Colleges and Schools

Program Requirements

This program is designed for teacher education candidates who are planning to teach in the middle grades (grade 5-8) in one of the following content areas: Literacy, Mathematics, Science, or Social Science. A candidate successfully completing a program within the selected Content Pathway would be eligible to obtain an Illinois Professional Educator License endorsed in grades 5-8 in that content area.

To be admitted to this major, students must be accepted to North Park University and also meet the teacher education program admission requirements.

Major Requirements

Minimum of 35 hours of education courses
46 Core Curriculum credits
120 total credit hours for graduation

ACADEMIC CATALOG

CORE CURRICULUM

Course Descriptions

For a complete list of all North Park’s programs and course offerings, review the academic catalog.

This course is an introduction to the teaching profession. Topics covered include historical, philosophical, contemporary, and ethical perspectives on education as well as social and cultural expectations in teaching. In this introductory course, students are informed on the appropriate role of technology; state and national standards; policies governing education at the national, state, and local level; and careers and organizations related to teaching and education. This course also introduces students to state licensure requirements.


Basic principles of curriculum including, planning, organizing and developing lesson plans in relation to the individual learner, the school, and the society are discussed. Historical developments and recent innovations in school curriculum, lesson planning and preparation, and instructional delivery will be analyzed. Emphasis is on planning and preparation of lesson plans according to the School of Education lesson plan template aligned with the Danielson Domains, edTPA, Illinois Learning Standards and Common Core Standards. Needs of multi-cultural and special needs students are addressed. Electronic professional portfolios will be developed.


Study of the psychological aspects of human behavior and development applied to teaching and learning processes, including learning theories, motivation, and classroom management.


This course introduces students to research-based instructional strategies along with basic principles and practices of classroom assessment. Special attention will be given to differentiated instruction, maximizing student engagement and learning, formative and summative assessment practices, and the use of data in classroom decision-making.


A study of the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development of the young adolescent. Examination of developmental issues that impact the middle school, its philosophy, and its practices which are responsive to the adolescent, both cognitively and affectively.


Survey of the psychology of the identification of, and the methods of instruction for the exceptional child, including the learning disabled, with special emphasis on characteristics and methods of instruction for cross-categorical special education students.


As the first clinical experience course in the Teacher Education Program, this course requires teacher candidates to observe and teacher aide in a classroom in order to demonstrate an understanding of the classroom environment along with instructional and assessment practices. Teacher Aiding experiences include focused reflection on Danielson's Framework for Teaching and edTPA. Candidates take this clinical twice.


This course examines diversity in the classroom with attention to the linguistic, cultural, academic and cognitive dimensions of student development and learning. This course will also examine the instructional planning, instructional strategies and culturally responsive practices for diverse learners. Consideration will be given to the ways racial-ethnic segregation, ESL, bilingual, bicultural, and special education programs have impacted schools and their communities.


The purpose of this course is to extend your knowledge of reading/writing, instructional strategies, methodology, and assessment procedures used in middle and secondary grades. We will explore the following content areas: evaluation of instructional materials, comprehension instruction, learning vocabulary, reading and writing across the curriculum, assessment of student progress, diversity in the classroom, and current approaches to content reading and writing.


This course examines literature particular to the early- and middle-adolescent reader. The primary areas of focus include exploring the purposes of adolescent or young adult literature in relationship to social, cultural, and psychological frameworks; critical practices for the selection and evaluation of literary texts; and research-based methods of instructing and supporting adolescents to become complex readers through comprehension and interpretation strategies.


As the first clinical experience course in the Teacher Education Program, this course requires teacher candidates to observe and teacher aide in a classroom in order to demonstrate an understanding of the classroom environment along with instructional and assessment practices. Teacher Aiding experiences include focused reflection on Danielson's Framework for Teaching and edTPA. Candidates take this clinical twice.


As a literacy course in the Middle Grade education program, this course presents an analysis of the materials and methodologies used in reading and writing including cognitive strategies, instructional scaffolding, strategies for interacting with text and multicultural literature, writing, modification, and assessment procedures in middle grades. Teacher candidates will learn how to plan literature units and implement effective differentiated literacy instruction. Field experience with the children of the age group will be required for the course.


This course examines the teaching of writing and grammar at the middle and secondary school level. Particular emphases are placed on teaching writing as a process, planning curricula to improve student writing, integrating best instructional practices for teaching composition and grammar, and developing effective strategies for assessing student writing.


This course focuses on the methods and techniques for mathematics instruction and assessment in the middle grades. Candidates will develop differentiated lessons and implement effective strategies through collaborative planning and peer teaching. This course will emphasize and review specific math content and skills appropriate to middle grades learners as identified in the Common Core State Standards.


This course focuses on the methods and techniques for mathematics instruction and assessment in the middle grades. Candidates will develop a comprehensive, interdisciplinary unit plan and implement effective strategies through collaborative planning and peer teaching. This course will emphasize and review specific math content and skills appropriate to middle grades learners as identified in the Common Core State Standards.


This course prepares candidates to teach science in the middle grades. Candidates will learn about the place of science learning in the middle grades and middle schools. This course will prepare middle grades teachers by focusing on selected science content, along with specific methods and techniques for helping middle grades students develop skills specific to the sciences.


This course prepares candidates to teach science in the middle grades. Candidates will learn about the place of science learning in the middle grades and middle schools. This course will prepare middle grades teachers by having candidates review selected science content, develop unit plans, and evaluate resources


This course prepares candidates to teach social science in the middle grades. Candidates will learn about the place of social science learning in the middle grades and middle schools. This course will prepare middle grades teachers by focusing on selected social science content, along with specific methods and techniques for helping middle grades students develop skills such as reading, discussion, and critical thinking.


This course prepares candidates to teach social science in the middle grades. Candidates will learn about the place of social science learning in the middle grades and middle schools. This course will prepare middle grades teachers by having candidates review selected social science content, develop unit plans, and evaluate resources.


Mini-teachers meet regularly with School of Education faculty to share and reflect on the experience and prepare for the edTPA. There will be a minimum of 35 hours of mini-teaching in a local school in connection with methods courses. The student must meet the required grade point average and have a receipt by the School of Education of meeting the Illinois basic skills requirement.


Supervised observation and teaching in a school and grade level appropriate to the program and licensure endorsement sought by the candidate. The candidates will complete one 60 day (approximately 12 week) student teaching clinical experience. The candidate must meet the required grade and GPA requirement, pass the state content-area test, and be fully admitted into the Teacher Education Program prior to beginning student teaching.


As the capstone course in the teacher education program, this course enables students to create personal syntheses of their educational experiences as university students and as future educators. Students will develop their own philosophy of teaching. Students will assemble professional portfolios and prepare for teacher certification. Part of Professional Term D. Co-requisite: EDUC 4100, 4110, or 4120.