College of Education
ProTeach Preparation of Professional Teachers
Teaching is a difficult and demanding task. Conditions that teachers encounter in the classroom are complex and stressful. At the same time, parents and other members of the community are aware that a sound educational background is essential to success in later life. Much is expected of professional teachers.
The College of Education prepares professional teachers in unified elementary/special education, unified early childhood education and the various areas of secondary education.
ProTeach (from PROfessional TEACHer) is a rigorous program consisting of five years of intensive work in general background knowledge, professional studies and specialization designed to culminate in a master’s degree.
The curriculum incorporates the best available information about knowledge, skills and personal attributes that contribute to teacher effectiveness. The latest developments in instructional approaches and technologies are used. The program incorporates comprehensive course work outside the College of Education along with foundational studies and extensive clinical experiences.
For students in unified elementary/special education and unified early childhood education, the clinical component of ProTeach begins in the third year and continues through the fifth year. Students engage in early observation, supervised practice and a concluding internship in the public schools, as well as campus-based clinical experiences in microteaching, simulation and other controlled situations. Methods of instruction and clinical experiences are concurrent and coordinated; academic and clinical aspects of course objectives are planned together and methods instructors are also clinical supervisors.
ProTeach students in unified elementary/special education and unified early childhood education receive a Bachelor of Arts in Education upon successful completion of the first phase of the teacher education program, including a prescribed set of courses and experiences. An additional year (beyond the bachelor’s degree) is required for completion of the second phase of the teacher education programs.
All students in ProTeach, regardless of their chosen teaching field, complete the required course content in assessment, human growth and development, democratic values and ethics appreciation, classroom management, English for speakers of other languages (ESOL), reading and the use of computers in the classroom.
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Unified Elementary ProTeach
Since the implementation of ProTeach in 1984, the U.S. population of school children has changed becoming increasingly more diverse.
These changes, particularly the increase of students with disabilities who are often served in general education classrooms, have prompted the College of Education to re-examine and revise the content of its teacher education programs in elementary and special education. In 1999, the college unified and restructured the special education and elementary education ProTeach programs into a unified elementary ProTeach program.
College faculty recognized the need to re-conceptualize teacher education to meet the challenges posed by an increasingly diverse student population. The challenges posed by students with varying exceptionalities in the public schools, along with the potential for an inclusive education policy to increase this number, demanded a collaborative response from all educators. Helping these students succeed requires the commitment of the entire educational system.
The unified elementary/special education program includes professional methods courses, clinical experiences, and a specialization in elementary or special education in addition to the professional education curriculum. The professional education curriculum incorporates important topics in special education, classroom management, inclusive classroom settings, reading competencies, English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) and other related issues.
Graduates of the unified elementary/special education ProTeach program will be able to create and maintain supportive and productive classrooms for diverse student populations. These teachers also will be prepared to work collaboratively with school personnel, families and members of the community to develop alternative ways to educate all students, including those who are difficult to manage or to teach.
Students who successfully complete the five-year unified elementary ProTeach program with a specialization in elementary education will be recommended for certification in elementary education (grades K-6) with endorsements in ESOL and reading. Those completing a specialization in special education will be recommended for certification in elementary education (grades K-6) and exceptional student education (ESE K-12) with an endorsement in ESOL.
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Unified Early Childhood ProTeach
The unified early childhood ProTeach program prepares students to teach at the preschool and pre-kindergarten level through grade three. Students who successfully complete this five-year program will be recommended for certification in preschool education (birth - age 4) and pre-K/primary (age 3 - grade 3) with endorsements in pre-K disabilities and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). The program unifies early childhood education and early childhood special education. There are many professional choices for graduates, including directors of nursery schools or Head Start programs, teachers of the primary grades and interventionists in hospitals.
Students who successfully complete a UF undergraduate program in unified elementary/special education or unified early childhood education but who do not meet graduate school admission requirements must complete the required fifth-year of the ProTeach program in a postbaccalaureate status to be recommended for certification. Refer to the appropriate graduate department and the Graduate Catalog for more information.
Students who wish to teach at the secondary level complete a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate content discipline and then a master’s degree in the College of Education. The approved subject areas of study for secondary education include English education (major in English); science education (major in biology, botany, chemistry, entomology, microbiology, physics, wildlife ecology or zoology); and social science education (major in anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology or sociology).
Cooperating College Teacher Education Programs
In addition to ProTeach, the university offers four-year teacher preparation programs in collaboration with the College of Education for agriculture, art and music. Please contact the individual colleges for additional information:
- Agricultural Education and Communication (6-12), College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, 305 ROL
- Art Education (K-12), College of Fine Arts, 302 FAC
- Music Education (K-12), College of Fine Arts, 130 MUB
Program changes related to teacher certification requirements are possible. The curriculum of a state-approved teacher preparation program is subject to revision to accommodate legislative or Department of Education mandates. New rules may affect required courses in all teacher preparation programs.
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