Elementary Education at Lawrence

Lawrence’s Teacher Education Program offers teacher certification for students interested in becoming elementary school teachers (Early Childhood through Middle Childhood).  Open to all majors, college or conservatory, this program is a post-baccalaureate, yearlong apprenticeship in an Appleton public school, during which students learn to teach by working alongside a master educator.

We invite all students to explore this exciting opportunity to influence your community by working with local children and master educators.

Why would a liberal arts student become an elementary teacher?

Elementary teachers provide the foundation for children to become life-long, connected learners in a democratic society.

Your study of the liberal arts provides you with the groundwork to develop the knowledge and skills of teaching as well as the ability to make connections from this knowledge to the intricate and challenging art that is elementary teaching.

Elementary teaching is a dynamic and challenging field of study and work with an increasing demand for qualified participants – especially those who have majored in one of the liberal arts or sciences.  If you would like to make a difference in the lives of children, contribute to the development of a more just and equitable society, and do work after Lawrence that is meaningful and personally fulfilling, elementary teaching may be your calling. 

Why an apprenticeship?

As an apprentice, after you graduate from Lawrence you will spend an entire academic year in an Appleton Area School District classroom co-teaching alongside a mentor educator.

Embedded within the local community and school district you will be deeply engaged in understanding the development of the young child and the function of an elementary school within a community.  You will acquire the pedagogical knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective teacher. You will be prepared to teach children with varying capacities and needs, who come from diverse cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

As an apprentice, you will design curriculum strategies and syllabi, plan lessons, evaluate, assess and teach. In addition, you will engage with and learn from other teachers, instructional aides, education support staff, education specialists, and education administrators at the school site.

During the apprenticeship experience you will have the opportunity to take seminars, workshops, and methods courses throughout the year.  Many of these will be conducted in the elementary school and taught by master teachers; others will be taught on the Lawrence campus by Lawrence education professors.

How much does the 5th-year apprenticeship cost?

This program is made possible through a generous gift from the Mielke Family Foundation and financial support from Lawrence University. Because Lawrence University encourages liberal arts students to explore K-12 teaching, tuition for the full apprenticeship year, for LU graduates, will be only about $4,000.

Interested? Questions?

If you would like to discuss elementary teaching or find out more about LU’s elementary teacher certification program, contact:

Stephanie Burdick-Shepherd
Assistant Professor, Elementary Education
Briggs 124, 920-832-6676, burdicks@lawrence.edu

Stewart Purkey
Associate Professor & Director of Teacher Education
Briggs 121, 920-832-6715, purkeys@lawrence.edu