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Middle Education 408

EDME 408: Content Standards and Strategies

Prerequisites: Admission to Teacher Education Program and a minimum 2.5 GPA

Credit Hours: (4)

In this course the pre-service teacher studies the teaching/learning processes through examining models of teaching. Teacher decision making in planning is a primary focus as students learn how to plan, how to accommodate diverse learning styles and how to evaluate learning.

Each prospective middle school teacher selects two content areas in which he/she will be licensed to teach. Students study national and state standards in those content areas and learn teaching methods/strategies for instruction. Mathematics – 2 credit hours; Science – 2 credit hours; Social studies –2 credit hours; English – 2 credit hours. Each content area is four weeks of classes – students must take two content areas for a total of four credit hours.   Sections are offered at differing days/times to accommodate any combination of content areas.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

The following framework will be used in the study of the content areas (Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, and English). Each hour is customized to the particular content area.

1. Personal reflections
    (a) Memories of being taught
    (b) What made a difference
    (c) Self as a learner
2. Observations of teaching
    (a) What is the purpose of the lesson?
    (b) How is it organized and conducted?
    (c) How do students respond?
    (d) How is student learning evaluated?
3. Approaches to teaching
    (a) Teacher directed
    (b) Student centered
    (c) Content centered
    (d) Thematic/interdisciplinary teaching
4. Decision Making
    (a) Collecting student data to guide planning
    (b) What to teach?
            • Why is it important?
            • How to make it relevant
    (c) Identifying resources
    (d) Planning models and processes
    (e) Assessing learning and using evaluation to inform planning
    (f) Planning for students with disabilities
5. Instruction
    (a) Identifying differences in learning styles
    (b) Examining alternative instructional strategies
    (c) Utilizing multiple resources to promote visual, auditory and tactile/kinesthetic learning
    (d) Foster independent, lifelong learning
6. Professionalism
    (a) Professional organizations/standards/journals
    (b) NEA Code of Ethics

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

EDME 408 incorporates a variety of teaching strategies including lecture, discussion, cooperative learning and inquiry. Students read widely from multiple sources and conduct observations and field inquiry. Students plan lessons and do micro-teaching.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

The goals and objectives of this class address:

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Standards

1c. Professional and Pedagogical knowledge and skills for Teacher Candidates

Association for Middle Level Education Standards (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7)

Virginia Department of Education – Program Standards  8VAC-20-542-120 – Middle School 6-8

Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to:

• Use appropriate methods, including direct instruction, to help a diverse classroom of students to develop knowledge and skills, sustain intellectual curiosity, and solve problems
        NCATE 1  c,    AMLE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7  VDOE 8-VAC20-542-120 (1 a  d, g)

• Make decisions about planning that involve what to teach, why to teach it, and how to make it relevant to students
        NCATE  1   c   AMLE 1, 2,3,4,5,7  VDOE 8-VAC20-542-120 (1a  d, g)

• Select a wide range of materials and resources to be utilized in the classroom
        NCATE  1.  c  AMLE1, 2, 3, 4 5 7  VDOE 8VAC20-542-120 (1a,    d, g)

• Write lesson plans with clear objectives and include opportunities for active student learning                     
        NCATE  1  c  AMLE  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7  VDOE 8VAC20-542-120 (1. a. d.g)

• Plan multiple ways to assess student performance and use assessment information in decision making and  planning                                                                                                                                                                 NCATE 1.  c  AMLE 1, 2, 3, 4 5 7  VDOE 8VAC20-542-120 (1.a. d.g.)

• Practice reflection and self evaluation
          NCATE 1.  c   AMLE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 7  VDOE 8VAC20-542-120 (1.a,d.g.)


Assessment Measures

(1)  Class attendance and participation.  Given the interactive nature of the class and its correlation with field experiences, students will make peer evaluations in regard to attendance and contributions to the group.
(2) Writing Tasks.  Students will keep written reflections on their experiences and/or readings.  These will be evaluated in terms of their promptness, relevance, and inquiry nature.
(3) Lesson plans.  Students will write unit and/or daily lesson plans and include these in their professional portfolio.  These will be evaluated in terms of their content, thoroughness, relevance, and choice of materials. Key NCATE Assessment  - Assessment System and Unit Evaluation # 2

Other Course Information

Students will demonstrate their knowledge and skill in using instructional technology as a component of instruction.

Review and Approval


August 14, 2006       Reviewed                                    Dr. Elizabeth D. Dore, Coordinator