Readings

WEEK # Topics READINGS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1 Introduction

Classroom Pre-Practicum

Current Events Overview

Blogs and Portfolios: See SchoolBlogs, Education Web Logs

Goals, Expectations and Assignments

Activity - Opinions on Teaching

Activity - Teaching Without Words
Portfolio Assessment Introduction
2 Misconceptions

Videos - My Private Universe (SpaceBiology)

Misconceptions Discussion

Current Events
Clement, J. "Student's Preconceptions in Introductory Mechanics." American Journal of Physics 50, no. 1 (Jan 1982).

More Than Misconceptions
3 Lesson Planning

Lesson Planning - Types of Lesson Plans - Planning for Modes of Teaching

Differentiated Instruction Videos

MIT Observations Discussion

Current Events
Differentiated Instruction
4 Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated Instruction: Brainstorming Ways to Differentiate Instruction

Current Events

Multiple Intelligences Test

Carmichael, Mary. "Stirring Up Science." Newsweek. December 20, 2004.

Recommended

Norris, Floyd. "U.S. Students Fare Badly in International Survey of Math Skills." The New York Times. December 7, 2004.

Please read the Newsweek article and answer the following:

1) Would differentiated learning approaches solve this problem of a widening gap between the brightest kids and the rest?

2) How would they be implemented?

3) Would moving to differentiated learning methods work as a stand-alone solution or would it need to be taken up in coordination with other measures?

4) Can poorer schools overcome the higher expense of science programs while faced with limited budgets?
5 Assessment

Video - Testing, Testing, Testing

Discussion of First Classroom Observations

Alternative Assessment: Concept Mapping (Inspiration), Portfolios, Journaling, Observations

Assessment Powerpoint

Current Events
The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct Them

"Schools-within-schools: A Growing Trend" CNN Education. February 23, 2005.

Please read the CNN Education article and answer the following:

1) How does this sort of system affect the community of the school?

2) Do you see any disadvantages to a "school inside a school"?
6 Classroom Management and Understanding Kids

Classroom Quirks

Assessing Classroom Management Experiences

Discussion of Classroom Observations

Classroom Management: Tips for Teachers (from Students)

Current Events

Start of Modes of Teaching
Classroom Management Readings

"Distance Learning Becoming Part of School Life." CNN Education. March 3, 2005.
Please read the CNN Education article and answer the following:

1) Many of our teaching techniques depend on direct contact with students. Group work, projects, and labs generally don't lend themselves to the Internet classroom.  What techniques and activities can a teacher employ to alleviate obvious barriers to Internet teaching?

2) Virtual schools offer a lot of flexibility that traditional schools cannot, for instance, the students in the article from Alaska who are now able to take special math classes with other students across the country. Does the future lie in virtual schools?  Are they a trend bound for failure? Or will some hybrid emerge?

3) Naturally, these schools lack personal contact between students. How can Internet schools work to develop social skills, perhaps the most important thing students learn in school?
7 Modes of Teaching

Practice Teaching - Density, Area of Polygons, and Osmosis: Teaching in Different Modes - Lecture, Lab, Discussion

Discussion of Classroom Observations

Current Events
Differentiated Instruction

Thomasson, Dan K. "SAT Marketplace." The Washington Times, Commentary. March 12, 2005.
Please read the Washington Times article and answer the following:

1) What do you think of the new SAT format? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages?

2) How does money play a role in the SAT system and how are students affected by it?

3) Do colleges have other options beyond the SAT's for comparing students across the nation?
8-9 Educational Technology and STEM Education

Physics Lab

STEM Education and Professional Development

Discussion of Classroom Observations

Current Events
Impact of Educational Technology on Student Achievement

Oversold and Underused

Being Fluent with Information Technologies

Professional Development and STEM Education Readings

Mui, Ylan Q. and Joshua Partlow. "Maryland Schools Neglecting Computers." The Washington Post. March 23, 2005. B01.
Please read the Washington Post article and answer the following:

1) What would you recommend for helping to make the use of computers go from word processing and internet to more educational tools?

2) Do you think it would be an easy change to make?

3) Who should be making the decisions about what can and can't be used on a computer?
10 Educational Technology Town Hall

Town Hall Meeting - Laptops in the School
Wired

Maine Today

NY Times

CNET

Laptop Schools Links

TechBoston Academy

Winter, Greg. "Why Educators Falter Before the Enigma of Violence." The New York Times. March 30, 2005. B7.
Please read the New York Times article and answer the following. In your responses, please focus less on framing the problems and more on outlining possible solutions to address the issues:

1) "I don't feel qualified to be a social worker," said Susan Murray, 25, who left her job as a teacher in the Bronx, because she felt she could not help her students feel safe.

a) Do you think that you would feel a similar concern in her place?

b) How far should the responsibility of a teacher extend?

2) "Schools alone can't create a climate of caring and respect that might help prevent future violent incidents; such an effort requires the commitment of the entire community," wrote Alane Fagin, Executive Director of Child Abuse Prevention Services, in a letter to the Editor in response to the article.

Do you agree with this statement? If so, what concrete steps should we take to create a community that allows learning?
11 Gender in Math and Science

Gender in STEM

Town Hall Meeting

Discussion of Classroom Observations

Current Events

Gender Powerpoint Presentation

STEM Web Resources (see Related Resources)
What works for women in undergraduate physics?

"For Many Students, College Life Begins in High School." CNN. April 6, 2005.
Please read the CNN article and answer the following:

1) With the increasing trend for high school students to be taking college classes (AP or dual enrollment) what will be the role of high schools in the future?

2) If it is becoming a standard practice, should students be earning college credit for classes they are taking in high school or should these classes be integrated into the standard high school curriculum?

3) What problems and rifts do you see arising between those taking college courses and those not taking college courses in high school?
12 Math Education

Special Guests: Robert Gerver, North Shore HS, NY

Planning Final Projects: Lesson Planning Link

Discussion of Classroom Observations

Current Events
Morin, Richard. "The Name Game is No Game." The Washington Post. March 27, 2005. B5. Please read the Washington Post article and answer the following:

1) Do you think this shows a socioeconomic bias in American schools, instead of a racial bias, as commonly believed?

2) What do you think causes teachers to have these misconceptions about a student's performance based on their name?

3) How might a principal or superintendent address these concerns and what are possible courses of actions to shed light on this issue?
13-14 Final Projects

Design and Teach a Lesson

Final Project/Assignment Presentations
Stockton, Paysha. "Roxbury Prep Boys Grow with Books." The Boston Globe. April 24, 2005.

Freeman, Samuel G. "On Education; Where Popular Science is Called Women's Work." The New York Times. April 27, 2005. B7.
Please read the Boston Globe article and answer the following:

1) How can educators help to prevent students, especially young boys, from losing interest in reading?

2) To quote the article, "Schools need more groups like this, where boys can talk freely to someone who cares...the best weapon to keep them from dropping out intellectually or emotionally is an astute educator who asks questions and can spot the signs of trouble."

Are small-group after-school reading sessions helpful in this regard? How could they be improved?

3) "Shepherd said her female students seem to read more easily and identify with a wider range of characters."

Do you agree with this? Would girls benefit from similar reading sessions? Should ability play a larger factor in who participates in such a program, or should gender be the only consideration?

Please read the New York Times article and answer the following:

1) Given our recent discussion of gender in math and science education, do you think the non-coed school is the best method of fostering math and science skills in girls?

2) Is this beneficial or even feasible?

3) Should a similar model be implemented in all male schools to foster humanistic skills that men tend to struggle in?