Department of Curriculum & Instruction

College of Education

University of Maryland

Principles and Methods of Teaching in Elementary Schools

EDCI 397 Spring 1999

Tuesdays, Thursdays 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Professor: Dr. J. Randy McGinnis Office Hours: Tu 10:45 am-11:45 am

Office: 2226J Benjamin or by appointment

e-mail: jm250@umail.umd. edu

Telephone: 301-405-6234


EDCI 397A : Principles and Methods of Teaching in Elementary Schools: (3) Prerequisites: Admission to a teacher education program; and a 2.5 GPA. For education majors only. Teaching strategies and techniques for planning, evaluating and conducting instruction in elementary classrooms. Emphasis on principles of effective instruction and assessment compatible with learning theories. Classroom management and adaptation for diverse student populations.

Course Overview

The goal of teacher preparation programs at UM is to prepare reflective teachers for a diverse society. Instruction must be planned to reflect knowledge of the subject matter, the curriculum, the learners, and a repertoire of teaching strategies. This course will provide opportunities for planning and practicing instruction based on a knowledge of the theory and research supporting the strategies and models used. The course will also provide occasions for reflection on teaching/learning events so that as teachers you will be encouraged to continually problem solve in collaboration with others (question, hypothesize, select and act) about the teaching/learning situations in your classroom and school.

Required Texts/Materials

Arends, R. (1994). Learning to teach (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill

Brooks, J. & Brooks, M. (1993). In search of understanding: The case for constructivist classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Costantino, P., & De Lorenzo, M. (1996). Developing a professional portfolio. College Park, MD: Office of Laboratory Experiences, UM.

Course Packet (Bel Jeans, #32, under Instructor: Polly Maccini)

Two blank video cassettes.

A two-pocket, 9" x 12" Duotang or Amberg - type folder will be required for keeping your journal pages.



Course Objectives

1. Describe a number of teaching strategies or models (e.g., concept attainment, cooperative learning, conceptual change models, direct instruction) and be able to explain how one or more learning theories (e.g., cognitive-based/ constructivist, behaviorist, social learning) support the use of such techniques or strategies.

2. Identify research that supports the use one or more of the teaching strategies.

3. Demonstrate the ability to select models and techniques appropriate to what is being taught and the needs and abilities of diverse student populations (especially for those students with identified special needs).

4. Demonstrate through micro teaching, teaching consistent with a cognitive-based view of learning on topics valued in current statements of goals and objectives.

5. Demonstrate the ability to plan for and reflect upon instruction including not only attention to curriculum but also classroom management and assessment of understanding.

Performance Objectives


The teacher candidate understands the underlying learning and design principles of a variety of instructional approaches (both generic and discipline-specific), as well as the advantages and limitations of each.


The teacher candidate stimulates student reflection on prior knowledge and links new ideas to already familiar ideas, making connections to studentsí experiences, providing opportunities for active engagement, manipulation, and testing of ideas and materials, and encouraging students to assume responsibility for shaping their learning tasks.

The teacher candidate uses instructional strategies that promote the development of critical thinking and problem solving, and helps students assume responsibility for using resources for their own learning.

The teacher candidate adjusts strategies in response to the changing conditions of the learning situation.

The teacher candidate seeks out professional literature, colleagues, and other resources to support his/her development as a learner and a teacher, and engages in disciplined inquiry that provides self assessment for professional growth.


Accommodating Students With Disabilities

If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact the instructor as soon as possible.


Course Activities

1. Class discussions and problem solving around demonstration lessons; participation and discussion of simulations.

2. Lesson planning in cooperative groups and as an individual.

3. Micro teaching and reflection on lessons planned and conducted by self and with a peer.

4. Serve as learners during the micro teaching lessons and reflect upon the learnerís role in an instructional environment and the need for adaptation of instruction to meet various studentsí needs.

5. Reading, writing, class presentations, and journal reflections on assigned topics and discussions.

Course Requirements /Projects/Performances

Regular on time attendance and participation is expected. In addition, the following are requirements for successful completion of the course:

1. A response to the portfolio entry listed below. This is expected to range in length from 3 to 5 typed pages. Due on February 23.

A carefully designed plan of ways which you would structure your elementary classroom to ensure successful performances in a subject area (you select one as your referent) by all students in an inclusive classroom. This report should address your reflections on:

i) Your beliefs about teaching and learning

ii) Rationale for inclusive teaching

iii ) How you anticipate modifying instruction to meet the needs of all students (methodology and example)

2. Two 15-20 minute micro-teaching sessions taught to a small group of peers and recorded on video cassette accompanied by plans and peer and self reflections. The two sessions (the first of which is team taught with a peer, and the second which is performed individually) must be consistent with an identified view of learning (e.g., cognitive-based) and must encompass over the two experiences the following:

a mathematics or science concept is taught;

a reading/language arts/social studies concept is taught

a cooperative learning strategy is employed;

a technology usage is included (calculator, computer, CD rom, multimedia)

Each session must be accompanied by suggestions on adaptations for an assigned case study student with a documented disability. Lesson plans, tape of lesson, self reflection, and peer feedback are due on March 16 and May 4.

3. Four journal entries distributed throughout the semester. Due: May 11.

4. Final exam. May 21, 1:30 pm -3:30 pm, site TBA.


Course Evaluation

Class participation, journals, and non-lesson presentations 50

Portfolio entry 50

Micro teaching lessons, plans, reflections (100 pts. each) 200

Final exam 100

Total: 400


A (400 - 360 pts.); B ( 359 - 320 pts); C (319 - 280 pts);

D (279 - 240 pts); F (Below 240 pts)

EDCI 397

Dr. R. McGinnis

REVISED: 2/2/99

Class Meetings, Reading Assignments, and Due Dates

Jan 28 (TH) The class as a community of learners; Course overview

Feb 2 (TU) What is teaching? Learning?

Arends, chapter 1, pp.14-61.

4 (TH) Cognitive-based teaching/learning

Window into a 4th grade mathematics classroom

Reading: Brooks & Brooks (Part 1, pp. 3-31).

9 (TU) Cognitive-based teaching/learning

Constructivism as an intellectual referent in teaching/learning

Reading: Brooks & Brooks (Part 2, pp. 34-84; Part 3, pp. 101-118).

Reading: Arends, chapter 4, pp. 154-197.

11(TH) Teaching in an inclusive setting part one

Historical foundations and special education; IDEA 1997 (PL 105-17)

Course packet: pp. 4-9; 16; 26-29; 30-35.

16 (TU) Teaching in an inclusive setting part two

Organizing instruction for students with disabilities in an inclusive classroom; case studies

Course packet: pp. 10-15;17-25; 54-55; 56-61; 62-64; 65-70.

18 (TH) Collaboration and Coteaching in an inclusive setting/ Peer Coaching

Reading: Improving Teaching Through Coaching (provided by instructor)

Course packet: pp. 41-50

23 (TU) Developing a professional teaching portfolio

Reading: Constantino & De Lorenzo, all.

Due: Portfolio entry

25 (TH) Videotaping orientation (session meets in the basement of Benjamin)

Mar 2 (TU) Peer Coaching Session

4 (TH) Videotaping day

9 (TU) Videotaping day

11(TU) Microteaching Post-lesson conferences/Developing a professional teaching portfolio (continued)

16 (TH) Social Learning theory

Due: Micro teaching lessons, plans, reflections

18 (TU) Cooperative learning strategies

Arends, chapter 3, 108-153.

23 (TU) No class, Spring Break

25 (TH) No class, Spring Break

30 (TU) Study day, no formal class meeting

April 1 (TH) Cooperative learning strategies (continued)

6 (TU) Direct Instruction Model

Arends, chapter 2, pp. 62-107.

8 (TH) Behavioral-based teaching/learning

13 (TU) Classroom management

Arends, chapter 6, pp. 173-197.

Course packet: pp. 75-82,

15 (TH) Classroom management

Arends, chapter 6 (portion), pp. 269-273.

Course packet: pp. 96-132.

20 (TU) Peer Coaching Session

22 (TH) Videotaping day

27 (TU) Videotaping day

29 (TH) Microteaching Post-lesson conferences

May 4 (TU) Concept Attainment Model

Due: Micro teaching lessons, plans, reflections

6 (TH) Teaching/learning and assessment

Brooks & Brooks, chapter 8, pp. 85-98.

11(TU) Review for final, video analysis

Due: Journals

13 (TH) Review for final continued, course debriefing

21 (F) Final Exam, 1:30 pm -3:30 pm., site TBA.