Course Outline: Education and Schooling

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Course Outline: Education and Schooling
EDUC 4306: Consecutive Program


Education and Schooling (Intermediate/Senior: 36 hours) is designed to enhance the knowledge, understanding, and skill of teacher-candidates in the area of the philosophical, historical, legal, and social contexts of schooling and education. Through readings, dialogue, observation, seminars, and reflection, you will be encouraged to discover the multifaceted nature of modern classroom teaching and to discover and understand who you are as a "teacher". The intent of this course is thus to offer materials and experiences through which a strong foundation for professional teaching can be developed. (Nipissing University Academic Calendar 2010-2011, page 256)


You, the teacher candidate, will:


There is no required textbook for you to purchase, although there may be supplementary course readings assigned throughout the course.


Beginning with the question of "Why do you want to be a teacher?", this unit will provide you, the teacher candidate, with an opportunity to explore some of the bases of your understanding about teaching and learning, and how you may have developed these perspectives over time. Through readings, class activities, and reflection, you will be challenged to closely examine your beliefs and assumptions about what it means to teach and to be a teacher, and consider how these beliefs may have been influenced, and continue to be influenced, by your own life experiences.

Key Concepts & Terms: life map, hidden curriculum, teacher expectations, transformation and empowerment, process of 'becoming a teacher', reflective practice, the successful internship.

"The standards of practice are based on the premises that personal and professional growth is a development process and that teachers move through a variety of career and life stages" (Ontario College of Teachers). Today you are here…tomorrow you will be somewhere else….growth and development is to be seen as positive extensions of new learning, although this does not always come about without dissonance and disillusionment.


You, the teacher candidate, will:


An exploration of the historical development of educational perspectives will assist the teacher candidate in understanding the foundations upon which teaching practice has evolved. Throughout this unit you, the teacher candidate, will be given the opportunity to explore and critically analyze educational philosophies and to examine how these relate to your own personal perspectives about teaching and learning. You will also be asked to reflect upon your personal theories and to examine how these theories impact upon your teaching practices. This unit will help you begin to construct and articulate your ever evolving personal philosophy of education regarding your understanding of the goals of education, the role of the teacher, the image of the learner, and the nature of learning itself.

Key Concepts & Terms: curriculum orientations, philosophical & psychological orientations, theory, pedagogy, practice & praxis, dilemmas of schooling, teaching and social change, becoming a critically reflective practitioner, examination of misconceptions, purpose of education, role of the teacher, image of the learner, nature of learning.


You, the teacher candidate, will:


It is essential that you, as a teacher candidate, be familiar with the various statutes and laws that govern education in Ontario. We will briefly examine and discuss the main laws and policies that impact on the classroom teacher: the Education Act, Safe Schools Act, the Ontario College of Teachers Act, the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and relevant sections of other statutes, such as the Child and Family Services Act.

Key Concepts & Terms: roles and responsibilities, accountability, agent of the board, acts and regulations, foundations and standards of practice, ethics (personal & professional), morality.

"Members of the Ontario College of Teachers…reinforce the rights and responsibilities students have as citizens…know ways to identify and respond to provincial legislation, local policies and procedures and community norms that guide the decisions they make…carry out their duties as outlined in legislation" (Standards of Practice).

"Members of the Ontario College of Teachers in their position of trust and influence maintain professional relationships with students …recognize and respect the privileged nature of the relationship that teachers maintain with students…respect confidential information about students unless disclosure is required by law or personal safety at works…co-operate with professionals from other agencies in the interest of students and as required by law…comply with the Acts and regulations…advise the appropriate people in a professional manner when policies or practices exist that should be reviewed or revised" (Ethical Standards).


You, the teacher candidate, will:


How do social factors impact on schooling? In this unit, you will critically examine: a) the classroom as a social structure and b) the role of the teacher as a facilitator of social interaction and social development.

Key Concepts & Terms: power, status quo, resistance, empowerment, equity, social justice, stereotypes, bias, labeling, deficit thinking, expectancy effects, marginalization, critical theory, emancipation, democratic education, inclusive education.


You, the teacher candidate, will:


Teacher candidates will examine a number of critical issues that influence the teaching and learning process. Through group seminars and class discussions, teacher candidates will explore these issues and their impact on how teachers conceptualize and fulfill their multifaceted roles and responsibilities.

"Members of the Ontario College of Teachers…help students to appreciate their own identity, to learn more of their cultural heritage and to build self-esteem…accommodate the difference in students and respect their diversity…know how differences arising from cultural heritage, language, family, gender, community, and other factors shape experience and impact on learning…know ways to identify and respond to the factors in a diverse and changing society that impact on learning" (Standards of Practice).

Key Concepts & Terms: socio economic status, poverty, gender, sexual identity & orientation, multicultural education, race, heritage, marginalized students, "at risk".


You, the teacher candidate, will:



The assignments for this course have been designed to assist you in your journey towards becoming a "teacher". They are meant to engage you in critical self-reflection and to assist you in understanding your personal and practical experiences both as they occur through this year and into your teaching carrear.

All assignments must be successfully completed and submitted, and students must have attended at least 80% of all scheduled classes in order to complete this course. Late assignments may only be accepted if an extension has been given prior to the due date. Assignments are due the day of the scheduled class of the week indicated. Some assignments are to be submitted by e-mail and others by hard copy. Be sure to keep an electronic copy or a hard copy of every assignment for yourself, just in case one goes astray. Assignments will be returned to students in class. Failure to hand in all assignments or meet the attendance requirements may result in the student not being allowed to write the final test, resulting in a grade of zero being assigned.


You are to submit a representation of your life prior to entering the BEd program highlighting the influences that might have contributed to you deciding to become a teacher. Further details and instructions will be given in class. Submit this initial assignment during the week of September 27-Oct 1 for up to 10 marks. Please put your name and section number on the back. There will be an option to share your life map with the class for those who wish to do so. (If you do not wish your peers to see your Life Map, this will be respected.) All life maps will be returned to students after I review them.

The Life Map is a partial self-assessed assignment for up to a total of 10% of your final course mark. Guidelines for self-assessment will be reviewed in class.


Overview: Four pages maximum, double-spaced, 12 pt font; due the week of January 31st. This assignment is typically based on your December practicum but could be based on experiences in the pre-service program here at Nipissing as well.

Reflective practice is a valuable instrument that can assist you in becoming a lifelong learner. Throughout your journey in education, you will be faced with many challenges and successes. The reflective journal is a professional development tool that is designed to help you understand your frustrations, disappointments or disillusionments, actively assess your own understandings and behaviours and thereby improve the quality of your teaching performance.

What is a Reflective Journal entry?

Critical incident analysis: this approach involves the examination of an event that has presented you with a dilemma. This structured format contains four sections.

  1. The context: This describes and explains the environment in which the dilemma as occurred. The environment includes the grade, size of school, other demographics information, individuals involved and the teaching/learning activity.
  2. The incident: In this section, you describe the events of the dilemma, including behaviors observed and your reactions to those behaviors, yours and others involved. Descriptions of the incident should be as objective as possible and presented like case notes.
  3. The analysis: This section of your writing is important. Your analysis of behaviors and reactions will likely be subjective. The purpose of the analysis is to explore and develop personal understandings of the dilemma, why it arose and how it may be resolved. (Actions, Thoughts, Feelings chart to be reviewed in class).
  4. Your learning: this is the most important section of your writing. Understandings developed through your analysis are examined within the following questions: What has this event and subsequent dilemma meant to me professionally? What might I do in a similar situation, should this dilemma occur again?

Please include your name and section, and the date. Please staple the pages.


Context-Incident: Provides a clear objective description of events, situations, interactions, issues.


Provides a thorough analysis of the events, situations, interactions, issues that stimulated you to write, providing your ideas on why it may have occurred and what factors may have contributed to it, with a specific reference to how you reacted to them.


Describes personal and professional learning derived from the events or issues. Includes what you learned from this experience and from your reaction to it ("I now know from the way that I reacted…", and what you might do if confronted by this situation/event again ("If faced by a situation like this in the future…).


Assignment submitted on time and no longer than four pages double-spaced. It is free of errors (i.e. spelling, grammar) and includes name and section number.




Your task is to articulate your personal philosophy of teaching. Your summary must include an explanation of how your personal philosophy of education will contribute to your teaching practices. This is not your Classroom Management Plan.

Two pages double spaced, maximum, 12 point; due the week of January 10-14. Please include your name and section #.

This summary may also be inserted in your professional portfolio for Methods and may also be similar to the one submitted for the option course Religious Education in the Roman Catholic Separate Schools, but it will be marked for this course according to the marking scheme below.


Provides a clear and detailed outline of your personal philosophy of education, and includes statements regarding the: nature of the learner and how students learn, role of the teacher, issues in education (i.e. diversity and others), and implications of being a professional and what this means. Is connected to the board's mission statement.

10 Marks

Everything within one sentence relates to the topic of the sentence overall. One sentence leads into the other within the same paragraph. Ideas are grouped by related topic/area. Presentation of the philosophy flows from one topic to another in a coherent and related way.

4 Marks

Indicates how this personal philosophy will contribute to your teaching practices. What learning in your classroom will look like?

4 Marks

Assignment submitted on time and is no longer than 2 pages double spaced, 12 point font, is edited and free of errors (i.e. spelling, grammar, punctuation).

2 Marks

Marks will be deducted for errors/omissions.



Seminars will take place throughout the course (dates TBA). The total time for the presentation will typically be between 50-60 minutes. This will be discussed and finalized in class.


During your career as a teacher you will be asked to participate in a variety of professional development activities, such as curriculum writing teams and workshop presentation teams. This assignment is designed to help prepare you for this responsibility. It also allows you and your classmates to research and to become more knowledgeable about a particular issue or topic that is relevant to teaching in today's classrooms. This will help to prepare you for the challenge of meeting your ongoing needs of self directed professional development.

Assignment Description:

  1. Form a collaborative learning group of three to four colleagues (numbers determined by class size). Class time will be set aside to give you the opportunity to discuss options and topics. An appropriate manner in which to assign topics and groups will be discussed and determined in class.
  2. Choose your first, second and third choices from among the topics listed below:
    1. Child abuse: Research indicates that many of the students in our classrooms are, or will become, victims of abuse and/or neglect. Examine how abuse and neglect impact on the learner and the learning process. What are the indicators of abuse? How can teachers make a difference? How can abuse be prevented? What programs currently exist to support teachers' actions? How is child abuse reported and dealt with? Does this vary by region or jurisdiction (i.e., urban/rural, First Nation territories or on "reserves")?
    2. The history of education in Ontario: Current educational practice is rooted in the past. To gain a better understanding of the current context of education we must come to an understanding of the past. How does our current educational system reflect elements of those of our past? Explore the evolution of public, separate and private, and charter schools in Ontario, where they are today and what they may look like in the future.
    3. The governance of education in Ontario: Examine and provide an overview of the major stakeholders in education today. Explore and discuss who should have decision making capacities in determining educational policy-Ministry of Education, EQAO, local trustees, College of Teachers, community members, board personnel, parents, teachers' federations (both EFTO, OECTA, OSSTF & OTF). What are the roles of each of these bodies and in what areas should each of these bodies make policy decisions.
    4. The history of First Nations people and current issues in the education of persons of native ancestry: What are some of the important historical facts, as they relate to the education of First Nations peoples, that teachers should be aware of and consider in their practice of teaching? Who are the Indigenous peoples in Ontario today, and where do they go to school? What are their educational options? What are the most recent indicators of their levels of school achievement? What can educators, most of whom are non-Aboriginal, do to create inclusive classrooms and encourage high achievement for Aboriginal students?
    5. Diversity: Canada's classrooms have been and continue to be increasingly diverse. Explore the implications on classrooms and teaching of increased diversity arising from cultural or ethnic diversity, mainstreaming of exceptional students, recognition of individual learning style preferences, etc. How can teachers, most of who are white, middle class, and without exceptionalities, create inclusive classrooms that play a role in overcoming the biases and prejudices that exist in society? What do teachers need to know to adequately meet the needs of today's diverse classroom?
    6. Sexual orientation: Issues related to ones sexual orientation (heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender) are contentiously debated in political, religious, as well as social circles. How does sexual orientation impact education and classroom practice? What are some of the issues teachers will typically be faced with in this regard? What should we as educators be doing to address issues of sexual orientation in the classroom?
    7. Violence/bullying in our schools: Violence/bullying in schools (student to student, student to teacher, teacher to student, parent to teacher) are a reality in today's classrooms. How is violence/bullying defined? Why are these such a concern today? What are teachers called upon to do to prevent, respond to, and help eliminate violence/bullying in the classroom, in the school, and in society at large?
    8. Gender issues in education: Historically, curriculum and instructional strategies have in many ways been gender biased. For instance, some educators still have the perception that males are more proficient at learning mathematics and science than are females. To what extent is gender bias in schools a real problem or an imagined one? How can teachers, most of whom are now female, help to eliminate gender bias in the classroom and in the school?
    9. Poverty and the students of our schools: How is poverty defined in Canada? What is the prevalence of poverty in Ontario? How is it affecting the students in our schools? How are the statistics for educational achievement and outcome for different socio economic groups of peoples similar or different? What can schools, and teachers do to make learning more inclusive? What learning materials, resources, and community supports are available?
    10. Early School Leavers: "drop outs", " push outs", and "pull outs": The school completion rates in Ontario and Canadian schools in general, consistently show that we continue to under serve anywhere from 25-30% of our school population. This topic will explore reasons for the alarming rates of early school leavers and shed light on what we as educators can, and are being called to do to affect change in this regard.
    11. The Future of Education and Schooling: Alternative paradigms and options for schooling:Many jurisdictions have significantly expanded their understanding of the process of schooling in response to new technologies, globalization, and the demands of corporate and public interest groups. This topic focuses on alternative paradigms for delivery of education and challenges us to re-think much of what we have taken for granted as the most effective pedagogy for so long.
  3. Research your topic: Your group is expected to gain knowledge of your topic and to share this with your classmates. The level of knowledge must be meaningful and practical to you as well as to your audience. Provide a list of references and the "best 3" internet sites you found that may be reviewed for further information.
  4. Presentation Format: The format of your presentation is your choice. Do keep in mind that the effectiveness of your presentation will increase with the participation of the audience. Also keep in mind that the use of a variety of media will also heighten interest.
  5. Conferencing: All seminar groups are to meet with me at least two weeks prior to the presentation date. A mutual meeting time between all sections will be determined in advance. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss format and content of the presentation and to answer any questions you may have regarding your specific topic.
  6. The day before the seminar begins, please e-mail me a copy of your presentation materials including any PowerPoint, handouts, group tasks, etc.
  7. Once the seminar is report on these following three questions: "What went well? What didn't go as well as you had anticipated and why? What would you do differently next time and why?" E-mail your post presentation review to me within two days (this is your group self assessment consisting of around five comments in response to the above questions and a self assigned mark out of 5).


Group Presentation

  • Applies effective teaching techniques and provided an informative, dynamic, meaningful and relevant presentation(15)
  • At least 10 minutes of small/large group discussion/activity (6)
  • Effective use of presentation technology (4)
  • Post-presentation review- group self-assessment
    - the same mark for the whole group (5)

Up to 30 Marks



There will be a short, in-class test on school law, professional standards of practice, and current issues in education the week of April 11-15. This will be worth 20% of your final mark.





Assignment 1: Life Map

Week of Sept 27- Oct 1st


Assignment 2: Reflective Journal Based on December Practicum

Week of Jan 31-Feb 4


Assignment 3: Summary of your Personal Philosophy of Education

Week of January 10-14


Assignment 4: Group Seminar



Assignment 5: Final Test

Week of April 11-15th





Academic Regulations, including Attendance requirements for this course, are listed on pages 240-244 in the Nipissing University Academic Calendar, 2010-2011.

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