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Program in Teacher Preparation


Christopher Campisano

Associate Director

Todd W. Kent

Executive Committee

William Bialek, Physics, Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics

Daphne A. Brooks, English, African American Studies

Miguel A. Centeno, Sociology, Woodrow Wilson School

Joel Cooper, Psychology

Joan S. Girgus, Psychology

Stanley N. Katz, Woodrow Wilson School

Daniel I. Rubenstein, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Program Administrator

Anne N. Catena

Michael D. Hannon

Jason R. Klugman

Helen H. Martinson

Torey T. Wilson

The Program in Teacher Preparation is an interdepartmental course of study for undergraduates composed of a unique mix of course work, seminars, laboratory experience, field work, and practice teaching. The program, approved by the New Jersey State Department of Education and nationally accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council, allows students to explore teaching as a career option and to become fully prepared and certified to teach successfully at the middle and secondary levels within the regular framework of a Princeton A.B. or B.S.E. degree. Participants can earn certification in art, music, English, mathematics, sciences, social sciences, and world languages.

Upon completion of the program, students receive a certificate in teacher preparation from the University and may apply for a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing for teaching in public schools. That certificate is transferable to other states through reciprocity agreements. Independent schools, as a rule, do not require certification in order to secure a teaching position. However, independent school heads have become increasingly interested in teacher candidates who are fully prepared and certified within a liberal arts curriculum.

In accordance with Title II Federal Regulations for reporting pass rates in teacher licensing examinations, the Program in Teacher Preparation reported a 100 percent pass rate in the 2008-09 cohort.

Admission to the Program

Students are encouraged to apply during the freshman or sophomore year to allow adequate time for scheduling required courses, but applications also are accepted from upperclassmen and alumni. Admission is based on academic standing and evidence of interest in teaching.

Program Requirements

General Education Requirements. The New Jersey State Department of Education requires that students preparing to teach take courses in a variety of academic disciplines within the liberal arts curriculum. A course is required in each of the following areas: fine arts, humanities, mathematics, science, technology, and social science. Courses taken to fulfill the University distribution requirements will cover most, if not all, of these areas.

Teaching Area Requirements. Teaching area requirements normally correspond to departmental concentration requirements. Eight courses in, or related to, the teaching field are required. With careful choice of elective courses it is possible to be certified in one field while concentrating in another.

Professional Education Requirements. In addition to the general education and teaching area requirements, the professional education sequence includes the following:

Introductory Practicum. A six-hour observation in a school and participation in two seminar sessions. Three brief written assignments and selected readings are also required.

Educational Psychology (PSY 307) or an approved alternate, usually completed during the year prior to practice teaching.

Seminar on Learning and Teaching (TPP 301). TPP 301 is usually completed the semester prior to practice teaching.

Site-Based Field Experience. A 30-hour observation in a school and the preparation of two lessons done in cooperation with a classroom teacher. (The field experience is completed concurrently with PSY 307 or alternate, and TPP 301.)

Seminar on Education (TPP 401). TPP 401 is taken concurrently with Practice Teaching (TPP 402).

Practice Teaching (TPP 402). TPP 402 is a 12-week assignment as a student teacher completed during the senior year (see Reduced Course Load Option below) or during an additional ninth semester (see The Practice Teaching Option below).

Program Options

The Reduced Course Load Option. Students who choose to do their practice teaching in a semester of their senior year have the option of reducing by one the number of courses taken in that semester so as to devote full time to TPP 401 and TPP 402. This option requires that students complete 26 courses prior to the senior year. The arrangement does not alter distribution, departmental, or language requirements, nor does it reduce the total number of courses required for graduation. Students wishing to select this option must secure the approval of a program staff member and the appropriate academic dean.

The Practice Teaching Option (PTO). Program participants who find that they are unable to schedule TPP 401 and TPP 402 into a semester of their senior year can take those courses in a term after graduating or in a term during a one-year leave of absence between junior and senior year.  There is a modest tuition charge for the extra semester, and students are responsible for their own room and board. Students considering this option should discuss their plans with a member of the program staff, since special arrangements are required. A limited amount of financial aid is available to eligible students.

Preparation for Independent School Teaching. Students not enrolled in the program who are seeking preparation for teaching in independent schools may enroll in PSY 307 or TPP 301 provided space is available. Students considering this option should contact the program office and schedule an appointment with a staff member prior to registration.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who fulfill all program requirements receive a certificate of proficiency in teacher preparation upon graduation.

Placement. The program also provides placement services to all Princeton students and alumni seeking teaching and administrative positions in elementary and secondary schools, both public and private.


TPP 301 Seminar on Student Learning and Methods for Teaching   Fall, Spring SA

A study of essential dimensions of learning and teaching, including learner characteristics and needs, organization and structure of educational institutions, development of curriculum and instructional goals, preparation of evaluation and assessment, and design of subject/level specific methodologies and classroom management techniques. Required course work includes 18 hours of site-based field experience and an evening laboratory session. T. Kent, A. Catena

TPP 401 Seminar on Education   Fall, Spring

Students investigate the processes of curriculum development and implementation, develop learning goals and rubrics for assessment, study national and local issues in education and their impact on schools, examine current philosophies and effective practices, reflect on their work and evaluate their performance as practice teachers, and conduct action research relevant to the teaching/learning process. Prerequisite: program director's permission. J. Klugman, S. Grey

TPP 402 Practice Teaching   Fall, Spring

Supervised practice teaching (a minimum of 10 weeks for seniors, and 12 weeks for PTO and graduate students) in secondary or elementary school. Teaching is done under the supervision of a master teacher and a program staff member who regularly observe and discuss the student's practice teaching. Students gain firsthand experience in developing teaching strategies, planning and differentiating instruction, assessing student learning, and classroom management. Must be taken concurrently with 401. A. Catena, T. Wilson, J. Klugman