Elementary education is very important to grow the intellectual and social development of young children in their most formative years. The education that elementary educators provide is very important to the future success of these young students. Teachers in elementary education provide students with the mental tools for them to grow into responsible and productive adults who are employable.
A master’s degree in elementary education will prepare you with advanced teaching and classroom management techniques to educate children from K-6. You will learn about the most advanced competencies in the development of curriculum, evaluation and instructional design. You also will learn about how diverse learners are and how to use new technology to increase learning.
Elementary Education Job Description
As a teacher in elementary education, you will be laying the foundation with your students so that they are enthusiastic about a lifetime of learning. You will need to have a strong sense of service, excellent listening and communications skills, and also high degrees of dependability and integrity. You will need to act as a coach or a facilitator, as you utilize presentations or instruction of individual students to help them learn important subjects including English, science, mathematics and social studies.
You will need to plan lessons, evaluate and grade tests and papers, keep class discipline and listen to many oral presentations. You may need to use new assessment techniques, such as examining an online portfolio of a student’s writing or artwork and providing a critique.
If you choose, you may find a job outside of the classroom environment. You also could end up writing the curriculum for new text books, or working at the school district level to develop grade curricula. Another possibility is an administrative career path as a principal or vice-principal.
Elementary Education Requirements
A master’s degree in elementary education will provide you with in depth teaching skills, and also new skills in administration and counseling of students. Depending on which area you focus on, your coursework for this master’s degree will vary.
However, some of the courses that you may take in pursuit of this master’s degree may include;
- Foundations of education
- Theory/practice of literacy education
- Teaching literacy for diverse populations
- Mathematical concepts
- Research in education
- Curriculum development and theory
- Psychological foundations of education
Many professionals will be required to complete a hands-on seminar in the work place to complete a master’s degree in elementary education.
Career and Salary Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tells us that a professional with a master’s degree in elementary education will earn about $200 more each week than with simply a bachelor’s. This means you can earn more than $10,000 more each year. Also, jobs in administration with this master’s degree are going to pay more than teachers’ jobs. For example, as an assistant or vice principal, you will earn about $62,000 per year, compared to a teacher earning around $52,000.
Note that the employment of K-12 teachers with bachelor’s and master’s degrees will grow by 13% from 2008-18, according to BLS.
Also consider that a master’s degree often will entitle you to an enhanced benefits package. This may include more vacation, retirement options and health insurance.
Online Degree Programs
When you are considering a master’s degree in elementary education, there are many quality, accredited online programs for you to think about. Now you have the ability to earn your advanced degree in as little as two years, and rarely visit a real classroom.
Western Governors University
Western Governors University offers a Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education. This program may be completed in two years and has academic preparation for licensure as an elementary school teacher. You will learn the skills that you need to become a highly qualified instructor with the educational credentials to improve your salary and career prospects.
The WGU master’s program in elementary education is for:
- People who already have a master’s degree who want to become a certified teacher with their master’s degree.
- Unlicensed teachers, career changers and substitute teachers and others who have their bachelor’s degree who want to make a career change into elementary teaching.
- Professionals who can spend at least 15 hours per week on master’s work.
This program’s curriculum has been developed after input from many educational experts and leaders who sit on the Education Program Council. This master’s program has been designed to ensure that you have the skills and knowledge that you need to be a licensed teacher in elementary education.
Essential parts of this online program are:
- Foundations of teaching
- Instructional planning and presentation
- Research fundamentals
- Demonstration teaching
- Elementary education methods
- Preclinical experiences
Liberty University has a very highly regarded online Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in elementary education. It is made especially for people who do not have any teaching experience who want to gain their teaching license and master’s degree.
This two year online degree program that is NCATE-accredited will prepare you for obtaining your teaching license. Your required classes will include the following:
- Learning Theory
- Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education
- Foundations of Exceptionality
- Tests and Measurements
- Teaching Mathematics
- Teaching the Natural and Social Sciences
- Reading and Language Acquisition
- Language Acquisition and Instruction
- Curriculum Fundamentals
- Principles of Behavior Management
NCATE accreditation is very important for educational degree programs, and is the gold standard that you should look for when evaluating degree programs.
University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota has an online Master of Science in Elementary Education that will prepare you to teach classrooms from K-6, which will help you to address the educational requirements of these students.
This online degree program is an excellent combination of theory and research, as well as practical field experiences. Through two years of online classes, you will learn the most advanced educational techniques and methods for school children.
You will be able to take all of your classes, online, but you will need to do your classroom field teaching experiences in classrooms in your area.
- Create learning environments that are learner centered and are supported by many resources and the latest technology tools
- Gain many experiences that are related to modern elementary school curriculum, instructional practices and alternative assessments.
- Participate in several field teaching experiences in elementary school classrooms to better enhance your development as a teacher.
As a graduate, you will have the elementary education skills and knowledge to create productive and supportive environments of learning for your students, as well as teachers and parents. And, you will be poised to make a broad, long term contribution to the field of elementary education.
Your classes will include:
- Technology and Information Systems
- Leading Curriculum and Learning
- Elementary Principal Field Study
- Introduction to the Foundations of Education
- Psychological Foundations of Education
- Issues and Trends in Education
- Multicultural Education
Elementary Education Scholarships
- Baggerman Family Memorial Scholarship -$1500. Applicant must have a minimum 2.8 GPA and must be enrolled in a program that leads to certification in elementary education.
- San Francisco State University Master’s in Education Scholarships -San Francisco State University offers 19 different scholarships that are applicable to students earning a master’s degree in elementary education.
Elementary Education Link Resources
- Resources for MEd
- Job and Wage Information for K-12 Teachers
- US Department of Education – educational associations and organizations
- Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development