Education 440

EDUC 440: Teaching Grades 6-8

Prerequisites: EDSP 361, and admission into the Teacher Education program

Co-requisites:EDUC 441, EDRD 416, EDET 445

This course will assist pre-service teachers in developing requisite knowledge and skills for teaching in grades 6-8 in science, mathematics, social sciences and English. This course is taught in conjunction with a field experience in grades 6-8.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Schools for early adolescents

  • Concept of teaching early adolescents
  • Philosophy of teaching early adolescents
  • Characteristics of the early adolescent learner


  • Interdisciplinary
  • Developmentally appropriate
  • Long term
  • Short term

Diverse learners

  • Cultural, ethnic and special needs
  • Learning styles
  • Matching learning styles to teaching methods
  • Writing lesson plans that provide for different learning styles
  • Delivering effective instruction for different learning styles

Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs and national standards in appropriate content area Grades 6-8: science, mathematics, social sciences, & English)

  • Virginia SOLs for grades 6-8
  • National standards in appropriate content areas
  • Planning instruction
  • Interdisciplinary planning


  • Appropriate uses in the 6-8 classroom


  • Models include but are not limited to: Inquiry, role playing, concept attainment, direct instruction, simulations, advance organizer
  • Incorporating different types into lesson plans
  • Collaboration and teaming
  • Theories and research
  • National suggestions



  • Definition
  • Matching with learning needs
  • Alternative
  • Use in lesson plans


  • Rules
  • Procedures
  • Models
  • Materials
  • Information


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

EDUC 440 is taught primarily through discussion, case studies, activities and readings. Additionally, it is taught in conjunction with an internship in an early adolescent level environment. Students will be working with their supervising professor to develop lesson plans specific to their internship assignment, discussing issues related to their content area and exploring issues which might arise while student teaching. They will examine the theories and research relevant to teaching their content at grades 6-8.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Having successfully completed this course, the student will:

  • respond appropriately to the developmental stages of grades 6-8 students.
  • plan and develop lessons which reflect Virginia Standards of Learning and national standards.
  • choose from a variety of materials and utilize appropriate technology in the planning and implementation of lessons.
  • utilize appropriate pedagogies in an effective manner.
  • design performance assessment strategies.
  • utilize information on how early adolescents construct knowledge.
  • develop effective lessons for diverse learners.
  • develop lessons which are interdisciplinary in concept and effective for diverse learners.
  • make informed decisions regarding membership in professional organizations.


Assessment Measures

  • Reflective Journal: Students will keep a journal throughout the semester recording their insights, struggles, successes, failures, perceptions and feelings.
  • Papers: Students will write several short papers examining and exploring issues in teaching.
  • Lesson Plan: Students will develop and evaluate lessons.
  • Observation: Students will be observed teaching lessons from their unit plan.
  • Other types of activities appropriate to the specific content areas.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

February 1999 Revised