Archive for the ‘C. Standard 1’ Category

Standard 1.F

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

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

 

I first became passionate about individuals’ roles in democratic America when I took AP Government as a junior in high school. Our teacher really challenged us, and by the end of the school year, I had begun to develop my own views on relevant policy issues. This one class got me interested in further studying social studies, and eventually led me to pursue a Political Science minor and Public Policy and Service concentration at my AP teacher’s alma mater.

 

Throughout my experience at Albion, I have come to further appreciate the individual strengths that each person brings to our society. My English and other art-centered classes have helped me to further appreciate the eccentricity of identity, culture, and diversity within our country, while my Political Science and Ford Institute courses have helped me to further understand the efficacy of individual involvement in current social and political issues. I feel as though my experiences have helped me to be open-minded to diversity, and passionate about the importance of individuality (and expression of this individuality) within our country.

 

In my three years in the Education department at Albion College, I have gradually been developing my own personal philosophy of teaching. Included in this philosophy is the belief that every student has the ability and right to a stimulating and challenging education. Just like in our society, every individual within a classroom brings his or her own strengths to the overall class dynamics. A classroom should be an environment in which students feel safe to express their own experiences, beliefs, and ideas within their learning community. As teachers, we have the social responsibility of showing students that their individuality is valued and needed.

 

During my student teaching, in celebration of Constitution Day, I had my students do an activity centered on the Core Democratic Values. Students had to pick one Core Democratic Value and draw a picture of how they saw (or didn’t see) that CDV in one of the four short stories we had read the same week. Many of the illustrations that students did touched on deep issues within the stories, and helped students to make connections to overall issues of humanity within the literature. In the future, I would definitely do a similar activity. I think that incorporating civic lessons into all content areas is vital, especially to adolescents who will be entering the adult world within a couple of years.

 

Artifacts:

          Philosophy of Teaching

         Constitution Day activity:

 Constitution Day activity sheet 1

Constitution Day activity sheet 2

Constitution Day activity sheet 3

Standard 1.A

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

“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.”

 

As a student at a liberal arts college, most of my coursework has been writing-intensive. I have been able to approach many issues relevant to today from several angles because of my variety of classes through Albion’s liberal arts requirements. Throughout the past four years, I feel as though I have grown as a learner in my ability to deeply understand specific content areas, as well as synthesize information across disciplines.

 

In my English coursework, I have had to analyze literature in different contexts, such as social, historical, and cultural implications. This has helped me to be able to look deeper into literature, as well as thematic messages that authors may be conveying through their art. In my Political Science and Ford Institute coursework, I have connected historical and present-day events and theory to their implications to current events and policy issues. My liberal arts classes (such as “Earth Resources and Environment”) have lent different perspectives on current-day issues like climate change. Overall, I have learned about individual disciplines, as well as conceptual themes that connect content areas. My classes have also provided me with tools to be able to critically analyze and comprehend given information or ideas on many levels.

 

During my Maymester (“Boundary Crossing”) teaching experience in May of 2008, I found my liberal arts education so helpful when teaching a 7th grade social studies unit centered on the environment and civic engagement. During the 3-week research-based unit plan that I created and taught, students researched individual Olympic athletes from all over the world, as well as their respective countries, culture, and place within a global society concerned about climate change and pollution. Part way into my teaching experience, I realized that most of my students did not understand what climate change actually was. Because of my geology course at Albion College, I was able to scientifically explain the phenomenon of “global warming” in language that my students could understand.

 

During my student teaching experience, my students wrote persuasive essays as their main assessment to two of the novels we read in class, The Giver by Lois Lowry and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. For this essay, students were required to compose four-paragraph essays that argued whether the main characters from each novel were the heroes because they were born with the natural qualities to become heroes, or because they were nurtured to become the heroes by the end of the novels. This assessment measured students’ abilities to make connections to deeper thematic issues within each novel, as well as connections between the two novels themselves. Throughout each of the novels and the persuasive essay, I feel as though my liberal arts education provided me the background to be able to guide students to dig deeper into the material, make connections, and then synthesize information in written form.

 

Artifacts:

          unit-plan

– Nature vs. Nurture persuasive paper grading rubric:

         

Standard 1

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

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.”

 

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*

 

Most classes at Albion College are writing intensive, and so each of my classes have further built my ability to critically analyze and synthesize ideas.

 

Some specific types of courses that have really challenged me in this aspect are: literature courses, Political Science courses, and my “Great Issues” classes for the Honors Institute.

 

 

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

 

Through my English major and Political Science minor, I have been able to explore my own viewpoints in matters related to English, literature, humanities, social sciences, and the arts.

 

Through fulfilling my course requirements for the Modes and Categories required by Albion College, I have been able to explore many social matters related to mathematics and the natural or physical sciences. (Specific courses: Great Issues in Science: The Science of Food & Cooking, Geology: Earth Resources & Environment)

 

 

c. Understand global and international perspectives of the disciplines

 

My coursework in English/Language Arts (specifically Spanish 201 & 202, Women & Literature, British Literature, and Greek & Roman Literature) helped me to gain global perspective on the art of language and literature.

 

My coursework in the Humanities (specifically Great Issues in Humanities and Leadership Ethics) helped me to further understand global and international perspectives on ethical and moral issues that unite all humans.

 

My coursework in the Social Sciences (specifically Great Issues in Social Sciences, Anthropology 101, Political & Social Movements, Public Policy Analysis, and International Relations) has helped me to conceptualize cultural, political, and social issues in other countries, as well as America’s interaction with these issues (through foreign policy and aid, and alliances).

 

My coursework in the Natural or Physical Sciences (specifically The Science of Food & Cooking, and Earth Resources & Environment) has given me the basic scientific knowledge to understand certain issues we are facing today, such as obesity and climate change.

 

My coursework in the Arts (specifically Great Issues in Fine Arts, and literature courses) has helped me to come to appreciate art as a phenomenon that transcends national boundaries.

 

 

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

 

Through my Political Science courses, I have been able to explore the meaning of democracy both in a national and international context.

 

Through many of my English courses, I have been able to explore some of the social issues relating to true democracy and equality.

 

During my student teaching experience, I had students do an activity centered on the Core Democratic Values in celebration of Constitution Day.

 

 

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

 

My Anthropology 101 course helped me to see norms in other cultures and realize the constraints of ethnocentrism.

 

My coursework for the Ford Institute helped me to further develop my own views on policy issues, as well as learn about others’ viewpoints on such issues.

 

My English coursework helped me to indirectly experience things that authors have experienced, and helped me to further understand the influence one’s own experiences have on how a story is told.

 

International Relations helped me to further understand others’ (classmates, as well as other countries’) views on international policy.

 

 

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

 

Coursework for Ford Institute helped me to further realize the importance that all of our individual passions have in helping certain policy issues to get addressed.

 

English coursework (specifically “Women & Literature” and “The Problems of Race in American Literature”) helped me to indirectly experience stories of discrimination and its effects.

 

 

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

 

English 348: The English Language helped me to further understand the impact that technology has on our language use and communication.

 

Sec. Ed: Boundary Crossing & Student Teaching Seminar (Maymester) gave me further experience in utilizing on-line technology to present ideas and information and create online learning communities.

 

All courses have encouraged on-line research and the use of computer programs to organize and present information.

 

 

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

 

English coursework has helped me to see the experiences of individuals in present-day and historical America—their struggles, their victories, and how American culture influenced their lives (and vice versa).

 

Political Science 367: American Political Thought focused on foundational American theorists, such as Whitman, Thoreau, Emerson, Lincoln, and others, and helped me to further understand the context of American democracy and its implications to individuals’ lives.

 

 

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

 

Through my Political Science coursework, I have interacted with the Constitution and its implications to certain historical and present-day situations.

 

During my coursework for the Ford Institute, I have discussed the implications that specific aspects of the Constitution have on public policy issues.

 

 

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

 

English coursework has helped me to read about experiences of others who may have had different experiences due to race, gender, time period, social class, or country.

 

Education coursework has prepared me to understand the viewpoints of those with learning and other disabilities.

 

Political Science and Ford Institute coursework has helped me to understand the viewpoints of individuals with different moral, ethical, or religious beliefs.

 

 

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)

 

All coursework has helped me to sharpen my skills as a critical thinker, writer, and speaker.

 

Creative writing courses have helped me to explore different facets of expressing experiences and viewpoints.