Liberal Studies, an Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Program

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Faculty Offices East (Bldg. 25), Room 125B
Phone: 805.756.2935; Fax: 805.756.2967
liberalstudies.calpoly.edu

Department Chair: Lola Berber-Jimenez

Academic Program

Program name Program type
Liberal StudiesBS

Liberal Studies is Cal Poly's pre-professional Teacher Preparation Program leading to enrollment in a multiple subject credential program. The mission of Liberal Studies is to ensure that students are prepared to teach competently and professionally each of the seven content areas in the state-mandated curriculum (K-8). These include language arts, mathematics, science, history/social sciences, visual and performing arts, health/physical education and human development. Liberal Studies provides the educational experience and preparation best suited for the prospective elementary teacher.

Faculty from the following disciplines help to offer the required curriculum in the major: Art and Design, Biological Sciences, English, Ethnic Studies, History, Kinesiology, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Physics, Psychology and Child Development, Social Sciences, Statistics, Theatre, and Education.

Undergraduate Program

BS Liberal Studies

A depth of study is required of all students seeking a multiple subject credential by the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing.  Liberal Studies majors select one of the following concentrations or, with prior approval from the department chair, an individualized course of study.

  • Biology
  • Child Development
  • English
  • History/Social Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Spanish
  • Teaching English as a Second Language

Degree Requirements and Curriculum

How to Read Course Descriptions

LS Courses

LS 101. Introduction to Liberal Studies. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: F

Introduction of the career pathway into elementary teaching profession and available options for concentrations and additional authorizations. Academic policies and procedures, study skills, goals, settings, career planning, wellness and other topics relevant to career and student success. To be taken during the first quarter in attendance at Cal Poly as a Liberal Studies major. 2 lectures.

LS 211. Visual Arts in the Elementary Classroom. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Theory, aesthetics, appreciation and applications of visual arts, through multiple two dimensional art strategies, as related to educational processes for the elementary classroom. Focus on elements, principles of design while fostering artistic perception. One Saturday field trip required. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory. Formerly LS 311.

LS 214. Constitutional Issues in the History of U.S. and California Education. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Examination of U.S. and California constitutions, significant legislation, and court cases affecting public education from the colonial period to the present. Overview of contributions by individuals of historical, national, and international educational significance. Examination of landmark decisions. 4 lectures.

LS 230. Field Experience in the Elementary Classroom I. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Overview of current practices and issues in elementary education, including teacher compensation, cultural impact on schools, time and classroom management, English learners, and the affective aspect of teaching. 24 hours of fieldwork required. 1 lecture, 1 activity.

LS 250. Field Experience in the Elementary Classroom II. 2 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Overview of current practices and issues in elementary education, including components of effective teaching, motivating students, diagnostic/prescriptive teaching, curriculum, and accountability. In addition to class time, 24 hours of fieldwork required. Participation in public schools requires fingerprint clearance. 1 lecture, 1 activity.

LS 260. Children's Literature. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A.

Analysis and evaluation of traditional literature, fantasy, realistic fiction, historical fiction, informational books, picture books, and poetry for children in multiple subject classroom grades K-6. Emphasis on multicultural texts. 4 lectures. Crosslisted as ENGL/LS 260.

LS 290. Selected Topics. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Open to undergraduate students and consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics. The Schedule of Classes will list title selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

LS 310. Storytelling: Modern Applications of Traditional Narrative. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: COMS 101 or COMS 102.

Techniques for selection, preparation and presentation of traditional folktales and myths for an audience. Applications of storytelling in teaching and organizations; theory and history of folk literature and mythology. 4 lectures.

LS 370. Integration of Visual and Performing Arts Standards in the Elementary Classroom. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W, SP

Prerequisite: LS 211 (formerly LS 311) and GE C3. Recommended: LS 310.

Current theory and practice of standards based integrated arts with an emphasis on the use of music, theater, dance, and the visual arts as discrete disciplines with historical and cultural context. Outside performances required. 4 lectures. Formerly LS 270.

LS 380. Subject Matter Apprenticeship. 2 units

CR/NC

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Junior standing and consent of instructor.

Structured application of a specific content area in schools and informal educational settings. Topics include: Arts, English, Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Physical Education and Health. The Schedule of Classes will list topic selected. Participation in public schools requires mandated fingerprint clearance. Credit/No Credit grading only. 1 lecture, 1 activity. Formerly LS 280.

LS 382. Supervised Fieldwork. 1-2 units

CR/NC

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: LS 380 and consent of instructor.

Fieldwork experience in the application of a specific content area or program in an educational setting. The Schedule of Classes will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 4 units with the same title with a maximum of 2 units per quarter. Repeatable to 4 units with the same title. Credit/No Credit grading only. 1-2 activities. Formerly LS 282.

LS 400. Special Problems for Advanced Undergraduates. 1-2 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor, junior standing.

Individual investigation, research, studies, or surveys of selected problems. Total credit limited to 4 units, with a maximum of 2 units per quarter.

LS 410. Subject Matter Seminar. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, SP

Prerequisite: LS Majors and Senior standing.

Analysis and practice of subject matter knowledge and skills to facilitate K-8 learning through identifying major themes and questions. The use of inquiry, assessment, curriculum integration, and technology to connect discipline specific content to contemporary social issues. Repeatable for up to 12 units. 3 seminars, 1 activity.

LS 412. Advanced Visual Arts in the Elementary Classroom. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: W, SP

Prerequisite: LS 370.

Application of visual arts, through multiple strategies including direct curriculum inclusion for the elementary schools and art community settings. Two Saturday field trips required. 4 lectures. Formerly LS 312.

LS 461. Senior Project Seminar. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Senior standing, completion of GWR or consent of instructor.

Examination of issues in education of state, national and international concern. Students prepare presentations and conduct individual research and analysis of selected problems. Substantial research paper required. 4 seminars.

LS 462. Senior Project Research. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: F, W, SP

Prerequisite: Senior standing, completion of GWR, and LS 410 or LS 412.

Application of content and theory to the educational experience of one specific subject matter area in the Liberal Studies program. 2 seminars, and supervised work.

LS 470. Selected Advanced Topics. 1-4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. The Schedule of Classes will list title selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

LS 477. Myth and Folklore in Art for Elementary Classrooms. 4 units

Term Typically Offered: TBD

Prerequisite: LS 370.

Symbols, metaphors, attributes of myths and folktales in artworks and literature. Both image and story used for teaching standards-based integrative lessons in art and other content areas in the elementary classroom. 4 lectures.

Lola Berber-Jimenez
B.S., Universidad LaSalle, 1983; Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 1990.