|MWSU | Academics/Departments | Education||DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION|
Early Childhood Education
The Education Department of Missouri Western State University is committed to the professional preparation of teachers for employment in Early Childhood Education programs.
MWSU is located in St. Joseph, Misouri. St. Joseph is a small city in the northwestern part of Missouri
AccreditationThe Elementary Education program at Missouri Western has been accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education [NCATE] and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education [DESE].
Missouri Teacher CertificationCurrent Missouri Teacher Certification Requirements can be found on the DESE website through this link. MWSU requirements for the varying areas and levels are listed in the MWSU College Catalog.
Information You Will Need
Below will be information that people think about as they consider teaching as a career and about coming to Missouri Western.
Teaching: The Nature of the Work
If you are in the process of thinking, "Maybe I should be a teacher," or "I really don't know about becoming a Preschool or Kindergarten school teacher," you should do some research and reading.
One of the best publications to
read is published by the U.S. Government. The Occupational Outlook
Handbook: provides information about every possible job in the United
States. It is published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor
Statistics. If you are interested in becoming a professional educator or
teacher, you need to read this section of the handbook.
Being an early childhood school teacher has many rewards. It can provide a person with satisfaction and a comfortable standard of living. The decision to become a teacher, however, should not be taken lightly. It is the type of job that requires time outside of work to complete all the tasks involved in working with children from birth through the third grade in school.
Teacher Education at Missouri WesternThe present location of Missouri Western State University was built in 1968. At the same time there was an opportunity to create a totally new and different teacher education program. This program reflected a change in philosophy about how people should be prepared for teaching. During the brick and mortar stage of college building, MWSU personnel visited area schools. Each time the question was asked, "we are going to have a new college and a new teacher education program. What are some of the problems with the way teachers are currently being prepared and what can the new MWSU do to improve the process?"
Repeatedly, school administrators and teachers said that new teachers need to know what teaching, schools, and kids are really like. The only way that this can be accomplished is if prospective students have an early exposure to teaching and many hours of real teaching experience working with a master teacher.
Academic research into the preparation of teachers said the same thing that area educators were saying: prospective teachers need an early exposure to the classrooms.
The result was the development of a totally new, different and dynamic teacher education program that provided for a marriage of theory and practice. Beginning in 1996, the program underwent another series of improvements to strengthen the performance-based philosophy and ensure that all components of the program are focused on providing our teacher candidates with the skills and knowledge they need to meet current challenges in teacher education.
The four phase model for the preparation of teachers was developed at Missouri Western based upon the following:
These core beliefs have been incorporated into the current set of values that inform the MWSU Teacher Education Unit.In large part the success of the MWSU Teacher Education program has been due to the cooperation of the area schools and individual classroom teachers. Area teachers assumed a considerable amount of responsibility for training the next generation of teachers. Missouri Western was an innovator in what eventually became known as "the professional development school model" of training teachers.
Becoming a Teacher Leader: Taking Responsibility for Student LearningMWSU teacher candidates move through four developmental phases. Phases I, III, and IV require formal off-campus or in-school experiences that help the prospective teacher make the transition from being a novice to a professional teacher. Each of the off-campus classes is connected to a campus class that provides the academic background to insure success when working with students.
Moreover, many teacher candidates will actively participate in additional in-school teaching experiences. For example, teacher candidates seeking certification in Special Education, Early Childhood Special Education, Special Reading, or English Speakers of Other Language are required to successfully complete practicums in host schools. Our education department faculty are often told by P-12 teachers and principals that our teacher candidates look like first or second year teachers by the time they are student teaching in Phase IV.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has authorized Missouri Western State University to offer a teaching certificate in Early Childhood Education Birth through 3rd Grade. Students may also work on Early Childhood Special Education as a concentration area for this degree.
A complete review of the Admission Requirements for Teacher Education can be found at the following location: Admissions