Master's in Elementary Education

The Elementary Education M.Ed. program consists of a comprehensive and innovative series of experiences designed to develop the knowledge, skills and qualities essential for initial teaching effectiveness. The mission of the program, grounded in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development's bridging concepts—Research and Scholarship, Reflective Practice, Community Service, and Educational Leadership, is to prepare teachers who are knowledgeable in the research and scholarship of curriculum and methods of instruction; who are reflective practitioners in the integration of theory and practice; who are actively dedicated to teaching and learning in a pluralistic democracy; and who, as leaders, are eager to contribute to the national conversation about the reform of American schools and society.

The program's mission is further grounded in a conceptual framework that consists of an integrated set of three themes: knowledge, individuality, and social responsibility. These three themes provide a cohesive conceptual framework for the entire program and are reflected in all aspects of program coursework as well as in related clinical experiences. The relationship of the conceptual framework's three themes is interactive.

This master's program is approved by the office of the State Superintendent - Standards and Credentialing of the District of Columbia and is part of the GSEHD unit accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Dr. Beck was one of six GW graduates honored in 2015 with the GW Alumni Association’s highest annual award for service.

For more information about the unique features of this program, its conceptual framework, and curriculum please view, download, or print: Elementary Education. Program Plans for the 1 and 2 year options can be found here.

Read the Elementary Education Annual Newsletter.


Good teachers know the subject matter they teach; and understand the process of its construction and the impact of its use in real world settings. This extended view of knowledge establishes a base for meaningful classroom instruction in content areas.


Today’s youngsters come from a rich array of cultural and experiential backgrounds. They bring to schools a diverse set of personal, social, and academic expectations. Good teachers are attentive to students as individuals; they are also sensitive to the broader cultural context that gives shape to diversity.

Social Responsibility

Teaching is a socially significant profession that calls for a wider, moral vision extending beyond the narrowness of personal gain and private intellectual development. The education of today’s youth is connected to many crucial issues confronting the larger social order.


Why a GW Master's in Elementary Education?

  • Licensure Eligible: A one-year or two-year, intensive 33 credit program, the Elementary Education model leads to eligibility for licensure in grades 1-6. The program is approved by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
  • Internship and Immersion: Course work covers a broad array of topics from development and diversity, language and literacy to perspectives on American education. The course work strengthens field placement in 19 partnership elementary school in the Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland districts.

Partnership Schools

  • Alexandria City
    • James Polk
    • Samuel Tucker
  • Arlington County
    • Arlington Science Focus School
    • Glebe
    • Long Branch
  • District of Columbia Public Schools
    • Eaton, NW
    • Hyde, NW
    • Key, NW
    • Lafayette, NW
    • Langley, NE
    • Ross, NW
    • Watkins, SE
    • District of Columbia Public Charter Schools
      • Capital City Public Charter
      • DC Bilingual Public Charter
      • Yu Ying Public Charter
  • Fairfax County
    • Bailey's
    • Gunston
    • Spring Hill
  • Falls Church City
    • Thomas Jefferson
  • Montgomery County Public Schools
    • Somerset
  • Independent Schools
    • Green Acres (Montgomery County)
    • Lowell School (DC)
    • Our Savior Lutheran School (Arlington County)
    • Washington International School (DC)

Foundation Courses

CPED 6604Perspectives in American Education
CPED 6606Theories of Learning and Development
CPED 6608Development and Diversity
SPED 6290Affective Development and Behavior Management in Special Education


CPED 6410Reading Children’s Literature across the Curriculum
CPED 6412Elementary School Curriculum and Methods (Math)
CPED 6412Elementary School Curriculum and Methods (Science)
CPED 6412Elementary School Curriculum and Methods (Language Arts)
CPED 6412Elementary School Curriculum and Methods (Social Studies)
CPED 6623Foundations of Reading Development
EDUC 6114Introduction to Quantitative Research


CPED 6635Professional Internship in Elementary Education (taken for 6 credits)

Associate Professor
(202) 994-9084
Associate Professor
(202) 994-0997
Associate Professor
(202) 994-1542
Career Outlook


Our Elementary Education graduates are teaching throughout the country and the Washington DC metropolitan area. In addition to teaching, our graduates become leaders in their profession. They are:

  • Teacher Mentors
  • Cooperating Teachers
  • Gifted Resource Teachers
  • Advanced Academic Program Teachers
  • Reading Specialists
  • Early Childhood Specialists
  • School Based Technology Specialists
  • Instructional Coaches
  • Literacy Coaches
  • Mathematics Coaches
  • Admissions


    Program Entry: Summer (Full Time, 1 Year Cohort), Fall (Part Time, 2 Year Cohort)
    Prerequisites: Bachelors Degree
    Campus: Main Campus

    Application Requirements

    • Online Application
    • Resume
    • Statement of Purpose
    • 2 Letters of Recommendation
    • Transcripts (unofficial)
    • Writing sample (should consist of an academic paper written for undergraduate studies, a professional paper, or published academic or professional work with full citation)
    • Application Fee

    *Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants

    For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions page.

    Transformation Begins Here

    Learn more about the Master's in Elementary Education program located on campus (202-994-8411).

    In the News

    GSEHD student Lydia Wallace (master's, elementary education) was named the 2017-2018 recipient of the Beck Endowment. Ms. Wallace received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh-Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences with a major in English writing. In Pittsburgh, she took on leadership roles as a Children’s Ministry Leader at the Bible Center Church, a mentor in Pittsburgh Public Schools, and an undergraduate teaching assistant at the University of Pittsburgh. Following graduation from GSEHD in May 2018, Ms. Wallace hopes to teach “in an urban public school because I have been working with children from schools like this since I was twelve years old and have found that it is truly one of my passions. I feel like I never stop learning from the children that I work with.”
    The Beck Endowment was created from a gift by Dr. Gloria L. Horrworth, GSEHD professor emeritus, in 1996 in honor of colleague, alumna, GSEHD faculty member, and program director, Dr. Sylven Seid Beck.

    GSEHD alumna Jennifer Hertzberg (master’s in elementary education; education specialist degree in educational leadership and administration) has become the new principal at Flint Hill Elementary School in Fairfax County, VA, according to Inside Nova.

    GSEHD student Jennifer Lowe (master's, elementary education) was named winner of the 2017 John Horrworth Children's Book Award on May 19th at the Elementary Education Program's Class of 2017 Graduation Celebration.

    Dr. Gloria Horrworth, Professor Emeritus of Reading Education, established the endowment in 2001 in memory of her son, John, who was an avid reader before his passing from leukemia at the age of 14. The endowment provides annual cash prizes to Elementary Education Program students who prevail in a children's book writing competition.

    Kim Sloan, instructor for the program's Children's Literature course, conducted the children's book writing project, which culminates in this annual competition with awards determined by a panel of judges. The winner receives $500 and honorable mentions receive $100 each. Jennifer Lowe won for her book Am I an Artist? The two honorable mentions were Josh Benjamin for Granny Smith's Memory, and Jessica Yang for Fly's Tutu.

    GSEHD alumnus Mike Mangiaracina (M.Ed. '08, elementary education), is the recipient of a 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)! Mr. Mangiaracina is a D.C. Public Schools teacher, teaching science and math at Brent Elementary. CONGRATULATIONS!!

    GSEHD alumna Sasha Zeedyk (masters, elementary education) was highlighted in CSUF News Center's Child Inspires Teacher to Become Autism Researcher.