Educational Foundations 320

EDEF 320: Introduction to Professional Education

Prerequisites: A minimum GPA of 2.5 on all work at Radford University

Pre-or Co-requisite: Course in human growth and development (HUMD 300; or PSYC 218 and PSYC 317)

Credit Hours: (3)
 
Introduces students to teaching as a profession. Topics include teaching as a profession, the organization and culture of schools, legal rights and responsibilities of teachers and students, philosophical and psychological perspectives, historical developments underlying education in the United States, social issues in education, the application of learning theory to instruction and learning environments, basic concepts and principles regarding teaching strategies, assessment and evaluation of student learning, and teaching from a multicultural perspective.

Note(s): Students cannot receive credit for both EDEF 320 and EDUC 320.


Detailed Description of the Course

I.Becoming a Professional Educator

    A.Teaching as a Profession

        1.Teacher Rights and Responsibilities

                    a)Teacher accountability (academic standards – national, state, local)

                    b)Professional ethics
        
                    c)Teacher rights

        2.Being a Reflective Practitioner

                    a)The role of inquiry and research in teaching and learning to teach (particularly in social and philosophical studies, which provide contexts in which educational problems can be understood and interpreted)

                (1) Professional organizations

                (2) Professional Development

    B.Teacher Preparation

        1.The RU model and conceptual framework
                    a) Characteristics and dispositions of professional educators
                           2.Issues in teacher preparation

                    a) Alternative routes to licensure

                    b) Teacher shortages

                           3.Licensure and Certification

                     a) Test requirements for state licensure
   
II.Philosophical, Historical/Legal, Sociological, and Political Issues in American Education
    A.Philosophical Issues

        1.Differing perspectives on the purposes of schools (nature and aims of education, schools as transmitter and recipient of ideologies)

        2.How philosophical perspectives influence what we teach (curriculum and knowledge)
    B.Historical/Legal Issues

        1.Changes in American culture and economy that lead to changes in school purposes, organization, and curriculum

        2.The Basis for School Law

                    a)Role of the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions

                    b)Role of federal and state legislation

                    c)Role of local policies
       
                    d)Legislation and judicial review

        3.Legal responsibilities and rights of students and families
    C.Sociological Issues

        1.Diversity

                    a)Social class
   
                    b)Race/Ethnicity/Language

                    c)Gender/Sexual identity

                    d)Disabilities

D.Political Issues

        1.The Organization and Administration of School

                    a)District, building, and grade level organization

                    b)Scheduling and curriculum organization

                    c)School size and organization

                    d)Rural, urban, and suburban settings

                    e)School finance and governance

                    f)School management

                    g)Parent and community relations

        2.School Finance
        
        3.School reform (e.g. magnet schools, charter schools, privatization, federal vs. state control, vouchers, etc.)

III.Learning Theories and Assessment in the Classroom
    A.Learning Theory, Motivation and Instruction

        1.Theories of learning and their implications for classroom teaching

        2.Concepts and principles of motivation and implications for teaching

    B.Assessment and Evaluation in Education

        1.Purposes and modes of assessment

                    a)Standardized and non-standardized assessments

                    b)Criterion-referenced and norm-referenced assessment

                    c)Traditional, performance-based, and authentic assessment

        2.Diagnostic assessment and the assessment of aptitude, achievement, and other student characteristics

        3.Types of scores and their interpretation

        4.Issues in assessment: validity, reliability, bias and setting standards


Detailed Description of the Conduct of the Course

A variety of instructional methods will be used including lecture, small group work, research, class presentations, guest speakers, university-wide events, videos, case studies, email, the internet, WebCT, and/or class blogs and threaded discussions.

 
Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address NCATE Standard 1g – professional dispositions and 1c -  Professional and pedagogical knowledge).  The codes included below refer to:  Council for Exceptional Children (CEC); National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium Standards (ISLLC); Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI); National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE); American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD); National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM); National Middle Schools Association (NMSA); National Science Teachers Association (NSTA); National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS); Virginia Department of Education Licensure Regulations (VA DOE); Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC); Council for the Social Foundations of Education (CSFE)

A. Issues:  Understand some of the contemporary issues in education and identify major areas of research on teaching and resources available for professional learning on these issues.  (INTASC 9K2; AECI 5.1; AEYC 5; NMSA Standard 7; AAHPERD Standard 8.2; CEC Standard 9; VA DOE Licensure Regulations - foundations; NCSS Pedagogical Standard 8; CSFE Standards 1 and 2)

B. Role/Organization of Schools:  Understand the historical, philosophical, and sociological foundations underlying the role, development and organization of public education in the United States.  Understand schools as organizations and cultures.  Understand schools as organizations within the larger community context and understand theoperations of the relevant aspects of school systems (INTASC 10K1; NMSA Standard 2 and 6; NSTA Professional Development Standard D; CEC Standard 1; VA DOE Licensure Regulations –Foundations; CSFE Standards 1 and 2 and principle #1 and #4)

C. Environment/School Intersections; Diversity:  Understand how factors in students’ environment outside of school (prior learning, language,culture, family) as well as individual experiences and talents may influence students’ life and learning. Use a research based framework for understanding cultural and community diversity. (INTASC 3K4; INTASC 10K2; AECI 3.1 and3.2; NAEYC 1; NMSA Standard 6; AAHPERD 2.2 and 3.1; CEC Standard 5; NCSS Pedagogical Standards 2 and 6; CSFE principle #1 and #5).

D. Legal Rights and Responsibilities:  Understand laws related to students’, families’, and teachers’ rights and responsibilities. Understand the legal status of teachers and students, including federal and state laws and regulations.  Understand the characteristics and dispositions of professional educators (VA DOE Licensure Regulations - foundations; INTASC 10K3; INTASC 3K5)

E. Learning: Understand learning theories and how they relate to instruction. Understand cognitive processes associated with various kinds of learning (e.g. critical and creative thinking, problem structuring and problem solving, invention, memorization and recall) and how these processes can be stimulated.  Understand how learning occurs – how students construct knowledge, acquire skills, and develop habits of mind– and understand instructional strategies that promote student learning
(INTASC 2K1; INTASC 7K1; INTASC 4K1; NCSS Pedagogical Standards 1, 3,and 6).

F. Motivation:  Understand human motivation.  Recognize factors and situations that are likely to promote or diminish intrinsic motivation and strategies to help students become self motivated (INTASC 5K5; INTASC 5K1; NCSS Pedagogical Standard 4)

G. Assessment:  Understand characteristics, uses, advantages and limitations of different types of assessment for evaluating how students learn, what they know and are able to do, and what kinds of experiences will support their further growth and development.  Understand concepts of measurement theory and assessment-related concepts such as validity, reliability, bias and scoring concerns. Understand the relationships among assessment, instruction, and monitoring student
progress.  Evaluate the value and use of standardized tests in a standards-based environment. (INTASC 8K3; AECI 4.0; NAEYC 3; NMSA SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Standard 3 and Standard 5; AAHPERD Standard 7.1, 7.2, 7.3; CEC Standard 8; VA DOE Licensure Regulations - foundations; INTASC 8K1; NCSS Pedagogical Standard 7; CSFE principle #6).


 Assessment Measures

·Class participation in discussions and small group activities

·Weekly written responses to readings (including summarizing tasks, answering closed-ended comprehension questions, and open-ended evaluative, analysis, and synthesis questions)

·Exams (if deemed appropriate by the specific instructor)

·Research projects and/or service learning projects that result in oral or written reports

·For licensure candidates: proof of having taken proficiency exams in semester of course (or prior) (Praxis I and VCLA)

·The course will include the development of an initial written professional philosophy/vision statement for teaching that will be revisited and revised as teacher candidates mature throughout their courses of study