Teacher Education: Middle Level Education (Grades 5-9) B.S.Ed.

The mission of the Middle Level Education program is to prepare and support critically conscious middle level educators who are leaders and advocates for social justice and who center developmentally and culturally responsive practices in their work with youth. The program provides a minimum of four supervised school-based experiences within reasonable commuting distance whereby university students engage with a diverse range of middle level educators and students.

Students who satisfactorily complete the program earn a minimum of 120 credits of study across four areas: General Education, Content Concentration, Professional Studies, and Fieldwork. This design ensures that each student achieves a balance of academic and professional preparation to meet the expectations and challenges associated with teaching at any level. During the students’ first year, advisors guide them in devising an eight-semester plan that is balanced across the four areas of study described below:

General Education

Students earn credits in liberal arts and sciences from an array of disciplines such as: English, mathematics, social science, history, political science, humanities, and art. Most of these courses are generally completed during the first three to four semesters and, since students sometimes transfer from one program to another, these credits easily transfer to other degree programs in the College of Education and Social Services as well as other colleges within the university.

Professional Studies

Courses that concentrate on the professional work of teaching span all four years. These studies are grounded in theory, research and policies associated with the very best practices in middle level education. Courses on young adolescent learning and development, learning theory, special education, and teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students are taken in the first two years as pre-professional requirements. These courses include a minimum of one field placement within a middle school. More heavily school-based courses in curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, team organization, literacy, mathematics, and evaluation and assessment are taken the last two years.

Dual Content Concentration Areas

Students in Middle Level Education complete two Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) content areas (English, mathematics, social studies, science). The students must work closely with their advisor to determine the two content areas and sequence of courses.


The faculty is committed to providing students as many school-based experience as possible and deemed practical during a four-year course of study. Four courses (EDML 1890, EDML 2890, EDML 3990, EDML 4890) include school-based based experiences and, while taking these courses, students will enjoy working with teachers on up to four different teaching teams. Emphasis is placed on high levels of integration between campus-based learning and field experience to ensure that students are sufficiently oriented and prepared for the real work of exemplary middle level schools.

The Middle Level Education program is designed to prepare teachers to create curriculum and learning environments that are responsive to the needs of students in grades 5-9. As such, all our courses center on teaching that is specific to young adolescents. In keeping with the middle school model, great emphasis is placed on concepts such as collaborative teaming, interdisciplinary teaching, challenging and relevant curriculum, student voice, and teaching for equity.

Finally, like all teacher education students at UVM, participants in this program use authentic assessment to demonstrate their growth over time in relation to specific teaching skills. Over the course of their program of study, students will curate samples of their professional work, reflect on their learning, and ultimately create an evidence-based portfolio in their senior year. Students will refine this portfolio of work in conjunction with their student teaching experience and ultimately submit it for review as part of the licensure process.