Education 200

EDUC 200: Exploring Education

Credit Hours: (2) Three hours lab/field experience and seminars

A field experience course (90 hours of lab/field experience) with associated professional development seminars (15 hours).  Provides opportunities for students to explore key aspects of the teaching profession and to begin the process of professional development as educators.  Students examine the teaching profession and the “fit” between the career and their personal experiences, characteristics, and aspirations. Seminars provide a general overview of key concepts regarding teaching and learning and teacher preparation and licensure in Virginia.


Detailed Description of Course

The primary purposes of the course are: 1) to provide students with opportunities to begin forging an understanding of teaching and learning that is personally meaningful and grounded in personal experiences of teaching, and 2) to begin to reflect upon their own development as professional educators. Course content and process will reflect central themes of professional preparation and that of building and extending professional learning communities to prepare professional educators who are knowledgeable, thoughtful and caring, and skillful.    
Students will examine their own development as learners and educators, study the contexts of schooling in Virginia, examine basic concepts and principles related to effective teaching and learning, and explore strategies that promote professional reflection and inquiry into teaching.  The content of the course will be based upon an integration of students' experiences with current theory, research, and practice in teaching. 

The field experience will consist of structured practice experiences in which students observe teachers and learners, and begin to develop, implement, and evaluate instruction. 

Topics and experiences that may be used to achieve the purposes of the course include:

    1.    Becoming a student of teaching.

                a.    Understanding "self" and examine the match between personal beliefs, characteristics, knowledge, skills, and aspirations, and careers in teaching.

                b.    Challenges and benefits of teaching careers.

    2.    General overview of learner development and differences.

    3.    General overview of the history, current issues, and future trends of education in Virginia

    4.    General overview of teaching and learning

    5.    General principles and methods of instruction and assessment (including addressing the Standards of Learning)

    6.    Teaching in Virginia

                a.    Licensure requirements

                        (i)    Complete on-line training in child abuse and neglect

                b.    Critical shortage areas

                c.    Teacher preparation programs

                d.    Substitute teaching in Virginia school divisions

                e.    Resources (e.g., Virginia Teacher Scholarship Loan Program, Teachers for Tomorrow, transfer programs between community college and four-year institutions).



Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course includes school-based field experiences and seminars.  Instructional strategies include: obtaining information from readings/videos/internet; discussions; journals; student projects and reports; observations, lesson planning and teaching in school settings; reflection.


Goals and Objectives

The primary purposes of the course are to provide opportunities for students to 1) explore teaching and learning, the expanding roles of educators, and current issues and trends in schooling and 2) enhance their own development as a potential educator.

Students will:

  • Explore, clarify, and further develop their professional goals.
  • Articulate and evaluate assumptions and beliefs about teaching, learning, students, and education.
  • Compare concepts of teaching and learning which have emerged from their own experiences, interpretations from popular media, and concepts of teaching based upon current theory and practice in education.
  • Describe challenges and benefits of the teaching profession.
  • Assess their beliefs, knowledge, skills, and personal characteristics and dispositions as these relate to the teaching profession.
  • Describe requirements for licensure in Virginia.
  • Explain aspects of various teacher preparation programs in Virginia.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions expected of teaching candidates, including: basic proficiency skills in reading, writing, and oral communication; commitment to the profession; professional dispositions and characteristics.  


Assessment Measures

Sources of assessment data will include evaluations of students' formal and informal writing assignments; journals; participation in labs and seminars; student projects; and evaluations of student performance in field assignments.


Other Course Information

This course is an elective for students who wish to explore the teaching profession.  It provides an opportunity for students to take part in early pre-professional field experiences, which are desired by many students who intend to enter Radford University’s teacher preparation program.  This course also allows Radford University to provide services to local schools through tutoring and other programs that help to enhance PK-12 student learning.

The course content and processes are similar to courses offered at the community college for individuals interested in teaching, and courses offered in Virginia’s high school Teachers for Tomorrow programs and thus will provide a bridge between early efforts to attract students into teaching and the preparation programs at Radford University.


Review and Approval
04/12/2006 Reviewed Rachel Janney