UC San Diego is in the process of introducing an education major that would debut in one or two years. The idea of adding the major was sparked after the California legislature passed a law finally permitting schools to have an undergraduate education major after 57 years.
Undergraduate education majors were originally banned in 1961 during the Sputnik Era where lawmakers thought the education major was a watered-down degree, and teachers weren’t spending enough time learning the subject content but instead focusing on teaching methods.
The education studies department is currently in the pre-proposal phase and believes that the major will be finalized either Fall of 2019 or 2020. The education studies faculty is currently envisioning what the course catalog will look like and what the areas of focus will be.
The proposal called for new undergraduate courses around educational research and having a major relevant to students who want to become teachers in the future. Professor Chris Halter of the education studies department emphasizes that the major will go in-depth into three different areas of education.
“There will be a focus in [cognitive] development and learning [about] society, language, and culture, and diving into educational research,” Halter told the UCSD Guardian.
Halter stated that the education studies department hopes this major will be an interdisciplinary major.
“The major would include courses in cognitive science, sociology, [and] human development.”
Roger Revelle College sophomore and education studies minor Angel Lopez stated that he “really want[s] to see a focus on non-STEM education, we don’t have enough emphasis on the arts.”
Halter mentioned that the last year of the major is when students will finalize their focus in education studies. Students will have field experience in elementary school, high school, graduate school, or educational research. Throughout the major, students are taking a very similar course line, and it is their final year where they decide the path they want to take for their futures.
Halter said that it is more than likely that the major will include working with the Preuss School UCSD to gain some field experience for the students. The staff would work on solidifying the partnership they already have with the Preuss School instead of creating a new one.