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The Crown Fountain Silhouette, 8 August 2012   http://www.flickr.com/photos/joethorn/204632994/ 

1. This I Believe, a Personal Philosophy of Education

Grade points: 16

Assignment Due:  May 6

2. CourseBlog

Grade points: 12

Assignment Due:  The Course Blog is due April 4. Individual posts are due every Friday as noted in the calendar. 

3. FieldBlog 

Grade points: 12

Assignment Due: The Field Blog is due April 25.  Individual posts are due in class following each school visit. 

4. Clinical Teaching Experience 

Grade points: 4

Assignment Due: Rolling dates selected in class.

5. Annotated Bibliography and Essay Proposal

Grade points: 8

Assignment Due: 

Annotated Bibliography: April 1

Essay Proposal: April 11



1. This I Believe, a Personal Philosophy of Education

ED100 Introduction to Education

Through reflection, analysis and synthesis of your research, blog entries, course readings, discussions and other activities, write an essay expressing your beliefs about education.  Through this essay, I challenge you to find your voice and to focus your essay on a significant issue in the field of education.  (Not to exceed 1500 words / 6 pages)



What is/are the core belief(s) of your essay? Briefly describe those beliefs within the context of the field of education and your experiences as a student and preservice teacher. Indicate the significance of this belief in the field of education. 



Problem Statement 

  • What are the issues and/or problems that your core belief(s) responds to? Discuss the history of and current circumstances related to those issues and/or problems.
  • Your beliefs do not emerge from nothing. They arise from your experiences and/or a situation in which you recognize a need, and/or a problem that must be solved, etc. Discuss your experiences, needs, interests and/or prior knowledge which inform or are related to your core belief(s)?
  • What connections do you make with other beliefs or issues you know or study? Conversely, what "big" question or questions do you have about your belief(s)? What do you want to know; what important content and concepts will you learn? What knowledge, skills, strategies and attitudes do you expect to gain?


Literature Review  

Situate your core belief(s) within the field of education. Survey the literature to establish reasonable boundaries of the theme of your essay.  Discuss the varying issues, perspectives and debates in this literature.  In your literature review, please define your core belief(s), comparing and contrasting how it is /they are variously defined across the literature surveyed. Further, discuss how the core belief(s) is/are treated in the literature, i.e. what are the articles about, what are the historical, political, cultural and/or economic perspectives of the articles, and so forth?


Conclusions:  Discussion, Analysis, Synthesis   

Discuss your voice and the significance of your essay within the field of educationWhat is/are the problem(s) / question(s) that your essay responds to?  How have you addressed / solved this/these problem(s) and/or how have you answered the question or questions about your belief(s)?  What do you know now; what important content and concepts have you learned?  What knowledge, skills, strategies and attitudes have you gained?  What are the results and/or conclusions of your reflections and research? Discuss these fully.



Complete bibliography in a standard form such as MLA, Chicago or APA.


2. CourseBlog

Writing in your weblog is the foremost means for preparing for class. Throughout the course, I invite you to revisit your weblog, to reflect on your blog posts, on what you've read, discussed and observed about yourself and the field of education. By constructing a weblog, you will be furthering your reflective and analytical abilities in the context of the field of education.  While each post to your weblog should be informed by your reflections on previous posts and experiences in class, as a means of preparing for class, organize your posts around readings assigned for that day.


Distinguish each post to your CourseBlog with the appropriate title to include: BlogPost1, BlogPost2, etc.

(One post due every week for the first 10 weeks, +/- 240 words for each post.  The final post is to synthesize preceding posts) 


Reflection is an attribute of professional practice.  Indeed, we do not learn and develop from experience as much as we learn from reflecting on that experience.  In this context, reflection is the process of constructing meaning by thinking about and interpreting the significance of lived experience. Journal writing or maintaining an online web log (Blog) is critical to the development of reflective practice. A weblog is a tool for documenting experience and for transforming ideas and assumptions about teaching, learning and education into personal understanding and professional knowledge.


By creating a weblog, you can identify issues and activities that are of concern to you and formulate and communicate your thoughts and ideas to yourself and to others. Further, weblogs afford an opportunity and a means to describe, feel, express, analyze and question your experiences, beliefs, and ideas as a preservice teacher.


Your weblog forms a digital space for writing and illustrating (through sound, still and moving images) your ideas, feelings, questions, and reactions to readings, classroom discussions, school observations of teachers and students, conversations with other preservice teachers, and more.  


The intention of this weblog assignment is to help you reflect and further your thinking as you deliberate about issues in education with the intention of connecting them to your lived experiences in school as a student growing up.  The weblog is also a space to reflect upon and explore course readings, content discussed in class, and more.




3. FieldBlog (Writing about your experiences visiting schools)

Following each hour you visit a classroom (with the class and independently) to observe learning activities with children, please document your experiences and observations in a written FieldBlog. These entries are very important and should be completed thoughtfully and patiently as reflective practice begins with the records made of your observations in schools of teaching and learning and the culture of the classroom.


Your FieldBlog should demonstrate what you have been learning in ED 100.  The concepts that are introduced and studied in class should emerge in dialogue with your reflections and observations from your school visits. Explore concepts and ideas developed in course readings and through discussions. Use techniques practiced in class and for courseblog posts. In some instances these concepts may inform or guide your thinking about education and in other instances they may challenge or interrupt your thinking. Be intentional by making specific references to course readings and discussions as you synthesize your field observations with what we have been exploring in class.


By reviewing your FieldBlog about your experiences visiting schools, you should notice changes and growth in your own learning about teaching.  In particular, your FieldBlog should reveal new ways you have learned for noticing, thinking about, and analyzing teaching as not only a learning activity but also as a social and cultural activity. Through reflective practice you can transform information and raw experience into personal understandings about teaching and professional knowledge about the field of education.


Distinguish each post to your FieldBlog with an appropriate title such as: FieldPost1, FieldPost2, etc.


Independent Field Requirement   In addition to your 3 school visits with the class, you will complete 10 hours of field experience on your own.  It is your responsibility to provide Dr. Shutkin with a completed field experience form to verify that this requirement has been met.


Your FieldBlog is your opportunity to examine and insightfully critique your school observations, as well as to enhance your decision-making process regarding the following areas of teacher licensure:


Early Childhood                    PreK – 3rd grade

Middle Childhood                  4th grade – 9th grade

Adolescent/Young Adult       7th grade – 12th grade

Multi-Age                             Kdg. – 12th grade (Foreign Language or P.E.)


The goal of maintaining a FieldBlog is to document and describe everything meaningful and relevant to the education and development of the children that you are preparing to work with in the future!  This is accomplished by reviewing your documentation of your initial observations and continues as you select for focused consideration those events that were most memorable and significant for you.


(+/- 2400 words. Final post is to synthesize preceding posts)


4. Clinical Teaching Experience  (CTE)

Throughout the semester, we will engage in many small group discussions.  At first you will be divided into different groups but eventually you will become an active participant in a single discussion group consisting of three or four (3-4) class members. Each group will be responsible for planning and engaging the whole class in a series of learning experiences (45 minutes) based on the assigned reading(s) for that day.  Readings will be from either of the two books adopted for this class: Educational Foundations or To Teach.


  1. Credit for this required CTE will be based on my assessment of your documentation of this CTE as described, reflected upon and assessed in your CourseBlog. 
  2. A group meeting with Dr. Shutkin in advance of the clinical is mandatory.
  3. Each student participating in a CTE will assess the contributions made to the experience by each member of the group using the collaboration assessment rubric.


Ideas for instructional strategies to use in class


5. Writing Circle and Essay Proposal

Reflecting on our class, its size and the emphases of this course on the field of education and reflective practice, I decided to establish writing circles as a means of supporting everyone during the research and writing process.  Writing circles will include peer review of BlogPosts, FieldPosts and Paper drafts. 


At least one conference with me (Dr. Shutkin) to discuss your proposal is mandatory.


Part 1:  This I Believe Annotated Bibliography* 

For your proposal include 4-6 references. Beneath each reference, write a succinct summary and discussion of expected contribution that the article, chapter, essay, etc. will make to your essay. Each reference needs to be cited using an acceptable bibliographic style such as APA, Chicago or MLA. Please write in the first person.   (+/- 500 words). *Sources from course readings cannot be used for this assignment but they can be used in your final essay.



Part 2:  This I Believe Proposal 

Your goal: to convince your readers (Dr. Shutkin and fellow classmates) that your research topic has value and that you can complete it successfully and on time. (+/-500 words)


Please address the items described below:



What do you believe?  Briefly describe the theme or topic you have in mind within the context of the broad field of Education as you consider what it is that you believe as a philosophy of education. (Two or three paragraphs should suffice).


Problem Statement

What are the problems or issues, hopes or dreams that your belief(s) responds to? Beliefs do not emerge from nothing. They arise out of a lifetime of experiences and learnings and/or situations in which there is a need, a problem that must be solved. What needs, interests and prior knowledge/experiences form a foundation for your research topic? What connections will you make with other topics you know or study? Conversely, as a research paper what "big" question or questions do you have about this topic? What do you want to know; what important content and concepts might you learn about the field of education as a profession, its politics, economics, cultural issues and so forth?


Remember: you must convince your readers that the problem is important and therefore deserves to be addressed. 



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