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Undergraduate Application Essay Questions

The following PDF documents will open in a new browser window/tab depending on how your browser is configured. It is intended that applicants will read and answer questions for the corresponding area of interest within teacher education. However, HPE applicants may choose any of the four below to answer. NOTE: See the link above for the application where these questions are to be completed.

The Engaged Classroom (pdf) — High School

  • Reflect back on your experience in high school. Describe what characterized the classroom environments and teachers that stand out to you as being the most engaging?
  • What are some commonalities of the disengaged times described in the article?
  • Describe some ways in which teachers can bring energy and creativity to the classroom—what might you do to engage students in your classroom?

Profiles in Caring: Teachers Who Create Learning Communities in Their Classrooms (pdf) — Middle School

  • What are the advantages and potential problems of involving students in decision-making?
  • Suggest some traditions and rituals that you could implement in your classroom to recognize and celebrate student accomplishments.
  • Suggest ways to involve the community in your own teaching.

Bullying Among Children (pdf)— Elementary


  • Why and how has bullying been allowed to flourish in the American School?
  • Describe why you think the suggestions in this article would be effective in the classroom?
  • In addition to the models presented in the article, what other ways would you suggest to stop bullying in schools?

Play as Curriculum (pdf) — UEC

  • How could play be effectively used to encourage interaction among students and between the teacher and students?
  • The author suggests that play will "develop in our children a love of learning." Describe a personal example of how play promoted learning in your life?
  • Describe three specific examples of play activities that would foster the development of one of the following: motor/physical skills, social skills, language development, imagination, a broader view of the world.


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