Global Educators Cohort Program - Teacher Education

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Instructor: Amanda Baumann
Meeting Room: 133E Erickson Hall
Meeting Day/Time: Thursdays 9:10 – 12:00
Office Hours by appointment
E-mail: amanda29@msu.edu, amandabaumannamandabaumann@gmail.com
Skype: amandabaumann

Texts
Brophy, J., & Alleman, J. (2006). Powerful social studies for elementary students (2nd edition). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. (NOTE: if you do not own this book, assigned chapters will be uploaded to this wiki and ANGEL). You may also use the 3rd edition (2012).

Tomlinson, C.A. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms (2nd edition). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Please order from amazon.com. The cost is $17.55.

Selected readings (posted to this wiki and ANGEL)

Introduction
This course, as part of the culminating semester of your teacher preparation program, targets six central topics: 1) social studies teaching and learning; 2) integrated curriculum; 3) professional and ethical responsibilities as a teacher; 4) accommodation of special needs; 5) lesson study; and 6) reflective practices. All of these topics will be addressed in the context of your field placement and during your lead teaching period, so that you will practice them in authentic, meaningful, and “real” ways. Each topic is described in greater detail next.

Social Studies Teaching and Learning
According to the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), “Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences.” [1] Typically, at the elementary level, while social studies focuses on fewer subjects – for example, civics, economics, geography, and history as well as anthropology, psychology, and sociology – this curriculum still covers a large area of subject content.

The NCSS states that the primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse and democratic society in an interdependent world. To do that, social studies education must develop social understanding and civic efficacy in students. Social understanding is knowledge of the social aspects of the human condition, the effects of physical environments and cultural settings on people, and the trends likely to shape the future. Civic efficacy is the readiness and willingness of people to assume citizenship responsibility.

To develop social understanding, teacher candidates in this course study ideas from the academic disciplines of history, civics and government, geography, and economics. They learn how to guide elementary students in understanding these ideas and in practicing the skills necessary for thinking about society. These intellectual skills include developing concepts, conducting social-scientific inquiry, and producing oral and written discourse about public issues. To develop civic efficacy, teacher candidates in this course learn how to encourage in elementary students a reasoned respect for and commitment to the core values of democracy. Teacher candidates also learn how to encourage students’ interest in public affairs so that as adults they may become active participants in civic life.

Integrated Curriculum
In this class you will develop a unit plan with some level of integration. The unit should have a theme rooted in social studies, and draw upon math, language and literacy, or science, when applicable and when integration is meaningful. Integrated curricula are supported by both classical and contemporary theories of teaching-learning processes (e.g., project-based learning, constructivism, multiple intelligences, distributed cognition, and situated learning).

Why an integrated curriculum unit? First, integrated curricula emphasize the social, historical, and pragmatic dimensions of knowledge production and application. Second, integrated curricula challenge the assumptions on which knowledge and its application have been compartmentalized into separate disciplines or subject areas. Integrated learning should be experiential, focus on real-world problem solving, and allow individual interests to cross or even dissolve traditional subject boundaries.

With integrated curriculum, instructional goals are negotiated rather than imposed. Assessment is both authentic and interwoven with teaching and learning, and it is designed to promote self-regulation, metacognition, and self-analysis. Because knowledge is conceived as both constructed and interrelated, teaching-learning processes are organized around conceptual themes as opposed to isolated facts. Learning activities are organized to address genuine problems or issues rather than to acquire discrete facts and develop discrete skills. Problem-based activities allow students to develop deeper understandings of the multiple ways of knowing and skills that may be brought to bear to solve genuine problems, whether practical or theoretical.

Professional and Ethical Responsibilities
Throughout your internship year, you have been developing skills for working as professionals in an educational setting (i.e., communicating with parents, collaborating with colleagues, assessing student progress, and adhering to school policies). In this course, we will make explicit the responsibilities you have, both in terms of policy as well as in terms of ethics, as public educators.

Specifically, we will engage in discussions of “difficult conversations” that you will inevitably encounter as professionals. We will unpack how to confront and negotiate with people in a civil, reasonable, and constructive manner. These skills will serve you well in a variety of professional relationships you will have in your career. See:

http://education.msu.edu/academics/undergraduate/professional-conduct.asp

Special Education
In this course you will develop an understanding of the main types of student exceptionalities, with an emphasis on the role that you will play in teaching students with special learning and behavioral needs in the general education setting. With the passage of P. L. 94-142 and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) came major changes in the educational opportunities afforded to individuals with special needs. “Special education” is no longer a field encompassing only those who have chosen this particular area of specialization. The push for mainstreaming and inclusion has resulted in many students, who once were educated in isolation, now becoming a part of the general education system. While special education is not new, the extent to which these children have been included in general education is. Teachers today must have a knowledge base of the various disabilities and exceptionalities and how to accommodate them in order to foster an equitable, productive educational experience for all learners. Please note: This course is not a special education course, and your instructors are not scholars of special education. Special education is one of several foci of the course, and our goal is to introduce you to some of the legal issues related to special education and some of the various kinds of special needs, and to help you learn to modify your instruction to meet the needs of all students in your classroom.

Lesson Study
Lesson Study is a professional development process that Japanese educators, and increasingly, educators in North America and Europe, engage in to systematically examine their practice. The goal of lesson study is to improve the effectiveness of the experiences that the teachers provide to their students. Lesson Study involves teachers working collaboratively to design a detailed plan for the lesson, which one of the teachers enacts in his/her classroom. The other group members observe the lesson and collects evidence of student learning (e.g., student work or observational notes about what children said/did during the lesson). The group then debriefs about the lesson, generating ideas about what could be improved. Sometimes, another teacher then reteaches the revised lesson.

Reflective Practices
Good teaching takes practice and thinking about practice. The abilities to evaluate how a lesson or activity went, or the value of a particular assessment, or the ways to modify a lesson are of fundamental importance to improving one’s practice. This course provides several opportunities for you to become reflective practitioners. First, several parts of the integrated unit are due in draft form. Your instructor and peers will provide substantive feedback on these drafts for you to think about and revise your units accordingly. Second, you will reflect on the high points and low points of the lessons you teach from your unit plan. Third, you will reflect on what accommodations you can make for students with special needs. Fourth, you will engage in reflection both collaboratively and individually through the lesson study project.

Learning Goals
Specifically, the goals for this course are:

Deepen your knowledge of social studies education by:
  • Learning how to consult valuable resources for curriculum and assessment design
  • Designing classroom experiences grounded in culturally relevant pedagogy
  • Designing classrooms experiences that meet the criteria for powerful social studies
  • Familiarizing yourself with state and national professional organizations focused on the social studies
  • Strategizing effective ways of integrating social studies with other subject areas

Apply a professional design procedure to create social studies lessons by:
  • Choosing and articulating objectives for lessons that integrate social studies and another subject area
  • Developing assessments that align with lesson objectives
  • Designing lessons that use varied instruction strategies
  • Using a range of resources for teaching social studies, including standards documents, curriculum materials, technology, and children’s literature
  • Enacting lessons in the field and reflecting on these experiences
  • Selecting instructional strategies, grouping patterns, and assessments to address a range of teaching objectives, knowledge domains, learning styles

Develop and project your identity as a professional by:
  • discussing your educational beliefs and experiences with your peers
  • developing skills for professional communication
  • collaboratively engaging with your peers to design, revise, and thoughtfully reflect on a group lesson
  • developing strategies for handling “difficult conversations” with colleagues, students, parents, and administrators

Strengthen your understanding of the kinds of accommodations that are effective for children with special needs by:
  • Developing and adapting a curriculum unit level for all students based on solid knowledge of needs and special needs.
  • Describe various recognized categories of exceptionalities including the aspects of definition, characteristics, prevalence, etiology and educational approaches and strategies.
  • Learn accommodation strategies that may be practically applied within the classroom and useful in working with all children in the classroom.

Refine your skills as a reflective practitioner by:
  • Enacting lessons in the field
  • Engaging in collaborative group planning with peers (with lesson study)
  • Reflecting on your teaching practice by focusing on strengths, areas of improvement, and means of changing your practice

Assignments and Grading
There are four graded components that make up your final grade:
1) Unit Plan (50%)
2) Special needs “fact sheet” and presentation (10%)
3) Lesson study (including group lesson plan and individual reflection) (25%)
4) Attendance, active participation and reading preparation (15%)

Completing work on time is a part of Standards 6 and 8 in the Standards for Teacher Preparation, and we expect interns to be professional about their coursework. Late submissions will be marked down except in cases of situations outside of the intern’s control such as documented medical emergencies. Notify your instructor as soon as possible if you anticipate needing an extension (in other words, do not ask for an extension after the due date). Extracurricular activities do not fall into this category. The intern coordinator will be informed of repeated late work and this may affect not only the course grade, but successful completion of the internship as well. For further information about grades and criteria for progression in the internship, see the Internship Guidebook. Also see http://www.educ.msu.edu/students/undergraduate/pdfs/Professional_Standards.pdf)

General Grading Rubric
Points
4-Point Scale
Description

95-100

4.0

This represents outstanding and exemplary work. The student uses and integrates readings, classroom discussions, and field experiences (where appropriate) to inform his/her writing. The student meets all the requirements of the assignment, is deeply thoughtful, and provides many details and examples to support writing. The writing contains no errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

90-94

3.5

This represents high quality work. The student uses many readings, classroom discussions, and field experiences (where appropriate) to inform the writing. Meets all the requirements of the assignment, is thoughtful and provides some details and examples to support writing. The writing contains very few errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

85-89

3.0

This represents good quality work, performing at expected level for the internship year. The student uses some readings, classroom discussions, and field experiences to inform writing. Meets all requirements of assignment, shows attempt to engage with the purposes of the assignment, provides details and examples to support writing. The writing contains few errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

80-84

2.5

This represents work below expected level of quality for the TE program. The student does not include appropriate references to relevant readings, class discussions, and field experiences to inform writing. The student does not meet all requirements of assignment. The student’s writing represents a limited attempt to engage with the purposes of the assignment, few details and examples to support writing. The writing includes many errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

75-79

2.0

This represents work significantly below expected level of quality. The student’s writing includes many errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation. The work shows little evidence of having read course readings, of uses of classroom discussions or of field experiences. The writing meets few of the assignment’s requirements. The student demonstrated a shallow attempt to engage with the purposes of the assignment, no details or examples to support the writing.

Communication
Students should check their email and the class wiki frequently for information about course requirements and messages from the instructor or from classmates. Note: on the occasion that you must be absent or tardy, please email the instructor in advance. I welcome frequent communication from each of you via questions at breaks, after class, and email. A word of caution, however, when using email: please re-read your messages for clarity and tone. If your questions are unclear, or if your questions and/or my responses are complicated, I may suggest a meeting in place of an email conversation.

Incomplete Grades
University policy: Please refer to the internship guidebook.

Problem Solving
If you have problems with the course or the instructor, please first speak with the instructor about the situation. If the problem is not resolved, then you may contact the Subject Area Leader (Anne-Lise Halvorsen, annelise@msu.edu). Also consider contacting the Office of Student Affairs and Services Counseling Center (207 Student Services Building, 517.355.8270, http://www.counseling.msu.edu/).

Students with disabilities should contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (120 Bessey Hall, 517.353.9642 or http://www.rcpd.msu.edu/Home/) to establish reasonable accommodations. For an appointment with a counselor, call 353-9642 (voice) or 355-1293 (TTY). Instructors in the course may request a VISA Form (Verified Individual Students Accommodations Form) from a student requesting services.

A helpful resource for writing advice is the Writing Center (300 Bessey Hall, 517.432.3610, http://writing.msu.edu/). The grammar hotline is 517-432-1370.

Attendance and Participation
In accordance with the Teacher Preparation Program’s Professional Conduct Policy, attendance and punctuality in class meetings and field experiences are critical to your success in this course and the Program. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the policy which is in your Team Handbook and on the web at http://www.educ.msu.edu/te/elementary/ Regular on-time attendance and full participation in class is critical to learning. This course is planned on the assumption that you will come on time and come prepared to participate in a variety of ways. You must attend each class. This is especially crucial since there are only ten class meetings. The discussions, activities, curriculum development and collaborative work with teachers and students cannot be reproduced outside class or outside your field experience. Of course, illness and other emergencies cannot be avoided. If you are unable to attend a class session, you must call or email the instructor in advance. If you miss a class, you are responsible for catching up on any missed material and assignments. This will entail handing in any missing work, finding out from another classmate what we did in class, and making up the work conducted in class by completing an appropriate replacement assignment to be determined by the instructor. Recurring absences or tardiness are cause for serious concern and will necessitate a conference with the intern coordinator and may result in a failing grade for the course.

Learning to teach is, in part, a function of being a member of a community of learners who interact to build knowledge about teaching and learning. We expect you to make regular contributions to class activities, discussions, and group projects. Your active participation, in which you knowledgeably discuss readings and assignments for the day, is expected. Thoroughly preparing for class by careful reading and reflection, timely completion of assignments, and thoughtful in-class participation is expected in order for all students to have a good learning experience in this course. Our many and diverse ideas enrich all our experiences. Therefore, we work to create an environment where students can respectfully and thoughtfully disagree since different perspectives are often central to substantive conversation. Learning to question, argue, support one’s viewpoints, compromise, and consider alternative perspectives are all part of democratic participation.

This approach to discussion is also practice for your own classroom experience where you will undoubtedly have students with varying viewpoints. As social studies teachers, you will be responsible for engaging children in discussion of difficult and often controversial topics. To become a productive leader of such discussions, you must learn to use effective discussion skills yourselves. To prepare you for this responsibility, this course requires your oral participation in small and large group contexts. Participating is not the equivalent of talking. Often just one comment or question may demonstrate deep thinking and curiosity.

Active participation is up to you, but there are also some requirements we ask to ensure that as few distractions as possible interfere with everyone’s learning. Cell phones must be switched off during the class. Receiving calls or text messages or writing text messages is highly distracting to you, your classmates, and the instructor. Other distractions such as crossword puzzles and surfing the internet are also not permitted. We encourage you to bring your laptop for educational use – not for email, instant messaging, or web surfing. We require this for the benefit of everyone’s maximum learning. There will be a ten minute break during every class period during which you are permitted to check email and use cell phones, of course.

These expectations align with the program’s professional conduct policy. For further information, see http://www.educ.msu.edu/te/elementary/

Academic Honesty and Citations
We assume that the student is honest and that all course work and examinations represent the student’s own work. Violations of the academic integrity policy such as cheating, plagiarism, selling course assignments or academic fraud are grounds for academic action and/or disciplinary sanction as described in the University’s student conduct code.

The principles of truth and honesty are recognized as fundamental to the community of teachers and scholars. This means that all academic work is prepared by the student to whom it is assigned, without unauthorized aid of any kind (see General Student Regulation 1.00, Scholarship and Grades, for specific regulations). Pre-service teachers are expected to pursue education with a commitment to honesty, a sense of personal honor, and a respect for knowledge and reflection.

Incidents of plagiarism are taken very seriously and will be pursued. Students are warned not to copy any text verbatim on class quizzes, tests, reports, projects, or other class assignments unless they have used quotation marks and source citations. Copying and pasting from a website or a classmate’s paper and then changing a few of the words or sentences here and there is considered plagiarism. This is a very dangerous habit to fall into. If you ever have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, please ask!

Directions for APA style for references and citations are available at http://webster.commnet.edu/apa/apa_index.htm and many other places on the web. Students may also wish to purchase the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed. American Psychological Association: New York, 2001).

For university regulations on academic dishonesty and plagiarism, refer to

http://www.vps.msu.edu/SpLife/rule32.htm

http://www.msu.edu/unit/ombud/plagiarism.html

Written Assignments
All assignments should be typed, double spaced or space and a half, with one-inch margins and 12 point, 11 point, or 10 point font. References to course readings or outside texts should be cited using APA style, the citation protocol for the social science (which includes the field of education).

Unless otherwise instructed, you will submit all assignments as email attachments to your instructor.

Please label all documents in the following way: YourFirstName_NameOfAssignment. It is not necessary to put the course number in the filename unless you like to have it there. For a second or third draft of a piece, put the draft number right after your first name.

So, a first draft of part 3 of a unit plan would be named: Jane_UnitPlanPart3

And the second draft of this same assignment would be: Jane2_UnitPlanPart3

Scholarly work is more than opinion and the simple description of readings. It requires reflection and inquiry as well as citation of readings and the literature as evidence in support of your position(s). Good writing is critical in communicating effectively to your future students and their families. We will discuss methods of improving the readability, clarity and content of your written communication.