Becoming An Educator – Choosing The Right Degree Program For You

W.B. Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” If you want to be the one to light the fire for learning in the hearts of students, becoming an educator is right for you. But what degree program should you pursue? Because the field of Education is so incredibly diverse, you have many options to choose from. Here is a brief listing of just some of the career opportunities available to those that decide to seek a degree in Education.

o Teacher Certification & Certification Programs. Looking to earn your Teacher Certification or credential? If you already have a Bachelor’s degree and have decided to teach, earning your Teaching Certificate is the next step to take to launch your career as an educator.

o K-12. Completing your K-12 education degree will put you on the path toward a rewarding career teaching children of all ages.

o Adult Education. Graduates of adult education degree programs are given special instruction in adult learning to accommodate the unique needs of adult learners. With more and more people choosing to continue their education well into old age, opportunities for adult educators continue to grow.

o Art Education. Become an art teacher! Get your degree in Art Education and combine your passion for painting with a talent for teaching. Teaching art to others can be an extremely fulfilling and rewarding career.

o Business Education. Become a business teacher and learn the rewards of teaching business to others. From accounting and finance to marketing and operations, business teachers not only teach people how to succeed in business, but how to succeed in life.

o Distance & Online Education Programs for Teachers. Earn your degree in distance learning education and be on the cutting edge of learning technology. Learn about the newest advances in online education technology and discover how to create innovative online experiences for your students.

o Early Childhood Education Programs for Teachers. Thinking of becoming a preschool teacher? Start by getting your degree in Early Childhood Education. Early childhood teachers are the first to shape the minds of young children and mold the leaders of tomorrow.

o English Teacher Programs. Teach English and help students discover the language arts. Earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in English education is the first step toward a rewarding career as an English teacher. English teachers are needed to fill positions in public, private and English language schools.

o Elementary Teacher Programs. Elementary school teachers work with children in grades K-8, giving them an introduction to a variety of subjects.

o Higher Education Programs for Teachers. Interested in teaching higher education? Get your doctorate or master’s degree in higher education and take the first step toward teaching at the college level.

o History Teacher Degree Programs. Get your degree in history education and get on track to a rewarding career teaching history to others.

o Instructional Technology Degree Programs. Get an instructional technology degree and be on the leading edge of learning technology. Instructional designers create new ways for people to learn by incorporating current technologies such as video and the Internet into a curriculum. Instructional technology is a burgeoning field with many positions expected to open up in the next few years.

o Math Education Degrees. Want reap the rewards of teaching math to others! Then become a math teacher! Teachers are needed to give mathematics instruction at the elementary, middle school and high school levels.

o Middle School Education Degrees. Get your middle school education degree today and teach children from sixth to eight grades.

o Reading & Literacy Education Degrees for Teachers. Teach someone how to read! Become a reading teacher by completing your degree in Reading and Literacy Education.

o Secondary Education Degrees for Teachers. Focusing on Secondary Education means teaching children in high school. Help shape the next generation by providing a solid education to young students before college.

o Science Teacher Degree Programs. Science education teachers are high in demand to teach science in Elementary and Secondary schools.

o Social Studies Education Degree Programs. Social studies teachers are needed to teach in both Elementary and Secondary schools. Get on the path to this rewarding career by earning your degree in social studies education.

o Special Education Teaching Degrees. Special Education Teachers are some of the most in-demand teachers in education. Special Education teachers held a total of about 441,000 teaching jobs in 2004. The U.S. Dept. of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the demand for qualified special education teachers to grow faster than average through 2014. This makes it a great time to get your special education degree.

o TESOL (ESL) Education Programs for Teachers. Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) can be an exciting and rewarding career with job opportunities in both the U.S. and abroad. The U.S. Dept. of Labor-Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of non-English-speaking students will continue to grow, creating demand for bilingual teachers and for those who teach English as a second language.

o Curriculum & Instruction Programs for Teachers. Get your curriculum and instruction degree and improve your teaching skills while learning to create fascinating new curriculums that bring learning to life.

o Education Administration Degree Programs for Teachers. Earn your Education Administration degree today and jump-start your career. This advanced degree, either a Master’s or a PhD, will give you the leadership skills you need to manage large educational programs, both in public schools and the private sector.

o Educational Counseling Degree Programs. Begin a rewarding career in school counseling by earning your education counseling degree. This degree is the perfect way to combine a love of education with a love of psychology.

o Educational Leadership Degree Programs. Earn your Educational Leadership degree and prepare yourself for a new and exciting career as a school administrator or principal.

o Library Science / Media / Technology Degree Programs. Get your degree in library science, educational media or technology and begin a rewarding new career helping children access information. Graduates of a library science programs are eligible to become a School Librarian. Graduates of educational media and technology programs have learned ways to incorporate new technologies, such as video and the Internet, into their classrooms.

The Future of Public Education According to The Pragmatic Thinker

For years there has been a public outcry to “fix” the PUBLIC educational system of the United States. First of all, this will be impossible, because “fix” cannot be defined.

Some say that “fix” means to have better and more modern buildings. Some say to “fix” mean to pay teachers more. Some say to “fix” means to have our students pass progress tests. Some say to “fix” means to be able to have our students more effectively compete in the world arena of science and business. Some say to “fix’ means give our students a better education in the basics of reading, writing, and math. Some say to “fix” means to give our students a more progressive, liberal education so they can live fuller and more complete lives. Some say we need to “fix” the educational system so students can choose what “they” want to do in life sooner and enter college with direction and focus. And the reasons for “fixing” the “broken” PUBLIC educational system go on and on.

I think the PUBLIC educational system is broken and cannot be fixed. The system is so bogged down in political bureaucracy, red tape, special interests, union politics, under funding, misuse of funds, misdirection, non-focus, status quo thinking, social rhetoric, unfunded programs, broken political promises, and under staffed, under qualified, and under paid administrators and teachers that the PUBLIC educational system can never be fixed. It is an impossible task.

It is no wonder that PRIVATE schools, alternative learning programs, home schooling, and online curriculums are becoming more and more popular with the “affluent” of our population. If you can afford a good education for your student, parents are pulling their students out of PUBLIC schools and enrolling them more and more in private programs of education.

It is my opinion and the opinion of many concerned citizens that from elementary school to college, our educational system, at its best, often drives the natural love of learning out of our kids and replaces it with such “skills” as following rules, keeping still and quiet, doing what is expected, cheating or procrastinating. And that’s why, in most schools, being on time and sitting quietly are more important than critical thinking and innovative production. To prosper in this economy, students need to develop and master different skills – lifeskills such as resourcefulness, curiosity, innovation, as well as logical and verbal proficiency.

Most progressive educational professionals would agree with Bill Gates who told our nation’s governors last year that the traditional urban high school is obsolete.

The reality of education is that the system for the most part is outdated, too expensive, and ineffective. Many educationally progressive countries offer PUBLIC funding for education from Kindergarten through University, where as in the United States most states don’t offer Kindergarten classes, and all Public Education stops at the end of High School.

The primary reason we send our children to school is to enable them to choose the career of their choice, earn a good living and enjoy all that life has to offer. We all want to give our children the opportunity to prosper and provide well for their families.

Here is what has to be done if we are to give our citizens a better education which in turn gives our country more productivity in the world economy.

1. We need to PRIVATIZE all education in our country.

2. Education will be “funded” but not controlled by our government.

3. Each family will be given a certain amount of money (voucher) for each student of each age.

4. Parents can use this voucher to educate their students as they choose at any school or institution of their choice.

5. The government has NO say in the choices parents and students make. Our tax dollars only go to “fund” PUBLIC education in the PRIVATE sector.

6. When schools and institutions are made to “compete” for tuitions based on the performance of the teachers and educators, the quality of education will increase. If schools don’t offer parents and students a quality education, parents and students will go some place else, and the school is out of business.

7. We need to also include a government funded college education or trade school education for all who want it. Most parents can’t afford to send their students to college. Only about one in 17 (5.8%) young people from the nation’s poorest families, those earning less than $35,377 a year, can expect to earn a bachelor’s degree by age 24. For those from the nation’s wealthiest families, those who earn about $85,000 or higher, it’s better than one in two (50%.) This University funding would also be on a voucher basis also. There would still be private colleges who might not need the money (vouchers), but for the most part most colleges would welcome the money as a way to increase enrollment and increase the quality of the education they offer.

8. The obvious results of PRIVATIZING education is that not only schools would have to compete to get the student, by offering a quality educational program, but teachers could now offer their services in a FREE market. The fact is, the good teachers would be paid more. Schools would have to offer the good teachers more to keep them. If a good teacher could make twice as much at another school, because they are better qualified and had a “parent following,” schools would have to get serious about offering teachers more money. More people would want to become teachers if they could get paid more. And just like in every business, in order to get the best, you have to pay them more.

9. Online schools would become more and more popular and accepted also. This is especially great for the “inter-city” areas and “rural” areas, where education has been hard to fund, and quality teachers hard to find.

10. On the “one student, one voucher” system, all communities are now able to compete equally for the best teachers and educators. Because of population (demand) in large cities and communities, some schools would have to hire more teachers. In the small cities they would need fewer teachers, but the “money” is the same per student.

11. By PRIVATIZING education, funded by the government with our tax dollars (as we currently do) we would be able to save money. The United States could keep the PUBLIC education budgets at a manageable level. Schools would have to compete for the funding and just like the “price wars” of car dealers, furniture stores, and all businesses, schools would have to continually strive to give parents and students “MORE education” for their money. This is Capitalism at its best.

12. The less government “control” of our PUBLIC education, the better. Government would have NO say or control whatsoever on the type of education parents chose for their students. Government would only FUND educational choices based on the government’s education budget. The PRIVATE sector would have to compete just like any other private business for the money by offering a better, quality education to its customers (the parents and students.) The PUBLIC education system for the most part now is a MONOPOLY and doesn’t have to “try harder.” Just like the deregulation of the airlines, the telephone companies, etc., prices would go down (or in this case stay down) based on the economic rule of supply and demand. PRIVATIZING our PUBLIC education answers ALL the problems we currently face in our current PUBLIC education system.

Outdoor Education Camps With Programs

Summer camps are special camps arranged for people to enjoy their vacation or tour in any adventures. Summer camps comes up with special offers outdoor education camp, leadership camp, science camp, awareness camp and many other social welfare schemes are offered to the public for reasonable prices. Outdoor education forms major part of the education and it is more required for people. Outdoor education is considered has important and essential requirement for most of the people and they fetches more demand among the people. Outdoor education is created and offered specially for kids, children and adults.

The main purpose of estimating and offering outdoor education is to develop self confidence and self esteem among the people. The outdoor education activities, outdoor education courses, outdoor education programs are offered to kids, children, adults by outdoor education schools or outdoor education centers. Outdoor education camps are conducted either inside or outside classrooms. Outdoor education forms major part of the education system and it is more important to be known by the people to come up with every possibility in life. Most of the parents feels better that their children should be aware of outdoor education programs offered and they should compete with outside world.

Outdoor education activities or outdoor education courses are provided by more number of outdoor institutes or adventure outdoor schools. An outdoor education course, outdoor education programs initiates cooperation, coordination, team building, goal settings and spirituality among the students and others. Outdoor education camps are provided by more number of outdoor education institutes or outdoor education schools for reasonable and affordable prices. The outdoor education camp provided will be more worth and valuable for the students who obtains and they are provided under complete knowledge and experience.

Generally, adventure outdoor school or outdoor education schools provides outdoor education activities, outdoor education courses, outdoor education programs to kids, children and adults under prescheduled, guidance and procedures. With regards to qualified, professional and expert outdoor education instructor, outdoor education programs will be offered. Under proper guidance and precautions, outdoor educations will be offered to the people to enable them to know the required outdoor education provided. More number of kids, children and adults are obtaining the outdoor education programs offered.

The outdoor education professionals, experts or instructors guide the kids, children and adults in efficient manner. Generally, outdoor education programs and outdoor education courses are offered to students based on age group, duration of course offered and kind of outdoor education program selected. The outdoor education camp offered will be creative, enthusiastic, innovative and technical appraisement for the students hindering. Outdoor camps will be offered to the students for reasonable price consideration and they are offered by more number of adventure outdoor schools.

Institutional Reforms In The Higher Education Sector Of Mozambique And Ethical Issues

The need to eradicate poverty through increased literacy

One of the central goals defined by the Government of Mozambique in its long-term development strategy is “poverty reduction through labour-intensive economic growth”. The highest priority is assigned to reduce poverty in rural areas, where 90 percent of poor Mozambicans live, and also in urban zones. The Government recognizes also that, for this development strategy on poverty eradication to succeed, expansion and improvement in the education system are critically important elements in both long-term and short-term perspectives.

In the long term, universal access to education of acceptable quality is essential for the development
of Mozambique´s human resources, and the economic growth will depend to a significant extend on the education and training of the labour force. It is very important to develop a critical mass of well trained and highly qualified workforce which in turn will improve the overall literacy, intellectual development, training capacity and technical skills in various areas of the country’s economic and industrial development.

In the short term, increased access and improved quality in basic education are powerful mechanisms for wealth redistribution and the promotion of social equity. This policy is consistent with the provisions of the new Constitution of Mozambique adopted on 16 November 2004, in its articles 113 and 114 which deal respectively with education and higher education. Around the year 1990, the Government of Mozambique decided to change its social, economic and political orientation system from the centrally-planned system inherited from the communist era and adopted a western-style of free market system. At the same time, it was also decided to adopt fundamental changes in the education programmes. Since drastic changes and wide ranging effects were resulting from the adoption of the new economic and political orientation, it was necessary to provide new guidelines and rules governing the management of institutions of higher education.

The struggle continues: “a luta continua” !

The economic and political changes were progressively introduced with success through legislative and regulatory reforms. However, it has not been very easy to evenly change rules of social and cultural behaviour. In particular, vulnerable younger generations are the most affected by the rapid changes in society, while the reference model and values they expect from elder people in the modern Mozambican society seem to be shifting very fast. And in some instances, there seem to be no model at all. The new wave of economic liberalism in Mozambique, better defined by the popular concept of “deixa andar”, literally meaning “laisser-faire”, was mistakenly adopted as the guiding principle in the areas of social, cultural and education development.

The “laisser-faire” principle is better understood by economists and entrepreneurs in a system of open market and free entrepreneurship, under which the Government’s intervention is reduced to exercising minimum regulatory agency. The recent considerable economic growth realized by the Government of Mozambique (10% of successive growth index over four years) is attributed mainly to this free market policy. This principle should be carefully differentiated from “laisser-aller” which, in French language, rather means lack of discipline in academic, economic, social and cultural environments.
Reforming higher education institutions represents a real challenge, both at the institutional and pedagogic levels, not only in Mozambique, but elsewhere and in particular in African countries faced with the problem of “acculturation”. The youth seeking knowledge opportunities in national universities, polytechnics and higher institutes, where students are somehow left on their own, having no longer any need to be under permanent supervision of their parents or teachers, are disoriented. Since reforms in higher education institutions take longer than in any other institutional environment, it is necessary indeed to adopt adequate transitional measures to respond to urgent need of the young generations.

This essay reviews current trends and the recent historical background of higher education institutions of Mozambique. It argues against the adoption of the classical model of higher education from European and other western systems. In its final analysis, it finds that there is need to include ethical and deontology (social, cultural and moral education) components as priority sectors within the curriculum in higher education institutions, with a view to instill in the students and lecturers positive African values in general, and in particular, national Mozambican models. It is rejecting the neo-liberal thinking, which proposes that students in higher education institutions should be allowed to enjoy unlimited academic, social and intellectual uncontrolled independence, in conformity with western classical education and cultural orientation. It advocates for critical thinking and brainstorming on key issues towards the development of positive cultural and ethical models in higher education institutions which could be used to promote knowledge development and poverty eradication in the country’s rural areas and urban zones affected by unemployment, pandemics and economic precariousness.

The colonial legacy and its cultural impact on higher education in Mozambique.

Many experts have described the Mozambican mother of higher education as an institution for colonialists and “assimilados” . The first institution of higher education in Mozambique was established by the Portuguese government in 1962, soon after the start of the African wars of independence. It was called the General University Studies of Mozambique (Estudos Gerais Universitários de Moçambique EGUM). In 1968, it was renamed Lourenço Marques University. The university catered for the sons and daughters of Portuguese colonialists. Although the Portuguese government preached non-racism and advocated the assimilation of its African subjects to the Portuguese way of life, the notorious deficiencies of the colonial education system established under the Portuguese rule ensured that very few Africans would ever succeed in reaching university level. However, many educated African were led to adopt the colonial lifestyle.

In spite of Portugal’s attempts to expand African educational opportunities in the late 1960s and early 1970s, only about 40 black Mozambican students – less than 2 per cent of the student body -had entered the University of Lourenço Marques by the time of independence in 1975. The state and the university continued to depend heavily on the Portuguese and their descendants. Even the academic curriculum was defined according to the needs and policies defined long ago by the colonial power.
Soon after Independence in June 1975, the Government of Mozambique, from the FRELIMO party, adopted a Marxist-Leninist orientation and a centrally planned economy. The educational system was nationalized, and the university was renamed after Dr. Eduardo Mondlane, the first president of FRELIMO.

Many cadres trained in Portugal and other European and American universities came also with their own educational and cultural background. Apart from the Eduardo Mondlane University, new public and private universities and institutes were established. These include the Pedagogic University, the ISRI, the Catholic University, ISPU, ISCTEM and ISUTC. Most of these institutions adopted a curriculum clearly modeled on the classical European model. There is still need to integrate African traditional values in the course profiles offered and research programmes developed by these institutions.

The traditional role of a university is to enlighten and serve as a reference within the society: “illuminatio et salus populi”. Today, Mozambique is one of the most culturally and racially diversified society of Africa. This diversity should be considered as a cultural treasure for the nation. It has become however apparent that it’s more a “Babel Tower case”, as no unified Mozambican values appear to develop from this wide variety. With the creation of new public and private universities and new faculties, it would become easier to increase a critical mass of university lecturers and academic professionals, who would in their turn, influence the society, creating and instilling national positive values and ethical principles of conduct in the younger generations. According to many lecturers and students contacted at UEM, Universidade Pedagogica UP and UDM, the impact of higher education on the development of positive academic, scientific, social and cultural values in Mozambique is yet to be felt.

It is however necessary to acknowledge the importance of newly introduced community-based education programmes in some institutions. For instance the emphasis on community and service has guided curriculum development at the Catholic University; its course in agronomy (Cuamba) concentrates on peasant and family farming systems and leans heavily on research and outreach within local farming communities. The CU course in medicine (developed in collaboration with the University of Maastricht) which concentrates on teaching medicine, was particularly deemed appropriate for the rural and urban poor populations of Mozambique, as it is more based on problem-solving and focuses much more on traditional issues.

New Reforms in higher education institutions with a more participative approach

Mozambique is one of few countries in Africa where a new generation of leadership has stepped forward to articulate a vision for their institutions, inspiring confidence among those involved in higher education development and the modernization of their universities. In a series of case studies sponsored and published by the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa , it was confirmed that African universities covered by the studies have widely varying contexts and traditions. They are engaged in broad reform, examining and revising their planning processes, introducing new techniques of financial management, adopting new technologies, reshaping course structures and pedagogy, and more important, reforming practices of governance based in particular on their own contexts and traditions.

Important institutional reforms concerning the strategic planning experiences of the Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) were initiated and implemented so far. Two strategic planning cycles were developed, the first in 1990 and the second one in 1996 / 97. The second one was meant to adapting to the impacts of newly adopted multi-party democracy, market competition, and globalization. Whereas the first reform cycle was the result of high level officials at the University, the second one was generated using a participatory methodology deemed to be more effective in involving the university staff in the process.

It is important to listen to everyone, and to be seen as listening. We are also convinced that various components of the population in Mozambique should be involved in the next phases of the process with a view to define what kind of education orientation the population would wish to have for their children.
There is important progress but yet limited academic impact on the development of the society
Considerable progress has been so far made in post-independence Mozambique. After the initial problems caused by the long years of civil war and then the long efforts necessitated by the adjustment to a market-driven economy and a multi-party democratic political order, Mozambique is now considered to have a higher education system that offers a wide variety of course options and extensive research opportunities. However, a major weakness highlighted by many observers is that all the institutions remain basically concentrated in the capital city of Maputo and its neighboring provinces. It is argued that they serve only a limited fraction of the Mozambican population, and are destined to train the elite of prominent people in government and in the professions, industry and commerce. It is also alleged that the majority of the students who succeed in entering public and private institutions of higher education are from relatively rich families.

It is finally emphasized that nearly 80 per cent of university students in Mozambique use Portuguese as their principal means of communication, thus strengthening the perception of establishing, reproducing and consolidating a hereditary elite, with model values copied on western societies. In response to this challenge, it was suggested that the government should encourage the emergence of new and non-traditional HEIs closer to the local communities, able to respond more rapidly and flexibly to the demands and expectations of the public and private sectors for a high quality trained workforce, while addressing both regional and socioeconomic imbalances in the country.

In our final analysis, we find that the impact of higher education institutions on the development and dissemination of traditional African social and cultural values would be very limited for a long period. As long as the access and feed-back from all levels of the society and regions will be left out of the core interaction with the highly educated elite and higher education institutions mainly concentrated in Maputo, the role of universities in promoting African positive values, a culture of academic ethics and deontology in the entire national society will be very limited.

The process of “Nation building” needs to rely on a strong academic support. One of the Government’s main constitutional commitments is to promote the development of the national culture and identity (article 115 of the 2004 Constitution). It is clear that many institutions, for instance the television, are actively promoting cultural diversity through various means. Institutions of higher education should be seen doing more, in particular starting with the students themselves and the academic community members, who are expected to be the light of the society. Such actions would include the integration of courses on ethics and deontology, and develop a wide-ranging variety of education models that reprove negative behavior and promote positive values. Our recommendation is that the Government should for example instruct public universities and other higher education institutions, to appoint “Ethics and Deontology Committees” at the level of their University Councils and within all autonomous faculties.