The secondary teacher education curriculum at Samford University consists of four integrated semesters called "blocks," followed by a pre-professional semester, and culminating in semester six with full-time student teaching. Each block includes significant applications of problem-based learning strategies, technology, and clinical experiences. Woven throughout the program are emphases on assessment strategies and planning for grades 6-12 students from diverse backgrounds and with special learning needs.
Semester 1: Foundations Block
In semester one, teacher candidates take an eight-hour block of courses that introduces them to the education environment and to major educational issues.
- EDUC 221: Issues Within the Educational Culture
The focus of the course is to help teacher candidates develop insight into contemporary educational issues. Candidates examine philosophy and historical bases of education as a profession.
- EDUC 222: Clinical Experiences
Candidates spend 40 clock hours in an urban school setting. Candidates work with individual and small groups of children, and with the teacher as an aide. Candidates observe, interact, and reflect on adolescent development, and best teaching and learning practices. This is an opportunity for candidates to experience the classroom from the other side of the desk and to determine whether they wish to pursue formal admittance to Teacher Education.
Semester 2: Middle School Education Block
In semester two, candidates take an eight-hour block of integrated education classes dealing with middle school education.
- EDUC 305: Teaching in the Middle School
The focus of the course is providing opportunities for learning the unique characteristics of exemplary middle schools, their students, teaching strategies, and skills for working effectively within core teacher teams.
- EDUC 213: Adolescent Development Within the Adolescent Culture
The focus of the course is the adaptations and adjustments that are of primary significance during the life span between childhood and adulthood with emphasis on the education of the adolescent including gender differences, learning styles, learning theories, and motivation.
Semester 3: High School Education Block
In semester three, candidates take a five-hour block of integrated education classes dealing with high school education.
- EDUC 223: Introduction to Technology
The focus of the course is to introduce teacher candidates to currently available technologies and to prepare them to use various media for their own education as well as in their professional careers.
- EDUC 315W: Teaching and Learning in Secondary Classrooms
The focus of the course is developing reflective teachers who draw upon a wide array of solutions to secondary classroom challenges when planning instruction for preadolescent and adolescent students. The class uses case studies to discuss and prepare candidates to deal with the effects of diverse characteristics and cultures of the adolescent.
Candidates spend one full day in the classroom and two additional class periods where they teach a traditional lesson. This is an opportunity to observe an excellent teacher interact with his/her class. Students keep a reflective journal.
Semester 4: Classroom Applications Block
In semester four, candidates take an eight-hour block of integrated education classes dealing with secondary education, assessment, and technology.
- EDUC 331: Curriculum Applications in Secondary Classrooms
The focus of the course is to provide candidates opportunities to apply conceptions of curriculum, instruction, classroom management and discipline, multimedia, human resources, and assessment in the context of an actual secondary classroom.
- EDUC 414W: Reading, Writing & Assessing Across the Curriculum
The focus of the course is to assist with the identification of problems related to educational assessment, including the assessment of reading and writing levels and abilities, strategies for effective measurement of teacher performance, and an understanding of standardized testing. This course is fully integrated within the other courses.
- EDUC 415: Technology Across the Curriculum
The focus of this course is to provide ways in which technology can be used effectively to teach a wide variety of subjects to diverse learners and to develop an electronic portfolio for reflection and assessment.
Clinical component: Candidates are assigned to a mentor teacher in their major field. They have two classroom observations and then teach and assess a unit they have written for the class. Three follow-up sessions with the mentor teacher will bring closure to the clinical experience.
Semester 5: The Professional Secondary Teacher
This semester focuses on field-based advanced preparation of secondary level teachers as professional educators who work collaboratively with fellow teachers, principals, and supervisors within an assigned secondary level school environment in their content area. Emphasis on establishing professional habits that ensure lifelong growth as secondary teachers.
Semester 6: Student Teaching
Supervised field internship for prospective teachers of middle and secondary students, grades 6-12.