Department of Educational Theory and Practice


The Department of Educational Theory and Practice offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in early childhood, elementary, middle school, and social studies education. The Bachelors degree programs (BSEd) lead to initial teacher certification. The Master of Arts in Teaching programs (MAT) also lead to initial certification in conjunction with the Masters degree. For certified teachers, the department offers Masters (MEd and MA), Education Specialist (EdS), and doctoral (PhD) degrees.

The elementary education portion of the current department traces its origin to the establishment of Georgia’s State Normal School in 1891. In the mid-1970s, faculty in the department created a Middle Grades Education program, one of the first programs in the nation to focus on the needs of early adolescent children and the teachers who serve them. The Department of Elementary Education merged with the Department of Social Science Education in 2006 to become the Department of Elementary and Social Studies Education.

The 2010 U.S. News and World Report rankings of graduate programs placed the Elementary Education program third in the nation. Secondary education programs at UGA, which includes the Social Studies Education program, were also ranked third among America’s Best Graduate Schools. The Department has 16 full time faculty members and serves more than 300 graduate and nearly 400 undergraduate students. Faculty and staff offices are located on the 4th and 6th floors of Aderhold Hall on the Athens campus of the University of Georgia.

The Department’s faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized in their areas of expertise. Faculty members’ research includes the study of teaching and learning in many of the subject areas of the school curriculum, childcare policy, culture and pedagogy, early educational intervention, education for democracy, the history of education, the professional development of teachers and teacher educators, reflective practice, the roles of families and communities in schooling, school reform and policy, schooling and social justice, and teacher-student relationships.

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