Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



First Advisor

Roman A. Bemert

Second Advisor

John D. Mulhern


The curriculum of the elementary school has been broadened to the extent that it is becoming more and more difficult for the intermediate grade teacher to cover in depth in the allotted time, all the diverse areas that make up the curriculum of the intermediate grades. Under the conventional arrangement of the self-contained classroom, one teacher is responsible for instruction in every area of the curriculum: language, literature, social studies, mathematics, the sciences, art, and music. Only an extraordinary individual - a Leonardo da Vinci could have an expert knowledge of all these areas. Greater demands are being made on the elementary teacher to the extent that as new areas are added to the curriculum, the teacher is forced to give a more general coverage to the material he presents in the classroom. We are in an age, however, that demands that the teacher have greater competence in every area of the curriculum. Therefore, we must give some consideration to the conclusion arrived at by Richard C. Anderson of the East Brunswick Public Schools, that most children in the United States are instructed by teachers who are not experts in every field they teach. A possible solution then for the problem of improved instruction in the elementary school well worth consideration is that of adopting departmentalization and teacher specialization. Other things being equal, the deeper the teacher's understanding of his subject, the greater the likelihood of excellent instruction. It is difficult to believe that a teacher who has only a superficial understanding of an area of knowledge could achieve excellent results. This is the key premise of teacher specialization and departmentalization in the elementary school.