About Secondary Education
The term ‘secondary education’ can have different meanings depending on the country. In the US, secondary education refers to the final 6-7 years of a student’s education. This would generally be from grades 5 or 6 through the 12th grade. In the US, secondary education is normally in two parts: junior high or middle school, and high school.
Teachers who instruct students in secondary school typically are certified either for middle/junior high school, or high school. In some states, these certifications may overlap between elementary, junior high/middle and high school. Also, some states may choose to certify their teachers in specific subjects for teaching in secondary education.
Secondary Education Job Description
Teachers in secondary education (from middle school/junior high to high school) assist their students to get more deeply into familiar subjects that were introduced in earlier years. Usually, middle and secondary school instructors will teach a specific subject. Some of these might include English, mathematics, history, social studies and Spanish. There also may be some classes taught that are related to careers, such as computers and journalism. Some secondary school teachers also may need to give their students help with career guidance and placement in jobs.
You also may need to work in homerooms and study halls, watch over students in extracurricular activities and go with them on field trips.
Secondary Education Requirements
A master’s degree in secondary education will prepare you to be a highly qualified teacher in a classroom from grades 6-12. To earn your degree, you will be required to show a mastery of many of the following courses:
- Perspectives in Education – Historical and Contemporary
- Special Education Foundations
- Psychology for Adolescents
- Diagnostic Assessment and Progress Monitoring
- Practice and Theory in Secondary Education
- Literacy and Learning
- Teaching in Secondary Schools in Inclusive Environments
A bachelor’s degree is required, and you will need at least a 2.5 GPA. You also will need to have 200 or so hours of documented teaching experience to be considered for a master’s in secondary education. You also will need to complete a term of student teaching in your subject area to receive your master’s.
Career and Salary Outlook for a Master’s in Secondary Education
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median wages of all teachers from K-12 ranges from $47,100-$51,180 in 2008. The lowest 10% in the country earned from $30,970-$34-280. The top 10% earned from $75,190-$80,970. Getting your master’s degree in secondary education has the possibility of raising your annual salary by up to $10,000, so it is a worthy investment in your career. Overall, the employment of K-12 teachers in the US is expected to increase by 13% between 2008-18. This is about an average growth rate compared to all professions.
Online Degree Programs for Master’s in Secondary Education
An online master’s degree in secondary education will prepare you for a challenging position in middle, junior or high schools as a classroom teacher in a specific subject. You also could be the chair of a department or a teacher who supervises other teachers. Certain online master’s programs allow you to also to earn your teacher’s certificate in conjunction with your master’s degree.
An online master’s degree program in this field generally will involve 30-35 credit hours, and assumes you will take two courses per semester. Some online programs to consider include the program at California State University Fullerton, and Saint Joseph’s University.
Secondary Education Scholarships
- BrainTrack Teaching Scholarship -BrainTrack offers a scholarship for teaching students that are planning to teach any grade between kindergarten and 12th grade. The scholarship gives a winning and runner-up award every semester to students currently in a teaching degree program.
- Knowles Science Teaching Foundation -KSTF Teaching Fellowships are for individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree in science, mathematics, engineering, or a related field who are committed to teaching math or science in U.S. high schools.
Secondary Education Link Resources
- American Academy of Arts and Sciences – working towards universal education for children from 6-16
- International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) – improving technological literacy for all students
- National Center for Education Statistics – learn how US education compares with education abroad
- Education Northwest – developing new teaching solutions for diverse groups
- International Bureau of Education (IBE) – specializes in educational contents, methods and structures