ELEMENTARY EDUCATION MAJOR

Ed 8

The undergraduate elementary education major is designed to help students develop knowledge and skills necessary for effective teaching in today's elementary schools.

Students are prepared for the teaching profession in a way that is reflective of Franciscan service to others - an ideal that is central to the mission of St. Bonaventure University.

Elementary education majors prepare for New York teacher certification in Childhood Education (grades 1-6). Our graduates work in school districts all over the country, and should you want to teach outside of New York, our certification office will advise you on obtaining certificates in other states.

Hallmarks of SBU Education Programs

  • The School of Education and all of our programs are nationally accredited
  • The program prepares you for up to THREE certifications- Early Childhood, Special Education, and Childhood
  • 1,000 HOURS of classroom experience- beginning a student's freshmen year
  • Diverse classroom experience through many grade levels, different types of classrooms, and school placements
  • Rigorous expectations and high standards- a GPA of 3.0 is required throughout a student's four years
  • Close community created through mentoring and close interactions between faculty, staff, and students
  • A challenging curriculum enables students to understand the diverse needs of children and to develop a
    repertoire of strategies to meet learners' needs leading to success on the job search 
  • We are there for our students every step of the way
  • At SBU we say, "You need to figure this out, and we are here to help you!"
  • We challenge our students to be passionate about their commitment to education

What makes our graduates great educators? They become:

  • Teachers who believe that all children can learn
  • Teachers who create positive, engaging learning environments that help students succeed
  • Teachers who are active members of school communities 
  • Teachers who continue to learn
  • Teachers who are passionate
  • Teachers who are advocated for the profession
  • Teachers who use theory and research in the best interest of their students
  • Elementary Education at SBU

    Confident in her School of Education preparation, Karen Jablonski can't wait for her opportunity to be what she's always wanted to be: a teacher. "I can take over a classroom right now, and I'm comfortable here," she says. 


    Making their Mark

    {Click on the image and find out how our 2016 education grads are Making Their Mark}

    Casey, Nancy Cunniff

    TITLES/RESPONSIBILITIES Associate Professor
    ACADEMIC SCHOOL School of Education
    ACADEMIC DEPARTMENT Elementary Education
    CONTACT INFORMATION Office Phone: (716) 375-2141
    E-Mail: ncasey@sbu.edu
    Website: http://sched.sbu.edu/faculty/ncasey/ 
    OFFICE LOCATION B38 Plassmann Hall
    COURSES TAUGHT
    ACADEMIC DEGREES
    • Ed.D., Instructional Technology and Media, specializing in Computing in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1988 
      • Dissertation title: "The Graphical Representation of Programming: A Study of the Comprehension of Novice Programmers."
       
    • M.A., Computing in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1983
    • M.Ed., Early Childhood Education, Rutgers University, 1979
    • B.A., Early Childhood and Elementary Education, College of St. Elizabeth, 1974
    OTHER EDUCATION
    PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
    ACCOMPLISHMENTS
    • Principal investigator on a $1.16 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology (PT3), 1999-2003
    • Development of electronic portfolio design and process for St. Bonaventure University’s School of Education graduates
      • Casey, N. (2003). "From 0 to 60: Up to Speed with eFolios in One Year."  Technology in Teacher Education Annual, 2003. Charlottesville, Va: Association for Advancement in Computing in Education. Presented at SITE 2003.
      • Casey, N.  (2001). "Growing Towards Excellence: A Developmental Approach to Portfolio Development for Beginning Teachers." ACEI Annual Conference, Toronto, CA:  April 2001.
      • Casey, N. (2001). "E-Folios for Educators: Electronic – and Truly Portable – Portfolios." PAC-TE Annual Conference, Hershey, Pa. October 2001.
       
    • Seel, N.M. & Casey, N. (2003). Changing conceptions of technological literacy.  In P. Attewell & N.M. Seel, (Eds.) "Disadvantaged Teens and Computer Technologies." New York: Waxman Publishing Co.
    • Taylor, R. P. & Cunniff, N. (1988). Moving computing in education beyond rhetoric. Teachers College Record,  89:3, 360-372.
    TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

    I am a teacher.  I believe that teachers have the most important role in our society. They have the awesome responsibility of supporting, leading, guiding and coaxing others as they learn. They have the enviable opportunity to see others discover and to see learners embrace new worlds. Being a teacher is a way of thinking about the world. It compels one to view every interaction with an eye towards growth -- of self and others. This is not a simple vocation.

    I am a constructivist educator. As a constructivist, I believe that each learner builds his or her own understanding of the world. As Vygotsky proposed, learning is socially constructed, and it is through interactions with others that learning takes place. Students need opportunities to collaborate with each other and with me as they learn and learn to teach. I want my students to become empowered by their own learning and development as teachers. I continuously work to create situations where students can take charge of what they need to learn.

    Teaching university students is a continuously challenging situation. My beliefs about teaching and learning in this setting are influenced to a large degree by Piagetian theory. Students must experience disequilibrium and cognitive dissonance in order to learn. Students must have experiences that cause them an acceptable degree of cognitive discomfort, but in situations where they can build relationships between what they already know and the new learning.

    As a teacher, I am a learner. I seek challenges; I solve problems. I believe that I must travel alongside my students in the teaching-learning process. I have come to believe that there are no perfect tools and no exclusively "right" ways to teach. I embrace new technologies with an appreciation of the worlds they can help us explore, but I also appreciate traditional techniques.

    The educational context specific to a pre-professional undergraduate school in which all students major in education is unique. These students have already made difficult and important life choices. They have chosen the field of education as their career, and thus their study is a recursive activity. Even more importantly, the education about education should be metacognitive. I believe that I have a responsibility to help my students develop as teachers who make a difference, teachers whose classrooms will be healthy, supportive environments in which their own students can grow and learn.

    CURRENT RESEARCH INTERESTS/PROJECTS
    • Parent perceptions of first-year students’ transition difficulties
    • College teaching: Improved student engagement through active and collaborative teaching
    • Problems faced by first-year college students: barrier to success
    PERSONAL INTERESTS/COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

    Childhood Studies Fact Sheet Image