Standard 1

Standard 1: 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; I was expected to not only synthesize, analyze, and write about every different course I took in college but I was challenged to reflect upon the importance of being a well-rounded individual and seek out the meaning of what truly a liberal arts education consists of. 

(b)Understand and appreciate free inquiry in English, literature, humanities,social sciences, mathematics, natural or physical sciences, and the arts;  Throughout my education classes at the liberal arts Institute of Albion College I was exposed to many classes that promoted and encouraged free inquiry thinking and inquiry based instruction.  My participation in my Pedagogy of Elementary Mathematics and Science stressed the importance of inquiry based lessons in the classroom.  We focused on strategies to promote inquiry and free self-thinking in our future classrooms through lesson plans in our field placements, discussion with peers, and learning it in our own classroom. 

(c)  Understand global and international perspectives of the disciplines;  At Albion College we are required to take a Freshman Seminar class which many of the classes travel globally and learn about different types of cultures within our world. Adding to our liberal arts education and furthering my perspectives on and about different types of disciplining and different methods of learning in different parts of the world.

 (d)  Understand the tenets of a free, democratic, and pluralistic society; Throughout my education classes the importance of a free, democratic, and pluralistic society was stressed every day.  At Albion College, diversity is looked upon with great light and seen as a true way of gaining insights on different cultures and traditions.  Fostering high ideals of individualism and rights has become evident in my college career at Albion, where students are encouraged to voice their opinion and become more than just a number but an important individual learner that will not fall through the cracks.  In my education 202 class read the book “Warriors Don’t Cry”, this book was about the Little Rock Nine from the viewpoint of one of the young African American girls that was one of the first nine to integrate schools.  It shows how important every individual’s rights are no matter what color they are and demonstrates the long struggle that many people have gone through to have an education.  This is something that students and I take for granted every day.  Along with reading this book and having open discussions about it as a whole class, we also studied students with culturally different backgrounds than ourselves and conducted case studies on said students and compared and analyzed different methods of effective teaching in the classroom for the free, pluralistic, and democratic society in which we live.

 (e) Understand and respect varying points of view and the influence of one’s own and others’ ethics and values; Going back to the case study, this helped me respect and understand different points of view and different influences that a person’s culture and background may have on their character and their actions and learning ability in the classroom.  

(f)  Understand and respect the role, rights, and value of the individual in a free democratic society;  In Education 202 we studied a lot about the rights of individuals when it comes to education.  Every person has a right to learn.  It is part of the constitution and one of the great parts of being an American is that we live in a free democratic society.  In our Foundational Contexts of Education (202) class we saw how African Americans had to fight strongly for that right to have equal and fair linked with education and together as a whole class we inquired our ideals and opinions on the struggles that the African Americans had to struggle through.

(g)  Understand technology and its use for gathering, processes, evaluating, analyzing, and communicating ideas and information;  Throughout my education classes we were challenged and expected to learn how to implement technology in the classroom.  I used these methods in the classroom and through my student teaching process I learned how to use different websites to assess student’s progress such as Data Director.  I also used many websites, blogs, videos, and technology within the Unit Plan I created relating to Social Studies.  Here is the link to the website we used in class to learn about the Underground Railroad.   http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bhistory/underground_railroad/

(h)Understand the similarities and differences within our culture that support the importance of common good and responsible citizenship within our American society;   In my Boundaries into Elementary Schools Education class (Maymester) I was able to directly connect my high ideals about the necessity of the common good of people and being a responsible citizen into a unit plan.  Our theme was community, so I was able to create lessons that had students learn about different ways to beautify our community and put those ideas into action by cleaning up parks, planting flowers, or planting a tree within our own classroom’s community backyard. Emphasizing the question to students, “What do you see when you look outside your window?”  a lot of students responded with pretty trees and green grass.  As citizens it is our social responsibility to keep the view out of our windows looking just like that and that was a chance for me to learn more about it as well as teaching students the importance of the common good of people within our American society.

(i)  Understand the constitutions and histories of the and Michigan and the United States;  While student teaching, in my fourth grade classroom I taught Social Studies.  This gave me a first- hand experience to learn about the constitutions and histories of the United States and especially Michigan.  It is important to understand our rights and our history and what has brought us as a community of people living in Michigan and the United States to the point we are at.  In my unit plan we learned about the history of the Civil War and its effects on our everyday life.  Making connections with the Underground Railroad through reading “January’s Sparrow” helped students and I get a better understanding of some of the most historical times in Michigan.

(j)  Understand and respect individual differences, including the differences identified within the State Board of Education (SBE) Universal Education Vision and Principles;  My very first education class taught me how to understand individual differences of students and to see how those different affect their learning style.  Through my Child Youth Study in my Education 201 class I was able to get a closer look at and better see a student for who they are.  I noticed, observed, and analyzed one student’s actions and behaviors over a course of three weeks.  I researched and studied how those actions directly affect, whether positively or negatively, their success in the classroom and their values and differences as individual learners.

(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).   Throughout my field placements, Maymester, and Student Teaching I believe I have demonstrated the importance and my abilities in necessary for effective communication in the classroom through speech, writing, and different styles to different audiences.  As one of my modes required for my liberal arts education I took a public speaking class and I learned how to carry myself in front of a group of people.  I also put into use my social skills and effective speech techniques that engaged and interested the listeners to reach the audience and have each of them understand my purpose of what I was saying.