11.129 | Fall 2011 | Undergraduate

Educational Theory and Practice I


Course Meeting Times

Seminar: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


There is no prerequisite, but there is a corequisite of 11.124 Introduction to Teaching and Learning Mathematics and Science. (A corequisite is a course that must be or can be taken concurrently with a given course.)

The MIT/Wellesley Scheller Teacher Education Program

The MIT/Wellesley Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP) prepares MIT and Wellesley College students to become teachers who are:

  • Competent to teach in their field and not afraid to challenge established norms
  • Able to bridge the boundaries among disciplines
  • Eager to help students develop the desire to question and explore that is so much a part of the MIT experience.

Main Activities

  • Reflect and write about your own educational experience both as a student and as a teacher.
  • Observe and work in a secondary school classroom.
  • Keep a weekly reflective journal (paper or electronic). Write about what you observe in the classroom(s). Be sure to include any questions/thoughts you have about what you see. These can be brought up in class discussion and/or your reflective papers. Date your entries and be specific about what you observe. Also keep a pre-practicum log of your visits (form provided).
  • Demonstrate competence in the area of curriculum design and a variety of teaching issues such as setting student expectations, classroom management techniques, discipline, grading policies, assessment strategies, conducting the lab part of a course, curriculum/time issues (depth vs. breadth), being an effective communicator in the classroom and parent communications.
  • Demonstrate competence in the area of adolescent development and effective communication skills.
  • Demonstrate competence in your subject content in terms of the following: State Frameworks, MCAS, MTEL and a variety of typical student textbooks.
  • Become familiar with the Professional Teacher Standards.
  • Demonstrate competence in the area of special education.
  • Design and teach a mini-lesson which will be followed by group feedback.
  • Design a major curriculum unit that you will use in your student teaching in January
    • The unit should include a table of contents, a general overview of the unit (one paragraph), a daily calendar stating learning objectives, reference to alignment with State Curriculum Frameworks, outline of what is to be taught day by day, homework assignments, relevant demonstrations and labs, and an assessment component(s).

Course Requirements

  • Class attendance.
  • Field work in a local secondary school (50 hours for the semester). Detail your weekly observations in your reflective journal. Keep your written pre-practicum log up to date.
  • Assignments will include the following:
    • Written reflections (journal)
    • Selected readings (three major texts). Topics deal with issues such as student learning, adolescent development, subject matter knowledge, classroom management techniques, assessment issues, Curriculum Frameworks, MCAS student testing, MTEL teacher testing, and planning for your January teaching assignment.
    • Required documents for completion of licensure process
    • Two major reflective papers
      • Mini-lesson
      • Major curriculum project
  • Workshops on special education


Your grade is based on your completing all course requirement. The components are:

  • Pre-practicum work (high school observation and journal)
  • Mini-lesson
  • Documents for licensure
    • Personal statement, unofficial transcript, faculty recommendation, subject knowledge advising, pre-practicum log
  • Reflection papers
  • Curriculum design project
  • Class engagement (Points will be deducted for such things as absences, late attendance/early departures, being unprepared for class and lack of contribution to class discussion. For class absences, “equivalent” work must be submitted within seven days of absence. Work must be pre-approved by me.

Regarding all written assignments: Papers must be typed and stapled or bound. Papers are due at the beginning of class. Work handed in late will be considered late and will be downgraded a full grade.

Grading rubric (PDF)

Expectations and Trust in the Classroom (PDF)

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2011