Hole 2 - EDUC 305 "The School in Society"
Keith J. Conners, Ph.D. and Stacie Siers, M.Ed.
This course examines the role of the teacher and the school in the social institution known as education. Education 305 is a foundational course in the pre-service preparation of teachers, and may also be taken as an elective course by non-education majors. Although it stresses critical thinking, communication skills and cross-disciplinary consideration of issues, it does not currently fulfill any general education requirement.
Objectives: Upon completing the course, students will be able to...
- Describe characteristics and practices of effective schools.
- Discuss and advocate reasonable responses to contemporary problems and issues facing teachers and schools.
- Describe how schools are organized, funded and managed.
- Recall, relate and compare significant factors, movements and personages instrumental in the development of American education.
- Reconcile beliefs regarding their personal approach to education as pre-service professionals with philosophical traditions, established research and recommended practice in the field.
- Demonstrate skills and dispositions in writing, speaking, critical thinking, information retrieval and professional demeanor which are necessary for careers in teaching.
Learning Experiences: In fulfilling these objectives, students will . . .
- Attend and participate energetically in class discussions and activities.
- Read, reflect upon and discuss information found in the text and other reading sources (journals, handouts, news magazines and daily newspapers).
- Complete up to 30 hours of field-based observation/participation in a setting or settings approved by the instructors.
- Take three examinations. Four exams will be offered, including one during the final examination period. Students may elect to omit one exam, or may take all four and count the best three grades. All exams will cumulative to some degree, in that material covered in earlier exams may appear on subsequent tests.
- Evince intellectual curiosity by asking thoughtful questions. Inasmuch as a major portion of the class grade is determined by subjective evaluation of classwork, students are advised to become active, thoughtful contributors to class discussions and activities, and to ask questions which reveal prior preparation and understanding.
- Lead class discussion (in pairs) on a topic approved by the instructor. Discussion leadership involves researching the topic, framing the topic for discussion by members of the class, organizing the group for maximum participation, monitoring discussion, and providing closure. Student-led discussions will generally last for about 20 minutes and will be scheduled throughout the semester.
- Prepare a bibliography of at least 15 sources on a current issue or topic of concern to educators, using the Blackwell Library's ERIC computer retrieval system. In addition to library sources, list and describe briefly five useful internet websites which relate to the topic. Students will use this bibliography/internet search as background for the class discussion they lead, and will feature information from some of these sources in their discussion. (When you turn in the bibliography and website list, attach a 1-2 page paper describing the process you went through to learn about ERIC and the Internet in order to complete your search.)
- Write two short papers as described on the attached guidelines and write a 2-phase reaction paper related to your field experience. The first field experience paper should be submitted immediately following your first visit to your school observation site. In it you will describe your first impressions of the school/agency, its students and the teacher or other professionals you interact with. You will also describe how you plan to structure and focus your remaining observation hours in order to maximize the learning potential of the experience.
Expectations of the course:
- Writing matters. All written work in EDUC 305 should reflect the student's best effort in terms of content, style, organization, mechanics, spelling and grammar. Papers and writing exercises will be graded holistically, and will be critiqued in terms of the above criteria. Students whose written work falls short of professional expectations will be referred to the Learning Center for diagnostic and prescriptive assistance.
- There are no deadlines for papers or projects. However, the earlier materials are turned in, the greater the feedback students will receive. Papers submitted before mid-semester may be revised or rewritten for full credit if necessary, while materials submitted after that date will be evaluated and critiqued as submitted. Papers and projects turned in after the 12th week of the semester will be graded but may be returned without feedback by the instructors.
- This course is a foundations course in the professional teacher education program, and students are expected to exhibit appropriate demeanor in and out of class -- particularly when visiting schools or interacting with school personnel. Students will demonstrate professional demeanor and commitment in a variety of ways: energetic and respectful participation in class, willing acceptance and completion of obligations; involvement in community and professional organizations; punctuality; attendance at school and university functions related to the education profession; and not whining.
- Students will be evaluated on the basis of performance, not attendance. However, satisfactory performance in classwork is clearly contingent upon regular attendance. Teaching is an expressive profession, and shyness may be a challenge to overcome for students who are unaccustomed to speaking in class or participating fully in discussions.
The classwork component of the course is dependent upon regular and substantive participation in class. Students will be asked to complete a self-assessment at mid-semester and at semester's end regarding their participation in class discussions and activities.
- Students may submit some papers written in French or Spanish, once they have established adequate competency in written English.
- Students needing to negotiate a grade of I (incomplete) for the course must make a formal request by the final class period. Incompletes must be resolved by the middle of the next semester for continuing students.
Required Text: Sadker and Sadker, Teachers, Schools and Society, 4th edition. (New York: Random House, 1997)
classwork, including discussion leadership
||40 points (20 pts. self-assessed)|
|short papers (2)
|exams (best 3)
|field experience (includes 2 reaction papers)
A = 185-200 pts
B = 170-184 pts
C = 155-169 pts
D = 140-154 pts
F = < 140 pts
Short Paper Writing Assignments
Each paper should be typed and double-spaced in a 12-point font, or the equivalent number of words. No cover page is necessary -- just indicate your name, section number, the date and the title. As explained on the syllabus, you may turn in papers for review without prejudice until mid-semester. Papers received after the 12th week of the semester will receive grades only.
Write papers of about 3 pages in length on any two of the three topics below:
- Review a professional educational publication. Browse through the past two years' editions of some educational journal related to your intended or presumed teaching area. Read some articles which catch your eye and seem relevant. Note the journal's format, features and audience. Summarize your review and overall reactions to the overall publication -- not just one article or edition -- and its contents.
- Attend and react to the Riall Lecture (date and time TBA).
- Take a personal field trip. Arrange a visit to a setting -- other than a school -- in which you gain insight on some issue or policy related to contemporary education. Reflect on what you have learned and connect your learning to aspects of the course covered in our text or in class discussions.
The papers which accompany your field experiences will be written in two phases. Part I will describe your initial reactions to your field placement and your plan for observation. It should be submitted shortly after your first exposure to the school. Describe what you have seen in your first visit(s) and what you intend to focus on in the remainder of your time in the school. Part II will provide an overview of your field placement experience and your reflections on what you observed. (Combined length 6-8 pages).
Instructors' Feedback on Written Work
We will make comments on your papers when they are returned, with observations related to the thesis, organization, coherence, and mechanics of your writing. In addition to qualitative comments, we will indicate a grade on a numerical scale related to the point value of the assignment. Any paper submitted by mid-semester may be revised or rewritten and will be re-graded upon final submission. Please submit the original paper with our comments along with your revision. Papers submitted after the 12th week of the semester may receive a grade only.
We will be happy to discuss the grade assigned to a paper received prior to the 12th week of the semester, and we may be persuaded to revise our original assessment based on your perspective of its merits. This privilege extends only to papers received prior to the 12th week of the semester. Work received after this date may be graded without comment.
Tentative dates for exams:
ERIC Bibliography and Internet Search Guidelines and Suggestions
- Select a general topic area of interest. Scan text, library, and periodicals for ideas of a general nature.
- Search ERIC database for sources (both documents and journal articles) in the topic area.
- Print and review 25-40 abstracts from ERIC which SEEM to relate to a common theme. You might want to read a few original articles or documents in their entirety (microfiche or journal collections) at this point to make sure you are on the right track. Check bibliographies of these articles and papers for additional sources which may enrich your search.
- Use ERIC computer again to narrow the focus of the search. Print out abstracts for perhaps 20-30 sources, including some from earlier search step if appropriate.
- Choose the 15 or so sources which seem to represent the best information on your topic. Use a word processor to type and alphabetize your bibliography, including standard bibliographical entries and the ERIC ED or EJ number.
- Using some of the key search terms you employed in the ERIC search, use an Internet Search Engine to find websites which may contain additional information on your topic. List the 5 best sites you locate and describe each one in a paragraph.
- When you turn in the bibliography and website list, attach a 1-2 page paper describing the process you went through to learn about ERIC and the Internet and complete your search.
Practice range: To view exam information, click on the link.
Exam 1 Preview
Exam 2 Tipsheet
Exam 3 Sneak Preview
Play through - Hole 3: EDUC 545 "Learning and Instruction in the Schools"
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