Elementary Education (BS)
Prepare for a career teaching students from Kindergarten through Grade 8.
At Thomas College, the education program is grounded in the idea of teaching for understanding. Here, you’ll learn how to build the kind caring, motivating, and challenging classroom culture that is at the heart of successful schools. The elementary education program equips you to make a career of playing that influential and memorable role in the lives of young children.
- Foundations of Education
- The Teaching Profession
- Teaching Process and Curriculum Design
- Explorations in STEAM
- Introduction to Educational Game Design
- Children’s Literature
- STEAM Curriculum and Instruction
- Methods of Teaching Social Studies in Elementary Schools
- Teaching Reading in the Primary Grades
- Advanced Field Experience
- Teaching Reading in the Elementary Schools
- Methods of Teaching Language Arts
- Methods of Teaching Mathematics
You can explore paths in:
- Elementary education
- Childcare administration
- Social services
- Educational program development
The Thomas College program meets Maine’s Standards for Initial Certification of Teachers. The program is fully certified by the State of Maine. We emphasize early and ongoing fieldwork, which gets you into classroom and childcare settings sooner. You’ll graduate with real experience and join an extensive network of Thomas College alumni that can support your career goals for a lifetime.
You can take…
- Complete a field experience and student teaching and gain real experience in classrooms and educational settings
- Discover the contemporary immigrant experience in Maine, and research your own personal cultural background in a semester-long cultural inquiry in Family, Culture, and Community
- Learn how to apply technology in thoughtful ways in Computers Across the Curriculum
You’ll graduate with the ability to…
- Demonstrate knowledge of the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline you teach, and create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful to students
- Understand the diverse ways in which students learn and develop by providing learning opportunities that support their intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development
- Teach based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, and curriculum goals
- Create and maintain a classroom environment which supports and encourages learning, and support students’ well-being by engaging home, school, colleagues, and community
- Use a variety of formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and support the development of the learner
- Demonstrate an awareness of, and commitment to, the ethical and legal responsibilities of a teacher
Individualized instruction from leaders in education.
- Richard Biffle, Ph.D.Professor of Education and Instructor of Anthropology & ArchaeologyRichard Biffle, Ph.D.Professor of Education and Instructor of Anthropology & Archaeology
- B.A. in Political Science, University of California
- M.A. in Educational Administration and Leadership, Eastern Michigan University
- Ph.D. in Educational Anthropology, University of New Mexico
- Pamela Thompson, Ph.D.Professor of Education and Chair of the School of Education
- Wallace Alexander, Ed.D.Professor of Education
Recent courses taught:
- B.S. in Biology
- M.Ed from the University of Maine at Orono
- Ed.D from the University of Maine at Orono
- Association for Middle Level Education
- Maine Association for Middle Level Education
- Phi Delta Kappa
- Katahdin (Kate) Cook Whitt, Ed.D.Assistant Professor
- B.A. in Neuroscience and Music, Oberlin College
- M.S.Ed. in Secondary Science Education, Northwestern University
- Ed.D. in Learning Organizations, Wright State University
- Maine Teaching Certification in Secondary Science
- American Educational Research Association
- National Association for Research in Science Teaching
- National Science Teachers Association
- Maine Science Teachers Association
- Northeastern Educational Research Association
Wagh, A., Cook Whitt K., & Wilensky, U. (2017). Bridging inquiry-based science and constructionism: Exploring the alignment between students tinkering with code of computational models and goals of inquiry. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 54(5), 614-641. doi:10.1002/tea.21379
Todd, A., Romine, W. L., & Cook Whitt, K. (2017). Development and validation of the learning progression-based assessment of molecular genetics in a high school context. Science Education, 101(1), 32-65. doi:10.1002/sce.21252
Cook, K., & Montgomery, J. (2012). The art and science of a STEM-driven curriculum. EdTech.
Cook Whitt, K. (2017, April). A structural model of elementary teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and practices for next generation science teaching. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX.
Cook Whitt, K. (2015, April). The impact of reformed science teaching practices on student achievement. Poster presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.
Cook Whitt, K., Knodle, H., Wolfe, K., Lee, S. (2015). The power of computational modeling and simulation in the biology classroom. Workshop presented at the National Science Teachers Association National Conference on Science Education, Chicago, IL.
Cook Whitt, K., Novak, M., & Brady, C., (2015). Modeling key mechanisms of evolution and population biology. Short course presented at the National Science Teachers Association National Conference on Science Education, Chicago, IL.
Cook Whitt, K. (2014). Enactment of reformed teaching practices and student achievement. Poster presented at the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness, Williamsburg, VA.
- Ted Prawat M.F.A.Assistant Professor
- Katie Rybakova, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of Education
- B.S., English Education, Florida State University
- M.S., English Education, Florida State University
- Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction, Florida State University
- 6-12th grade English/Language Arts
- ESOL Endorsement
- K-12 Exceptional Student Education certification
- Executive Director, Maine Association for Middle Level Education (state)
- Co-Chair, Conference on English Education Digital Literacies In Teacher Education Commission (national)
- MAMLE (Maine Association for Middle Level Education)
- NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English)
- CEE (Conference on English Education)
- SITE (Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education)
Rybakova, K. (In press). Using young adult literature with first generation college students in an introductory literature college course. ALAN Review, 46(1).
Rybakova, K., & Muir, M. (2018). Stories from the middle. The Leaflet. 20-26.
Witte, S. & Rybakova, K. (2017). Digging for deeper connections: Building multimodal text scaffolds. ALAN Review, 45(1), 98-106.
Rybakova, K., & Roccanti, R. (2016). Connecting the canon to current young adult literature. American Secondary Education, 44(2), 31-45.
Piotrowski, A., & Rybakova, K. (2016). Reading adolescents in dystopian YAL through the lens of feminism. GALA: A Journal of the Gender in Literacy and Life Assembly, 21, 23-30.
Witte, S., Rybakova, K., Kollar, C. (2014). Using transmedia and young adult literature with pre-service teachers. SIGNAL, Fall 2014/Winter 2015, 27-33.
Rybakova, K., Piotrowski, A., & Harper, E. (2013). Teaching controversial young adult literature with the common core. Wisconsin English Journal, 55(1), 37-45.
Rybakova, K., & Witte, S. (2014). Utilizing Pinterest based lesson plans. Florida English Journal, 49(2), 33-38.
Conference Proceedings: 2017 only listed, state and national:
Rybakova, K. (2017). The future is now. Respondent for roundtable session at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.
Rybakova, K., & Piotrowski, A. (2017). The next chapter in digital literacies: Teacher education for today and tomorrow. Co-chair of roundtable session at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.
Rybakova, K., & Piotrowski, A. (2017). Empowering our instruction: Voice, choice, and feedback methods. Panel presentation at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.
Piotrowski, A., & Rybakova, K. (2017). Capturing digital literacies in action: Using video to study students out-of-school literacies. Roundtable presented at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.
Rybakova, K. (2017). Beyond tools and trinkets: Facilitating effective digital learning at the middle level. Roundtable chair presented at the Maine Association for Middle Level Education, Point Lookout, Maine.
Hicks, T., et al. (2017). (Re)Envisioning our beliefs about technology and the preparation of English teachers, part I. Working session at the Conference on English Education, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
Rybakova, K., & Piotrowski, A. (2017). Teacher noticing patterns of preservice teachers. Combined roundtable presentation at the Conference on English Education, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
International Conference Proceedings:
Rybakova, K. (2016). Using screencasting as a feedback tool in teacher education. In Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2016. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancements of Computing in Education (AACE).
Rybakova, K., & Witte, S. (2016). Professional development 2.0: Teaching teachers about technology. In Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2016. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancements of Computing in Education (AACE).
Witte, S., Piotrowski, A., & Rybakova, K. (2016). Initiating instructional change through the use of 21st century literacies practice. In Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2016. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancements of Computing in Education (AACE).