Middle and Secondary School: Grades 5 – 12

Summer Session: 6 credits

Starting in August, the summer session features an immersion into the Expeditionary Learning "case study" teaching model. Students will go on group learning expeditions in the field to experience powerful project-based methodologies delivered by EL professionals. Students go on to complete introductory course work about schools and schooling, plus a module on technology in education.

Schools, Schooling and Society (4 credits)

The course familiarizes students with theories of teaching and learning, adolescent development and current movements in education reform such as Race to the Top, Common Core Standards, and testing. In keeping with Massachusetts Department of Education mandates for approved licensure programs, the course provides the foundational readings to prepare teachers for work in a diverse society. Topics include guidelines set forth in INTASC (Interstate Consortium): knowledge of subject matter; knowledge of curriculum; knowledge of learners; knowledge of educational goals and assessment; knowledge of social /cultural contexts; and pedagogical content knowledge. Key tenets of Expeditionary Learning will be explored.

Teaching with Technology (2 credits)

Students will read current research examining the effectiveness of teaching with technology in middle and secondary school classrooms as they explore questions about the role of technology in 21st century education. Students will experiment with a variety of tools such as cell phones, digital recorders, instant messaging as well as web-based tools that allow teachers to design scoring rubrics, quizzes, blogs, surveys and polls. Use of digital media will be emphasized, with students developing electronic portfolios to document their growth in addressing performance assessments standards. Review of the work of national teacher technology organizations and resources will be covered.

Fall Semester: 16 credits

In a traditional fall semester, September – December, students complete four courses taught by Mount Holyoke faculty and augmented by Expeditionary Learning practitioners. These include general and content-specific methodology course work with associated school-based pre-practicum work, as well as advanced-level electives in their licensure subject areas. Within the general and content-specific methodology courses, students will learn about curriculum development and planning, working with diverse students, and effective approaches to classroom management and assessment. Students will also conduct site visits to Expeditionary Learning schools. Note: Fall courses require that students spend four mornings each week in inclusive classrooms.

Subject Specific Methods for Middle and Secondary Teachers (4 credits)

This subject specific methods course is designed for graduate level teacher education students preparing to teach at the secondary or middle school levels. Firmly embedded within the Expeditionary Learning Model, links will be made between the theoretical underpinnings of subject specific pedagogy, differentiated learning, sheltered immersion, assessment, and the community/school/classroom/students. Students will connect theory with practice through their work with subject specific experts in the field and through reflecting on their practice within pre-practicum placements in local schools.

The Process of Teaching & Learning in Middle and Secondary Schools (4 credits)

This course is intended to help prepare prospective middle and secondary school teachers for effective classroom instruction. The philosophical bases and current research behind classroom practices are examined and specific course activities focus on exploring and establishing a personal philosophy of education.  Class sessions will focus on multicultural, anti-racist, and global approaches to teaching and learning within the context of the students’ school based placements. 

Teaching English Language Learners (4 credits)

This courses addresses core competencies outlined in the Massachusetts Department of Education English Language Learner certificate requirement. Readings in language acquisition theory, language learning and teaching, effective lesson design and assessment, Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol and knowledge of intercultural learners are covered. Students will have experience developing and adapting lessons and curriculum to address the needs of students in their pre-practicum settings.

Upper Level Content Area Course (4 credits)

e.g. 300-level History course

Spring Semester: 14 credits

Students complete a full-time, semester-long student teaching semester (the practicum) as well as a weekly seminar in which they reflect on their developing practice. Students also begin to explore the job market, participate in practice interviews, attend job market fairs, and meet with Career Development Center staff. Upon successful completion of the semester, students are institutionally recommended by the institution for licensure to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Student Teaching in the Middle and Secondary Schools (10 credits)

Students undertake full-time supervised student teaching in secondary or middle school subjects, the visual arts, dance, theater or music classrooms. Group seminars and individual conferences to discuss issues of classroom practice. Evaluation of performance is determined by on-site visits and by written assignments. This course is graded on a credit/no credit basis.

Practicum Seminar in Teaching and Learning: Middle and Secondary Education (4 credits)

This weekly seminar provides students with opportunities to design and discuss case studies involving adolescents in middle and secondary school settings, review research-based models of instruction, and classroom management, and engage in dialogue with professionals regarding numerous aspects of teaching and student learning. Additional topics covered include reviewing the legal obligations of teachers, addressing the needs of students with disabilities, English language learners, and developing effective communication between home and school.