Middle Childhood Education

Admission Requirements | Program Requirements | Graduate Courses

Dickinson Hall, Room 419, (501) 569-3124, website

Master of Education in Middle Childhood Education

The Master of Education in Middle Childhood Education (MCED) is a program that enhances the general expertise of middle-level educators by providing a more comprehensive understanding of young adolescent learners and of 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.

The MCED program is an Initial Licensure Program.

For more information about the Middle Childhood Education program visit the website.

Admissions Requirements

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

In addition to the required GPA, applicants must have:

  • 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 course work 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)

Legal Requirements Prior to Field or Internship Placements

Students who apply to the Middle Childhood Education Master’s program 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:

  • Criminal records check
  • State civil record check, and
  • FBI record check.

The student is responsible for the fees associated with these checks.

Initial Licensure Track

The Initial Licensure Track for the Master of Education Degree in Middle Childhood is offered to those with a degree in an area other than education. This program leads to licensure in middle childhood education (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.

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.

Degree Requirements

In the MCED initial licensure track (for non-licensed teachers), there are 36 graduate credit hours, including 12 education core hours, 24 middle-level education emphasis hours (detailed below). In addition, HIST 4355 Arkansas History and successful completion of the Praxis exams are required for licensure in Middle Childhood Education in Arkansas.

College of Education/ Foundations Courses (12 hours)

Research (3 hours)

EDFN 7303 Introduction to Educational Research

Assessment (3 hours)

EDFN 7370 Educational Assessment

Instructional Technology (3 hours)

TCED 7350 Integrating Technology in PK-12 Education
LSTE 7305 Survey of Comp-based Learning Systems

Learning Theory (3 hours)

MCED 7312 Development of Young Adolescents
EDFN 7320 Advanced Educational Psychology

Middle-level Education Emphasis Courses (18 hours)

MCED 7313 Middle Level Reflective Teaching {Initial Course}
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 Courses (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
Praxis: Principles of Learning and Teaching and Middle School: Content Knowledge

Graduation Requirements

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

Courses in Middle Childhood Education

MCED 7100, 7200, 7300 Workshop in Middle Childhood Education
Hands-on experiences on various topics. Offered on demand.
MCED 7138, 7238, 7338 Topics in mathematics ,education, and various topics of current interest to preschool, elementary, middle school teachers. Offered on demand.

MCED 7138, 7238, 7338
Topics in mathematics,education, and various topics of current interest to preschool, elementary, middle school teachers. Offered on demand.

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.

MCED 7302 Diagnosis and Remediation of Mathematics Learning Difficulties
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.

MCED 7303 Practicum/Internship in Mathematics Education
Application of diagnosis, principles of remediation; laboratory experiences in evaluation, instruction of children; content relates to problems resulting from laboratory experience. Offered on demand.

MCED 7305 Teaching Mathematics to the Gifted
An overview of current philosophies, programs, and curricula for teaching mathematically gifted students. Topics include characteristics of mathematically gifted, development of appropriate classroom strategies, planning a differentiated curriculum, development of enrichment units, critical mathematics content and concepts, and course materials for teachers.

MCED 7308 Teaching Economics in the Middle School
Developing, implementing school techniques, activities related to an interpretation of the values in American society, economic concepts and principles.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

MCED 7330 Social Studies in the Middle School
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.

MCED 7350 Seminar in Middle Education
Prerequisite: 24 graduate hours. Variable content based on current issues, effective practices in middle level education of interest to in- service teachers.