ED 220: Changing Pedagogies in Math and Science Education

Spring 2004 7:00-10:00pm Tuesdays

Syllabus

Victor Donnay, Ph.D. 610-526-5352 vdonnay@brynmawr.edu

Deborah Pomeroy, EdD, 215-572-2123 pomeroy@arcadia.edu

Robyn Newkumet, Praxis Field Coord. 610-526-5214 rnewkume@haverford.edu

Ann Brown, Praxis Field Coord 610-896-1491 abrown@haverford.edu

 

Description: Students will observe and tutor in classrooms in which teachers are implementing new curriculum or teaching strategies in either science or mathematics. A weekly colloquium is provided in which professional educators will present their experiences in educational change and related issues. These sessions will provide the theoretical framework to help students understand their praxis experiences. A weekly reflection session is provided in which students will discuss their praxis experiences and make connections with the theoretical frameworks.

Objectives: Students will

Grading:

15% Attendance and Participation in Reflection and Colloquium Sessions (including fast writes)

15% Fulfillment of Praxis Expectations — attendance, professional demeanor, tutoring

20% Class Assignments

20% Journal

30% Case Study

General Structure:

7:00-7:05 announcements and introductions

7:05-7:50 speaker or panel presentation

7:50-8:20 open discussion

8:20-8:35 break and refreshments

8:35-9:50 reflection session

Notes:

  1. The following topics may be shifted to accommodate guest speakers.
  2. Additional readings and one-page papers may be added at any point.
  3. Required and supplemental readings and links will be posted electronically unless noted otherwise at the course web site reachable from: http://www.brynmawr.edu/math/people/donnay/
  4. Readings for the course are available at the Blackboard site.

5) You should check the electronic syllabus on the web site as this will be updated and revised as necessary during the semester.

1/22 Introduction to course

How people learn: Understanding the Brain - Implications for Education

Professor Paul Grobstein, Dept. of Biology, Bryn Mawr College.

Reflection

Introduction to Blackboard

Assign Paper #1: Example of Theory of Practice (Due 1/29)

Readings for next week:

Bransford, et al. "How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School"

Watson, Bruce and Konicek, Dick. "Teaching for conceptual change." Phi Delta

Kappan

Supplemental Material related to Prof. Grobstein's presentation: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/reflections/alum03/

1/29 Learning and Understanding: Implications for Math and Science Education.

Professor Jerry Gollub, Dept. of Physics, Haverford. Co-chair NRC Committee on Programs for Advanced Science and Math Secondary Education

 

Reflection

Due/Share: Paper #1

Praxis contracts and teacher meetings

Logistics and processes of assignments

Working in constructivist classrooms

Journals, observations

Discuss readings

 

Readings for next week:

AAAS, Science for All Americans, Ch 1

Mathematics and Democracy: The Case for Quantitative Literacy, pp. 1-22.

Praxis: Fill out Field Placement selection form and receive placement assignment.

Contact teacher and make initial visit.

Prepare placement time table form.

 

Supplemental Material related to Prof. Gollub's presentation:

http://lab.nap.edu/nap-cgi/discover.cgi?restric=NAP&term=learning+and+understanding:

See particularly, Introduction, Ch 6: Learning with Understanding, Ch 7: Designing Curriculum.

 

2/5 Mathematical and Scientific Literacy

Reflection

Discuss readings

Teacher's Theory of Practice

The learning environment

Due: Log sheet, Praxis Fieldwork Agreement.

Assign Paper #2: Describe learning environment of your field placement. (Due 2/19)

Readings for next week:

Begin review of national and state standards

(Lowry articles)

Funk, Carole. "James Otto and the Pi Man: A Constructivist Tale." Phi Delta Kappan.

O'Brien, Thomas and Judy A, Barnett. "Fasten Your Seat Belts." Phi Delta Kappan.

Praxis: Start full-time in schools.

 

2/12 How theory becomes transformed into the practice of K-20 math & science: Elementary

Reflection

Reading Discussion

Case Study Assignment

Sharing field experiences focus on elementary

Assign Paper #3: Bring in two articles about school reform and briefly discuss

issues addressed (Due 3/4)

Readings for next week:

Tba.

Praxis: In schools.

 

2/19 How theory becomes transformed into the practice of K-20 math & science: Secondary

Reflection

Due/Share: Paper #2

Share Observation Journals

Reading Discussion

Sharing field experiences focus on secondary

Readings for next week:

Tba.

Praxis: In schools

 

2/26 How theory becomes transformed into the practice of K-20 math & science: Higher Ed.

Reflection

Reading Discussion

Sharing field experiences focus on higher education

Assign Paper #4: PSSA's and what they mean to your school/district (Due 3/25)

Readings for next week:

Glenn Report: :. www.ed.gov/americacounts/glenn

No Child Left Behind Executive Summary

http://www.ed.gov/nclb/overview/intro/execsumm.html

Praxis: In schools

 

3/4 Politics and economics of educational reform in science and mathematics

Reflection

Due/Share: Paper #3

Due: Observation Journals

Positioning field sites in politics and economic contexts

Journal sharing

Praxis: In schools

 

3/11 Spring Break

 

3/18 No Child Left Behind, State Standards and Standardized Tests

Reflection

Journal sharing

Be prepared to share how one lesson with which you've been involved relates to state standards (be specific).

Reading for next week:

Pomeroy, "Mapping the field"

Praxis: In schools

 

3/25 Teaching for Equity Issues of Race, Class and Gender

Reflection

Due/Share: Paper #4

Reading Discussion

Race, Class and Equity in field placements

Assign Paper #5: Describe your teacher as change agent (Due 4/15)

Reading for next week:

Wolff, "Caught in the web of reform"

Marshall, John. Math Wars: Taking Sides," Phi Delta Kappan.

Praxis: In schools

 

4/1 Change Theory: Tensions, supports, sociological and psychological

Reflection

Discuss readings

Discuss elements of change in field placements

Reading for next week:

Duckworth: Understanding Children’s Understanding

Praxis: In schools

 

4/8 Implementation of Change at the Teacher Level

Reflection

Students present the materials that are being used in their classrooms — what is innovative, theory of practice inherent in material

Praxis: In schools

4/15 Implementation of Systemic Change

Reflection

Due/Share: Paper #5

Praxis: In schools

 

4/22 Communities Voices: Teachers, Administrators and School Boards

Reflection

Framing the Case Studies

Praxis: Last week in schools. By this time all students should have completed ten full weeks.

 

4/29 Closing Speaker:

Reflection

Presentations by Graduate Students

5/6 Presentation of Case Studies

What I’ve learned about curriculum and pedagogy

What I’ve learned about school/classroom change

Case Study due

 

 

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Description of Praxis Experience

Students will observe and tutor in classrooms in which teachers are implementing new curriculum or teaching strategies in either science or mathematics. A weekly colloquium is provided in which professional educators will present their experiences in educational change and/or issues. These sessions will provide the theoretical framework that should help students understand their praxis experiences. A weekly reflection session is provided in which students will discuss their praxis experiences and their connections to the theoretical frameworks.

 

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Overview of Assignments (more details provided in class)

  1. Class Assignments:

#1 (Due 1/29) Theories of Practice

Students will write up two very different learning experiences of their own. At least one must be in science or mathematics. Each experience (1-2 pg.) should include the following:

#2 (Due 2/19) Learning Environment

Students will write a 2-3 page paper describing the learning environment of their field placements. Include the following:

#3 (Due 3/4) Media Articles About Educational Issues and Reform

Students should find two articles about Educational Reform. Bring in articles and write a 1-page paper for each describing the issues.

 

#4 (Due 3/25) PSSA's and what they mean to your school/district

Students should find the PSSA scores for their school and district for the last several years and broken down by subgroups. What do these scores mean for your school? Interveiw someone?

#5 (Due 4/15) Teacher as Change Agent

Students should interview teacher with an eye to describing the teacher's reasons for initiating reform and the tensions and support around the implementation of reform.

B. Journal -- to be handed in mid-course and at the end. At mid-course, these will be evaluated as outstanding, strong, adequate and inadequate for the purpose of providing feedback to students. Journals must have enough detailed observations that will provide evidence for discussion in the case study. They should also include reflections that raise questions, make connections to other observations and/or material discussed in class, and pose hypotheses.

C. Case Study of Pedagogical Change — this 10-15 page paper should synthesize the student’s praxis experience in terms of class discussions and readings. The paper should contain quotes and detailed description of evidence used to present the case. The school, district, and teacher should be referred to by pseudonyms only. The student should avoid making evaluative pronouncements about the teacher, program and/or students. The evidence should speak loudest. The paper should include a conclusion that discusses what the student has learned about changing curricular and pedagogical practices from this experience. The following list contains the kind of information that will be helpful in developing your understanding of the practices that you are observing and with which you are assisting.

Theory of Practice

Training

General

Specific to the new curriculum or strategy

General Comfort Level

Implementation

Curriculum

How does it relate to standards?

What have you learned about curriculum and pedagogical practice and about school change from this experience?

 

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Reading List

American Association for the Advancement of Science. Science for All Americans. Project 2061. Oxford University Press N.Y. 1990 (Chapter 1 only)

Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., Cocking, R.R. How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School. National Academy Press. Washington, D.C. 1999 (the executive summary)

Duckworth, E. The Having of Wonderful Ideas and Other Essays on Teaching and Learning. 2nd Edition. Teachers College Press. N.Y. 1996 (chapters 1,5,7)

Funk, Carole. "James Otto and the Pi Man: A Constructivist Tale." Phi Delta Kappan. November 2003, pp. 212-214)..

Marshall, John. Math Wars: Taking Sides," Phi Delta Kappan. November 2003, pp. 193-200.

Mathematics and Democracy, The Case for Quantitative Literacy, Lynn Steen, Executive Editor, NCED 2001.

NCTM Standards: http://standards.nctm.org/ Search the e-standards.

NSES Standards: http://books.nap.edu/html/nses/html/index.html

No Child Left Behind Legislation: http://www.ed.gov/nclb/overview/intro/execsumm.html?exp=0

O'Brien, Thomas and Judy A, Barnett. "Fasten Your Seat Belts." Phi Delta Kappan. November 2003 pp. 201-206.

Pomeroy, Deborah. "Mapping the field", Studies in Science Education, 24 (1994), 49-73.

Shultz, J., Alison Cook-Sather, A (Editors), Students' Perspectives on School, Chapter by Ned Wolff: Caught in the web of reform.

The Glenn Commission Report:. www.ed.gov/americacounts/glenn

Watson, B, Konicek, R. Teaching for Conceptual Change: Confronting Children's Experience. Phi Delta Kappan. May 1990 pp. 680 - 685 (the whole article)

 

 

 

Supplementary Materials

Related to Prof. Grobstein's presentation:

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/reflections/alum03/

to Prof. Gollub's presentation:

http://lab.nap.edu/nap-cgi/discover.cgi?restric=NAP&term=learning+and+understanding:

See particularly, Introduction, Ch 6: Learning with Understanding, Ch 7: Designing Curriculum.