Elementary Education (Grades 1-6)

Why Elementary Education?

  • High-demand profession offering many job opportunities and job security
  • Rewarding and meaningful career that adds value to society
  • Draws on your intellectual and creative capacity
  • Provides direct experience with children, families, and local communities

Why Wheelock?

  • Personalized approach to learning that values the student-teacher relationship
  • Teaching strategies that help students with learning challenges rediscover a love for learning
  • Strong emphasis on multicultural approaches to teaching and learning and on anti-biased teaching practices
  • Solid foundation in the arts and sciences helps you become an expert in the academic areas you'll teach
  • Program is guided by Wheelock's Educator Standards, focusing on what prospective teachers should know, understand, and be able to do in order to meet the needs of all children

Wheelock College and Boston University have reached an agreement to merge as of June 1, 2018 and we are no longer accepting new applications. As a prospective applicant to Wheelock College, we hope you will be interested in applying to Boston University.

Teaching is one of the most in-demand and rewarding professions. As an elementary school teacher, you'll help shape society by educating the next generation of leaders and innovators. Wheelock has a long tradition of preparing skilled and creative teachers who are passionate about making achievement possible for all children.

Elementary Education Program Options

The program combines educational content and theory with hands-on experience in real classrooms in public schools near Wheelock. You'll explore the social history of teaching in America and how it has influenced education today. You will learn curriculum and child development, as well as how racial, cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and class differences affect children's behavior and advancement. You'll learn math and science in an accessible and engaging way.

In addition to a professional major in Elementary Education, you'll choose one of our innovative Arts and Sciences majors. This dual-major structure provides the strong knowledge and skills you'll need to teach literacy, math, science, social studies, technology, and the arts to elementary school students.


Upon successful completion of this major, you'll be eligible for an initial license in Elementary Education (grades 1-6).This license qualifies you to teach in public or private schools in Massachusetts and to apply for the corresponding license in Rhode Island. In addition, Wheelock is nationally accredited, which will give you an advantage when you seek employment and if you apply for licensure in other states or abroad.

Hands-On Experience

Your coursework will be complemented by hands-on fieldwork beginning in your first year. You'll have the opportunity to observe and learn from experienced elementary teachers in a variety of public schools, including charter/pilot schools.

Our field sites are located within three diverse communities that provide you with the opportunity to work with a wide range of students and families.

  • Boston: Home of the first U.S. public school and winner of the 2006 Broad Prize honoring the nation's top urban school district.
  • Cambridge: This school system is enhanced by the noted universities located within its borders.
  • Brookline: A metropolitan community that draws residents from many foreign countries, such as Japan and Israel.

Sample Courses

  • Elementary Curriculum Development
  • Elementary Science and Technology
  • Elementary Teaching and Learning
  • Meeting Diverse Learning Needs
  • Racial and Cultural Identities
  • Teaching Literacy to English Language Learners

Skills You'll Learn

  • Develop your own philosophy of teaching and learning
  • Write effective lesson plans
  • Tailor instruction to the needs of all types of learners, including special needs
  • Assess and evaluate student learning
  • Integrate academic content areas
  • Teach a child how to read and write
  • Develop partnerships with parents and families
  • Develop effective classroom routines and procedures
  • Establish an engaged and respectful classroom community
  • Structure and organize learning experiences
  • Navigate the social and political landscapes of schools
  • Manage the behavior of children in the classroom

Potential Careers

  • Classroom teacher
  • Paraprofessional
  • Special education assistant
  • Curriculum developer
  • Literacy coach
  • Children's museum educator
  • Camp director
  • Educational publishing editor

Graduate Study

Graduates of this major are eligible to apply to Wheelock's unique master's degree program in Integrated Elementary and Special Education. Such students earn a master's degree, upgrade their initial license to professional status, and receive a second license in Special Education—all credentials that qualify teachers for career/salary advancement.

Other complementary graduate study options:

  • American studies
  • Arts in education
  • Educational policy and management
  • Human development and psychology
  • Humanities
  • Language and literacy
  • Mathematics
  • School leadership
  • Science
  • Technology and education

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