Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.


Chair, 2008-09: Mark Schelske (Education), educational psychology, educational opportunity; Robert McClure (Education), K-12 foundations and methods, Director of Licensure

Faculty, 2008-09: Linda Berger (Music), vocal music; Heather Campbell (Education), reading, ESL, science; Karna Hauck (Education), visual art; Sharon Lane-Getaz (Education and Statistics), statistical methods; Maria Kelly (Education), social studies education, teaching methods; Nancy Lee (Music); Elizabeth Leer (Education), curriculum and instruction, English education; Ann Leming (Education), special education; Tim Mahr (Music), instrumental music; Eric McDonald (Education), curriculum and instruction, science education; Rosie Pfarr-Baker (Education), assessment, counseling, educational opportunity; Mark Storry (Education), chemical awareness; Sarah Swan-McDonald (Education), social studies methods; Martha Wallace (Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science), mathematics; John Welckle (Education), social studies, philosophy of education

St. Olaf College prepares teachers whose commitment to democratic ideals is manifested in their ability to address the needs of all students; in their dedication to schools, communities, and society; and in their commitment to the profession.

The Education Department prepares highly qualified, reflective teachers who integrate liberal arts, their subject matter, and professional education. Reflective teacher candidates assess their options and make sound professional decisions based on practical, pedagogical, and ethical criteria. Teacher candidates develop leadership skills and contribute to the profession and to society. St. Olaf's mission is to prepare its students to be “seekers of truth, leading lives of unselfish service to others.” The faculty members in the teacher education program share in this mission by preparing teachers who embrace this ideal.

Nearly ten percent of St. Olaf graduates qualify for Minnesota teaching licenses each year. Most graduates choose employment as educators in K-12 (kindergarten through grade 12) classrooms in the U.S. or abroad. Many also attend graduate school in special education, counseling, or related human services fields. Among baccalaureate - liberal arts institutions, St. Olaf ranks second in the nation in the number of graduates who earn Ph.D.s in education.


St. Olaf is approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching (BOT) to recommend its graduates for teaching licensure in Minnesota, and it is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). To be eligible for a teaching license through St. Olaf, students must meet the requirements of their teaching content area (english, mathematics, music, social studies, etc.), complete all B.A. or B.M. requirements (including a graduation major), and complete all required education courses and experiences (see requirements below).

The Higher Education Act, Title II, Section 207, requires all institutions that prepare teachers to report pass rates on state licensing tests. In Minnesota, teacher candidates are required to pass the Pre-Professional Skills tests in reading, writing and mathematics. 100% of the students who completed the St. Olaf Teacher Education Program have passed all PRAXIS I required by the state of Minnesota. Minnesota also requires additional tests in pedagogy and content area, PRAXIS II. Students seeking licensure in other states should contact the teacher licensure agency in those states.

Note: Because of periodic changes in licensure requirements, check with the Education Department regarding your program.

The requirements of the social studies education major are described elsewhere in this catalog.

St. Olaf offers these preparatory experiences in education:

1. Secondary/middle school teaching (grades 5-12) in the following academic areas: communication arts and literature (English, communications); mathematics; science 9-12 (biology, chemistry, physics) and 5-8 general science; social studies (economics, history, geography, political science, psychology, sociology/anthropology)

2. Kindergarten-12 level in the following academic areas: dance; English as a Second Language (ESL); music (vocal/classroom, instrumental/classroom); theatre; visual art; world languages (French, German, Latin, Spanish)

3. Grades 5-8 content specialties (middle level), must be accompanied by a 5-12 or K-12 license. Communication Arts and Literature; Math; Science; Social Studies.

4. Grades K-8 - World Languages (must accompany a 5-12 or K-12 license.)

5. Elementary Classrom K-6

St. Olaf does not offer its own elementary K-6 classroom licensure. Students may begin to work towards their license while studying at St. Olaf and complete the requirements within one year after graduation at several different institutions. The University of St. Thomas is offering St. Olaf graduates a one-year collaborative post baccalaureate program. Contact Mark Schelske or Robert McClure in the Education Department for further information.

Coaching is no longer certified by the state, but there are several recommended coaching courses (see education or sports science faculty).


Overall Requirements for a Teaching License and Admission Criteria

At St. Olaf, courses and field experiences have been aligned to meet all of the Minnesota standards for licensure. In order to be recommended for licensure by St. Olaf College, students must meet all of the requirements and make regular progress through each status of the program. Progress from status to status requires approval by the Education Department faculty.

The licensure process and criteria are described below. Consult the Education Department faculty.


1. Pre-Applicants must successfully do the following to progress to Applicant status:

  • Participate in Initial Interviews with education and content area faculty
  • Obtain approval of Teacher Education Application
  • Have a minimum overall and content area GPA of 2.5 to enter

2. Applicants must successfully do the following to progress to Candidate status:

  • Initiate electronic portfolio in Education 291
  • Provide portfolio evidence of meeting Education 290 standards
  • Earn at least a B- in all education courses
  • Complete initial field experience(s) (satisfactory evaluations and hours)
  • Take PRAXIS I (PPST) exams
  • Maintain and/or make progress toward minimum overall GPA and content area GPA of 2.7

3. Candidates must successfully do the following to progress to Student Teacher status:

  • Provide portfolio evidence of meeting Education 231, 330, 3xx, 372, and 375 standards
  • Earn at least a B- in all education courses
  • Maintain minimum overall and content area GPAs of 2.7
  • Complete micro-teaching
  • Complete advanced field experience(s) in Education 330 and other courses (satisfactory evaluations and hours)
  • Complete Interim field experience in a classroom setting of diversity (minimum of 80 hours)
  • Complete a minimum 120 hours of field experience
  • Complete Student Teacher Application, Contract, and Interview
  • Participate in Candidate Interview with education and content area faculty

Highly recommended: Take PRAXIS II (PLT and Content Area) exams

4. Student Teachers must successfully do the following to be recommended for a Minnesota teaching license:

  • Complete all coursework and experiences
  • Complete student teaching
  • Present portfolio evidence demonstrating competency in all Minnesota content area standards and the Standards of Effective Practice (SEP) to education faculty
  • Participate in Exit Interview with the Director of Field Experiences
  • Complete Minnesota Teaching License Application
  • Pass PRAXIS I and PRAXIS II exams

Students at each status must also meet the following requirements:

  • Meet Disposition Criteria
  • Obtain approval of the Dean of Students Office
  • Demonstrate speech and writing proficiency in English
  • Maintain a satisfactory health record
  • Pass criminal background checks as needed
Required Courses, Clinical Field Experiences and Sequence

First Year: One elective INTERIM course, ED 170 Urban Schools and Communities, is recommended (counts as Human Relations requirement.) Informational sessions are offered during Week One orientations and in April prior to registration in the spring. Students are encouraged to focus on their general education requirements and their prospective teaching major.

Sophomore Year: Candidates are encouraged to focus on their general education requirements, their major, coaching, a second teaching area, such as ESL (English as a Second Language), and multicultural experiences. Education 170 (Urban Schools) and Education 260 (Perspectives on Teaching) are offered during Interim for all sophomores. Education 290 (Educational Psychology) is taken during Fall or Spring Semester. If students are planning to take ED 378: Hawaii or Ed 379: Twin Cities Urban Education during Interim Sophomore year, they must take ED 290 the previous fall as a prerequisite. Planning with members of the Education Department and their content area is required.

Junior Year: Most students have had their Teacher Education Application approved prior to their junior year. Courses are sequenced. Education 290, 330, 372, 375, an Interim, 3xx: Special Methods.

Senior Year: Student teach fall or spring – no other courses may be taken during student teaching semester. Students who are student teaching 9th semester follow a different schedule that is negotiated with education faculty. In particular, their 3xx special method course(s) - with the exception of Music - should be taken Spring Semester of their senior year.

Ninth Semester: Students are eligible for a reduced tuition charge for an additional semester to complete student teaching. Their baccalaureate degree from St. Olaf must be completed in advance. See the Education Department or the Registrar for guidelines.

Education 231, Drugs/Alcohol Education (offered Fall and Spring Semester; sophomore or junior year)
Education 290, Educational Psychology (Fall or Spring Semester sophomore year or fall of junior year - or fall sophomore year if taking 377 or 378, 379 that year)
Education 291, Standards and Technology (to be taken concurrently with 290)
Education 321, Teaching of Reading (.5 course for communication arts and literature teachers; 330 prerequisite)
Education 330, Principles of Secondary Education (after 290, before Special Methods)
Education 372, Counseling and Communication in Schools (junior or senior year)
Education 375, Reading and Differentiated Instruction (prerequisite Education 330 junior or senior year)
Education 382, Human Relations (first year, sophomore, junior, or senior year)
Education 3XX, Special Methods of Teaching [IN CONTENT AREA] (after 330, before student teaching)

During the Professional Semester (senior year or ninth semester), only the following courses may be taken:

Education 381, Senior Seminar
Education 382, Human Relations
Education 385, Human Issues in Education
Education 389, Student Teaching



170 Schools and Urban Communities

In this course, students will examine how schools and communities in the Twin Cities interact to provide support and developmental opportunities for school-age children. Through lectures, readings, discussions, field trips and in-school and co-curricular placements, students gain an understanding and awareness of how race, class, ethnicity, national origin, and gender shape the complex character of urban youth and schools. Students will spend one week in orientation activities on campus and two weeks in the Twin Cities. During the time in the Twin Cities, St. Olaf students will participate as tutors and classroom assistants during the school day and then assist in various after-school and community programs. The last week of Interim will be spent back on campus discussing the experience. Counts toward major: Education: (Human Relations [Ed 382] component); ARMS. Counts toward concentration: ARMS. GE: Multicultural Studies Domestic (MCS-D). Open to first-year students.

260 Perspectives on Teaching (off-campus: student's choice of setting)

This course is designed to provide practical experiences for students to explore career opportunities in education and classroom teaching. Following an on-campus introduction to American elementary and secondary education, students will participate in observational and practical experiences at in-school settings, serving as a teacher aide and paraprofessional with a selected teacher/mentor. Closely involved in the life of the school and with the teaching staff, students will gain insight into teaching and schooling. Assessment, reading assignments and journals will complement the experience. Prerequisite: Apply through department of education by Oct. 15, priority given to second-year students.

378 Multicultural Education in Hawaii: Seminar and Practicum (off-campus)

Students examine the influence of race, class and multiculturalism in American schools by participating as teachers' assistants and tutors in two distinctly different K-12 schools. Kamehameha, in Honolulu, is an affluent, urban, private, Hawaiian cultural immersion school. The Kailua Kona schools, on the big island, are rural, public, mixed-race environments. Students discover the challenges and benefits associated with teaching in a diverse racial, cultural and socio-economic environments. Through guest lectures, readings, field trips and seminars, students learn about the truly unique geographic and cultural setting of the Hawaiian islands. This environment makes an excellent framework to examine diversity on the mainland. Counts toward major: ARMS. Counts toward concentration: ARMS. Fulfills Education 382: Human Relations requirement. GE: Multicultural Studies Component (MCS-D).

379 Urban Education Practicum and Seminar (off-campus: MPLS/St. P)

This program provides an opportunity for students to gain direct teaching experience by serving as an intern/paraprofessional for a teacher in a Minneapolis/St. Paul public school. The Interim will heighten students' sensitivities to the complexities of multicultural, urban education and provide exposure to models used to foster educational and personal success in diverse student populations. On/off-campus orientation will be followed by four weeks of full-time work in a classroom with a host teacher and participation in weekly seminars with the college instructor. Reading assignments, journals and guest speakers will complement the experience. Counts toward major: ARMS. Fulfills Education 382: Human Relations Requirement -- both cognitive and experiential component. GE: Multicultural Studies Component (MCS-D). Prerequisite: Education 290 or consent of instructor. Apply through Department of Education before Oct. 15.


Student Teaching Locally

Students indicate preferences for student teaching placements at schools with which we have a partnership and which are within a 60-mile radius of St. Olaf. The college has collaborative arrangements with a dozen school districts in urban, suburban and rural settings – see education faculty. Students are not permitted to student teach in their home schools. They must be fully approved by the Education Department. A vehicle is usually needed for transportation to the school.

Student Teaching Abroad

Students may apply to student teach in India or Seoul, Korea. Students must apply for a student teaching abroad placement by Sept. 15 one year in advance of the academic year in which the placement will be made. Applicants are screened by a committee of faculty. In addition to all other requirements for student teaching, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, be recommended by the chairs of their content area department(s) and the Education Department and have an exemplary portfolio. These placements meet all the requirements for Minnesota licensure. Offered Fall Semester. See Coordinator, Student Teaching Abroad.

Student Teaching in Texas

A limited number of students can student teach in El Paso, Texas. Although the majority of students are Mexican-American and are multilingual, a knowledge of the Spanish language is not necessary. (See Rosie Pfarr-Baker.)




231 Drugs and Alcohol (0)

Students examine issues related to chemical use/abuse in our society. The course, required of all candidates for a teaching license, enhances problem identification and helping skills in students' professional and personal lives. Students develop an understanding of enabling and intervening behaviors and gain knowledge about the role of schools in addressing these and other chemical abuse concerns. Offered both semesters, evenings. P/N only.

246 English Language Learners: Issues in Education

This course focuses on issues surrounding first and second language acquisition in children and adults. It examines socio-cultural, linguistic, and psychological factors that affect language learning, cultural identity, and school performance, highlighting political influences on the education of linguistic minorities. This is a theory and foundations course required for students seeking MN teaching licensure in ESL; it is also relevant for students who wish to teach English as a foreign language abroad. Required 20-hour field experience. Offered Fall Semester only.

290 Educational Psychology

Students study theories of and research into human behavior, growth, and development. Through lectures, discussions, case studies and field experiences, students analyze the impact of applied psychology upon schools, teachers, and students. Students also examine the interaction between individual characteristics and needs and political, economic and philosophical issues confronting contemporary American students. Required 20-hour field experience. Recommended to be taken sophomore year to begin the licensure sequence. Offered both semesters.

291 Standards and Technology (0 Credit)

In this course students are introduced to the Standards of Effective Practice for Teachers and the Education Department's process for assessing teacher candidates. Through creating an electronic portfolio and building a sample class web page, students learn how to integrate technology into classroom instruction. Students are evaluated on the construction of their portfolio and the quality and style of their web page. This course meets for three evening sessions in a computer laboratory setting. Students are advised to take this course at the same time as Education 290 (Educational Psychology).

294 Internship

298 Independent Study

321 Teaching of Reading 5-12 (0.5)

This course provides a theoretical and practical foundation for assisting secondary readers. Students learn the essentials of good reading instruction and apply them in the making of a three-week literature unit. Required 10-hour field experience. Prerequisites: Education 290 and 330, or permission of instructor. Offered Spring Semester only.

330 Principles of Education, K-12

This course is designed to assist students in developing their own teacher style as they prepare to become full-time teachers. Topics include the roles and responsibilities of teachers, methods of instruction, planning, classroom management, assessment and reporting and other current educational issues. Through micro-teaching and school-based field experiences, they also practice instructional skills and techniques. Required 20-hour field experience. Prerequisite: Education 290 and approval of Teacher Education Application. Offered both semesters.

372 Counseling and Communication in Schools (0.5)

Prospective teachers learn strategies to use when communicating with students who are experiencing personal difficulties. Communication with parents, family members and other professionals who have a vested interest in the student's well-being is emphasized. Professional ethics and liability are major components of the course. The course uses role playing into help students develop communication expertise. Topics include confidentiality, professional liability and boundaries, crisis intervention, abuse and neglect, mental health, and reporting and making referrals. Recommended junior year. Prerequisite: Education 290 or permission of instructor. Offered both semesters.

375 Reading and Differentiated Instruction (0.5)

This course focuses on evidence-based reading and differentiation strategies that can be used across the curriculum by secondary teachers. Needs of the struggling reader and readers with special needs are addressed along with assessment, evaluation, communication, and intervention design. Required 10-hour field experience. Prerequisite: Education 290, 330 or permission of instructor. Offered both semesters.

376 The Exceptional Child (1.0)

Future teachers identify and acquire skills to serve exceptional students more effectively in the regular classroom. Students read, discuss and take field trips to expand their knowledge of the broad spectrum of resources availabe for students with disabilities, second language learners and those labeled "at-risk." Historical perspectives as well as inclusion, collaboration, curriculum development and other current topics are included. Prerequisite: Education 290 or permission of instructor. Required 20-hour field experience. Offered Fall Semester only.

382 Human Relations (0)

All candidates must have a multicultural field experience to help develop their competence in teaching in multicultural environments. A minimum of 80 hours of field experience in a multicultural school environment (an Interim or its equivalent) is required prior to student teaching. All field experiences must be pre-approved. Below is a summary of options: Education 170 (Urban Schools and Communities); Education 347 (Teaching English as a Second Language); Education 377 (New York City Education Seminar and Practicum); Education 378 (Multicultural Education in Hawaii); Education 379 (Urban Education Seminar and Practicum); or pre-approved internships in multicultural schools with special cognitive component. See Education Department faculty and web site for advice and information. Education 382 is not a course. Rather it is a recording mechanism indicating St. Olaf students who have completed their multicultural education requirement. Students register for Education 382 during their professional semester.

394 Internship

396 Directed Undergraduate Research: "Topic Description"

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: Determined by individual instructor. Offer based on department decision.

398 Independent Research


381 Senior Seminar (0.5)

Offered concurrently with student teaching, this course meets during and after student teaching. It focuses on professional development, including personal philosophies of teaching/education, professional ethics, and portfolio development. Student teachers examine school governance and administration, finance, contemporary issues, and employment preparation. Student teachers only.

385 Issues in Education (0.5)

In this reflective capstone course, teacher candidates study, experience, and reflect upon the influences that technology, cultural diversity, personal health, and chemical abuse have upon schooling, home life, community stability, and, ultimately, their own students' achievement. Students build upon student teaching to determine the essential knowledge and skills of educators as change agents and their future roles as first-year teachers. This workshop follows student teaching. Student teachers only.

389 Student Teaching (3.0)

Students are assigned to a full-time internship in schools under the guidance of competent cooperating teachers and supervised by faculty from both the content area department and the Education Department. Student teaching provides the best possible introduction to the teaching experience. Student teachers practice all classroom teaching skills required to assure competency to begin their first year of teaching. Minimum of 12 full-time weeks teaching, including orientation sessions and required seminars. Student teachers only -- seniors or college graduates.


Prior to student teaching, students must take a special methods course for teaching in their content area. Courses in this section may include a required field experience.

341 Teaching of Visual Art, K-12 (1.0)

This course provides practical information specifically relevant to the field of visual arts and art education. Students learn basic concepts about child growth, developmental stages, learning styles and varied classroom approaches. They participate in classroom observations and practical applications of classroom activities, prepare units of instruction and micro-teach. Topics include arts advocacy, interdisciplinary instruction, assessment and teaching art history. Prerequisite: Education 330 or permission of the instructor. Spring Semester only. This course provides practical information specifically relevant to the field of visual arts and art education. Students participate in classroom observations and practical applications of classroom activities, prepare units of instruction and micro-teach. Topics include arts advocacy, interdisciplinary instruction, assessment and teaching art history. Required field experience component. Prerequisite: Education 330 or permission of the instructor. Spring Semester only.

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345 Teaching of Communication Arts/Literature, 5-12

This course prepares pre-service communication arts/literature teachers to share their love of the English language with secondary students. Attention is given to the theory and techniques of teaching speech, listening, media literacy, writing, literature and reading. In addition, students explore topics including multicultural literature, adolescent literature, responding to and evaluating writing, unit planning in the language arts, and the National Council of Teachers of English Standards. Required field experience component. Prerequisite: Education 330 or permission of instructor. Offered Spring Semester Only.

347 Teaching ESL K-12

The course includes strategies and materials for teaching English to speakers of other languages. Students learn strategies that focus on the development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English language learners. Students review materials appropriate for non-native English speakers and create their own materials and lesson plans. Fulfills Education 382. Required field experience component. Prerequisite: Education 330 or permission of instructor. Offered Summer Session only.

348 Assessment of ESL K-12

This course provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge about assessing the language proficiency of English Language Learners. Students learn how to construct and administer appropriate and non-discriminatory assessment and evaluation tools. Students administer several assessments and write a formal report. Required field experience component. Prerequisite: Education 330 or permission of instructor. Offered Summer Session only.

349 Teaching of Latin, K-12 (0.5)

This course introduces students to teaching Latin in grades K-12. Theories, methods, issues, and trends are examined. Other topics include curriculum development and textbook, computer and audio visual resources. Offered upon demand. Arranged with Classics and Education chairs and the Latin instructor. Prerequisite: Education 330 or permission of instructor. Spring Semester only.

350 Teaching of Mathematics, 5-12

Students act as a "community of scholars" to examine current issues and trends in mathematics education. They learn strategies for engaging pupils in active mathematical investigation, using appropriate technology and other mathematical tools and for emphasizing communication, problem solving, reasoning and mathematical connections in their teaching. Includes reliance on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards documents. Required field experience component. Prerequisite: Education 330 or permission of instructor. Spring Semester only.

353 Teaching of World Languages, K-12

This course provides the basic professional knowledge and skills needed for successful entry into the field of modern language teaching. Through readings, class discussions, and active participation in teaching situations, students become familiar with both the theory and the practice of language teaching and are introduced to the issues faced by the profession at large in the beginning of the 21st century. Required field experience component. Prerequisite: Education 330 or permission of instructor. Spring Semester only.

355 Teaching of Music in the Elementary School

The goal of the course is to acquire the knowledge, skills, and understandings necessary to develop a K-5 music program. Each week the student observes a music teacher in a local school and then returns to teach that class using an approved plan. The course emphasizes current approaches such as those of Orff and Kodaly as well as intercultural and interdisciplinary learning. Required field experience component. Prerequisite: Education 330 or permission of the instructor. Spring Semester only.

356 Teaching of Music in the Middle and High School (0.5)

The goal of the course is to acquire the knowledge, skills, and understandings necessary to develop a music program for grades 5-12. Each week the student observes a music teacher in a local school and then returns to teach that class using an approved plan. Prerequisite: Education 330, 355 or permission of the instructor. First half of the Fall Semester only.

358 Teaching of Vocal Music in the Secondary School (0.5)

This course focuses on the many aspects involved in coordinating and teaching a secondary choral program. It includes discussions on extra-curricular activities, grading and record keeping, curriculum, repertoire and program planning, professional development, and other pertinent and related topics. Students gain practical knowledge and skills necessary to successfully manage a vocal music program. Prerequisite: Education 330 or permission of the instructor. Fall Semester only.

359 Teaching of Instrumental Music (0.5)

Prospective band and orchestra teachers study the skills and knowledge necessary for successfully conducting instrumental music. The course includes teaching philosophy and strategies, repertoire and program planning, budgeting and scheduling, musical materials and scoring, recruiting and evaluation and specialized topics such as jazz ensemble and marching band. Prerequisite: Education 330 or permission of the instructor. Fall Semester only.

364 Teaching of Science, 5-12

Prospective science teachers learn strategies for the practical application of learning theory to secondary school science classrooms. Topics include: the national science standards movement and No Child Left Behind: inquiry learning in the science classroom; lesson planning; teaching in the classroom and in the laboratory; technology: managing a science laboratory: and continuing professional development. Required field experience component. Prerequisite: Education 330 or permission of the instructor. Spring Semester only.

365 Teaching of Social Studies, 5-12

Students acquire the skills, knowledge and attitudes to become successful teachers in secondary social studies classroom. They use the curriculum standards of the National Council for Social Studies and those identified by the State of Minnesota to develop goals, outcomes, and assessments for the various content areas. Students acquire the knowledge, skills, and understandings necessary to address appropriate skills development in 5-12 social studies classrooms. Required field experience component. Prerequisite: Education 330 or permission of the instructor. Spring Semester only.