PRAXIS is the only local school-based program that is specifically designed for Special and Elementary Education dual majors. This three-semester-long program is designed to prepare candidates to effectively instruct learners by focusing on similarities as well as cognitive, behavioral, and social differences. Special Education and Elementary Education courses, along with practicum placements, are taught over three semesters. Practicum placements are 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 NAU faculty and staff.
PRAXIS means “theory to practice.” To apply this philosophy, our instructors place students in real 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).
PRAXIS offers the opportunity of a partnership between NAU and the Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD), along with charter and private schools. As a pre-service teacher completing a dual major in special and elementary education, you will earn certification in cross-categorical disabilities (high incidence) and/or low incidence disabilities. Additionally, 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.
Over the course of 18 months, PRAXIS pre-service teachers (candidates) will spend a significant amount of time in 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.
PRAXIS core values
The core values of PRAXIS include a commitment to learner-centered education, diversity, innovation and inquiry, advocacy, and life-long learning. We model effective learner-centered practices, endorse respect for diversity in curriculum, and strongly value research. Additionally, we believe that advocacy for equitable learning environments is a critical responsibility, and that continuous, life-long learning is crucial for personal and professional development.