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Are you willing to explore and discover who you are, deeply and comprehensively, and who you might become as a teacher? […] And are you willing to commit to teaching as a practice, an ongoing life project of discovery and surprise about the world, about other people, and, yes even about yourself?

– Bill Ayers, about Becoming a Teacher


Welcome to ED503 Orientation to the Educational Environment

This course is an introduction to diverse educational settings. Students become familiar with the foundations of education, school policies, procedures, and various instructional arrangements through selected readings, class discussions and field based experiences. Students will examine state minimum standards for different subject areas, course of study, student discipline policies, board policies, teacher preparation, and intervention procedures within a general education frame -work.  Additionally, this course has a mandatory five-hour per week field based component. Students learn how to conduct ecological assessments, and become acquainted with various professional roles and educational settings. 

ED503 Wednesday 5:00pm-7:40pm (Synchronous Web/online)


Professor David Shutkin, Ph.D.


Office Hours (online)

M/W 3:30pm-4:30pm
T/R 2:00pm-4:00pm

And by appointment


Course Website https://exploringeducation.org/


Required Textbook

William Ayers. 2019. About becoming a teacher. New York : Teachers College Press.


Course Learning Outcomes

Students will…

  • Develop knowledge of some basic elements of educational professional practice (e.g., licensure; standards frameworks; assessment and accountability; instructional resources; professional organizations).
  • Develop conceptual knowledge of key issues currently facing educators in the 21st century (e.g., civic responsibility, school reform, teaching all students, curriculum, standards, effective use of technology).
  • Develop conceptual knowledge of teacher’s role and job responsibilities in and out of the classroom (e.g., professional development; collaboration; home-school-community relations).
  • Develop conceptual knowledge of some basic principles and patterns of practice that create and support a learning environment in the classroom (e.g., how students learn; effective teaching; motivation; classroom management).
  • Develop procedural knowledge of basic teaching skills (e.g., observing, communicating effectively, planning, assessing)
  • Develop self-knowledge of one’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to teaching as a career choice

ED503 Course Outcomes, Goals, & Assessments Matrix


banner photo credit | Theatre of Hearts https://theatreofhearts.org