Elementary Teaching

Elementary Teaching
The Elementary Teaching concentration is designed to help students become skilled and committed educators in elementary schools. Most students in the Elementary Teaching concentration do not have prior teaching experience, and a background in education is not required for admission.

This concentration prepares students to earn a State of Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL), which is required for work in Illinois public elementary schools. Elementary Teaching candidates may also pursue a middle school endorsement, which enables them to teach in grades 6-8. If you already have your initial certification and want to earn a master's degree in teaching, please see our Teacher Leadership concentration. If you earned an alternative certification through NU-TEACH and want to earn the master's degree, please see the NU-TEACH page.

The Elementary Teaching concentration is one of three areas of focus within the Master of Science in Education Program in Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy. Ours is the only School of Education and Social Policy in the nation, and is consistently ranked among the top graduate schools of education nationwide by U.S. News and World Report.

Distinctions of the Elementary Teaching Concentration

Focus on Reflection and Inquiry
Our students learn to become truly reflective educators who are able to continuously assess and improve their own professional practice. The master's research project trains students as action researchers who can systematically study and solve problems they encounter in their classrooms.

Emphasis on the Social Contexts of Education
What students learn is tied to the social context in which they learn. In order to be effective and ethical educators, students must examine the roles of public and private schools in the larger social context. Therefore, in addition to instruction in teaching methodology, students receive instruction in the social contexts of education and have field experiences in both urban and suburban schools.

Collaborative Environment Enhances Student Learning
We believe that learning is a social practice. Our program recruits a diverse group of the best and brightest students, and faculty conduct courses in a collaborative environment that helps students best take advantage of the knowledge, insights and experiences of their peers.

Connecting Theory to Practice
Students learn how theories suggest questions and ideas about practice, as well as how practice (partnered with inquiry and reflection) suggests modifications to theory. Our faculty is comprised of teachers with decades of experience, as well as researchers engaged in improving teaching and learning. These experienced educators aid students in integrating theory with professional practice and building their own philosophy of teaching.

Flexible Scheduling
The program's flexible scheduling allows full-time students to complete the degree in as little as one calendar year. Students can also pursue the degree on a part-time basis. Core courses meet in the evenings and just once per week to accommodate working students, although students must be available during the day in quarters that they are completing their student teaching. Students may begin the program in any academic quarter.

Information Sessions

Information Session

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Master of Science in Education
School of Education & Social Policy
618 Garrett Place
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University