Students pursuing a degree that will enable them to teach earth science must take the college core curriculum classes. Also part of the required course work are higher level classes specific to earth science and general science classes. Additionally, these students must take professional education courses designed to equip the potential teacher with classroom management and instructional strategies. A student teaching requirement must also be met.
College Core Curriculum
Virtually all students pursuing a bachelor's degree must complete the college core curriculum. The core curriculum may include courses in English, speech or public speaking, humanities, foreign language, physical education and fine arts. The core curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad intellectual exposure that will complement any major area of study. The focus is to equip the student with a broad college level knowledge base, and to develop the desire for life-long learning.
Students intending to teach earth science must take college science classes specific to earth science content. As part of the earth science major curriculum, students must take environmental geology, sedimentology, mineralogy, oceanography, meteorology, astronomy, botany and other science courses, such as chemistry, physics and biology. Students may also be required to participate in seminar and field trip classes that focus on practical experience related to earth science.
Professional Education Classes
Professional education courses refer to those courses typically taught by the education department faculty. These courses may include classes on instructional and assessment methods, seminar classes that focus on hot topics in education, and classes focused on classroom management and special populations. Also, students must practice teach under the supervision of a certified teacher. They may also attend a college class in the evening to debrief after student teaching.
Further study beyond required courses may be explored as part of elective coursework. Elective classes for the potential earth science teacher are classes related to earth science, but are of the student's own choosing. For instance, a student may have taken all of the required courses that focus on oceanography, but a heightened personal interest in oceanography may prompt them to take elective courses related to the topic.