Waukee Partners with University of Northern Iowa for New Education Class

For the first time, the University of Northern Iowa is partnering with Waukee High School to bring a new education class opportunity to students starting the spring 2017 semester.

The Children’s Literature course offered this January will cover literature for K-6 students, differing from the Introduction to Education class which covers a much broader view of American education including the roles of teachers, history, and philosophy of curriculum. In Introduction to Education, students are also required to complete a 40-hour clinical observation at another Waukee school. What is also different about the Children’s Literature course, is that it will introduce a professor from UNI – Dr. J.D. Cryer – who will co-teach the course.

“We are their first class,” said Waukee High School English teacher Ann Hanigan-Kotz, “They are very excited to partner with Waukee High School. Dr. Cryer will join the class via Zoom as well as visit in person. The students will also travel to UNI for one class on campus.”

Zoom is a web and video conferencing application that will allow Dr. Cryer to visit with students even when he is not physically present with them.

“All elementary education majors, whether it’s at UNI or another four-year institution, have to take a children’s literature course,” said Hanigan, “It’s one of the foundation classes. Additionally, they will receive three credits that will count toward their degree.”

Students will have the opportunity during this class to read a wide variety of children’s books, which will cover both picture books and chapter books. Assignments will delve into their understanding of genres of children’s literature and expand their knowledge of what makes good literature.

“The Children’s Literature class will be another step for students as they consider Elementary or secondary teaching as possible careers,” said Hanigan, “Taking this class now will allow students to have a leg up in their future college courses, and I hope it continues to positively impact their careers in the years beyond.”