Elementary Education - Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle, And Secondary

Elementary education in the United States is the stage of schooling that lasts from preschool (or kindergarten) to the end of elementary school. After elementary school children generally move on to middle school, at which stage (in some states) their elementary education is considered as having been completed. There are other states, however, middle school grades are grouped into the elementary category. Generally speaking, elementary schools incorporate 5 grades (or classes grouped according to age) and sometimes have their own preschool class too. Kids enter preschool aged 5 or 6 and leave elementary school aged 10 or 11.

Elementary Home Schooling

In some parts of the United States, it's legal for parents to provide elementary education for their children at home, but the laws vary from state to state. In some states, parents themselves may act as their children's elementary tutors, but in others, a qualified teacher or tutor must be hired to ensure that the kids receive quality teaching.

The History Of Elementary Education

The history of elementary education in North America begins with the arrival of the settlers from Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Many of these groups set up a 2-tier schooling system for children which imitated the system in their country of origin. During the colonial period, the educational emphasis in many of these schools was on the religious beliefs of the community that founded the school in question.

After the United States became independent, laws were passed to create a more formally organized schooling system. In the mid to late 18th century, there were calls for a new American and "republican" system, which would not be dependent on the education models taken from the European monarchies from which so many Americans originated.

The first "common" schools, in which an agreed curriculum of basic numeracy and literacy standards was taught throughout a certain state, appeared in the 19th century. To this day, state authorities (not national authorities) are responsible for defining the curriculum of elementary schools in their own region. Therefore standards, teaching practices and religious education at elementary level differ from state to state. The one thing that is the same everywhere, however, is that by law, all children must receive an elementary-level education, and parents who fail to provide this for their kids may be prosecuted.

Elementary Education Career

The necessary experience and qualifications required to be teacher in elementary education differ from state to state, and from school to school (public schools within a state usually have centralized requirements, whereas private schools sometimes set their own standards).

In most states, would-be elementary school teachers must attend elementary education college and obtain an elementary education degree. Then they have to get a teaching license. The degree or elementary education major is not always necessary - there are special licensing programs aimed at training people who don't have an education B.A. to teach at elementary level. (Some private schools don't ask for a license at all, if you have a bachelor's degree in something, plus the relevant skills, it may be possible to find a teaching post at a private institution). If you're considering a career as an elementary school teacher, you should research the training requirements in your state.

Elementary Education Resources

Sharing teaching resources can be a life-saver for student teachers and teachers with years of classroom experience. Whether you're still training and need ideas for elementary education lesson plans, or you already know which plans work but need to update your classroom use of IT (for example), sharing resources with colleagues online is a great way to keep your teaching fresh and effective. There are many websites, some of which are government-approved, which provide lesson plans, educational games, and many other resources either in exchange for payment or for free.

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