This Course at MIT

This Course at MIT pages provide context for how the course materials published on OCW were used at MIT. They are part of the OCW Educator initiative, which seeks to enhance the value of OCW for educators.

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 11.131 Educational Theory and Practice III as it was taught by Professor Reen Gibb in Spring 2012.

11.131 is the final course in a sequence that leads to teacher certification in Massachusetts. The course concentrates on the theory and psychology associated with student learning. Assignments include readings from educational literature, classroom observations accompanied by written reflections, presentations on class topics, and practice teaching.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

  • To prepare to teach in school settings where there is a lot of diversity (e.g., in terms of socioeconomic status, academic abilities and motivations, race, ...)
  • To analyze their own learning styles, then move on to appreciate the large variety of students and learning styles that make up a typical classroom.
  • To learn a wide range of teaching techniques in order to determine their own voice in the classroom.
  • To design and evaluate curricula using curriculum design and assessment tools.
  • To become familiar with state standards for students and the MTEL tests for teacher licensure.

Possibilities for Further Study/Careers

Careers in teaching; some students apply for Teach for America.

 

Curriculum Information

Prerequisites

Requirements Satisfied

Offered

  • Every spring

The Classroom

  • A view of a classroom from the front, with four rows of tables and chairs behind the tables.

    11.131 is taught in a standard classroom with chalkboards and rows of tables and desks.

 

Student Information

On average, about 10 students take this course each year.

Breakdown by Year

Mostly seniors, some juniors.

Breakdown by Major

Varies by year; typically includes students from across math, science, and engineering.

Typical Student Background

Interested in teaching, idealistic.

Ideal Class Size

A class of this type should not have more than 12 students. This is a seminar class in which we place students in schools; not only are there a limited number of spots in schools, but time goes by very quickly during class as members share their questions and experiences and conduct model lessons.

 
 

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In class

3 hours per week
  • Two class sessions per week; 1.5 hours per session
  • Mandatory attendance

In-class activities

  • Activities to improve students’ communication skills and teaching experience, such as presentations and discussions
  • Resumé writing and interview practice, to prepare students for obtaining a teaching job
  • Guest speakers, who addressed a range of topics such as first-year teaching experiences, education leadership, administrators’ points of view, and student motivation
 

Out of Class

9 hours per week
  • Student teaching
  • Classroom observation
  • Journaling
  • Interviews with experienced instructors
  • Special project to benefit the schools at which students were doing student teaching
  • Composition of a course expectation handout
  • Resume composition
  • The hours here reflect the Spring 2012 offering of this course. Offerings of this course from July 2014 onward include 12 hours per week of out of class work.
 

Semester Breakdown

WEEK M T W Th F
1 No classes throughout MIT. Class session. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
2 No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
3 No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
4 No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
5 No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
6 No session scheduled. Class session, assignment due. No session scheduled. Class session. No session scheduled.
7 No session scheduled. Guest speaker in class; assignment due. No session scheduled. Guest speaker in class. No session scheduled.
8 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
9 No session scheduled. Class session, assignment due. No session scheduled. Guest speaker in class; assignment due. No session scheduled.
10 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Guest speaker in class; assignment due. No session scheduled.
11 No classes throughout MIT. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Guest speaker in class. No session scheduled.
12 No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled. Lecture session. No session scheduled.
13 No session scheduled. Student presentations in class. No session scheduled. Student presentations in class; assignment due. No session scheduled.
14 No session scheduled. Student presentations in class; assignment due. No session scheduled. Student presentations in class. No session scheduled.
15 No session scheduled. Student presentations in class. No session scheduled. Student presentations in class. No classes throughout MIT.
16 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
Displays the color and pattern used on the preceding table to indicate dates when classes are not held at MIT. No classes throughout MIT
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when class sessions are held. Class session
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when student presentations are held. Student presentations
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when no class session is scheduled. No class session scheduled
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when guest speakers are scheduled. Guest speaker in class
Displays the symbol used on the preceding table which indicates dates when assignments are due. Assignment due
 

Instructor Insights

My public high school teaching job is a continuous training ground for the MIT classes I teach.

—Professor Reen Gibb

Below, instructor Reen Gibb describes how her experience as a teacher has influenced her teaching of this course, and how this course has evolved over time.

Active Teachers Teaching Teacher Ed

I believe teacher preparation courses benefit from being taught, at least in part, by active teachers.

The university environment is so different from k-12 schools; it is good to have a dose of reality. My thirty years of teaching experience in a variety of subjects and grades has been my best preparation for teaching 11.131. My public high school teaching job is a continuous training ground for the MIT classes I teach, providing ample everyday examples as well as a constant reality check. The classes I teach at MIT also enrich my high school classes; through the MIT classes, I continue to learn, read, and discuss in ways that keep me more actively engaged in learning than I would be otherwise.

Other roles that have prepared me for teaching 11.131 include serving as department chair, working for the College Board in redesigning the AP chemistry curriculum, developing tests, grading, and leading the team that wrote the manual that certified Brookline High School to become a teacher training center.

Course Evolution

This course was originally based on a Wellesley College education course. Much has changed over so far.

Some anticipated future changes are

  • Increased use of technology to support student learning, and
  • More student teaching hours as required by the state.