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.
Careers in teaching; some students apply for Teach for America.
Mostly seniors, some juniors.
Varies by year; typically includes students from across math, science, and engineering.
Interested in teaching, idealistic.
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.
During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:
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.
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.
This course was originally based on a Wellesley College education course. Much has changed over so far.
Some anticipated future changes are