Core Educational Courses to Study in Tertiary Institutions


The education department in tertiary institutions has various courses they offer their students. There are core courses that are compulsory and there are optional elective courses. The core courses are fundamental and they should be done. But the elective ones are selective. The following are core and compulsory courses you must do when you get to the Faculty of Education in the university or College of Education.

History of Education


History of education is a special area of study that deals with the historical study of the developments of education not only in Nigeria but also in other parts of the world. It is an historical study of the developments in education especially the study of the forces and moderating influences that have shaped the general development of education over the ages.  It could be a comparative study of education in one country and amongst countries, but it is not a comparative study as such. It attempts to study the trends in the development of education in any system, nothing its changing phases, and those factors responsible for such changes.

Teacher Education

Teacher education programs are recognized by the government to give the required professional training to teachers. That is, they are changed with the responsibilities of equipping teachers for the effective performance of their duties. The program trains people to be effective teachers mainly for the primary and secondary school levels but sometimes even for tertiary institutions.

Psychology of Child Development

For effective teaching and learning a teacher must fully understand the patterns and stages of the child’s growth and development, that is, from birth through childhood and adolescence and up to adulthood. Hence, the child’s movement from pre-primary through primary, secondary, and post-secondary ages and the attendant physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and psychological changes must be well mastered by the classroom teacher. One other salient fact in development is the relative variability noticeable among human beings. These obvious differences include the different attitudes, physical characteristics, and so on. The psychology of child development will discuss basic factors of development.

Principles and Methods of Teaching

The main focus of this course is to introduce pupils-teachers to the principles and methods of teaching and to be preparing them effectively for the task of classroom teaching. Consequently, the concepts of teaching and learning are explained, the general and specific objectives as they relate to teaching and learning are differentiated and discussed, and the various methods of teaching are equally highlighted and discussed. The attributes of a good teacher as well as factors in the physical environment that influence teaching and learning are equally discussed.

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Primary Education

The primary education course aims at familiarizing students with the nature and issues involved in Primary Education Studies, especially as it deals with children in their formative years. Students need knowledge of the course to be able to deal with the problems of teaching elementary school children. The strategies and methods of teaching this group of learners must be internalized by teachers of these children to promote effective classroom instruction and general efficiency in preparing these young learners in their foundation years for subsequent levels of education.

Sociology of Education

This course will achieve the objectives of mentioning and explaining the different agents of socialization. It will identify and say the characteristics of some organizations and identify the different problems confronting education in Nigeria and be able to proffer some solutions to them. The course will prepare the students in explaining and differentiating between sociology and sociology of education and then explain the importance of the sociology of education. The course will look at the process of and agencies of socialization, the concepts of social changes, social stratification, social mobility as well as democracy in education.

Human Learning

Human learning is a branch of psychology that is interested in the understanding of human learning processes – the principles, theories, and their applications in facilitating learning. Hence, the course cover psychology, educational psychology, learning and learning theories, reinforcement and motivation, the memory system, and the transfer of learning. It is designed to introduce students to the study of human learning and equip student teachers with the knowledge and skills for the application of the principles of learning.

Philosophy of Education

The philosophy is employed by professional men and women to refer to an academic discipline being studied in colleges and universities. This discipline is marked by its theoretical (rather than practical) orientation to issues and problems. Philosophy is sometimes described by technical men, i.e. professional philosophers as a system of questioning, which is of deep reflection and as a method of thinking. This course will solve the questions such as “What does philosophy do? We can attempt an answer by simply saying that a philosopher philosophizes, which is he engages in reflection, analysis, evaluation, criticism, and synthesis.

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Educational Evaluation

Successful teaching demands definite knowledge of what to teach, how to teach it, and how to t assess the learning outcomes. Teaching without evaluation is a worthless exercise. The importance of evaluation is growing just as its functions are on the increase in the school system. Measurement and evaluation bear some relationship with one another. Measurement paves the way for evaluation to build upon. Evaluation is not possible without measurement but the measurement process does not depend on evaluation. This course explains the concepts of measurement, assessment, and evaluation as well as itemizes their functions in the school system. Details of measurement scales, models of assessment, and statistical treatment of scores and their interpretations are to be found.

Special Education

Children show substantial differences in all areas of development. If we consider the physical development of a group of six years old children in primary one, some of them will be tall or thin; some will be short and storky while most of them will be somewhere in between. Such variations are also noticeable in intelligence, emotional maturity, and social development. These children differ in sensory perception and achievement levels. These children also differ from average children because they require special attention from the school. The course will treat the visually impaired; the hearing impaired; the speech and language impaired; the mentally retarded; the learning disabled; the gifted and talented and the physical and health impaired.

Adult Education

Adult education is a discipline within the field of education. It is to education as political science is to social sciences and chemistry to physical sciences or Biology to Natural sciences. Adult education helps students as a take-off point in the studies of adult education. This course will address the following: The meaning and scope of adult education, the rationale for teaching and learning it, types of education in Nigeria, the methodology of teaching adult education programs, instructional aids needed for teaching adult education, adult education, and community development, sources of funding adult education programs and adult education teachers and curriculum design and of course issues and problems in adult education.

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Educational Technology

Educational technology can be seen as a systematic way of designing, carrying out, and evaluating the total process of learning in terms of specific objectives based on research on human and non-human resources to bring about more effective instruction. That is to say, the term signifies an analytic procedure for organizing and managing instruction in the identification of an instructional problem, collection of relevant information about the problem, setting of objectives, design of learning experiences, selection of needed resources such as people, materials, facilities, etc.

Curriculum Studies

Curriculum planning and development is an attempt made to explain the way these elements are to facilitate the aims/objectives of any given curriculum or education. This course covers broad concepts such as the selection of learning experiments, curriculum evaluation, participants in curriculum planning, subject-centered curriculum, broad-field curriculum, core curriculum, child-centered curriculum, history of curriculum development, curriculum innovation, revision, and change, etc.

Educational Management

Educational management is a course that prepares the student for the management of education policy and processes. The course comes across administration and management. There are executive and human resources courses.

Guidance and Counseling

Guidance and counseling are thought of here as a philosophical concepts for the reorganization of the curriculum. The primary concept focuses on careers as the primary thrust of the school experiences from kindergarten through the adult years.

A program of this kind for the traditional 16 years of school (6-3-3-4) encompassed all or part of the scope of work identified as career development: career planning and career information.

In addition, since it provides for curricular reorganization, it includes training and experience-centered activities leading to the development of skills in all students for direct entry into employment or additional training in a post-high school setting.

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