Education Program


The mission of the Education Program is to enable students to develop expertise in conceptual and theoretical foundations, research, and practice in the field of education. The knowledge, skills, dispositions, and habits of mind required for such expertise are cultivated within the context of a rigorous liberal arts academic environment, informed by perspectives from a variety of disciplines, enhanced by multiple opportunities to engage in service learning and civic engagement, and animated by a commitment to social justice in schools and society.

A focus on social justice means that students in the Education Program explore the impact of cultural assumptions, societal norms, and institutional policies and practices on both individuals and groups and examine the operation of power as it relates to the construction of knowledge and the preservation of privilege. In so doing, students are encouraged to analyze critically the intended and unintended oppressions resulting from specific educational and institutional practices by (1) considering the values and politics that pervade educational institutions, as well as the more pragmatic issues of teaching and organizing schools; (2) asking critical questions about how taken-for-granted assumptions and conventions about theory and practice came to be, and who in society benefits from such assumptions; (3) attending to differences in gender, race, social class, sexual orientation, and ability that result in political, social, economic, and educational marginalization and inequality, particularly for children and youth; and (4) examining the connections among different forms of privilege, particularly as these relate to and influence the development of children and youth. Students also are encouraged to move beyond critique to create and implement educational and institutional practices that promote greater social justice and equity in schools and society.

The Education Program offers a major in educational studies with two different concentrations: human development; and schools, society, and culture. The educational studies major encourages a broad liberal arts exploration of educational theory, research, and practice, informed by a commitment to social justice.

Human development concentrators focus on the ways in which children, adolescents, and young adults experience education in all of its forms, how their identity and self-understanding develops, and how their lives are shaped by psychological, social, and cultural processes at work in a diversity of contexts, institutions, and organizations (including schools, families, peer groups, and communities).

Schools, society, and culture concentrators focus on the relationship between educational practices and a variety of institutional structures and systems, as well as cultural norms, values, and ideologies, that shape the way schools and other educational organizations function.

Students may also pursue minors in education, in human development, and in professional certification under the auspices of the program.

Professional Certification

Colby believes that the best preparation for a teaching career is twofold: (a) a strong background in the liberal arts, including intensive study of the subject to be taught; and (b) appropriate course work and practical experience in education.

There are two pathways for students pursuing professional certification: 1) complete the professional certification minor, 2) complete a major in educational studies and a major in a department or program that corresponds to a field in which Colby offers certification

Students who complete Colby’s professional certification program are eligible to apply for teacher licensure in Maine for secondary public school teaching (grades 7-12) in the following fields: English, social studies, life science, physical science, and mathematics. In addition, licensure is available for grades K-12 in French, German, and Spanish.

Colby’s professional certification program is approved by the Maine State Board of Education. Maine also participates in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) and, through the NASDTEC Interstate Contract, Maine has reciprocity for teacher licensure with 43 other states. An Education Program faculty member will prepare documentation to support Colby graduates when they apply to transfer the Maine teaching certificate to another state.

Candidates for Maine teacher licensure must pass both the Praxis I (basic knowledge and skills) and Praxis II (content area knowledge) exams, undergo a criminal background check and fingerprinting, and complete a portfolio demonstrating competencies in Maine’s Initial Teaching Standards. Fees are required for both of the Praxis exams and for the background check. Furthermore, the Maine Department of Education charges an application fee. Students may consider applying directly to another state in lieu of completing Maine’s requirements. Students who wish to apply directly to another state without first obtaining Maine licensure must contact the department of education in the other state and should also consult with Colby Education Program faculty.

Students interested in professional certification must apply to the program in the spring of their junior year. Candidates must have at least a 3.0 average in their major subject area and must have completed the appropriate prerequisites for the student teaching sequence. A ninth semester program is also available to qualified students. Students in the program return to Colby after graduation to complete the Senior Student Teaching sequence by working full time in a local school. There is no charge for this program, but students are responsible for finding their own housing off campus. Students interested in the ninth semester program must apply to the program in the spring of their senior year.

Additional information about the professional certification and ninth semester options is available from the program faculty. Early consultation with program faculty and careful planning of the student’s course of studies is essential for a successful completion of the minor. This is especially important for students studying abroad.

Colby College Pass Rates for Praxis I and Praxis II Exams

The Higher Education Act Reauthorization of 1998 requires that the pass rate of Professional Certification students on the state-mandated teacher exams be reported each year. Pass rates for classes that have fewer than 10 students are not reported, and thus the annual pass rates for Colby College are not available. However, the four-year aggregate score is reported, and Colby’s pass rate for the period of 2008-2013 is 100 percent.

Faculty

Director, Associate Professor Adam Howard
Professors Lyn Mikel Brown and Mark Tappan; Associate Professor Adam Howard; Assistant Professor Karen Kusiak


Requirements +

Requirements for the Major in Educational Studies with a Concentration in Human Development

Ten courses are required: Education 215; a practicum (332, 351, or 355); 431 or 493; four electives in education, including at least two 300- or 400-level courses; and three approved courses from other departments or programs, not including 100-level courses (see list of approved courses below).

Requirements for the Major in Educational Studies with a Concentration in Schools, Society, and Culture

Ten courses are required: Education 213; a practicum (332, 351, or 355); 431 or 493; four electives in education, including at least two 300- or 400-level courses; and three approved courses from other departments or programs, not including 100-level courses (see list of approved courses below).

Honors in Educational Studies

Students majoring in educational studies may apply to participate in the honors program by submitting a formal statement of their intention to the program faculty by April 15 of their junior year. The written proposal must include a description of the proposed work, a timeline, and the agreement of a faculty sponsor and a secondary faculty reader. A 3.25 overall average and a 3.5 major average at the end of the junior year is a condition for entry into the program. The program involves independent research conducted in education and related fields, and enrollment in Education 483 and 484. Honors is typically taken for eight credits over two semesters; honors course credits may substitute for the senior seminar requirement, but they do not count toward other elective requirements in the major. A 3.5 major average at the end of the senior year and a public oral presentation of the project are conditions for successful completion of this program. The final project will typically consist of a thesis of 50-70 pages of superior quality.

Requirements for the Minor in Education

Seven courses are required: Education 231, and 431 or 493; one practicum or internship; and four electives in education.

Requirements for the Minor in Human Development

Seven courses are required: Education 215, and 431 or 493; one practicum or internship; two electives in education; and two electives in related departments, to be approved by the program chair.

Requirements for the Minor in Professional Certification

Nine courses are required: Education 213 or 215, 231, 374, 431; one practicum (351 or 355); the Senior Student Teaching sequence (433 and 437); and two electives in education. In addition, students must complete a major in a department or program that corresponds to a field in which Colby offers certification.

Requirements for Professional Certification for Double Majors

A major in educational studies and a major in a department or program that corresponds to a field in which Colby offers certification. In addition, Education 213 or 215, 231, 374, 431; one practicum (351 or 355); and the Senior Student Teaching sequence (433 and 437).

Other Applicable Courses +

Approved Courses for the Concentration in Human Development

Anthropology

  • 231 Caribbean Cultures
  • 246 Engaging Muslim Worlds
  • 258 Anthropology, History, Memory
  • 341 Culture, Mobility, Identity: Encounters in the African Diaspora
  • 363 Secrecy and Power
  • 373 The Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality

Psychology

  • 232 Cognitive Psychology
  • 251 Personality Psychology
  • 253 Social Psychology
  • 259 Lifespan Development

Sociology

  • 237 Sociology of Sexualities
  • 252 Race, Ethnicity, and Society
  • 273 Sociology of Families
  • 276 Sociology of Gender
  • 361 Special Topics in Health and Medicine: Substance Use and Abuse

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  • 201 Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • 232 Queer Identities and Politics

Approved Courses for the Concentration in Schools, Society, and Culture

Anthropology

  • 236 Illegal Drugs, Law, and the State
  • 242 Anthropology of Latin America: City Life
  • 256 Land, Food, Culture, and Power
  • 341 Culture, Mobility, Identity: Encounters in the African Diaspora
  • 361 Militaries. Militarization, and War

Global Studies

  • 437 Media, Culture, and the Political Imagination

Government

  • 210 Interest Group Politics
  • 212 U.S. Congress
  • 317 The Policymaking Process

History 

  • 231 American Women’s History to 1870
  • 232 American Women’s History 1870 to the Present
  • 233 Native Americans to 1850
  • 234 Native Americans since 1850
  • 241 History of Colby College
  • 247 African-American History, from Slavery to Freedom

Sociology

  • 231 Contemporary Social Problems
  • 252 Race, Ethnicity, and Society
  • 259 Activism and Social Movements
  • 261 Sociology of Organizations
  • 274 Social Inequality and Power
  • 357 Civil Rights, Black Power, and Social Change

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

  • 201 Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • 232 Queer Identities and Politics
  • 317 Boys to Men
  • 335 Girls Making Change