Education (EDU) – Major in Elementary Education

The Department of Education offers a major in Elementary Education, a licensure minor in Secondary Education and K-12 Education, and a non-licensure minor.

Educational Goal

As part of their graduation requirements, Wake Forest undergraduate students seeking a major in Elementary Education must complete a course of study approved by the department.  We document the educational goals and learning outcomes expected for students who complete these courses of study.

Educational goal for all teacher candidates is to: educate future teachers to meet the challenges of 21st Century classrooms. To achieve this goal we:

  • engage in research and use contemporary learning theory to guide reflective reform of educational practice.
  • believe deeply in equal educational opportunity for all children.
  • commit to provide rich foundations in content and pedagogy and to prepare our teachers for caring and effective service in diverse pK12 learning environments.
  • work collaboratively to ensure the high quality of America’s future school, state, and national leaders who will enrich the communities in which they work.

Learning Outcomes for Students

The Department of Education has developed the following expectations for graduates of its programs that address core competency areas for all teachers, but are focused on delivery of developmentally appropriate content in their classrooms. All learning outcomes for students/teacher candidates are intentionally focused on the grade range for which the candidate is seeking licensure:

Pedagogy. Candidates will demonstrate knowledge and skill in

  1. Instructional design
  2. Technology integration
  3. Methods and materials for teaching specific content area
  4. Strategies for teaching diverse learner groups
  5. Classroom management
  6. Assessment of student learning

Content. Candidates will demonstrate knowledge and skill in:

  1. Specific teaching methodologies within the context of content.
  2. The ‘businesses’ of schools, such as historical foundations, unions, standardized testing.
  3. How learners learn best based on cognitive science and learning theory

Leadership. Candidates will demonstrate knowledge and skill in:

  1. Classroom and school leadership
  2. Ethical practice as it applies to: interaction with colleagues, interaction with students and their families, use of school property, and use of digital media
  3. Application and creation of meaningful and relevant research
  4. Design and development of tools to collect, analyze, and report data
  5. Creative and theoretically sound instruction

Diversity. Candidates will demonstrate knowledge and skill in understanding, awareness, and appreciation of diversity as it applies to:

  1. student needs and academic performance
  2. their classrooms and schools
  3. establishing strong home-school connections
  4. global perspectives and issues

Professional Dispositions. Candidates will demonstrate knowledge and skill in:

  1. Their development and maintenance of a reflective stance to teaching and interactions with students and their families
  2. Their ongoing commitment to caring as it relates to: students, school-community, and the profession
  3. Their continued attention to professional performance skills (oral and written communication, attendance and punctuality, life-long learning and inspirational teaching)

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Student growth as a teacher candidate is documented in portfolios that demonstrate performance on assignments associated with departmental learning goals. The Teaching  Portfolio (capstone requirement), includes the following performance-based Electronic Evidences.  Each is evaluated with a rubric.  All candidates must score “Proficient” to continue in the program and be recommended for state licensure.  Individual evidences are maintained in TaskStream and evaluated in the department and also by external reviewers from State Department of Public Instruction.

Additional assessment involves an Exit Survey (self-assessment) at the end of the internship, and a Follow-Up Survey of Graduates and their Employers after 1 and 5 years assess their effectiveness as a teacher.  Assessments for specific programs are as follows.

  1. Teaching Portfolio:
    • Content Transcript. [CONTENT]
    • Content Project.  [CONTENT]
    • Instructional Unit Plan. [PEDAGOGY, DIVERSITY]
    • Certification of Teaching Capacity. [PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITION]
    • Learning Report. [PEDAGOGY]
    • School Portrait. [LEADERSHIP]
    • Leadership Profile. [LEADERSHIP]
  2. Exit Survey at completion of the internship.
  3. Follow-Up Surveys of Graduate and Employer after 1 and 5 years.

In May of each year, the Assessment Coordinator provides data reports to the six Program Coordinators in the department. Each Coordinator analyzes all of the disaggregated data reports and prepares an Annual Report of the program. Aggregated reports are analyzed by the Assessment Committee. All reports are shared and discussed at the fall Assessment Meeting, and issues are brought to the faculty for further action.

Link to the Department of Education’s Program Assessment Data System (PADS) Assessment Reports