SUBJECT MATTER KNOWLEDGE-BASE IN GENERAL AND LIBERAL EDUCATION
An understanding and appreciation of general and liberal arts including English, literature, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, natural or physical sciences, and the arts, and the ability to:

a. Synthesize, analyze, reflect upon, and write with clarity and structure about ideas, information, and data from a general and liberal education, and the relationships between the various disciplines

During my student teaching, I was responsible for assigning/teaching my students how to write a research paper.  In order to get students more interested in the assignment and connected to their work, they were able to choose their own topic (with restrictions).  Most students were able to apply their English skills to another discipline in doing so. 

b. Understand and appreciate free inquiry in English, literature, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, natural or physical sciences, and the arts;

As a pre-discussion strategy, I would often ask my students to silently think and write questions about the homework or class in general before we began discussion.  The strategy allowed students to ask questions about historical context or other disciplines as they related to their reading.   

c. Understand global and international perspectives of the disciplines;

In January 2010, I travelled to Noisy-le-Roi, France to pilot an exchange for the Education Department at Albion College.  While in France, I conducted a comparative analysis of architecture and classroom design between the United States and France.  I used my findings during my student teaching placement when designing/choosing learning spaces for my students as presented in the power point presented at the Student Teaching Capstone Symposium. 

d. Understand the tenets of a free, democratic, and pluralistic society;

While students read “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau, we compared the rights and responsibilities of citizens in Thoreau’s time to today.  Specifically, we compared the attitudes toward the Mexican-American War and slavery to the current health care crisis in discussions. 

e. Understand and respect varying points of view and the influence of one’s own and others’ ethics and values;

Often during student teaching, I would take polls on opinions of ethical issues during discussions (no student was forced to participate).  Then, students would be asked to think about/explain a viewpoint contrary to their own in order for students to develop a deeper understanding of their own viewpoint.   

f. Understand and respect the role, rights, and value of the individual in a free democratic society;

A main rule during class discussions is to never deprecate the opinion of another student.  Challenging and questioning was instead suggested and encouraged.  I often took on the role of a “class referee” during discussions to ensure opinions and comments were respected.

g. Understand technology and its use for gathering, processing, evaluating, analyzing, and communicating ideas and information;

In order for students to obtain pertinent background information about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, students used the internet to complete a webquest.

h. Understand the similarities and differences within our culture that support the importance of common good and responsible citizenship within our American society;

During my internship with the Grand Blanc High School administration, I attended and participated in many meetings involving teaching students about citizenship and I was responsible for being a model of good citizenship in my attendance and presence at school functions.  

i. Understand the constitutions and histories of the United States and Michigan;

I often challenged my students to take on historical prospective when reading texts that were written in a direct response to the situations of the time.  For example, when reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, students were taught about the abolishment of slavery and the idea of freedom in the United States. 

j. Understand and respect individual differences, including the differences identified within the State Board of Education (SBE) Universal Education Vision and Principles; and

As a student teacher, I quickly learned to respond to not only the first answer a student shouted out, but head nods in the back of the class and students who took notes but did not speak.  In order to get more students participating in class, I used different pre-discussion activities such as writing and brainstorming, which gave students who think more slowly the opportunity to participate in discussions just as much as those who think of answers quickly. 

k.    Demonstrate the abilities and skills necessary for effective communication in speech, writing, and multimedia using content, form, voice, and style appropriate to the audience and purpose (e.g., to reflect, persuade, inform, analyze, entertain, inspire).

While teaching, I made sure to use all of the resources in my classroom, such as the chalkboard and media cart, which were placed in different areas in the classroom.  The placement and use of the resources allowed me to continuously move about the classroom and keep different kinds of learners engaged.

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