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Highly Recruited

The Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Middle Level Education has been ranked as one of the top programs for educators in the state.  We strive to advance the scholarly preparation of practicing teachers by providing quality instruction that exemplifies the best teaching practices for children from birth through age fourteen - recognizing multiple pathways to learning.  The Department is committed to enhancing the academic experiences of our graduate students in an effort to fashion educators who function effectively in a culturally diverse, technologically advanced, and global environment.



The Department of Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle Level Education is proud to have a long legacy of preparing educators in programs inclusive of the core components of integrated learning (intentionality, reflection, problem-solving, collaboration and meta-cognition). http://castle.eiu.edu/~acaffair/IntegrativeLearning/EIUIntegrativeLearning.php The Graduate Program provides a strong integrative learning experience (e.g., through the theory-to-practice assignments incorporated in language arts and social studies methods and the field experience options at the graduate level such as the reading practicum where majors individually assess/tutor area children in literacy).  


Research to Inform Practice

Graduate students within the department have two options for their culminating experience in the Master’s program. As their culminating experience, they can either complete a thesis or an action research project.

A Teacher and a Researcher

Brianne Miller found herself facing the same quandary every elementary school teacher faces: Pressure from administration and school board to improve students’ writing skills and escalate the district’s test scores in that area. Read more...



A thesis is scholarly research intended to advance knowledge within the academic discipline. Thesis research is conducted under the supervision of a thesis director and in consultation with a thesis committee composed of members of the graduate faculty.

Action research is research that is specific to teachers and it involves a systematic inquiry completed by a teacher to improve one’s practice. Action research is conducted within the teacher’s educational setting and is intended to inform and improve a teacher’s practice.

Maximizing Parental Role in Classroom Achievement

Melissa Blackwell at Riddle Elementary in Mattoon found ways to work with parents to help students learn more effectively at home.