Online elementary education degrees are perfect for students who want to teach lower grade levels – not infants, but rather, pre-kindergarten through about fifth grade. Students will study childhood development and effective teaching strategies.
Students in online elementary degree programs will take courses in learning theory, classroom management, educational philosophy, differentiated instruction, educational technology, literacy, learning disabilities, exceptional students, and content area-specific instruction, such as science or social studies. Students can sometimes choose a concentration, such as special education or gifted and talented students. Students may want to minor in a field to complement their studies, such as child psychology, sociology, human development and family studies, or math or English.
Depending on a student’s goals and the state in which one lives, students may want to seek out programs that offer a teaching certification in addition to or in conjunction with their degree program. This may take a bit of research on the student’s part, and investigation into a state’s specific certification and education requirements. Some states require certifications only for public school teachers, some state’s require it for all teachers, and some require no certification. While in some cases, it might be easier for a student to pursue an online elementary education degree within their own state in order to ensure they are meeting state requirements, it may make sense in other cases to earn a degree from an out-of-state school and pursue an alternative certification program in-state.
Students may also need to keep in mind that while all of the courses for online degrees in elementary education are offered online, certain other requirements may not be able to be met online. Many states require a certain number of hours in the field, observing classrooms, substitute-teaching in classrooms, and student-teaching—students should have a plan for completing those hours.