Why Choose EIU?
The Social Science Studies program challenges majors to excel in and out of the classroom. Students take an array of courses in all the social science from talented faculty in respective departments. (Check out courses and faculty pages.) In education courses and social science teaching methods, students create lesson plans, implementing knowledge of pedagogy as well as their particular subject. The SOS major culminates with student teaching, an intense experience that prepares students to leave EIU fully prepared to embark on teaching careers, or to take their classroom experience as a launching point into any number of other careers.
In addition to academic rigor, social science teaching programs at EIU provide practical preparation. Coursework is focused on all social sciences, and students are given guidance about additional endorsements and licensures to assist them in the search for a job. From the beginning of their education courses, students spend time in area schools. They participate in a sixty-hour practicum during their general methods class, and this is followed by an internship with an experienced social studies teacher during their time in SOS 3400. Student teaching gives them real-world experience and a true taste of the life of a classroom teacher; students put into practice everything they have been learning about during their years at EIU.
Social Science Teaching majors receive individual attention from faculty throughout the program. They are advised one-on-one by someone within their major field, and they are also invited to consult with social science teaching specialists throughout their years at EIU. In the final year of the program, students enroll in SOS 3400, a social science teaching methods course. EIU has committed to keeping this course small so that students can teach lessons and have much one-on-one interaction with each other and with the professor. Finally, students are assigned a university supervisor during student teaching who works with them throughout the student teaching experience. In part because of the individual attention that is at the core of the social science teaching programs at EIU, students excel and are able to shape the program to fit their interests and needs.
Voice of America
After serving about 10 years in the army, Jarrod Taylor went from training soldiers to teaching middle school students. A ’13 EIU alum in history with a minor in English and teaching certification, Taylor is now able to incorporate his experiences in the army and of traveling the world into his classroom of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. He hasn’t forgotten his education experience, though. “The contacts I made (at Eastern), it set me up for success,” Taylor said.
Social Science Teaching majors are prepared to excel in a wide variety of careers. Many opt for this major to fulfill dreams of teaching high school social studies, and EIU graduates teach throughout Illinois. Every October EIU sponsors a History and Social Science Teachers Conference, welcoming back numerous graduates who are now practicing teachers to share ideas and strategies and enjoy a day of professional development. Others use the rigorous and multi-disciplinary nature of the program as launching points for law or graduate school as well as a wide variety of careers.