Course Meeting Times

Seminar: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


Course Overview

This course concentrates on the theory and psychology associated with student learning. Topics include educational theory, educational psychology, and theories of learning. Assignments include readings from educational literature, written reflections on classroom observations, presentations on class topics, and practice teaching. Classroom observation is a key component.

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.
  • Qualify for an initial license to teach in Massachusetts.

Main Activities

  • Continue teaching one class through mid March.
  • Locate and use outside resources (e.g. journals, web, other texts) to support your teaching.
  • Seek ways to use technology to enhance your instruction.
  • Journal your teaching experience. The journal will provide the basis for your final reflective paper.
  • Complete the Preservice Performance Assessment Practicum (PDF) form.
  • Observe and interview two experienced instructors at your school who teach heterogeneously grouped classes. Write a paper describing the classroom observations and your interview with the instructor. Be sure to include what you learned. Address the question of heterogeneous grouping from your perspective, from the teacher’s perspective and from the perspective of three articles on this subject, pro and con.
  • Complete a special project that benefits students and/or school at which you did your student teaching.
  • Compose a course expectation handout for your students, detailing your expectations, rules and procedures.
  • Compose your resume for the purpose of obtaining a teaching job.

Course Requirements

  • Class attendance.
  • Finish your field work. Detail your weekly teaching in your reflective journal. Keep your written practicum log up to date.
  • Complete assignments. (For details, see the Assignments section.)


Your grade is based on you completing the “Course Requirements” as listed above. The grading criteria are:

  1. Exceptionally good performance demonstrating a superior understanding of the subject matter, a foundation of extensive knowledge, and a skillful use of concepts and materials.
    • Adhere to excellent teacher habits (prompt, prepared, ready to learn).
    • Actively participate in class adding depth to discussions and activities.
    • Demonstrate excellent communication skills verbally and in writing.
    • Meet deadlines for assigned work.
  2. Good performance, demonstrating capacity to use the appropriate concepts, a good understanding of the subject matter, and an ability to handle the problems and materials encountered in the subject.
    • Actively participate in class.
    • Demonstrate good communication skills verbally and in writing.
    • Adhere to excellent teacher habits most of the time.
    • Meet deadlines for most assigned work.
  3. Adequate performance, demonstrating an adequate understanding of the subject matter, an ability to handle relatively simple problems, and an adequate preparation for moving on to more advanced work in the field.
    • Participation in class may be limited.
    • Communication skills (verbal and/or written) require more study.
    • Teacher habits of prompt, prepared and ready are not met in a reliable fashion.
    • Deadlines are not met for a significant portion of the work.
  4. Performance not acceptable for teaching.

Grading rubric for written assignments:

Points Criteria Points earned and comments

Clear presentation of ideas

(coherent, logical order, grammatically correct)

7 Value of ideas and all issues of assignment addressed  
7 Connection to readings  

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.

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

Course Info

Learning Resource Types

co_present Instructor Insights