Middle-Level Education


The UH West O‘ahu Bachelor of Education degree with a concentration in Middle-level Education prepares knowledgeable, skillful, responsive educators for a global society. Studies encompass an innovative, field-based teacher preparation program, as well as public service activities that support West O‘ahu communities. This area of concentration is especially designed for teacher candidates who wish to specialize in teaching the English Language Arts and/or Social Studies in grades 6-8. A strong liberal arts curriculum supports candidates’ excellent knowledge of content in the chosen discipline.

Teacher candidates participate in over 200 hours of field-based coursework, including the early field experience, service learning, Introduction to Middle-level and Secondary Education, and two practicums taken concurrently with content methods courses. The program culminates in a 15-week, full-time professional student teaching semester in the chosen field. Field placements occur in grades 6-8 at middle schools in Central and Leeward O‘ahu. The UHWO Division of Education recommends successful program completers for State of Hawai‘i licensure in Middle-level (grades 6-8) English or Social Studies.


Teaching is a rewarding career that provides benefits and job security in an era of teacher shortages across the United States. Teachers often continue their professional development via graduate programs in education, including master’s and doctorate degree programs in curriculum and instruction or specialized fields in literacy, special education, and English language learners. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for middle school teachers is $57,810. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education reported the starting salary for teachers as $43,759 for the 2013-2014 school year.

Graduates find teaching positions in public and private schools; coordinate education programs for public and private sectors, such as museums, libraries, YMCA, and community centers; and serve as consultants to industries. Once licensed in Hawai‘i, middle school teachers may seek reciprocal certification in all states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.


EDEF 200/201 Introduction to Teaching as a Career and Early Field Experience
These courses examine the process of becoming a highly qualified teacher in the State of Hawai‘i. The Early Field Experience places teacher candidates in a middle school classroom for a minimum of 45 hours, under the guidance of an English or Social Studies mentor teacher.

EDEF 310 Education in American Society
This course examines historical, political, philosophical, sociological, and ethical factors influencing education in today’s global society. Particular emphasis is placed on contemporary problems and applications in the context of service to the local community. Students complete 20 hours of volunteer work, utilizing cultural and scientific community resources.

EDEF 345 Introduction to Middle-level and Secondary Education
Introduces concepts and methods related to middle-level and secondary teaching and learning, including adolescent development, identity, and middle-level/secondary pedagogy and philosophy. The course includes a field placement component where candidates will gain experience in a middle school English or Social Studies classroom.

EDEF 444 Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
This course provides an in-depth awareness of methods for English language learners. Students examine accommodative instructional methods, research program models, learn second language acquisition and readiness theories, as well as put in to practice various differentiated instructional strategies for culturally and linguistically diverse learners. A middle school field placement is a co-requisite requirement.

EDEE 492 Student Teaching Seminar: Ethics Focus
This course examines current issues in education, including contemporary ethical issues and fulfills the Ethics (E-focus) graduation requirement. Teacher candidates study further educational foundations, classroom organization and management, and disciplinary methods applied to classroom teaching and learning.


As part of the curriculum, UH West O‘ahu Middle-level teacher candidates participate in student teaching opportunities with English or Social Studies mentor teachers at area middle schools, such as:

  • Kapolei Middle School
  • Ewa Makai Middle School
  • Wheeler Middle School
  • Waipahu Intermediate School
  • Nanakuli Intermediate School


The UH West O‘ahu Education Club is a wonderful opportunity for teacher candidates to gain an even greater understanding of the education field and participate in community service projects, workshops, social activities and more. The club supports literacy causes and raises monetary and book donations that benefit lending libraries and local area elementary, middle, and high schools.


Dr. Mary Heller, Professor & Chair, Division of Education
(808) 689-2339