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Major in Education
Article by Rachelle Wiggins
“We value education because we are knowers by nature, having been created by God to know him, know ourselves, and know his world… Like everything else in God’s world, therefore, education is something that can (and must!) be undertaken to the glory of God.” ~Doug Ponder
As you think back over your years in school, chances are you easily recall favorite, unforgettable teachers who inspired, encouraged, challenged or motivated you. Few careers are as important or rewarding as those found under the vast umbrella of education! Many who major in education possess a sense of calling somewhat unique to this helping profession where the goal is to effectively teach others and develop the minds of young learners. Often subdivided by specific age categories such as early childhood, elementary and secondary (high school), an education major is designed to hone your teaching skills in multiple subject areas and equip you to work effectively with a wide variety of ages and learning styles. In this major, you will learn how to successfully formulate lesson plans, manage a classroom and attain teacher certification. If you are fascinated by the process of learning, enjoy instructing others and love spending time with children, then a major in education may be a perfect fit for you!
Beyond these passions, what are some of the other traits needed in order to flourish as an education major? New technologies and teaching techniques are constantly being developed, research sheds light on how we learn best, and schools and government work to implement ever-changing standards of education. In order to keep up with all these changes, it’s imperative to be an enthusiastic lifelong learner yourself. Teachers who do not keep growing become stagnant and ineffective, so flexibility, creativity and adaptability are important! Since education entails juggling many “moving pieces” like planning, instructing, grading and administrating, strong organizational skills are imperative, as well. Good communication skills are also a must. The effective relaying of information occurs during classroom instruction, but also when working on a broader team of administrators, educators, and parents. Finally, compassion and patience are essential in a profession that is highly relational, demanding and filled with diverse learners with varying academic, social, emotional and physical needs.
As an education major, you can expect to take core classes in math, science, English and writing and then complete classes on pedagogy (teaching methods and practice) as it relates to these same subjects. You will engage in hands-on teaching exercises and spend time observing teachers in a variety of classroom settings. You will conclude your college experience with a semester of student teaching. Other courses you will likely take include:
Once you have your education degree, the career opportunities are ever-expanding. Teachers are needed in private, public, charter, Christian and alternative school settings. You may be hired by an online school, as an adult educator, private tutor or have opportunity to teach abroad. If teaching to a classroom of students is not your thing, consider an educational degree in a related area such as:
If you feel excited about the idea of truly making a difference in the lives of others and impacting future generations, then perhaps God is nudging you towards a major in education!