English Education, B.S.
Program Director: Sarah Beck
Address: Pless Building, Room 775
82 Washington Square East
New York, NY 10003
The Interaction of Language and Learning
Language is our most important tool for spoken and written communication, but it is much more than that. Through language, we develop our sense of tradition and our social, ethical and moral concerns. Reading a novel, poem, or play, we experience, understand, and express feelings ranging from joy to sadness, from love to alienation. Language that is sensitively and intelligently shaped can help us to learn who we are and who others are. The teaching of language and literature offers exceptional opportunities and personal rewards. For a more complete statement of English Education at Steinhardt see "Who We Are in Teacher Education: Our Background, Mission and Vision".
Our Reputation Continues to Grow
Our Bachelor of Science Program, Teaching English, Grades 7-12, has long been regarded as among the finest in the country. Students majoring in English education may our distinguished faculty: Sarah Beck, David Kirkland, Joseph McDonald, and Gordon Pradl. Barbiere, the author of numerous books, brings extensive experience with middle school students and a particular focus on the education of girls. Beck specializes in helping high school students develop academic literacy and has worked closely with one of our partnership high schools in the city.
Professor Kirkland, a recognized expert on Hip Hop, focuses on the alterative literacies of inner-city youth and the skills English teachers need to connect to their worlds. Pradl, who specializes in composition, and the teaching of literature, is the author of several articles on narrative language, the coauthor (with John Mayher) of Learning to Write/Learning to Learn, and the author of Literature for Democracy. Our entire faculty holds a deep commitment for the role writing and literature play in bringing out the creative inner voice of student teachers and the students that they, themselves, will be guiding.
Relationships Provide the Key
Many other programs in English education tend to isolate the different aspects of learning and teaching, but in our program they are inseparable. We integrate all aspects of English education-theories of language and literature, literature's content and meaning, and methods for teaching adolescents. You study the relationship among the reader, the literary work, and the writer. You learn how to develop, apply, and evaluate teaching materials and strategies. And you learn how teacher, student, school, and community interact with each other in the educational process. In effect, you build two concentrations in one-deepening your understanding of language, composition, and literature while becoming skilled in reflective teaching.
In Touch with the Latest Ideas
The undergraduate program is enriched by our graduate programs and the ongoing research and curriculum development of the faculty in NYU Steinhardt's Department of Teaching and Learning. As a result, you are in contact with and benefit from the latest thinking and practice in the field of English education. One example is the recent publication of Teaching English Today: Advocating Change in the Secondary Curriculum, which was edited by Professors John Mayher and Pradl, and includes contributions by them and Professor Beck.
Pursuing a Special Interest
We encourage small-group collaboration in learning, and you may negotiate with your professors the kinds of projects and other learning experiences relevant for a particular course. You will have frequent opportunities to develop your creative potential through writing poetry, short stories, and plays within your courses. There are, in addition, numerous campus literary publications that welcome your interest and participation.
Your Teaching Internship
In your junior year, you begin your student teaching experience by observing secondary school teachers and their students in the classroom. During each semester your senior year, under the guidance of your supervising teacher, you assume responsibility for teaching an actual class, one in middle school and one in high school. Teacher education is a collaborative effort, involving you, the experienced cooperating teacher in whose classroom you will be working, and a member of our faculty.