M.ED. IN MIDDLE CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

Students sitting in classroom working. A young Spanish teacher is helping a middle aged African American boy with an assignment.

The Master of Education degree in middle childhood education enhances the general expertise of middle-level educators by providing a more comprehensive understanding of young adolescent learners and the need for a learning environment that is responsive to students’ developmental needs. In addition, this program provides expertise in both teaching content and pedagogy. Individuals with licensure in Middle Childhood Education may teach grades 4-8.


4 STEPS TO YOUR TEACHING CAREER

STEP 1:

Degree in Hand

You’ll need to have earned your bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university.

Complete at least 18 hours in two content areas at either the undergraduate or graduate level.

Submit your Praxis CORE test scores to the Director of Teacher Licensure and Placement in the School of Education.

STEP 4:

Apply Online

Fill out the online admissions application and submit the required materials to the Graduate School.


WHY SHOULD YOU BECOME MIDDLE CHILDHOOD EDUCATOR?

A group of middle school students are surrounding a young female teacher as she works on a math problem.

There is Never a Dull Moment

Students and faculty in the Middle Childhood Education program understand it is an experience like no other. At this level, the students are starting to understand and wonder about the bigger issues and ideas, but are still young enough to approach learning as play. As a middle childhood educator, you will integrate elements of both elementary and secondary education into your teaching practice, making you a more versatile educator. You will also be in the unique position to help students bridge the gap between elementary and high school; facilitating their transition from early childhood into adolescence.

Incredible Job Security and Opportunities for Advancement

While the licensure requirements vary from state to state, teachers who have established a good work ethic and reputation don’t have to worry too much about finding a job. Because teachers are in such high demand across the United States, you have almost guaranteed job security—employment of middle school teachers is expected to increase by 6% by 2024 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Education is probably one of the best fields for advancement because the possibilities are endless. You have the opportunity to not only guide new and experienced teachers through Lead Teacher appointments and mentorship programs, but also to shape the educational environment by becoming an assistant principal, principal, or district level administrator.


WHAT YOU’LL STUDY

A stack of open text books on a table.

The Master of Education degree in middle childhood education is offered to those with a degree in an area other than education. This program leads to licensure in middle childhood education content areas including math, science, language arts, and social studies. Each person’s transcript will be assessed on an individual basis and an individual program will be developed.

Candidates are eligible for provisional licensure. Please contact our Director of Placement and Licensure, Heather Newsom, for more details.


Admission Requirements

Graduate School Admission

  • Apply for admission to the UA Little Rock Graduate School.
  • $40 non-refundable application fee paid via the link in the initial application email or by contacting the Cashier’s Office.
  • Official transcripts from ALL previously attended colleges and universities (undergraduate and graduate).
    • International students must have their transcripts articulated. Transcripts that have not been articulated can be submitted for the application process; however, if a student is granted admission, WES-articulated transcripts must be submitted to the Graduate School before he or she can register for classes.
  • Proof of 2 MMR vaccines. Contact your program coordinator if you think you are eligible for a waiver. Students only in the UA Little Rock Online programs are exempt.
  • Proof of a grade point average of at least 2.7 on a 4.00 scale, including post-baccalaureate hours.
  • A copy of your government-issued photo ID.

International Student Admission

Required documents for international admission:

  • Tuberculosis screening
    • All applicants must provide proof of a Tuberculosis screening, which must be performed in the United States of America and can be done at the Health Services Center at UA Little Rock.
  • Health and accident insurance
    • All international students must purchase the health and accident insurance provided by UA Little Rock and maintain coverage year-round. Students will be billed at the beginning of each fall and spring semester. A student who enters in a summer semester will be billed for that semester as well, making the total number of times billed three instead of two. If you have any questions, please contact Health Services at 501-569-3188.
  • Transfer forms
    • Applicants transferring from another institution within the United States of America must also provide a Transfer and Visa form completed by the applicant’s International Student Services advisor from his or her current institution.
  • Financial statement (students with F and J visas only)
    • Before they can be accepted into the Graduate School, students must provide a financial statement showing that they are financially capable of pursuing a graduate education in the United States of America. For more information on this form, please contact the office of International Student Services at 501-683-7566.
  • All applicants must submit a copy of their visa.

Transfer Students

Transfer students may be admitted with an official transcript from a state-sanctioned graduate program. A total of 9 credits may be approved with a GPA of 3.0.


Program Admission

Regular Admission
  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 (4.0 scale), OR
  • Grade point average of at least 3.0 for the last 60 hours of undergraduate courses, OR
  • Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
    Passing scores on required Praxis exams.
Conditional Admission
  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution; a cumulative undergraduate GPA of no lower than 2.5; and a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score of at least 144 on the Verbal Scale, 141 on the Quantitative Scale, and 4.5 on the Analytical Writing Scale, OR
  • Completion of at least 12 semester hours of graduate coursework in another UALR graduate program or graduate program from another regionally accredited college or university with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and no grade lower than a B.
Additional Requirements
  • Upon review of applicant’s transcript, additional content (mathematics, science, language arts, social studies) hours may be required.
  • At least 18 hours in each of the two selected content areas: math, science, social studies, and/or language arts.

Licensure and Field Placement Requirements

Legal Requirements Prior to Field or Internship Placements
  • Candidates must complete the following requirements and submit documentation to the Field Placement Office in the College of Education prior to field or internship placements:
  • Proof of liability insurance.
    • This insurance is provided through the School Workers Defense Program or by joining the Student Arkansas Education Association (SAEA) or the National Education Association (NEA).
  • Criminal records check.
    • State civil record check must be completed and submitted to advisor.
  • Complete the Criminal Background Disclosure.

Before being recommended for licensure, students must also submit checks for State Police, FBI, and Child Maltreatment Central Registry. The student is responsible for the fees associated with these checks.

Initial Licensure Track

The M.Ed. degree in middle childhood education offers an initial licensure track to those with a degree in an area other than education who are seeking licensure in middle childhood education (math, science, language arts, and social studies). Each person’s transcript will be assessed on an individual basis in order to develop a program specifically for that candidate.
During regular semesters, all courses are offered in the evening or online. Some courses require a field placement in a local school


Retention Requirements

Once admitted, students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA with at least a grade of B in all Middle Childhood Education (MCED) courses. This includes all courses associated with the licensure/degree plan. In addition, students’ professional behavior, content knowledge, and classroom performance will be evaluated throughout the program.
Successful completion of the licensure program is not based solely on the number of course credits but requires demonstration of specified professional knowledge, skills, behaviors, and dispositions.
Once the student has begun the program, periodic evaluations will assess progress. Failure to progress satisfactorily might result in a student being removed from the program. While a student may require additional time to meet some performance expectations, the faculty may limit that time and reserves the right to drop a student from the licensure program should appropriate progress not be demonstrated.


Graduation Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on an approved program of study
  • Successful completion and defense of an exit portfolio

Curriculum


The M.Ed. degree in middle childhood education requires 36 graduate credit hours, including 12 education core hours, 24 middle level education emphasis hours (detailed below).

Education Foundations Courses (12 hours)

  • EDFN 7303 Introduction to Educational Research
  • EDFN 7370 Educational Assessment
  • TCED 7350 Integrating Technology in PK-12 Education OR LSTE 7305 Survey of Computer-based Learning Systems
  • MCED 7312 Development of Young Adolescents OR EDFN 7320 Advanced Educational Psychology

Middle Level Education Emphasis Courses (18 hours)

  • MCED 7313 Introduction to Middle Level Education
  • MCED 7314 Teaching the Middle Level Exceptional Child in the Inclusive Classroom
  • MCED 7315 Middle Level Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • MCED 7316 Literature for Young Adolescents
  • MCED 7317 Middle Level Literacy and Language Arts
  • MCED 7318 Classroom Management for the Middle Level Teacher
  • MCED 7319 Internship
  • TCED 7305 Action Research

Teaching Fields (optional)

  • MCED 7301 Teaching Middle School Math
  • MCED 7302 Diagnosis and Remediation in Math
  • MCED 7305 Teaching Mathematics to the Gifted
  • MCED 7328 Science Education
  • MCED 7330 Social Studies Education

Additional Requirements for Certification

  • HIST 4355 Arkansas History or comparable course
  • Complete Praxis examinations:
    • Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT)
    • Middle School: Content Knowledge

Course Descriptions

Middle Childhood Education Courses

MCED 7301 Teaching Middle School Mathematics
Methods and materials used in teaching middle school mathematics, grades 4-8, from a constructivist point of view. Special attention given to the utilization of manipulatives in teaching all topics. Common Core State Standards and curriculum standards as identified by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics are curriculum standards as identified by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics covered, as well as instructional strategies for teaching them. Consideration given to contemporary problems, trends, and practices in the field. Three credit hours.

MCED 7302 Diagnosis and Remediation in Mathematics
A study of the causes of mathematics learning difficulties, approaches to diagnosis, and some appropriate teaching strategies. Candidates review, discuss, and summarize research articles concerning diagnosis and assessment; analyze a variety of measurement devices; develop, construct, and administer two specific diagnostic tools; diagnose a specific learner’s performance in mathematics; and make recommendations for instruction. Three credit hours.

MCED 7305 Teaching Mathematics to the Gifted
A study of the causes of mathematics learning difficulties, approaches to diagnosis, and some appropriate teaching strategies. Candidates review, discuss, and summarize research articles concerning diagnosis and assessment; analyze a variety of measurement devices; develop, construct, and administer two specific diagnostic tools; diagnose a specific learner’s performance in mathematics; and make recommendations for instruction. Three credit hours.

MCED 7312 Development of Young Adolescents
Study of hereditary and environmental influences on the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development of adolescents, the cultural, social, emotional, and intellectual differences as well as learning and problem solving processes, self esteem, and motivation as they apply to young adolescents. Three credit hours.

MCED 7313 Introduction to Middle Level Education
This course covers the history, philosophy, and major concepts of middle level education. Organizational components of middle level schools, current issues and trends in middle level education, and diversity in family structures are studied. Relationships between schools and community organizations, between schools and families, and between schools and diverse groups are discussed. Strategies are presented for working with families, state agencies, and community organizations, and for linking early adolescent learning to community resources. Three credit hours.

MCED 7314 Teaching the Middle Level Exceptional Child in the Inclusive Classroom
Enhances the knowledge and skills of middle childhood teachers to better educate students with exceptionalities in their classrooms. Collaboration in the design and implementation of individualized plans for students with disabilities and for students who are gifted. Acquisition of skills needed to support the implementation of behavior intervention plans and transition plans. Participation in the design and implementation of modifications for students with high abilities. Design and implementation of curriculum, materials, instructional strategies, and assessment modifications. Three credit hours.

MCED 7315 Middle Level Curriculum and Pedagogy
A comprehensive research based framework on cognition, learning, and classroom management. Focus on middle level student behavior in the design of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and classroom management strategies, as well as the evaluation of the impact of their efforts. Three credit hours.

MCED 7316 Literature for Young Adolescents
Best possible options for associations between middle level students and literature. Literature-based learning and learning how to select a wide variety of books from the best examples of all genres is stressed. Early adolescent literature is read. Developmentally appropriate instructional procedures in reading and writing to aid in comprehension is stressed. Other topics include integrating literature in the content areas, literature study circles, flexible grouping, how to use literature to assist multicultural understanding, the benefits of using school book clubs, and assessment. Three credit hours.

MCED 7317 Middle Level Literacy and Language Arts
Provides a thorough examination of current middle level literacy issues, research, and practices in grades 4-8. Presents a global view of the school, community, teachers, administrators, and parents and the role of each in promoting literacy. Developmental, cognitive, and instructional variations common to this age group, integration of curriculum through interdisciplinary units, language arts in the content areas, phonics and word studies, children’s literature, flexible grouping, and literacy assessment. Three credit hours.

MCED 7318 Classroom Management for the Middle Level Teacher
This course covers fundamental principles underlying middle childhood developmental programs in grades 4-8. It includes creating and fostering classroom management techniques. It also includes strategies for the design of environments which provide a safe place for teaching and learning. Connecting the community to the school for effective discipline and parental support and involvement is included. Three credit hours.

MCED 7319 Internship
In this course, candidates will be placed in an active teaching role in a local school. Candidates will plan, teach, and reflect on the experience. Candidates will be responsible for all aspects of the classroom environment including making accommodations for children with special needs. All of the school resources will be used, and competence in using technology is required. Three credit hours.

MCED 7328 Science Education
Science Methods is designed to prepare graduate candidates with the specialized expertise, professional development, and communication skills to strengthen effectiveness as a middle school science teacher. The class will focus on the advanced knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to practice current methods of inquiry-based instruction and learning. This instruction shall include the application of hands-on activities that focus on the use of manipulation and has an emphasis on integrating science within the curriculum. There will be a strong emphasis on the use of technology for curriculum development and lesson presentations. The student will use the content to develop those pedagogical techniques and activities that encourage and promote gains in science learning. Three credit hours.

MCED 7330 Social Studies Education
An in-depth study in social studies education in the middle grades (4-8). Builds on the belief that students need to construct knowledge in their own minds in order for it to be meaningful to them. Emphasis is placed on the meaningful learning of social studies content, skills, and values, in order to promote democratic behavior in early adolescents. Presentation of the theory and research explaining meaningful learning in social studies, the structure of knowledge to be learned, and strategies for effective and powerful social studies teaching. Candidates plan a developmentally appropriate hands-on experience with appropriate material and supportive environment necessary for children’s meaningful exploration and discovery. Three credit hours.

Interdepartmental Courses

EDFN 7303 Introduction to Educational Research
Prerequisite: graduate standing. Introduction to applied research in education across the major quantitative, qualitative, and action research traditions. Focus is on understanding the research process and its integrated components and evaluating published research reports from the perspective of a critical consumer. Topics include scientific reasoning, types of variables and hypotheses; sampling; data collection and instrumentation; control procedures; common experimental, non-experimental, qualitative, and mixed methods research designs; data analysis; and research critiques and proposals. Three credit hours.

EDFN 7320 Advanced Educational Psychology
Prerequisite: EDFN 7313. This course addresses a variety of contemporary issues that affect academic performance. Topics are organized around the traditional categories of learning, identity development, motivation, discipline, and assessment. Students study different theoretical approaches to articulate and ultimately defend a personal theory of learning and teaching. Three credit hours.

EDFN 7370 Educational Assessment
Assessment, evaluation; role of measurement in education and human service agencies; psychometric properties of norm- referenced and criterion-referenced tests; construction of test items with specialized considerations for atypical populations such as young children, culturally different, and those with exceptionalities; use and interpretation of standardized tests in educational settings. Three credit hours.

LSTE 7305 Survey of Computer-based Learning Systems
Prerequisite: LSTE 7303. Applications of microcomputers in the educational setting; includes parameters of microcomputers, standard and predicted uses in instruction. Offered all terms. Three credit hours.

TCED 7305 Action Research
This course introduces action research to graduate students. Focus is on understanding the process of action research and how it differentiates from traditional research and its processes. Topics include identifying potential topics within the classroom, implementing alternative solutions, evaluating and presenting the outcomes, and dissemination of findings through appropriate channels. Three credit hours.

TCED 7350 Integrating Technology in PK-12 Education
Students use the basic concepts of curriculum development and cultural diversity to design lessons, select techniques and utilize teaching materials to integrate technology into their curriculum to meet the needs of students at different developmental stages as well as content areas. Three credit hours.


MEET OUR FACULTY

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Amy Sedivy-Benton, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Program Advisor

Contact Information
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Yoriko Umezawa Perritt

Adjunct Instructor

Contact Information

HAVE QUESTIONS? ASK AN ADVISOR.

We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have about our available programs. Use the form below to submit your inquiries to the College of Education and Health Professions Advising & Support Center advisors.

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