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Early Childhood and Elementary Education Program

Note : The Early Childhood/Elementary Education major will not be offered for students entering in fall of 2022 and beyond. Students interested in elementary education should apply to the Elementary Education major.

Students discover Peabody's Department of Teaching and Learning through the sweeping stone stairs and stately columns of the Faye and Joe B. Wyatt Center, the elegant domed edifice that sits at the head of Peabody’s campus. But that's where any resemblance to an ivory tower ends. Faculty in the Department of Teaching and Learning spend as much time in the classrooms and hallways of Nashville’s public schools as they do in the seminar rooms of the college, leading to some of the best-prepared new teachers in the country.

“Our students have an exceptional level of supervised support as they work in field placements, connecting the theory they learn on campus with practice in real classrooms” says Professor Rogers Hall. “These experiences, combined with access to faculty who know current research and are intimately familiar with how children learn, make for an outstanding program."

"Because we seek to prepare teachers who are effective from their first day, our program has an exceptionally rich set of field experiences that provides students who are seeking certification with the skills and knowledge they need to begin their professional lives,” says Hall. “Students interested in education who are not seeking certification benefit equally from these powerful experiences, as they use our field experiences as a means to understand the applications of theoretical knowledge about learning, teaching and development that can be applied in a variety of contexts.”

Students are admitted into the Early Childhood and Elementary Education major. Sharing some common coursework, students choose either an Early Childhood track, leading to teacher licensure for pre-K through third grade, or an Elementary Education track, leading to teacher licensure for kindergarten through fifth grade. Both tracks are field work intensive with a unique focus on children’s developmental thinking and reasoning in both school and non-school settings that involve teaching, advocacy, policy, and informal learning opportunities. 

Vanderbilt students seeking teacher licensure must apply through the Office of Teacher Licensure at Vanderbilt and must meet licensure requirements in effect at the time of their graduation, which may be different from licensure requirements in effect at the time they entered Vanderbilt. Licensure requirements are currently undergoing change. Each year, teacher licensure candidates should consult the current Vanderbilt Undergraduate Catalog and the Peabody College Undergraduate Handbook. For more information regarding teacher licensure, contact Amanda Van Doorn at (615) 322-8270.

For information about current programs, refer to the Undergraduate Handbook.