Childhood education requirements

Degree Overview

Required courses in the BS degree program in childhood education prepare students for careers in elementary school classrooms as well as academic preparation which can lead to graduate study. Students follow a program that provides knowledge of the various academic curriculum areas of the elementary school with an in-depth focus of one area -- English, social studies, mathematics, science, French, German, Spanish or women's studies. Additionally, all students participate in field experiences in schools, including some exciting opportunities to work in urban and international settings.

The faculty of the Curriculum and Instruction Department at SUNY Oswego is committed to educating candidates in the Childhood Education 1-6 Program in a manner that enables them to provide AUTHENTIC LEARNING experiences for the full range of children in the schools of the 21st century (SOCIAL JUSTICE).  The programs involve partnerships with Arts & Science faculty, School of Education faculty, elementary practitioners, and Curriculum & Instruction faculty that will generate knowledgeable, socially conscious, reflective, collaborative teachers (KNOWLEDGE, REFLECTION, COLLABORATION).  This goal is accomplished by the partners working together to provide relevant courses and opportunities to participate in meaningful elementary field placements, where cooperating teachers and candidates work together to provide authentic learning experiences for diverse populations (PRACTICE).

The professional segment of the program is based on a constructivist model that encourages candidates to enrich and expand upon the content knowledge gained in the Arts & Science courses through additional experiences with pedagogy and sustained field placements in diverse settings.  Knowledge of both discipline content and pedagogy is integrated in meaningful learning experiences that encourage reflection, collaborative analysis, and construction of personal knowledge.

The development of a reflective, analytical teacher of young learners requires a program that offers a combination of a strong knowledge of the disciplines (the manner in which they are organized, their processes and attitudes within the context of a global society), theory-based pedagogical courses, collaborative experiences and authentic learning in field placements where needs of diverse learners are met.  Throughout the program, candidates are encouraged to reflect upon coursework and to relate it to current research and the information gathered in elementary field placements. 

The sequence of courses is designed to provide candidates with an understanding of the educational foundations and content structure and methodology upon which information can be based concerning strategies of instruction and practice gained from field experience.  The program culminates in two student teaching experiences under collaborative supervision of college faculty and practitioners from the field, which provide external opportunities in diverse classrooms in order to practice the integrated knowledge gained in courses.  Although specific coursework is provided for instruction of students with a wide range of abilities and ethnic backgrounds, the philosophy of preparing a teacher to teach the full range of students also demands integration of this information into all courses.

Desired Outcomes

The following desired outcomes for the Childhood 1-6 program were developed through input from Curriculum & Instruction faculty, Arts & Science faculty, School of Education faculty, and elementary teachers and administrators, using standards from the New York State Education Department, the Interstate New Teacher Assessment & Support Consortium (INTASC), and the various national learned societies associated with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), including the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI):

  1. Candidates know, understand and use the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the disciplines they will teach to learners in grades 1-6, and can create meaningful learning experiences for these students (KNOWLEDGE, PRACTICE).
  2. Candidates understand how the full range of students learn and develop in order to provide AUTHENTIC LEARNING opportunities that support intellectual, social and personal development in all students (SOCIAL JUSTICE). 
  3. Candidates understand and use authentic instructional strategies, including EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, to encourage students’ development of critical thinking, problem solving and performance skills (AUTHENTIC LEARNING, PRACTICE). 
  4. Candidates understand and use motivational strategies to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interactions and active engagement in learning (PRACTICE, AUTHENTIC LEARNING). 
  5. Candidates understand and use communication techniques (verbal and non-verbal) to support inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interactions in the learning process (PRACTICE). 
  6. Candidates understand and use formal and informal assessment strategies to monitor students’ development and insure continuous intellectual, social, and physical growth (PRACTICE). 
  7. Candidates are reflective practitioners, who continuously evaluate the effect of his/her choices and actions of others in the learning environment and seek opportunities for professional development (REFLECTION). 
  8. Candidates foster relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well being (COLLABORATION & LEADERSHIP).

Program Requirements

For all  NYSED teaching certificates, passing the appropriate New York State Teacher Certification Examinations and meeting other requirements for NYSED teacher certification is also required (see 

Program requirements are officially described in the SUNY Oswego Undergraduate Catalog, which can be obtained by calling or writing the Admissions Office (315.312.2250, 229 Sheldon Hall, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126).

For further information contact

Dr. Marcia Burrell, Department Chair, Curriculum & Instruction Department
214 Hewitt Union, SUNY Oswego, Oswego NY 13126

Sandra Kyle, Advisement Coordinator, Curriculum and Instruction Department
213 Hewitt Union, SUNY Oswego, Oswego NY 13126