TE 921, Sec. 001: Learning to Teach
Fall 2017. Time: Mondays 4:10-7 pm. Location: Erickson Hall Room 107
Professor: Gail Richmond
The process of becoming a teacher and the act of teaching itself are complicated processes, shaped by a myriad of interacting circumstances and interactions and expectations which change over time. In this course, we use several different perspectives, to address how teachers, teaching, and the process of learning to teach have been construed. We will make use of historical, theoretical, political and sociocultural perspectives to examine issues and questions which lie at the heart of how teachers are perceived by others, how they perceive themselves, how they are prepared for their careers, the ways in which they are and are not supported and evaluated after certification, and their place in schools and in society. Some of the perspective-grounded issues we will examine together include the following:
Historical: How teachers have been portrayed and positioned across time? What events have shaped these portrayals and expectations regarding the responsibilities of teachers?
Theoretical: What theoretical lenses have shaped the way we think about core teacher knowledge and practices and the ways that teachers should be prepared and supported?
Political: How have past political events the contemporary climate affected the ways teachers are perceived, and the regulation of the profession? Who decides what “good teaching” is how do we reward this?
Sociocultural: How are the processes of learning to teach shaped by teachers’ professional identity, the various dimensions of their classroom community, and their access to support—both human and material—within their schools and in the larger community?
Weekly readings will be accompanied by shared reflection/critique, and classes will be largely discussion-oriented, led by the course instructor and student facilitators, along with several visits from guest speakers with research expertise in the field of teacher learning. In addition to weekly postings on readings and participation in class discussions, formal assignments will include two critical analysis papers related to a major reading and its relationship to the field, and a final synthesis paper, with the topic chosen by the student and related to the focus of the class.
Those with questions about the course are encouraged to contact Dr. Richmond at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-432-4854.