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Teacher Education

Fisk University, through its philosophy and mission, believes that the best preparation for excellence in teaching is a sound education in the liberal arts, together with highly developed instructional skills and competency in the disciplines comprising the major areas of study. Teacher education is therefore the responsibility of the entire University. Every discipline cooperates with the Office of Teacher Education in offering appropriate courses that lead to certification in specified areas. Specific goals of the Teacher Education Programs are:

  • to assure the ability of students to function effectively and responsibly as teachers in a multicultural society;
  • to assure the ability to be effective teachers based on the thorough understanding of the institution of public education;
  • to be able to translate abstract knowledge of theory and principles into effective practice in the classroom;
  • to assure full knowledge of the ethical responsibilities of teachers; and
  • to integrate classroom work, field experience, and research in the teacher education curriculum

Students who complete a Teacher Education Program will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the multicultural society in which they live and their relation and responsibility, as teachers, to such a society;
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the historical, philosophical, and social foundations underlying the development and practices of public education;
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles and processes of human growth, development, and learning, and the practical application of this knowledge to teaching all children;
  • demonstrate instructional competencies and strategies acquired through a wide range of laboratory, clinical, and student teaching experiences;
  • demonstrate understanding of instructional methods, materials, and media as they apply to the facilitation of learning;
  • utilize and apply data collection and evaluation procedures in measuring the progress of schoolchildren;
  • demonstrate knowledge of current research on effective teaching and learning practices; and
  • demonstrate ability to utilize materials, methods, and resources for effective instructional planning and ethical and constructive relations with pupils, teachers, administrators, and parents.
  1. Requirements
  2. Art Education
  3. Elementary Education
  4. Secondary Education

Requirements for all education programs include completion of normal University degree requirements as outlined within this Bulletin, as well as:

1. Completion of an academic major chosen from among those acceptable for the elementary or secondary education program selected. Details are specified below.

2. Completion of language studies in Spanish at a level sufficient to satisfy the University foreign language requirement. (The University’s expectation that the foreign language requirement will be met in Spanish is due to Fisk’s special interest in preparing teachers for urban schools in increasingly multicultural and multilingual American cities.) Languages other than Spanish are acceptable, however, for students who arrive at Fisk with significant prior background in another language, or where the student’s major department recommends a language other than Spanish.

3. Admission to the Teacher Education Program, which is not automatic, upon expressing a desire to pursue one of the programs. Students should contact the Director of Teacher Education as soon as possible after arrival at Fisk. Admission to the program is based on a separate application (normally submitted by the end of the first semester of the sophomore year) to the Director; on general University criteria delineated by the Teacher Education Committee, including a minimum cumulative Fisk grade point average of 2.5 or better. Program admission decisions are made by the Teacher Education Committee following review of the student’s qualifications and a personal interview. Prior to licensure, the State of Tennessee also requires that prospective teachers pass, with prescribed minimum scores, the PRAXIS II Subject Assessments. Required PRAXIS II tests include the core battery and specialty area tests.

4. Admission to and completion of student teaching at a level of performance satisfactory to the Director of Teacher Education and the cooperating schools and teachers.

For art teaching in all grades (kindergarten through grade 12), students pursue the Bachelor of Science degree program for a major in art, selecting departmental elective courses in consultation with the Director of Teacher Education as well as faculty members in the Art Department. In addition, prospective art teachers complete a student teaching placement and the following 25-credit education sequence:

EDUC 248 Educational Psychology
EDUC 250 Fundamental Responsibilities of Teaching
EDUC 260 Theory and Practice of Teaching
EDUC 320 Elementary Curriculum and Methods I
EDUC 350Secondary Curriculum and Methods II
EDUC 460 Secondary Education Seminar
PSY 180 General psychology
PSY 205Child and Adolescent Development

For elementary teaching (grades K-6), Fisk offers a sequence of professional studies courses in education, to be taken in conjunction with an academic major in dramatics and speech, English, history, business, mathematics, psychology, religious and philosophical studies,2 sociology, or Spanish. In addition to meeting all University and major field degree requirements, prospective elementary teachers should complete EDUC 400, Elementary Student Teaching, and the following 24-credit sequence of professional education courses and cognates:

EDUC 248 Educational Psychology
EDUC 250 Fundamental Responsibilities of Teaching
EDUC 260 Theory and Practice of Teaching
EDUC 320-330Elementary Curriculum and Methods I and II
EDUC 410Elementary Education Seminar
MATH 200Foundations of Mathematics
PSY 205Child and Adolescent Development

For secondary teaching (grades 7-12), Fisk offers a sequence of professional education courses to be taken in conjunction with an academic major in biology, chemistry, dramatics and speech, English, history, mathematics, physics, political science, or Spanish, depending upon the intended teaching field. Prospective secondary teachers, in addition to meeting all University degree requirements and all requirements for the major field, must also complete EDUC 450, Secondary Student Teaching, and the following 21-credit sequence of professional education courses:

EDUC 248 Educational Psychology
EDUC 250 Fundamental Responsibilities of Teaching
EDUC 260 Theory and Practice of Teaching
EDUC 340-350Secondary Curriculum and Methods I and II
EDUC 460Secondary Education Seminar
PSY 205Child and Adolescent Development