Middle Grades Education

Millikin University’s School of Education is proud to present a new major which will allow students to become licensed Middle Grades educators.

Candidates in the Middle Grades Education (grades 5-8) will receive strong preparation in middle grades pedagogy, differentiation, diversity and cultural awareness, psychological and social/emotional needs, literacy in the content area, as well as a robust knowledge of one or more of four disciplines: Literacy, Mathematics, Social Sciences, Science.

Upon completion of the Middle Grades Education program, students will:

  • Possess in-depth knowledge of the content area that will be taught in middle grades
  • Identify and implement specific methods in teaching and assessing the content area
  • Communicate theory, differentiation, and experiences related to current best practice in teaching and learning
  • Distinguish pedagogy that addresses social/emotional needs and cultural/diversity awareness

Candidates in the Middle Grades Education major fulfill both university Bachelor degree and state licensure requirements through proficiency in the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards.

Plans of Study

Departmental Course Offerings

Courses change each semester, so this list should not be considered a commitment to these individual topics. However, this does represent a list of many of our current and popular courses. The list is provided so that you can begin to imagine your academic career at Millikin in this major.

Candidates in the Middle Grades Education (grades 5-8) fulfill both university Bachelor degree and state licensure requirements through proficiency in the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards.  Candidates will receive strong preparation in middle grades pedagogy, differentiation, diversity and cultural awareness, psychological and social/emotional needs, literacy in the content area, as well as a robust knowledge of one or more of four disciplines: Literacy, Mathematics, Social Sciences, Science.

Upon completion of the Middle Grades Education program, the student will:

  1. Acquire in-depth knowledge of the content area that will be taught in middle grades.
  2. Identify and use specific methods in teaching and assessing the content area.
  3. Communicate theory, differentiation, and experiences related to current best practice in teaching and learning.
  4. Distinguish pedagogy that addresses social/emotional needs and cultural/diversity awareness.

Middle Grades Education candidates may choose to add Special Education, ESL, Bilingual Education endorsements, or may choose to complete two tracks of study in the Middle Grades major.

Instructional Strategies for Individuals with Learning Disabilities This course addresses the psychology of, the identification of, and the methods of instruction for the exceptional child in K - 12 classrooms. Students will discuss theory and skills to create and teach lessons that are varied to meet the individual learning needs of all students with learning disabilities in K - 12 classrooms. Students will engage in various learning activities through which they will learn and implement teaching strategies designed to create multiple paths so that students of different learning needs experience equally appropriate ways to sustain learning. Students will also show evidence of differentiating instruction by varying content, process, and product in their units and lessons. This course is required for all teacher candidates seeking state licensure.
Introduction to American Education Problems concerning the nature and aims of American education, the curriculum, the organization and administration of a school system are studied with respect to their historical development and the philosophical issues to which they are related. Special emphasis is placed on the present strengths and weaknesses of American schools and upon the potential value of educational innovations. The professional role of the teacher will be examined with special attention given to the professional standards that prospective teachers must meet. This course includes the ED170 field experience in a classroom with a certified teacher for 40 or more hours during the semester. Reflection journals are required. The purpose of the field experience is for students to become aware of the role of a teacher in specific grade levels/content areas and to gain experience with children at this level. Concurrent enrollment in ED170/ED172.
Education Internship I This course assists transfer students and students in PACE programs to complete a concentrated internship in a classroom with a certified teacher, develop the first Embedded Signature Assessment, and prepare their School of Education application materials so that they may be admitted. The internship comprises 40 or more hours in a Pre-K, elementary or secondary school classroom. Students must complete a reflective journal about their classroom experience and complete the ESA. The internship provides opportunities for students to learn about the role of teachers in their field, specific grade levels, and content areas and to gain experience with students. This course is required for all education majors. This course can be repeated. (ED170)
Human Development, for Middle Grades, Secondary, and K-12 Specialists Study of child and adolescent development. Major theories of intellectual, social, and emotional development will be surveyed, as well as stages of physical development. Addresses problems unique to adolescents, such as adolescent egocentrism, body image issues, and substance abuse. Students will examine instructional implications for teachers of developing adolescents. In-school case study and individual tutoring are required. Pre-requisite: ED120/ED170.
Creating Communities of Learners Addresses principles of individual and group motivation and communication, as well as strategies of management and discipline, that will assist students to create positive learning communities that foster positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. Case descriptions and microteaching will assist candidates to solve classroom behavioral and motivation problems. Applications of discipline and learning theories will be examined to enable the development of proactive and preventive classroom management strategies. Students will prepare and present a discipline and management plan. Concurrent enrollment in ED305, ED306, ED312 required for Junior Block for Elementary Education program and ED332, ED336, ED335, ED339 for Early Childhood Education program. ED310 required for Music Education. ED310 and ED321 required for Secondary Block for Secondary and K - 12 programs. Pre-requisite: Sophomore Block courses (Early Childhood and Elementary Education only) and admission to the School of Education (or consent of Director of the School of Education).
General Middle and Secondary Methods and Assessment Theories and techniques of teaching in secondary schools with specific emphasis on the planning, organizing and presenting of learning experiences and assessment of student achievement. As part of the Secondary Block, students are assigned to a local middle or high school classroom to complete a 30 hour internship for two full mornings a week for four weeks. Pre-requisite: Admission to the School of Education (or consent of Director of the School of Education). Concurrent enrollment in ED310.
Methods for Teaching Literacy in the Content Area Classroom This course is required for all K-12 and secondary content area majors. It supports the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (IPTS) as well as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in literacy for History/Social Science, Science & Technical Subjects such as Art, P.E. and Music. Course content focuses on the preparation of teacher candidates for the responsibility of integrating reading, writing, listening and speaking instruction into their content area curriculum. Topics of study will include, but are not limited to: language acquisition and development; instructional design and literacy assessment; English language learners and students with special needs; differentiation and RTI; and college & career readiness. Prerequisite: Admission to the School of Education.
Instructional Analysis, Design, and Assessment in Pre-student Teaching Students will apply, implement and reflect on principles of instructional design and assessment in classrooms. Students will plan, instruct and assess a unit of instruction at the student teaching site. Instructional approaches and assessment techniques for teaching in the classroom setting will be learned during a co-requisite 60 hour internship.
Supervised Teaching in Middle Grades This final field experience is required of all teacher candidates for certification. It is the capstone course for the education major. This course is taken in its entirety off campus at the school where student teaching has been assigned. The teacher candidate is immersed in the life of a mentor teacher for 14 weeks. The course requires that the teacher candidate will co-teach with a classroom teacher for the time they are student teaching. The cooperating teacher will lead the planning for both participants in the beginning and then, that role will gradually be assumed by the teacher candidate. Teacher candidates will utilize the seven strategies of co-teaching and will complete a teacher work sample demonstrating how they will affect student learning. This is done in conjunction with ED488. Education Senior Seminar taken in tandem with student teaching.
Education Senior Seminar Problems of beginning teachers, including the job seeking process, certification, legal aspects of teaching, and graduate school opportunities. Specific problems analysis by teaching major and for each teacher candidate. Taken concurrently with ED474, ED476, ED477, ED478 (student teaching). Prerequisite: Admission to and retention in the School of Education and Admission to Student Teaching.

Middle Grades Education Tracks Courses

Each Middle Grades Education candidate will select a track for licensure in one of four areas: Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences. A candidate may choose two or more tracks to complete as well. The Illinois State Board of Education now requires that all candidates earn a grade of C- or higher in all courses in their content area.

Middle Grades, Literacy Track

ED 425. Methods of Teaching and Assessment in Literacy and Language Arts for grades 5 - 12 (3)
EN 302. Methods for Teaching Literacy in the Content Area Classroom (3)
EN 375. The English Language (3)
EN 222. Contemporary Adolescent Literature (3)
**Choose TWO/6 credits of Advanced Writing courses: 
EN 200. Writing Seminar (3)
EN 201. Introduction to Creative Writing (3)
EN 202. Writing about Literature (3)
**Choose of TWO/6 credits of Advanced English Studies courses:             
EN 234. American Multicultural Literature (3)
EN 295. Community Literacy (3)
EN 340. Studies in Poetry (3)
EN 350. Studies in Drama (3)
EN 360. Studies in Fiction (3)
EN 366. Studies in Literary History (3)

Middle Grades, Mathematics Track

MA 425. Methods of Teaching Secondary and Middle Grades Mathematics, Grades 5 - 12  (3)
MA 140. Calculus I (4)
MA 208. Discrete Mathematics (3)
MA 240. Calculus II (4)
MA 301. College Geometry (3)
MA 320. History of Mathematics (3)
**Select one of the following two course sequences:     
Option 1: MA 130. Elementary Probability and Statistics with Spreadsheets (3) and MA 131. Elementary Probability and Statistics Lab (4)
Option 2: MA 304. Probability and MA 314. Mathematical Statistics (6)

Middle Grades, Science

BI/CH 310. Middle Grades and Secondary Science, Content & Laboratory Development (3)
**Choose 8 credits of these options:
CH 114. Fundamentals of Chemistry (4)
CH 121. General Chemistry and CH 151. Introductory Chemistry Laboratory I (4)
CH 203. Essentials of Organic and Biochemistry and CH 205. Essentials of Organic and Biochemistry Laboratory (4)
CH 224. General Inorganic Chemistry and CH 152. Introductory Chemistry Laboratory II (4)
**Choose 8 credits of these options:
BI 102. Topics in Biology (4)
BI 105. Ecology and Evolution and BI 155. Ecology and Evolution Lab (4)
BI 108. Diversity of Life and BI 158. Diversity of Life Lab (4)
**Choose 7 credits of these options:
PY 160. Earth and Space Science (3)
PY 100. The Planets and PY 104. Planets Laboratory (4)
PY 101. Stars and Galaxies and PY 104. Stars and Galaxies Laboratory (4)

Middle Grades, Social Sciences

HI 425. Methods of Teaching and Assessment in the Social Studies for grades 5 - 12 (3)
HI 203. U.S. History to 1865 (3)
EC 100. Macroeconomics (3)
PO 105. American Political System (3)
HI 206. Cultural Geography (3)
**Choose THREE/9 credits of the following courses:
HI 204. U.S. History Since 1865 (3)
HI 103. World History to 1500 (3)
HI 104. World History since 1500 (3)
PO 240. Local and State Politics (3)

For full course descriptions view the course catalogs here.