Science education degrees continue to be important areas of specialization in teacher education and teacher certification. For many who choose the career path, it is because they enjoy science and also love working with students. Regardless of your reasons for pursuing a degree in science education, you need to pick the right combination of both college and course so that you are able to fulfill your dreams and realize your ambitions in life. In order to be eligible for a science education degree, you must have good verbal as well as quantitative skills. Many students choose to specialize in science education after attaining their first degree. A bachelors of science education degree can be completed after doing a full four years of study though for architecture and engineering it may even take five years. In certain US colleges and universities, there may be a separate track called the honors or scholars program which is offered to high achieving students.
Science Education Preparation and Training
Teacher education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. Students usually must choose a specialization, for example elementary education or secondary mathematics education.
Science education degrees offers a comprehensive curriculum that is focused on helping science teachers work toward their K-12 teaching certification. In general, science education programs culminate in a supervised student teaching internship.
This helps students to apply what they are learning in their teacher education courses, whether for preparation for future elementary or secondary school careers. Science education courses may include:
- Educational psychology
- Technology integration in science education
- Classroom management
- Assessment of learning in science programs
- Instructional strategies
- Educational research methodology
- Conceptual development in science
- Elementary and secondary school science curriculum
In addition students are often required to take additional science courses, which are often offered in colleges of arts and sciences. These science courses may include physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, geology, astronomy, etc.
Licensure and Certification
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that all states require teachers in public schools to be licensed, or certified. The requirements for certification vary by state but all states require at least a bachelor’s degree. For those who teach in private schools licensure may not be required, but may nonetheless be preferred.
- Each sate may require candidates to pass a teaching certification test, demonstrates their knowledge in the subject they will teach
- Teachers are often required to complete annual professional development classes to maintain their certificates
- Most states require teachers to pass a background check
- Some states require teachers to complete a master degree after receiving certification
- All states offer an alternative route to certification for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree but are missing education courses required for certification
- States also require students in teacher preparation programs to complete supervised experience in teaching earned through student teaching or teaching practicum
- Some states require a minimum grade point average
- With additional education or certification, teachers can work toward becoming school counselors, librarians, instructional coordinators, assistant principals or principals
Careers in Science Education
Careers with science education degrees can include working as a K-12 classroom teacher, science curriculum design, educational administration, education leadership, educational technology, etc. Other options include working as an educational consultant, working for a tutoring service, and working for a state department of education.
Estimated Income and Projected Career Outlook
Teaching science in both elementary and secondary schools is an important that continues to see a high in demand for teachers. Hence, the job outlook for those who have completed their degree in science education is very bright, especially for those who have obtained a computer science degree.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that elementary school teachers earn over $50,000 while secondary school teachers earn over $52,450. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS reports the following median annual wage for 2010.
- Kindergarten teachers – $48,800
- Elementary school teachers – $51,660
- Middle school teachers – $51,960
- High school teachers – $53,230
- Special education teachers – $53,220
Employment of special kindergarten, elementary, and middle school teachers is expected to grow by 17% from 2010 to 2020. That of high school teachers is expected to grow 7% during the same period.
Science teachers who have a specialized education degree often earn in income that is in the upper range of reported salaries ranging from $60,000 to $75,000 range. Education administrators earn over $82,120. Science education degrees are therefore an area of consideration for those students who enjoy science and also working with students in K-12. Employment of K-2 teachers is projected to grow 13% through 2018.
Science Education and Teaching Programs
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