Program information

The Bates College Department of Education seeks to foster the democratic possibilities of schooling through the study of education in the United States and internationally. The aim of the department is to create an environment in which students and faculty together analyze the complex dynamics between the purposes and products of schooling and the social structures and cultural processes that constitute the broader context for education. In particular, the department aims to nurture in students the development of these qualities:

Critical action and civic responsibility: The department wants students to develop a sense of social responsibility and concern for the common good, and so encourages them to become involved in the local community and beyond through fieldwork, community-engaged learning projects, policy analysis, student teaching, and empirical research.

Reflection and engagement: In the department's vision of education, reflection and engagement work together to deepen students' understanding and foster their personal growth.

Imagination and a passion for learning: With imagination, a passion for learning, and the skills and knowledge they develop, students are well-prepared to pursue their interests in education.

Commitment to social justice: Throughout the program, students are encouraged to recognize and address the influence of social context on the democratic possibilities of schooling.

Because education itself is an interdisciplinary area of study, the education department offers courses that attract students with a variety of interests. Some pursue educational studies as part of their exploration of liberal arts at Bates. Some want to teach immediately after they graduate from Bates or following graduate study. Others link their interest in social institutions, public policy, community, or families and children to a direct and deeper understanding of schools and schooling. Many students simply want to know more about education so that they can be better prepared to fulfill their future roles as citizens and parents. To encourage the integration of theory and practice, most education courses require a field placement in a local school or community setting. Students are expected to reflect systematically on the larger questions surrounding educational structures and practices raised through field experiences. More information on the education department is available on the website (

Minor. The Bates Department of Education offers two minors in education: teacher education and educational studies. For both minors, students are required to take EDUC 231 (Perspectives on Education). This course introduces students to the field through foundational perspectives that stimulate further interest in education; it is open to first-year students. Students interested in declaring a minor in education are encouraged to come to information sessions offered twice during the academic year and to make appointments with education faculty for early planning and advisement.

Teacher education offers graduates the ability to complete certification as public school teachers (7–12) in several disciplines including English, social studies, science, mathematics, and modern languages (K–12). Certification in art or music may be available through transcript analysis; interested students should consult Anita Charles, director of teacher education. The program is approved by the Maine State Board of Education, and students who receive Maine certification gain opportunities to teach through reciprocity with approximately forty-five other states. Some students may choose to enroll in the teacher education program even if they are interested in teaching in an independent school where certification is not required because they gain significant experience in the classroom and thus are better prepared for the challenges they will face when they enter a classroom on their own for the first time.

Educational studies offer students the opportunity to pursue a set of interdisciplinary courses that are designed around students' emerging interests in education policy practice, theory, and research.

Students who wish to pursue a minor in education in either teacher education or educational studies should begin planning their course schedules no later than the sophomore year. With early planning they will be able to meet all of the requirements for a major and minor and to spend some time in off-campus study as well. Those students interested in certification need to think about how to balance the demands of student teaching in their senior year with their course work and thesis.

Minor in Teacher Education. Requirements for the college's recommendation for certification in Maine as secondary school teacher include:

1) Education courses:

a) all of the following, including field experience in conjunction with each of these courses:
EDUC 231. Perspectives on Education.
EDUC 362. Basic Concepts in Special Education.
EDUC 447. Curriculum and Methods.
EDUC 448. Senior Seminar in Teacher Education: Reflection and Engagement.
EDUC 460. Student Teaching I.
EDUC 461. Student Teaching II.

b) one education department elective course (other than FYS 300).

2) A major, or a minor that consists of eight courses, in an appropriate teaching field; some minors may require additional courses.

3) Fulfillment of the college's General Education and other degree requirements.

4) Fulfillment of state requirements, which include passing a standardized test and fingerprinting. Licensing teachers is a state function; requirements differ from state to state, and these rules change frequently. Courses and experiences other than those offered at Bates may be required for state certification. Students interested in certification should consult with a faculty member as early as possible to plan for required course work. Applications must be completed by 1 March of the sophomore year.

Minor in Education Studies. Students choosing this option must complete seven courses, one of which may be outside the department. Courses include:

1) All of the following:
EDUC 231. Perspectives on Education.
EDUC 450. Seminar in Educational Studies, taken in the senior year.

2) Five additional courses, four of which must be education courses (first-year seminars may not count toward the minor)

Most education courses require at least thirty hours of field experience in educational settings or fieldwork related to education more generally, such as research on policy. Students may apply to have an off-campus program or course count as one of the six required education courses. These requests require the prior approval of education faculty.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may be elected for courses applied toward the minor.

Title II "Report Card." An amendment to Title II, Higher Education Act (HEA), passed by Congress in 1998, requires that states and institutions with teacher-preparation programs annually report to the public certain program information, including the pass rates of program participants on assessments required by the state for teacher certification. Maine requires Praxis CORE tests in reading, writing, and mathematics as well as the Praxis II subject matter test in the chosen area of certification. Bates College requires only Praxis CORE passing scores for consideration of program completion. Each year, Bates program completers who take the Praxis CORE and Praxis II content area exams earn passing scores required for Maine certification. Bates enrolls between 2 and 15 seniors in this program each year, with a faculty ratio of no more than 7:1, but more typically no more than 4:1. The current requirement for clinical experience in the program is 450 hours. Further information about the program's annual report is available from the department and the director of the teacher education program.