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Elementary Inclusive Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Elementary Inclusive Education

In the Department of Curriculum & Teaching

About Us

About Us

The Preservice Program in Elementary Inclusive Education prepares teachers to teach all children, particularly in urban contexts. The course of study emphasizes curriculum development for heterogeneous classrooms, critical multiculturalism, teaching for equity and social justice, and an inquiry approach to teaching and learning.  The program reflects the pluralism at Teachers College; our students study a wide variety of approaches to education rather than a single approach.  In keeping with this philosophy, the emphasis is on leadership, inquiry, and practice-based and moral decision making.
Our stance is that there is no single truth in education.  Teachers must be expert "kid-watchers": searching for the best way to teach each individual child and group of children. Such teaching lacks the safety and predictability of the "tried and true" approach and requires individuals who understand the limitations of fixed formulas and who enjoy reaching out into the unpredictable world created by the diversity and the uniqueness of each child and each group of children.  We seek prospective teachers who have a deep commitment to learning from and with children, about their passions and habits, interests and needs. We prepare teachers to draw upon community and family assets and consciously build a capacity approach to working in low-income neighborhoods.  Above all, we wish to prepare educators who put developing relationships with children, their families, and community members well ahead of obtaining high scores on standardized tests.

The Preservice Program in Elementary Inclusive Education is both a graduate program and a professional course of study. This rigorous academic program is designed primarily for those who have no (or minimal) formal preparation or coursework in education and are beginning their study of teaching. The program leads to an M.A. degree and New York State teacher certification. Upon completion of the program, graduates can also apply for teacher certification in states other than New York, and many secure teaching positions elsewhere in the U.S. as well as internationally.

There are two main components to the program: course work and student teaching. All M.A. students have a five-year candidacy period in which to complete their degree program.

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This program includes the following: Elementary Inclusive Education (Grades 1-6)

Student Handbook

What Our Students Say

  • quote4

    "I think the hardest aspect of teaching is making certain to meet the needs of every student. As a teacher, you are responsible for the education of the students. Parents have placed their trust into your hands. How does a teacher give a lesson to twenty-one different students sitting in one classroom? How does a teacher make certain that each student is learning?"