Education 456

I. Course Title: Methods for English Instruction Grades 6-12

II. Course Number: EDUC 456

III. Credit Hours: 3 credits

IV. Prerequisites: Admission into the Teacher Education Program for licensure in middle school or secondary English Language Arts teaching; EDUC446 is a co-requisite.

V. Course Description: 

This course is designed to help teacher candidates become inquiring, analytical, and reflective middle/secondary English educators. It provides a foundation for instructional design and teaching methods at the middle school and high school levels. Course activities are designed to prepare candidates for the variety of skill and the breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding needed as an effective English teacher in their field experiences.  

VI. Detailed Description of Content of the Course:

EDUC456 is taught primarily through discussion, case studies, practical applications, writing activities, and readings. Additionally, it is taught in conjunction with an internship in an adolescent-level environment. Candidates will be working with their supervising professor to develop lesson plans specific to their internship assignment, discussing issues related to their content area, and exploring issues that might arise while student teaching. They will examine the theories and research relevant to teaching in grades 6-12. Participation in this course will help candidates design and successfully implement developmentally appropriate English instruction, including instructional strategies, unit and lesson planning, and classroom management, and prepare them to be skillful teachers of English Language Arts content in middle/high school settings.

VI. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course:

The course format includes large and small group discussion, individual and group presentations, journal article and textbook reading, demonstration lessons, simulations, and practical applications. Because the course is taught as a co-requisite with EDUC446, students will also develop, implement, and evaluate a multi-day, sequential instructional plan specifically for their early field experience placement.

VII. Goals and Objectives of the Course:

Goals, objectives, and assignments address the Virginia Department of Education regulations for preparing middle/secondary (grades 6-12) English educators. Candidates successfully completing this course will be able to demonstrate developing knowledge, skills, and dispositions of the following:

Goal 1: Apply theories of learning and integration to English instruction and state and national standards  

  • Use backwards design to develop a lesson plan that incorporates knowledge of varied fiction and nonfiction from young adult, British, American, world, and ethnic and minority texts.
  • Design and implement lessons that align the National Council of Teachers of English standards and Commonwealth of Virginia’s Standards of Learning with measurable objectives, appropriate teaching activities and assessments. 
  • Plan structured, differentiated lessons aligned with the National Council of Teachers of English standards and Commonwealth of Virginia’s Standards of Learning for English/Language Arts and Virginia Computer Technology Standards of Learning and their integration into English Language Arts.

Goal 2: Plan evidence-based instruction and assessments to include differentiated instruction for diverse learners and select appropriate objectives, activities and teaching materials for English instruction.

  • Design and implement lessons that address culturally responsive strategies, address students’ community, culture, and context.
  • Use a variety of methods including whole class, small group, models and modeling, productive talk strategies, and concept mapping.
  • Modify learning experiences to meet the individual needs of students, including students with disabilities, gifted students, and students with limited proficiency in English and children with diverse cultural needs. 

Goal 3: Evaluate and experiment with multiple strategies and a range of content materials and texts, both traditional and alternative, in order to move toward the goal of reaching all students.

  • Select and evaluate materials and resources and utilize appropriate technology in the planning of lesson appropriate to all students including English language learners and exceptional students, including students with disabilities.

Goal 4: Recognize and support the unique needs and skills of the adolescent reader and writer.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of, and uses for, an extensive range of literature.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the range and influence of print and nonprint media and technology in contemporary culture.

Goal 5: Demonstrate understanding of research-based literacy strategies in developing instructional tasks, activities, and/or lessons.

  • Identify technology, materials, manipulatives, and activities that engage all learners across ability and achievement levels.
  • Modify learning experiences to meet the individual needs of students, including students with disabilities, gifted students, and students with limited proficiency in English and children with diverse cultural needs.

Goal 6: Understand how to develop effective lessons, activities, and assessments. 

  • Explain and use the backwards design process of lesson planning.
  • Design lessons that align state standards with measurable objectives, appropriate teaching activities and assessments. 
  • Design lessons in which students are actively engaged in hands-on English activities.

Goal 7: Develop skills as reflective practitioners. 

  • Describe how adolescent development, school culture, and community intersect with the English instructional methods occurring in field placement sites. 
  • Examine and use student data to reflect upon their lessons.

Goal 8: Build a repository of rigorous, meaningful teaching strategies and material for bringing ELA content to life for diverse learners. 

  • Write a yearlong plan for teaching an English course of the candidate’s choice. This plan will include a description of a teaching context, a rationale justifying chosen teaching and assessment approaches, detailed overviews of 6-9 units suitable for the teaching context, and additional elements.

Goal 9: Use multimodal composition and communication technologies to facilitate reflection and instruction.

  • Write a unit of study that allows for a variety of means of expression, including writing, speaking and listening, and multiliteracies (e.g., artistic responses, film-making, digital narratives, podcasts, or whatever else you feel will promote understanding of the concepts at hand).

Goal 10: Teach a range of lessons, reflecting on and using feedback for continued growth, inquiry, and pedagogical skill.

  • Plan, design, and implement a teaching unit encompassing about 4-6 weeks of instruction organized around a specific theme or principle and should be derived from the theories of learning and teaching discussed as part of this course.

VIII. Assessment Measures:

A variety of assessments may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Lesson plans that reflect considerations for diverse learners 
  2. An implementation-ready sequence of instructional plans aligned to appropriate curriculum standards to be used in the candidate’s field placement (as appropriate).
  3. Journal entries, lesson observations, reading annotations, and/or other informal writings
  4. Presentations or micro-teaching exercises
  5. Class participation and discussion

Review and Approval

August 2020