Childhood Special & General Education

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  • Master of Science in Education: 52 credits

Learn how to engage all children, including those with disabilities

Strong focus on social justice, and advocacy for a diverse range of children and families.

Become certified in general education and in teaching students with disabilities

Preparation to teach children with and without disabilities across a broad range of general and special education contexts.



Diane NewmanDiane Newman
Director

Bank Street’s Childhood General and Special Education program prepares graduate students to teach children in grades 1-6 who are typically developing, as well as children with high and low-incidence disabilities across a range of general and special education settings. Through course and fieldwork, and with the individualized support of faculty advisors, our graduate students learn to reflect deeply on their own teaching practice, ask critical questions, and seek answers. 

This program is rooted in Bank Street’s progressive philosophy. Graduate students learn to create experiences for children that engage them in critical exploration of themselves, others, and the wider world in which they live across a range of content areas. We develop teachers who plan for the needs and capabilities of a diverse range of children in collaboration with colleagues and families.  

Our graduate students examine the historical, social, political, economic, and cultural forces that impact both general and special education schooling environments and the children, families, and teachers who make up those environments. We develop a teacher’s capacity to create and advocate for equitable access to learning for all children.

Certification in Education

When you graduate, you will be eligible for New York State initial certification in Childhood General Education and in Teaching Students with Disabilities, allowing you to work with children in grades 1 through 6 in general education, special education and inclusive settings. After teaching for three years you will be eligible for professional certification.

Supervised Fieldwork/Advisement

Taken concurrently with coursework, supervised fieldwork is designed to foster the integration of theory and practice. You will:     

  • Work in classroom settings as a full-time assistant, head teacher or as a student teacher (3 days each week):
    • Student teachers will be placed both at the grade 1 through 3 level, and at the grade 4 through 6 level, covering both general and special education settings.
    • Working teachers or assistant teachers who stay with a particular grade in the age range may use their own classroom as their setting for fieldwork. These students will gain additional experience through a summer practicum.
  • Be supervised by your advisor, a core graduate faculty mentor, as you work with children in your fieldwork setting.
  • Participate in a weekly conference group of 5-7 students and your advisor.
  • Meet individually with your advisor twice each month.

Career Opportunities

  • Teach in general education classrooms.
  • Teach in inclusive and self-contained special education classrooms.
  • Tutor or work as a learning specialist in schools or in private practice.
  • Work in special education teacher support services (SETSS) roles.

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants to the Childhood Special and General Education Dual Certification program need an academic background in the liberal arts and sciences. 
  • See the Admissions Criteria.