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Secondary Education and Teaching - Overview


Secondary education and teaching programs prepare people to teach in high schools or grade levels 7-12. Students learn to teach a specific subject or a broad set of courses. They also learn to plan lessons and design projects that both motivate and challenge students.

"Ferris Bueller's Day Off." "The Breakfast Club." "Clueless." "Say Anything." Have you ever wondered why so many movies set in high school or starring high school students rarely show the classroom except to make fun of it?

For those of you who have gone to high school, maybe you find it perfectly understandable. The last place you may want to be in a movie is a high school classroom. And these filmmakers probably also see the high school classroom as boring and uneventful.

But many people are saying that nowadays, students are being forced to mature much faster than they ever have. This means that they're dealing with issues that most high school students of the past didn't encounter until well into adulthood. They're also starting to prepare for careers much earlier as well. This could be an exciting and crucial time to play a part in the development of young adults.

If, unlike some filmmakers, you believe that a high school classroom can be both fun and educational and want to set out to prove it, then secondary education and teaching may be the program of study for you.

As a student in this program, you learn about the growth and development of adolescents and teenagers and the kinds of issues they typically encounter. You then use this knowledge as a basis for learning how to teach different academic subjects to this age group.

You study teaching methods that have been used in the past and the new developments in education that are emerging now. You also get a chance to try your own hand at teaching secondary school students.

Many schools offer accredited programs in secondary education and teaching. In these programs, you can earn a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree. Getting a bachelor's degree generally takes about four to five years of full-time study after high school. A master's degree usually takes five to seven years, and a doctoral degree typically takes ten to eleven.

When you major in secondary education and teaching, you typically choose to focus on one or two particular subjects you want to teach. Depending on the program, you can choose these subjects from a long list, including these areas:

• Language Arts
• Math
• Science
• Social Science
• Special Education

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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