Bachelor of Education

Elementary Education


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 degree with concentration in Elementary Education will be able to:

  • Know, understand, and use the major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to development of children and young adolescents to construct learning opportunities that support individual students’ development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation.
  • Demonstrate a high level of competence in use of English language arts and they know, understand, and use concepts from reading, language and child development, to teach reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, and thinking skills and to help students successfully apply their developing skills to many different situations, materials, and ideas.
  • Know, understand, and use fundamental concepts of physical, life, and earth/space sciences. Candidates can design and implement age-appropriate inquiry lessons to teach science, to build student understanding for personal and social applications, and to convey the nature of science;
  • Know, understand, and use the major concepts and procedures that define number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis and probability. In doing so they consistently engage problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication, connections, and representation;
  • Know, understand, and use the major concepts and modes of inquiry from the social studies—the integrated study of history geography, the social sciences, and other related areas—to promote elementary students’ abilities to make informed decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse democratic society and interdependent world;
  • Know, understand, and use—as appropriate to their own understanding and skills—the content, functions, and achievements of the performing arts (dance, music, theater) and the visual arts as primary media for communication, inquiry, and engagement among elementary students;
  • Know, understand, and use the major concepts in the subject matter of health education to create opportunities for student development and practice of skills that contribute to good health;
  • Know, understand, and use—as appropriate to their own understanding and skills—human movement and physical activity as central elements to foster active, healthy life styles and enhanced quality of life for elementary students.
  • Plan and implement instruction based on knowledge of students, learning theory, connections across the curriculum, curricular goals, and community;
  • Understand how elementary students differ in their development and approaches to learning, and create instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse students;
  • Understand and use a variety of teaching strategies that encourage elementary students’ development of critical thinking and problem solving;
  • Use their knowledge and understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior among students at the K-6 level to foster active engagement in learning, self motivation, and positive social interaction and to create supportive learning environments;
  • Use their knowledge and understanding of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the elementary classroom.
  • Know, understand, and use formal and informal assessment strategies to plan, evaluate and strengthen instruction that will promote continuous intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of each elementary student.
  • Be aware of and reflect on their practice in light of research on teaching, professional ethics, and resources available for professional learning; they continually evaluate the effects of their professional decisions and actions on students, families and other professionals in the learning community and actively seek out opportunities to grow professionally.
  • Know the importance of establishing and maintaining a positive collaborative relationship with families, school colleagues, and agencies in the larger community to promote the intellectual, social, emotional, physical growth and well-being of children.

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