Education and Educational Studies Minor and Concentration

The Haverford-Bryn Mawr minor in Educational Studies is designed for students interested in exploring teaching and learning. Our vibrant program engages students from a broad range of majors interested in an array of professional pursuits and commitments. Working closely with our talented faculty, they pursue a highly interdisciplinary curriculum that investigates cultural, political, and international dimensions of education as well as the work of facilitating learning in a range of contexts.

At every level, our challenging program links theory with practice. Each of our courses includes a field component in educational settings, from schools to community and senior centers, mental and public health settings, college access and adult learning organizations, and policy/advocacy offices.

Curriculum & Courses

We build our courses as collaborative communities in which our students learn from scholars, their own and field experiences, and each other as they study and learn to facilitate innovative approaches to education. Students emerge from our program inspired and empowered to work towards social change and justice as engaged teachers, passionate learners, curious and committed researchers, and visionary leaders.

We offer two pathways for our minors, one oriented to liberal studies and one culminating in a secondary teaching credential. The Educational Studies minor addresses students interested in the study and practice of education broadly conceived. Students in this minor often pursue graduate study in education or other social sciences; plan to teach at the elementary level or in an independent school; or seek to create a knowledge base for careers in academia, leadership, policy studies, and community development.

Minors in this pathway have significant freedom to design their curriculum and shape field experiences to fit and enlarge their interests. All minors take Critical Issues in Education, our introductory class that examines issues in U.S. education within the framework of educational transformation. Our Field Work Seminar, which brings minors together to reflect on their ongoing fieldwork using the framework of theories of change, is also required. In addition to these two required classes, minors select four education courses, one of which can be taught by faculty in other departments.

Minors planning a career in secondary education enroll in the Secondary Teacher Certification pathway. Our program is accredited to prepare students for certification in biology, chemistry, Earth and Space Sciences, English, mathematics, physics, social studies, and world languages. Students in this minor take Critical Issues in Education, as well as five required education courses. Additional requirements include: completion of a major in the area in which they seek certification, additional course work within the major, English and math courses, and a semester of full-time teaching. Alumni/nae of Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges are also eligible to pursue teacher certification through our program as post-bac students at significantly reduced tuition.

Students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in Education and an elementary or secondary teacher certification have the option of sub-matriculating into Penn’s Graduate School of Education.

  • Minor

    The following two minors are available to Haverford and Bryn Mawr students via Bryn Mawr:

    Educational Studies Path

    The Bi-College Minor in Educational Studies is an interdisciplinary exploration of the cultural, political, developmental, and interactional dimensions of teaching and learning and is designed for students with a broad range of education-related interests, such as graduate study in education, pursuit of elementary or secondary certification after graduation, or a host of activities that require educational expertise. Many professions and pursuits—management and training positions, research, administration and policy work, and careers in social work, health and law—involve using an educator’s skills and knowledge. Civic engagement, community development, and work towards social justice also require knowledge of how people learn and change. Because students interested in these or other education-related pursuits major in different subject areas and have different aspirations, they are encouraged to design a minor appropriate to their major area of study and their anticipated futures.

    Requirements for the Minor in Educational Studies include:

    • EDUC 200 (Critical Issues in Education)
    • Four education courses. At least two must be offered by Education Program or affiliated faculty (J. Cohen,/A. Cook-Sather/H. Curl/ V. Donnay/D. Flaks/A. Lesnick/ K. Rho/ C. Wilson-Poe/K. Zuckerman). Up to two may be education courses offered by faculty in other departments (of these, one may be taken at Swarthmore, Penn, or while studying away)
    • One of the following as a culminating course: EDUC 311 (Theories of Change in Educational Institutions), EDUC 301 (Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar), SOWK 676 (Making Space for Learning: Pedagogical Planning and Facilitation), or an intensified version of EDUC 295 (Advocating Diversity in Higher Education).

    Secondary Teacher Certification Path

    The Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program is accredited by the state of Pennsylvania to prepare undergraduates and alumnae for certification in the following subject areas: English; languages, including French, Latin, and Spanish; mathematics; the sciences, including biology, chemistry, and physics; and social studies. Pursuit of certification in Chinese, German, and Russian is also possible but subject to availability of student teaching placements. Students certified in a language have K-12 certification.

    To qualify for a teaching certificate, students must complete an academic major in the subject area in which they seek certification (or, in the case of social studies, students must major in history, political science, economics, anthropology, sociology, or Growth and Structure of Cities and take courses outside their major in the other areas). Within their major, students must select courses that help them meet the state standards for teachers in that subject area. Students must also complete the secondary teacher certification track of the minor in education, taking these courses:

    • EDUC 200 (Critical Issues in Education)
    • PSYC 203 (Educational Psychology)
    • EDUC 210 (Perspectives on Special Education)
    • EDUC 275 (English Learners in U.S. Schools)
    • EDUC 301 (Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar) (fall semester, prior to student teaching)
    • EDUC 302 (Practice Teaching Seminar) and EDUC 303 (Practice Teaching). These courses are taken concurrently for three credits.

    Students preparing for certification must also take two courses in English and two courses in math, maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and pass a series of exams for beginning teachers (state requirements). To be admitted to the culminating student teaching phase of the program, students must earn a grade of a 2.7 or higher in both EDUC 200 (Critical Issues in Education) and EDUC 301 (Curriculum and Pedagogy) and be recommended by their major department and the director of the Education Program. To be recommended for certification, students must earn a grade of 2.7 or higher in EDUC 302 (Practice Teaching Seminar) and a grade of Satisfactory in EDUC 303 (Practice Teaching).

    Note: Students practice-teach full time for 12 weeks in a local school during the spring semester of their senior year. Given this demanding schedule, students are not able to take courses other than the Practice Teaching Seminar and senior seminar for their major.

    Graduates may complete the requirements for secondary teacher certification at Bryn Mawr in a post-baccalaureate program.

    Title II Reporting

    Title II of the High Education Act (HEA) requires that a full teacher preparation report, including the institution’s pass rate on assessments as well as the state’s pass rate, be available to the public on request. Students may request a report from Kelly Gavin Zuckerman kzuckerman@brynmawr.edu.

  • Concentration

    Students majoring in mathematics or physics at Haverford may declare an Area of Concentration in Educational Studies. For the Concentration, students take four courses in the education program:

    • EDUC 200 (Critical Issues in Education)
    • Two education courses (must be courses offered by Education Program or affiliated faculty (J. Cohen/A. Cook-Sather/H. Curl/ V. Donnay/D. Flaks/A. Lesnick/K. Rho/ C. Wilson-Poe/K. Zuckerman)
    • One of the following as a culminating course: EDUC 311 (Theories of Change in Educational Institutions), EDUC 301 (Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar), SOWK 676 (Making Space for Learning: Pedagogical Planning and Facilitation), or an intensified version of EDUC 295 (Advocating Diversity in Higher Education).

    In addition to these education courses, students take two courses in their major field of study. A unit of Independent Study within the major may be used to fulfill this requirement.

    Mathematics majors

    To complete the concentration in educational studies, mathematics majors must:

    • Earn credit for MATH 460 (Teaching Assistantship) in two different semesters, one half-credit each; and
    • Choose the Mathematics Education option of the senior thesis, as outlined in the Standards for the Mathematics Senior Thesis.

    Physics majors

    Students take the following courses:

    • PHYS 459b (Teaching Laboratory Physics), typically in the second semester of the junior year; and
    • PHYS 460a (Association in Teaching Basic Physics), typically in the first semester of the senior year.

    All senior physics majors prepare and present to the department a talk and paper based on independent work. Education concentrators have the option of choosing a topic related to physics pedagogy for their research.

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