|Action||Comprehensive Revision of the Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in|
|Comment Period||Ends 10/31/2015|
Social Foundations in Elementary Teacher Preparation and Social Studies Methods
I am writing in response to the proposed changes to the Initial Teacher Licensure Regulations for elementary educators. As program coordinator and an instructor for the current required course (Foundations of Education), I would like to encourage the board to consider keeping the focus on social/political/economic/cultural contexts of education as a requirement for preservice teachers. I teach this course fairly regularly at Mason in our introductory semester, and I find that exploring with these topics allows preservice teachers to unpack their preconceived notions of schooling and to grapple with the idea that not all students experience school in the same way that they did. Their learning curve in this course is tremendous, and their openness to understanding how diverse learners school experiences vary across contexts. This is particularly important as our population continues to become more diverse and as our students attain teaching positions in the vastly different areas of Virginia.
Similarly, I would also encourage the board to reconsider removing the Social Studies Methods course requirements from elementary teacher preparation. Social Studies is a critical content area that is often the center of opportunities for content integration--a key instructional approach in elementary schools and one that is supported by a wealth of research in elementary student learning.
Thank you for your time,