Course Topics - Education
What are some of the changes happening in your discipline that you find particularly interesting?
When we look at the history of teaching, it goes all the way back to when Homo erectus was walking the Savannah, giving their children the educational tools they needed to survive. I will be looking at changes in education, but on a very broad scale. I will focus on how the need to educate children has not changed; the only thing to change is the purpose.
What will you focus on with the students?
I will focus on how the content of what we teach is very different from when schools were first seen in Babylonian times. We see that our methods, though, are not so different. There are records of a child transcribing notes from a tablet, much like we see students doing today when taking notes from a power point. Ultimately, what we teach has changed, while the how and why have stayed very much the same.
What do you want them to learn about your field?
I want my students to learn that by becoming teachers, we are part of a long history of teaching that causes our species to survive. Now, with the help of technology, we have any information we need at our fingertips. With this tool, teachers can help education take that next step forward in helping students learn everything they need to survive in this evolving world.
On Pedagogy and Collaboration
University 222 presents many opportunities for the campus, faculty, and students, from the GMC venue to the class size, from your collaboration as deans to the subject matter itself.
Given all of the above, what pedagogies will you employ to engage students and achieve your learning objectives?
Some of the pedagogies I use are lecturing to the students and breaking up the enormous class with small discussion groups. One tool I am particularly fond of is “joint productive activities”, which are projects where students work together to create one final project together. For this class, students will study some change that has occurred in schools. Together, we will create a joint education timeline with primary documents and rationales. After they finish their research, each final product will be posted to a website, and all of the projects will create a timeline of change throughout the existence of schools. All students will also prepare a proposal to make schools a better place and then will review others. The top rated projects will be brought forth and discussed more in depth.
What’s it like teaching to 750 students?
The best instructive tool we have as teachers is giving feedback to students, a very hard thing to do for a class of seven hundred and fifty. Thankfully, with an army of TAs and assignments like the “joint productive” activities, each student can feel like they are contributing to the entire class. I have taught large classes in the past and I am confident that the students will not feel like just another face in the crowd.
In a broad sense, what opportunities are you excited about out of this class?
I am excited to show students what a great job it is to be a teacher. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to engage kids and make a difference in their education. Even though I am the Dean of Education, I still consider myself a teacher. From Homo erectus teaching their children to the high-tech classrooms of today, school is a part of human nature. This class is a great way to show the students of Sonoma State University that by becoming a teacher, you can become a part of this integral aspect of human life.