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Students may complete a sequence of courses leading to Pennsylvania state certification to teach at the secondary level, complete requirements for certification in a fifth-year program or complete a minor in educational studies.


Jody Cohen, Senior Lecturer
Alison Cook-Sather, Associate Professor
Alice Lesnick, Senior Lecturer and Director

Program Advisers

Ann Brown, Program Administrator and Adviser
Robyn Newkumet, Field Placement Coordinator and Adviser

The field of education is about teaching people how to teach — and more. The Bryn Mawr-Haverford Education Program is built around four mutually-informing pursuits: teacher preparation; the interdisciplinary study of learning as a central human and cultural activity; the investigation of the politics of schooling; and students' growth as teachers, learners, researchers and change agents.

Courses in the Education Program address students interested in:

  • The theory, process and reform of education in the United States
  • Social justice, activism and working within and against systems of social reproduction
  • Future work as educators in schools, public or mental health, community, or other settings
  • Examining and re-claiming their own learning and educational goals
  • Integrating field-based and academic learning

Each education course includes a field component through which professors seek continuously to integrate theory and practice, asking students to bridge academic and experiential knowledge in the classroom and beyond it. Field placements in schools and other educational settings range from two hours per week in the introductory course to full-time student teaching in the certification program.

The Bi-College Education Program offers several options. Students may:

  • Explore one or more aspects of education in areas of particular interest — such as urban schooling — by enrolling in single courses;
  • Pursue a minor in educational studies;
  • Pursue secondary teacher certification;
  • Complete the secondary teacher certification program in a fifth year program after they graduate at a reduced cost;
  • Complete elementary certification through the Swarthmore and Eastern Colleges elementary education certification program;
  • Sub-matriculate (as juniors or seniors) into the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education's elementary or secondary education Master's program; or
  • In a five-year program, complete both the A.B./M.A. program in physics or mathematics (or possibly other departments that offer the AB/MA option) and the secondary teaching certification program.

The secondary certification sequence and the minor are described below. Students interested in either of these options — or in pursuing elementary education at Swarthmore or sub-matriculating into the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education (not described here) — should meet with a program adviser as early as possible for advice on scheduling, preferably by the sophomore year.

Requirements for Certification

The Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program is accredited by the state of Pennsylvania to prepare undergraduates for secondary certification (grades 7-12) in the following areas: biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, physics, social studies (as well as citizenship education and social science), and world languages, including Chinese, French, German, Latin, Russian and Spanish. Pursuit of certification in Chinese, German, Latin and Russian is subject to availability of student-teaching placements.

Students becoming certified in a foreign language have K-12 certification. Certain interdisciplinary majors and double majors (e.g., romance languages, comparative literature, East Asian studies) may also be eligible for certification provided they meet the Pennsylvania standards in one of the subject areas listed above.

To qualify for a teaching certificate, students must complete an academic major in the subject area in which they seek certification. (Within their major, students must select courses that help them meet or exceed the state standards for teachers in that subject area.) The education courses are listed below:

  1. EDUC 200 (Critical Issues in Education)
  2. PSYC 203 (Educational Psychology)
  3. EDUC 210 (Special Education)
  4. Either EDUC 250 (Literacies and Education) or EDUC 240 (Multicultural Education)
  5. EDUC 301 (Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar)
  6. EDUC 302 (Practice Teaching Seminar) and EDUC 303 (Practice Teaching) These courses are taken concurrently and earn triple credit.

Furthermore, for social studies certification, as well as certification in the sciences, students must take courses outside their major to meet state standards.

Students preparing for certification must also take two English and two mathematics courses and must attain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher (state requirements). They must attain a GPA of 2.7 or higher in EDUC 200 (Critical Issues in Education) and EDUC 301 (Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar) in order to practice-teach. They must also be recommended by the director of the Education Program and the chair of their major department.

Critical Issues in Education should be taken by the end of the sophomore year if at all possible. The Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar is offered during the fall semester for seniors and must precede Practice Teaching.

Practice Teaching is undertaken for 12 weeks in a local school during the spring semester of the senior year. Note: Practice Teaching is a commitment to be at a school for five full school days each week for those 12 weeks.

Requirements for the Minor in Educational Studies

The Bi-College minor in educational studies is an interdisciplinary exploration of the cultural, political, and interactional dimensions of teaching and learning and is designed for students with a broad range of education-related interests, such as plans for graduate study in education, pursuit of elementary or secondary certification after graduation or careers that require educational expertise. Many professions and pursuits — management and training positions, research, administration and policy work, and careers in social work, health and law — involve using an educator's skills and knowledge. Civic engagement, community development and work towards social justice also require knowledge of how people learn. Because students interested in these or other education-related pursuits major in different subject areas and have different aspirations, they are encouraged to design a minor appropriate both to their major area of study and to their anticipated futures.

All minors in educational studies must consult with a program adviser to design a coherent course of study that satisfies the requirements below:

  • EDUC 200 Critical Issues in Education
  • Required education course (EDUC 210, 225, 240, 250, 260, 266 — see course descriptions below)
  • Two education-related electives (see program adviser for options)
  • EDUC 310 Defining Educational Practice
  • EDUC 311 Fieldwork Seminar

The Portfolio

To synthesize their work in the minor or the certification program, students create a portfolio. The portfolio draws on the work students produce in their courses as well as in their other activities (volunteering, summer programs, community work, etc.); it serves as an ongoing forum through which students synthesize their studies. The portfolio is developed over the course of the student's college career and is completed in the Fieldwork Seminar (minor) or the Practice Teaching Seminar (certification).

Title II Reporting: Title II of the Higher Education Act (HEA) requires that a full teacher preparation report, including the institution's pass rate as well as the state's pass rate, be available to the public on request. Copies of the report may be requested from Ann Brown, program administrator and adviser, by e-mail at or phone at (610) 526-5376.

EDUC B/H200 Critical Issues in Education

Designed to be the first course for students interested in pursuing one of the options offered through the Education Program, this course is also open to students who are not yet certain about their career aspirations but are interested in educational issues. The course examines major issues in education in the United States within the conceptual framework of educational reform. Two hours a week of fieldwork are required. Enrollment is limited to 25 students per section with priority given to students pursuing certification or the minor in educational studies. Both sections are writing intensive. (staff, Division I)

EDUC H210 Special Education

Special education programs have been at the center of controversy on national and local levels since their inception. This course examines issues such as: the inherent relationship between knowledge and power, the goals of education, the legal and political history of special education, current identification and curricular strategies, as well as local administrative policies. Particular attention will be paid to the roles that financial incentives and racial discrimination play in special education classification and programming. Students conduct field research in school placements. Enrollment is limited to 25 with priority given to students pursuing certification or the minor in educational studies. (staff, Division I)

EDUC B219 Writing in Theory/Writing in Practice

(Hemmeter, Division III; cross-listed as ENGL B220)

EDUC B220 Changing Pedagogies in Math and Science Education

This praxis course examines new pedagogies being used in math and science education and the issues that arise in successfully implementing these new pedagogies. Students have a placement (4-6 hours/week) with a local teacher who is undertaking some type of pedagogical change in math or science education. The course is being offered jointly by Bryn Mawr College and Arcadia University : several of the weekly sessions will take place at Arcadia . Enrollment limited to 20 students, with priority given to students pursing certification or the minor in educational studies. (Donnay)

EDUC B225 Empowering Learners: Theory and Practice of Extra-Classroom Teaching

This seminar explores how tutoring, mentoring and others types of learning support, engage and transform issues of authority, role, expertise and the nature of knowledge. Praxis field placements include campus roles as T.A., peer mentor, PLI leader; off-campus programs; and two new staff-student educational programs at Bryn Mawr. Enrollment limited to 20 students. Priority to students pursuing certification or the minor in educational studies. This is a Praxis I course. (Lesnick)

EDUC B250 Literacies and Education

A critical exploration of what counts as literacy, who decides, and what the implications are for teaching and learning. Students explore both their own and others experiences of literacy through reading and writing about power, privilege, access and responsibility around issues of adult, ESL, cultural, multicultural, gendered, academic and critical literacies. Fieldwork required. (Writing Intensive Praxis I). Priority given first to those pursuing certification or a minor in educational studies. (Cohen, Division I)

EDUC B251 Arts Teaching in Educational and Community Settings

(Cantor, Division III; cross-listed as ARTA B251)

EDUC H260 Multicultural Education

An investigation of the notion of multicultural education. This course problematizes the history, meanings, purposes, and outcomes of multicultural education and engages students in researching and reinventing what is possible in education for, with, and about a diverse world. Praxis I fieldwork required. Enrollment limited to 25. Priority given first to those pursuing certification or a minor in educational studies. (staff)

EDUC B266 Schools in American Cities

This course examines issues, challenges and possibilities of urban education in contemporary America . We use as critical lenses issues of race, class and culture; urban learners, teachers and school systems; and restructuring and reform. While we look at urban education nationally over several decades, we use Philadelphia as a focal “case” that students investigate through documents and school placements. Enrollment is limited to 25 with priority given to students pursuing certification or the minor in educational studies and to majors in sociology and growth and structure of cities. This is a Praxis I course. (Cohen, Division I; cross-listed as CITY B266 and SOCL B266)

EDUC B301 Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar

A consideration of theoretical and applied issues related to effective curriculum design, pedagogical approaches and related issues of teaching and learning. Fieldwork is required. Enrollment is limited to 15 with priority given first to students pursuing certification and second to seniors planning to teach. (Cook-Sather, Division I)

EDUC B302 Practice Teaching Seminar

Drawing on participants' diverse student teaching placements, this seminar invites exploration and analysis of ideas, perspectives and approaches to teaching at the middle and secondary levels. Taken concurrently with Practice Teaching. Open only to students engaged in practice teaching. (Cook-Sather, Division I)

EDUC B303 Practice Teaching in Secondary Schools

Supervised teaching in secondary schools (12 weeks). Two units of credit are given for this course. Open only to students preparing for state certification. (Cook-Sather)

EDUC B310 Defining Educational Practice

An interdisciplinary inquiry into the work of constructing professional identities and roles in education-related contexts. Three to five hours a week of fieldwork are required. Enrollment is limited to 20 with priority given to students pursuing the minor in educational studies. (Lesnick, Division I) Not offered in 2007-08.

EDUC H310 Defining Educational Practice

An interdisciplinary inquiry into the cultural, political and interactional work of teaching and learning in education-related contexts. Study and use of qualitative research methods grounds a linked investigation into field-based research. Three to five hours of fieldwork required per week. Enrollment limited to 20. Priority goes to students completing the minor in educational studies. (Lesnick)

EDUC H311 Fieldwork Seminar

Drawing on the diverse contexts in which participants complete their fieldwork, this seminar invites exploration and analysis of ideas, perspectives, and different ways of understanding his/her ongoing fieldwork and associated issues of educational practice, reform and innovation. Five to eight hours of fieldwork required per week. Enrollment limited to 20. Open only to students completing the minor in educational studies. (Lesnick)

EDUC B377 The Politics of Education Reform

(Maranto; cross-listed as POLS B377)

EDUC B403 Supervised Work


EDUC B425 Independent Study (Praxis III)



Bryn Mawr College · 101 North Merion Ave · Bryn Mawr · PA · 19010-2899 · Tel 610-526-5000