The Secondary Teacher Preparation Program at MSU is a five year program with an emphasis on preparing knowledgeable, skillful and professional secondary teachers. We are the top ranked program among all United States colleges and universities . The #1 Secondary Education ranking also reflects our outstanding reputation with superintendents, principals, teachers, and educators not only in Michigan, but around the globe. The reason this for this reputation is simple: MSU's College of Education develops teacher leaders.
Commitment to Quality Teaching: Content PreparationIn the secondary team, we are guided by research about the critical role of expert subject matter knowledge in quality teaching. The research suggests that possessing general pedagogical skills is not enough. Teachers who know the content well have students who learn more. The knowledge such teachers possess, however, is not simply knowledge of the content. It is knowledge of how learners learn the content - what they struggle with, what they are likely to misunderstand, what questions they are likely to have – and knowledge and skills for designing instruction to capitalize on the way learners learn particular content.
Learning By Doing: Field Placements
We are guided by constructivist approaches to learning, both in the strategies we help teacher candidates learn to use when they teach their own students and in the way we have constructed the program. Learning does not automatically occur when students are told, or even shown, what to do or what to know. Students “construct” their own knowledge, based on their own experiences and the way those interact with the content to be learned.
As a result, field work plays a central role in our program. The role of a teacher educator is not to tell students things about teaching, and (separately and independently) require experiences in schools; the role of a teacher educator, and educators in general, is to monitor and moderate the process by which students make sense of their experiences, including how they connect these experiences with their growing understanding of content and pedagogy.
The internship phase of MSU's Secondary Teacher Preparation Program is universally recognized as unparalleled and first-class. We place interns in our partner school districts in the Lansing, Detroit Metropolitan, and Grand Rapids areas. MSU has also developed a strong relationship with Chicago Public Schools and has internship possibilities in Chicago. For more information about internships and locations, please visit our internship areas page.
Goals Born from InspirationTeachers in classrooms, while often alone, do not work in isolation. Teachers are members of a profession and part of a system of education. They must be able to work independently and collaboratively with one another, to carry out two agendas: meeting society's expectations of the profession and the system; and being agents of change in them. Teachers are the front line of society's march toward greater equity and social justice, in their schools, the community, and the world.
Chances are that if you are considering a career in teaching then someone, whether that was a family member, a coach, or a teacher, inspired you to teach. At MSU, we assist you in developing this initial inspiration into a professional teaching practice. We support and guide teacher candidates in working toward these goals:
- The achievement of a deep understanding of subject matters and of methods for "teaching for understanding."
- A democratic commitment to the education of all learners and to classrooms and schools that embrace diversity.
- The acquisition of skills and knowledge needed to establish learning communities in classrooms and schools.
- A mission to participate in the improvement of teaching, of schools, and of the teaching profession, and in those ways help to make a better world.
- The ability to integrate theory with practice and teaching experience with reflection on that experience.