Since I committed to BlAugust (see the #MTBoSBlaugust hashtag) and I am in a course design hole developing an Educational Theory course for my program I decided to merge the two ideas together.
I think it is important for teachers to regularly revisit the theories we learned in ed courses, because I know that when I looked at a particular theory after teaching for several years I saw the theory in a new light and had a different understanding of the approach. With that in mind, over the next month I am going to lay out the structure, the readings, the justification for the readings, and some of the questions I plan on asking.
This course is specifically for math and science majors who are also double majoring in education. At that point, I can make several assumptions about my learners.
- These learners are all comfortable with math up through (and some beyond) calculus. Even if they are in the precalc courses at the start of the semester, they are required to take calculus, so the ideas of algebra and infinitesimals are will not be foreign to them.
- All of the examples, questions, and discussions are to be centered around what it means to know math or science [facts, processes, methods, ideas, etc], and / or how to learn those same set of ‘things’.
- Finally, I can assume that these learners are committed to the course and the program. This is the third course in the program, not the first. These learners have already been in an elementary and middle school classroom teaching lessons they have written themselves. They have a small amount of experience, they have had frustrating lessons, great lessons, and they have written their own lessons.
With those three assumptions made, I will start outlining the thinking that is going into the lessons. I have a calendar already mapped out for each class period in the semester. I have the assignments identified, and questions. No, I am not starting from scratch, but using another professor’s template who teaches this course at another University in a similar program.
With this in mind, my goal of the “talking it through” here is to make sure that I am connecting the first day of class to the last day of class. Is each class period started and ended with intentionality. What I want to avoid is the feeling of randomness that can occur the first time a course is taught. And this IS the first time this course will have been taught at my university and by me.
Just do it right the first time.
Tomorrow’s topic: Week 1: Intro’s and Assessment.