Purpose the Secondary Professional Core Level
The purpose of the Secondary Core Level is to prepare candidate for student teaching. In this level there are 5 classes: (EDUC 3220) Foundations in Diversity, (EDUC 3265) Exceptional Student, (EDUC 3315) Media Integration For Secondary Teachers, (EDUC 3900) Preparing, Teaching, and Assessing Instruction, and (EDUC 3935) Reading & Writing Across the Secondary Curriculum. The candidates come from their content areas with the course work completed in their major and minor. Some will have completed methods course(s) associated with their content they will teach. Then in the Secondary Core Level, candidates are placed in teaching pairs (or will works alone) of either their major or minor content for the purpose of planning a unit of instruction under the assistance of a cooperating teacher and the instructors in the core level. Candidates plan, design, teach the unit, evaluate its effectiveness, and reflect on their experience in this site. One main concern at this point is for candidates to begin to see students. Therefore the courses of Exceptional Student and Foundations in Diversity, teach about the student.
The diversity courses focuses on teaching candidates to not only learn about diversity in all of its contexts in schools, but how to adapt lessons for those diverse learners. Many are ELL students and require consideration for the learning of the language of English as they are taught content. The integration of students with exceptionalities (LD, ADD, ADHD, G&T and/or others) into classrooms requires teachers to adapt lessons to meet the needs of all learners. Strategies are taught such as backward design and universal lesson design to assist our candidates to accommodate diverse students’ needs so they can be successful. Our candidates need to know how to deal with diverse populations and diverse students’ needs in their classrooms.
The Preparing, Teaching, and Assessing Instruction, the Reading and Writing Across the Secondary Curriculum, and the Media Integration for Secondary Teachers courses form the basis of the unit (TWS) planning. Our goal is to bring all the content areas candidates together in one setting so they can begin to listen to each other because cross-discipline planning is now in place in most jr. high and senior high schools. In schools currently, the structure is quite different from what it has been in the past. Cohorts or academies are being used and it is with our courses that we can have them discuss issues and apply the strategies we teach into many different circumstances. Media integration is a part of all courses and should be planned to enhance both teaching and learning.
The purpose for the block schedule is two fold. First to make sure students can get the courses they need. Within the MWF (3 hour) block and TTH (2 hours 15 minutes) block, all courses are taught. The blocks are offered both in the morning and in the afternoon. The second reason is to allow for teaching in the school. The block allows the candidates and the cooperating teachers at the sites to find at least one class period that the team can teach in the school site (hopefully 2 classes periods is best). For the most part, we use the junior high schools because the License is 6-12 and this may be the only time our students would teach in a junior high school setting. The EDUC 3910 Practicum course allows 2 credit hours for this experience. Grades will be part of the practicum.