Friday, December 16, 2011

College Psychology Early In Your Educational Program Can Help Define Goals

College is a time for students to explore their interests and possible career directions. Introductory courses offer students the opportunity to get a taste of what to expect if they decide to pursue certain majors. In a formal four year education, students normally do not begin their major coursework until the third year of study. For those unsure of what degree program to pursue, the first year or two could be the time to define your goals by taking a variety of courses.

Psychology is an attractive option for many students searching for the perfect fit and introduction to psychology is a favorite among undergraduate students. This course is usually taught in lecture halls with students generally numbering in or around the hundreds per class because of its popularity. The impersonal environment means you get less attention from your professor, but you do garner all of the information if you dedicate yourself to doing well.

Taking Psychology 101 online can be just as beneficial as in the classroom, with the added convenience of flexibility and comfort. When I was taking Psych 101 in a lecture hall, all of our notes were placed on a slide show that our professor would click through while lecturing. Modes such as these can be easily transferred to the online environment with the exact same result, a teacher talking over slide notes.

With either environment, students really have to be engaged in the material to grasp and retain the information. Like with any survey course, a lot of topics will be addressed in a short period of time, requiring students to be on their A game. Studying and reading are essential to getting a good feel for the subject matter.

The online option allows for those with other obligations the chance to experience a very versatile course. Students can choose to learn the information at anytime they prefer, whether it's 2 a.m. or 6 in the afternoon. This is one of the more attractive benefits when taking an online course. Less time will be spent on the actual commute to the school and more on receiving the information.

Outside of helping to decipher what major to choose, this course will build greater communication and critical thinking skills. The topics addressed in intro to psychology will broaden one's capacity for understanding, which will increase one's sensitivity to others, which in turn will transform the ways we interact with others.

Student-Teachers In Elementary Education Programs Learn How To Teach A Variety Of Academic Subjects

The best thing about pursing an elementary education degree are the number of courses you have to take to master instruction of basic subjects, like math, science, English, and reading. It is literally going back in time and experiencing your grade school classes all over again, because you remember all the science projects, math formulas, and awe-inspiring books that captivated your mind and imagination.

Unlike middle and high school teachers, elementary school teachers must master several core subjects in order to successfully impart instruction to students. It can be a bit intimidating because you may remember a subject or two that was not your area of expertise when you were a student (perhaps math). But not to worry, because learning how to teach core subjects, as a teacher, is much easier than learning a subject for the first time as a student.

Elementary English covers learning skills in building vocabulary, grammar, usage, and mechanics, sentence structure and punctuation, research, and a lot more detailed elements of learning the English language. This subject is more technical, because you have to know principles of the subject and the rules and exceptions that govern them. As a student-teacher, you will learn various strategies and uncover useful tools and resources to help you teach this subject.

The other segment of English is literacy. Literacy encompasses reading and writing. All courses related to reading and writing are fun and creative for student-teachers that excel at reading, writing, and being artistic. As a student-teacher, you work on projects that help you learn how to develop reading and writing proficiencies within your students. Lessons can be imparted in a number of inventive ways, like story-time central, conversation corner, and "write up your alley."

Mathematics is always a tricky subject. As with any subject, if the teacher does not have a firm grasp of the foundation, he or she can never understand (or teach) the process. So, it is imperative that you first learn the basis of the math curriculum you must master. At the elementary level, you will cover addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, integers, fractions, decimals, and so on. The essential ingredient for math instruction is keeping it fun and challenging.

For some student teachers, science is their favorite subject to learn how to teach. One reason for its popularity is probably due to the fact that this is the one subject you will learn the most new information (unless, of course, you were science whiz kid in middle and high school). Because there are so many areas of science, the sky is the limit as to what you want to incorporate in your science-teaching portfolio. When taking courses instruction in the field, be sure to keep a journal and write down all of the activities and projects you think will work well with your teaching style.