Bachelor of Education

Elementary Education

Overview

The UH West O‘ahu Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degree with a concentration in Elementary Education, K-6, prepares knowledgeable, skillful, responsive educators for a global society. Studies encompass an innovative, field-based teacher preparation program, as well as public service activities that support West O‘ahu communities in particular.

Throughout their program of study, teacher candidates participate in over 630 hours of field-based coursework, ranging from the early field experience, to service learning, to three practicums taken concurrently with methods courses. The program culminates in a 15-week, full-time professional student teaching semester with seminar. Field placements occur in elementary schools island-wide and especially in Central and Leeward O‘ahu and on the Wai‘anae Coast. Faculty deliver courses on-campus and online, while maintaining flexible scheduling to accommodate teacher candidates’ busy lives. Upon successful completion of the program, the Education Division recommends B.Ed graduates for an Elementary (K-6) teaching license by the Hawai‘i Teacher Standards Board.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degrees with a concentration in Elementary will be able to:

  • Understand how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging
    learning experiences.
  • Use understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
  • Work with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
  • Understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and create meaningful learning experiences that assure mastery of
    content.
  • Understand how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
  • Understand and use multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.
  • Plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
  • Understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
  • Engage in ongoing professional learning and use evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.
  • Seek appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

Field Based Coursework

Student teaching is a full-time, 15 week, supervised classroom experience, taken concurrently with a Writing Intensive (WI), ethics-focused seminar. A gradual release of responsibility by the mentor teacher leads to a minimum of 15 days of solo teaching. Candidates complete their student teaching in an elementary, middle, or high school that is in partnership with the UH West O‘ahu Division of Education. At the discretion of the UH West O’ahu Field Placement Coordinator, and with approval of the principal and mentor teacher, Hawai‘i Department of Education part-time teachers and teaching assistants may be able to complete their student teaching in the school where they have been employed.

With guidance from their classroom mentor teacher and university supervisor, candidates complete their required 630 hours of field-based coursework in partner elementary schools, including but not limited to the following:

August Ahrens Elementary School
Nanakuli Elementary School
Pearl City Elementary School
Mauka Lani Elementary School
Daniel Inouye Elementary School
Aikahi Elementary School

Careers and Earning Potential

Teaching is a rewarding career that provides benefits and job security in an era of teacher shortages across the United States. Teachers often continue their professional development via graduate programs in education, including master’s and doctoral degree programs in curriculum and instruction or specialized fields in literacy, special education, and English language learners. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016 data), the median salary for K-6 elementary school teachers is $59,070 per year. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education reports the starting salary for teachers as $47,443 for the 2017-18 school year.

Graduates find teaching positions in public and private schools; coordinate education programs for public and private sectors, such as museums, libraries, YMCA, and community centers; and serve as consultants to industries. Once licensed in Hawai‘i, Elementary Education classroom teachers may seek reciprocal certification in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

For more information on careers and earning potential, visit the Hawaiʻi Industry Sectors website.

Student Clubs

The UH West O‘ahu Education Club is a wonderful opportunity for teacher candidates to gain an
even greater understanding of the education field and participate in community service projects,
workshops, social activities, and more. The club supports literacy causes and raises monetary
and book donations that benefit lending libraries and local area elementary, middle, and high
schools.