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Offices & Services > Office of the Registrar > Knox College Catalog, 2016-2017 > Departments and Courses of Study

Educational Studies

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Majors, Minor and Certification

Faculty and professional interests
Joel Estes, chair
   Educational foundations, elementary curriculum and instruction
Diana Beck
   Theory and practice of teacher preparation, educational psychology, adolescent psychology, culturally appropriate teaching
Scott DeWitt
   Social studies curriculum, middle and secondary school instruction, culturally appropriate teaching and instruction
Eric Dickens
   Adolescent psychology, teaching with technology
Barry Swanson
   Teacher leadership, middle and secondary school curriculum and instruction
Nathaniel Williams
   Educational psychology, educational policy

Kim Drobushevich, Special education for educators
Diane Estes, Elementary literacy, gifted curriculum and instruction
John Hughes, Elementary curriculum and instruction
Sheryl Hinman, Secondary curriculum and instruction
Gina Simpson, Elementary math curriculum and instruction
Kathlyn Smith, Elementary curriculum and instruction
Ellen Spittell, Elementary curriculum and instruction
Karina Stanley, Elementary science curriculum and instruction

Practicum Experience and Student Teacher Coordinator
Bart Arthur, Educational foundations and policy

Educational Studies is a field that uses several disciplinary approaches to arrive at an integrative understanding of the educational process and of what it means to be an educated person within institutions that are themselves part of larger personal, social, and historical contexts. As an area of inquiry, the study of education is expansive, investigating such issues as the nature of knowledge and the ways in which people construct knowledge, the ways in which it can be most effectively learned, the relationships between social justice and a variety of educational practices and institutions, and the values that we need to survive and flourish within a global and multicultural context that is increasingly interconnected, yet fragile.

The Department of Educational Studies offers a wide variety of courses in the academic study of education and in the practical dimensions of teaching and learning. These courses provide inquiry into issues such as the relationship between educational theory, policy and practice and issues of race, ethnicity, social class and gender; the politics of knowledge within schools and other institutions; the different ways in which people learn and how we make sense of our experiences; and the interconnections between educational and other institutions and phenomena such as the family, the economic sector, culture and politics; as well as broader questions of ideology.

The department's courses provide a strong intellectual foundation for students preparing to enter the profession of teaching or for those interested in study in the field of education. The department's courses also emphasize research-based instructional strategies that help all learners.

Departmental Learning Goals

The Knox College Teacher Candidate shall:

  1. (Democratic Foundations)
    • Understand the importance of the development of learning communities and environments that embrace diversity
    • Possess an understanding of the historical, ethical, political, and social issues associated with education
  2. (Knowledge Foundations)
    • Understand the importance of the study of the nature of knowledge, pedagogical practices, and methods of assessment and evaluation
    • Recognize the breadth and depth of knowledge, which integrates the study of education with the other disciplines
  3. (Praxis Foundations)
    • Integrate theory and practice that is developed, supported, and maintained through reflection
    • Understand the importance of meeting state and national standards, developing the habits of mind that encourage professional growth, and creating leaders in educational communities

The departmental curriculum contributes to the College's Key Competency Requirements as follows:

  • Understanding Diversity - EDUC 201 and 301 serve as diversity credits
  • Writing Key Competency - EDUC 202, 203, and 310 serve as writing-intensive courses
  • Speaking Key Competency - EDUC 204, 314-316, 318, and 319 serve as speaking-intensive courses

Information Literacy and Informed Use of Technology - Information literacy and informed use of technology are acquired in a variety of ways throughout the program that may include workshops, participation in special programs or fulfilling the requirements of particular courses.

The Educational Studies Teacher Certification Program Requirements

The department offers four distinct tracks leading to state certification. The elementary track concentrates on elementary school teaching, and the secondary track focuses on secondary school teaching in a variety of content areas. A third track prepares students to teach music, art or world languages in K-12 classrooms. The fourth track is a Social Science Education program, which prepares students to teach a range of social science courses at the middle or secondary level. Completing the requirements in any of the tracks does not by itself qualify students for teacher certification. Students must also be recommended by the department for certification and complete the teacher licensure requirements set by the Illinois State Board of Education Standards. These requirements include passing all Illinois Certification Tests among other things (see below). Students are encouraged to contact a member of the department early in their time at Knox if they are interested in pursuing a teaching certificate.

If interested in a teaching certificate, students can qualify for recommendation for certification by satisfactorily completing a major in one of the four tracks: Elementary, Secondary, Social Science or K-12 Special Content. For Secondary and K-12 Special Content education programs students must complete another major in a subject field. The second major must be in the teaching area. Students must also complete the Knox general education courses; all required field work and clinical practice, including all components of student teaching; and successful passage of the State of Illinois Certification tests. In order to meet certification standards in Illinois and other states, students must demonstrate knowledge in the arts, communications, history, literature, mathematics, philosophy, sciences, social sciences and global perspectives.

Admittance to the Teacher Certification Program and subsequent student teaching is based on attaining a 2.5 GPA overall and in the majors. In addition, the Illinois Administrative Code states: "All professional education and content-area coursework that forms part of an application for certification, endorsement, or approval that is received on or after February 1, 2012 must have been passed with a grade no lower than 'C' or equivalent in order to be counted towards fulfillment of the applicable requirements.”

After successfully completing the pre-requisites for the course, but prior to enrolling in EDUC 301, a potential candidate for the Teacher Certification Program must demonstrate successful completion of the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) or a composite score of 22, and a minimum score of 16 on the writing sub area, on the ACT+writing exam or a composite score of 1030 on the reading and mathematics portions of the SAT+writing. After the above requirements are fulfilled, admittance to the Teacher Certification Program and subsequent student teaching (EDUC 340) also requires:

    • successful completion of all prior Educational Studies courses and fieldwork (with grades no lower than ‘C’) ,

    • a recommendation for proceeding to student teaching from a course instructor of record in the methods course in which a student is enrolled or practicum teacher with whom the teacher candidate has worked,

    • passing the appropriate Illinois State Content Area Test, and

    • maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the teacher candidate’s major and second field of study and overall.

In order to be in order to be eligible for applying for a State of Illinois Teaching Certificate a successful candidate must

  • satisfy all Knox graduation requirements,
  • have completed and passed the EdTPA (minimum cut score established by the Illinois State Board of Education) during student teaching, and
  • have completed any extra courses that may be required by the State of Illinois.

It is essential that teacher candidates meet regularly with their Educational Studies Advisor. Candidates for teacher certification should be aware that requirements for licensure are subject to change by the ISBE and that applicants for licensure must meet the current requirements at the time of application for teacher certification.  The Department of Educational Studies monitors these changes and informs educational studies majors of changes in requirements. 

All teacher candidates must uphold the Illinois Code of Ethics for Educators. Faculty evaluation of teacher candidate progress, performance, and professional behavior may be evaluated by the Educational Studies Department faculty at any time. Following such evaluations, advisors will notify teacher candidates about the assessment of their progress in the program and inform them of any deficiencies identified and the required action to remain in good standing. Failure to remediate deficiencies may result in dismissal from the program.

Requirements for the Majors and Minor

Educational Studies Course Descriptions

Knox College

Printed on Sunday, September 25, 2016

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