What is PRAXIS and how is NAU’s College of Education involved?
PRAXIS is the only local school-based program that is specifically designed for special/elementary education dual majors. This three-semester long program is designed to prepare candidates to effectively instruct all learners by focusing on the many similarities as well as the cognitive, behavioral and social differences. Special Education and Elementary Education courses, along with practicum placements, are taught over three semesters. Practicum placements will be throughout Flagstaff in public, charter, and private schools ranging from preschool to high school. Candidates will spend over 200 hours per semester in the classroom and be closely supported and supervised by Northern Arizona University faculty and staff.
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Area of Study: Elementary and Special Education
History of NAU’s involvement with PRAXIS
PRAXIS was conceived in 1994, as a partnership between the Flagstaff Unified School District and Northern Arizona University through the efforts of Dr. Stephen Rice, principal of Weitzel Elementary School, and Dr. Davidson, professor of special education at NAU. Dr. Rice and the faculty at both Weitzel Elementary and Mt. Elden Middle School have been constants throughout the program collaborating with numerous faculty from NAU.
Why PRAXIS? Accordion Closed
PRAXIS offers you the opportunity of a partnership between Northern Arizona University and the Flagstaff Unified School District, along with charter and private schools. This opportunity benefits classroom teachers, students, and you. As a pre-service teacher taking a dual-major in special and elementary education, you will earn certification in Cross Categorical Disabilities (high incidence) and/or Low Incidence Disabilities.
As a candidate, you will work in various levels of inclusive classroom placements during the three-semester program.
After the third semester, candidates may choose to complete their student teaching in one of a variety of schools, depending on availability.
PRAXIS means “theory to practice.” To apply this philosophy, our instructors place students in actual classrooms, where they teach under the guidance of professional educators. The curriculum covers all required coursework leading toward the Arizona state credential certification for elementary (grades K-8) and special education (grades K-12). This includes low and high incidence disabilities.
18 month plan Accordion Closed
Over the course of 18 months, PRAXIS pre-service teachers (candidates) will spend a great amount of time in the real-world of general education and special education classrooms. Initially, they may spend the majority of that time observing students and learning classroom procedures. This is a “kid watching” period that enables the PRAXIS pre-service teachers to better understand the developmental characteristics of elementary and middle school students. Gradually, they assume greater teaching responsibilities. In addition, they observe partner teachers modeling age-appropriate instructional practices.
Following the observation period, the PRAXIS pre-service teachers spend the remaining time in their different classroom placements engaging in teaching, continued observation, and other teaching related activities. Most of the practicum time occurs in the morning. In the afternoons, the focus is on the theoretical foundations of education. At this time, candidates take their methods classes linking theory to practice. Theory is applied to addressing real classroom concerns, heightening its meaningful application to the process.
It is expected that PRAXIS pre-service teachers will be assuming more and more responsibility for teaching, especially in the last two placements. As the semesters pass, knowledge, practice, and confidence increase, preparing candidates for the transition to student teaching and success in future teaching experiences.
PRAXIS core values Accordion Closed
Value and vision statement
Learner-centered education (NAU: Candidate Success)
We value programs that give candidates the greatest chance of success by including components that are experiential and collaborative (often in mutually-beneficial partnerships with schools), problem-centered, reflection-oriented, outcome-based, research guided, and technology rich. We are committed to modeling effective learner-centered practices and dispositions.
Commitment to diversity (NAU: Educational Access; Diversity)
We actively promote diversity among administration, faculty, staff, and candidates. We endorse respect for diversity in our curriculum and pedagogical applications.
Innovation and inquiry (NAU: Excellence in Education)
We focus on research that serves the organizations for which we prepare professionals, and we view our mission as incorporating new knowledge into the preparation of professionals and spreading this knowledge to the practitioners already in the field.
Advocacy (NAU: Integrity and Civility)
We believe that advocacy for learners, and for equitable and effective institutions, is a central responsibility.
Life-long learning (NAU: Excellence in Education)
We believe in the concept of continuous learning for personal and professional development and strive to instill that value in our candidates. Integral to this is our commitment to prepare candidates in the use of appropriate technologies both as learners and education professionals.
A typical day Accordion Closed
8:00 A.M. – arrive at Weitzel for placement
8:25 A.M. – school begins, greet the students, and assist in teaching the class
11:00 A.M. – lunch prior to class
11:30 A.M. – NAU class at Weitzel
Each semester offers a different time schedule, however you can be sure you’ll have afternoon classes at least three days a week. Generally, you don’t get out later than 7:00 P.M.
From the first week in the PRAXIS Program, Northern Arizona University students are in an elementary or middle school classroom for 12 hours a week, working with teachers and students, and teaching. During the three semester program, there are a total of five placements, including both special and general education classrooms. The placements vary in length from 8-11 weeks.
The theory to practice
In the PRAXIS Program, you will be able to apply the information that you learn from the coursework into a classroom immediately. This is a benefit that many education majors don’t get. That is one of the reasons why PRAXIS is the best!!
PRAXIS Listserv information Accordion Closed
A Listserv is a way to send a mass e-mail to everyone that is subscribed. Instead of typing in 25 different e-mail addresses in the To: area, all you would have to do is type in one e-mail address (PRAXIS-VI-L@LISTS.NAU.EDU) and that e-mail will make its way into everyone’s mailbox. If you want to send a message to the Listserv, send us an email.
Contact the PRAXIS Listserv.
To subscribe to the Listserv, send an email from the email address that you want to receive emails to. In the email, leave the subject line blank and write subscribe PRAXIS-VI-L your_first name_last name in the message area. For example, Dr. Carey would type subscribe PRAXIS-VI-L Linda Carey.
Subscribe to the PRAXIS Listserv