Diversity Intensive
EDU 150Schools in Society w/ Field3
EDU 246Language and Culture w/ Field3
Writing Intensive
EDU 151Cognition & Learning w/ Field3
Ethics Intensive
SPE 160Intro to Special Edu w/Field3

General Education Integrative Learning Component

See this page about Integrative Learning Component. Three courses:

HIS 201U.S. History to 18773
or HIS 202 U.S. History since 1865
MAT 111The Mathematics of Patterns3
or MAT 118 Introduction to Statistics
SPE 160Intro to Special Edu w/Field3

 Major Requirements

EDU 121Child Development3
EDU 150Schools in Society w/ Field (Take EDU 160 if FYS GEP requirement is already satisfied)3
or EDU 160 Schools in Society w/ Field
EDU 151Cognition & Learning w/ Field3
EDU 155Found of Early Child w/ Field3
EDU 231Assessment and Evaluation3
EDU 232Literacy/Literature I w/ Field3
EDU 240Literacy/Literature II w/Field3
EDU 246Language and Culture w/ Field3
EDU 265Teaching Math in PK2 w/ Field3
EDU 362Soc Stud Thru Arts PK4 w/Field3
EDU 363Science Methods PK-4 w/ Field3
EDU 366Teaching Math Gr. 3-6 w/Field3
SPE 160Intro to Special Edu w/Field3
SPE 205Inclusive Classrooms w/ Field3
SPE 379Fam School & Comm:Diverse Soc3
Student Teaching
EDU 495ECE Student Teaching12
Total Hours57