Class Assignments and Schedule for EDU 652 - Instructional Theory and Practice

Revised August 2014

Class assignments

The instructor reserves the right to change any activity to meet the needs of the class and its members.

There are eight categories of assignments, each described in a box below. Review them to see how they are interrelated to each other and to the decisions professional educators make.

Resources to assist completing the activities are identified and linked for your convenience. If you have ideas on how to make the information more helpful throughout the course for your professional career, let me know.


To help us get to know each other I ask you write about your educational and professional background and put it in the Forum. If you would like to include a bit about your personal information, that would be fine. This information will also help me to know who has logged on successfully and if the current roster is accurate.

1. Book Activities - Read the text and participate in the related discussions and activities by posting them in the Forum. Discussion and activities were selected based on the text - Models of Teaching 9th edition. While there are chapters you are not required to post you are required to read the entire book. While most chapters have a teaching model for its focus the authors also mix in different general ideas for instruction in chapters of the book.

All activities will be evaluated on quality (described in the syllabus) of responses for application and value for students as well as any requirements specified in the directions for each activity. While I won't count words, a quality response usually has more than 300 per chapter response.

Part One


A Note on Heritage

Models of Teaching: A Working Professional Repertoire - Part 1

Where Models of Teaching Come from: Constructing Knowledge and Skill to Help Our Students Construct Knowledge and Skill - chapter 1

Use the book information and your personal experiences to either describe an application (in the scenarios or personal experience) for each of the vocabulary words and how and why it is important to consider, as a professional educator, with respect to teaching to be of value for all students. OR Take one and explain its application in multiple scenarios or with multiple personal experiences.

  1. Teaching
  2. Constructivism
  3. Scaffolding - optimal mismatch
  4. Formative assessment...
  5. 21st- Century Skills
  6. Cultural Literacy and Global awareness
  7. Collaborative and cooperative skills
  8. Creativity
  9. any other idea you believe is important from chapter 1

Review the five families of models and select two to use to apply to your content area by creating lesson/activity scenario/plan for teaching with the selected model. See more information in the assignment 5a and 5b: Application of book model as teaching plan or scenario box.

Chapter 2 Building the Community of Expert Learners: Taking Advantage of Our Students' Capacity to Learn (and Ours)

Chapter two identifies ideas that are important for education and ultimately what should happen in schools and classrooms as a result of what we believe is important to teach, how it should be taught, and the kind of environment in which it all should happen. Educational philosophies, principled procedures, action plans, and other curriculum documents are examples of documentation, which are integral in informing and describing decisions professional educators make. How do the scenarios in the chapter fit with your educational philosophy?

  1. Describe how one or more scenarios or ideas in the chapter fit with your educational philosophy, the nine ideas highlighted in chapter one, and your personal style of teaching?

The ideas in your educational philosophy and the information from the nine areas highlighted in chapter one are examples of big ideas to use to evaluate education and educational decisions. Look ahead at the 16 models in the up-coming chapters, particularly models you are considering selecting for activity 5a and 5b, and see how the authors consistently use the following categories to describe each model: syntax, social systems, principles of reaction, support system, instructional effects, and nurturant effects.

Create a scoring guide by using the big ideas from your philosophies and the nine categories to describe ideal or quality conditions and outcomes for the six categories the authors use to describe their models: syntax, social systems, principles of reaction, support system, instructional effects, and nurturant effects.

The scoring guide will describe the outcomes you desire, it can be used to evaluate teaching models and the results of the decisions and actions when using them. Results which can be used to determine if those results are congruent with the expectations hoped for and described in your philosophies, principled procedures, action plans, and other curriculum documents.

The scoring guide you create will be used to evaluate the teaching models, the implementation of those models described in scenarios or actual practices, and the applications of the teaching models in activity 5a and 5b.

  1. Create your scoring guide and post it in the Forum for chapter 2

Part Two
Information-processing Family of Models

Inductive Thinking - chapter 3

Scientific Inquiry - chapter 4

The Picture Word Inductive Model (PWIM) - chapter 5

Select one model, from part two or three, and create a teaching scenario or plan See activity 5a. Application of book model as teaching plan or scenario. It would be nice to select these so collectively we have one from each chapter.

Use your scoring guide to evaluate and critique another student's scenario or plan from Part two.

Part Three
Special Purpose Information-Processing Family of Models

Concept Attainment - chapter 6

Synectics - chapter 7

Mnemonics - chapter 8

Advanced Organizers - chapter 9

Inquiry Training - chapter 10

Use your scoring guide to evaluate and critique another student's scenario or plan from Part three.

Part Four
Social Family Models

Partners in Learning - chapter 11

Group Investigation - chapter 12

Role Playing - chapter 13

Select one model, from part four, five, or six and create a teaching scenario or plan See activity 5b. Application of book model as teaching plan and scenario. It would be nice to select these so we have one from each chapter.

Use your scoring guide to evaluate and critique another student's scenario or plan from Part four.

Part Five
Personal Family Models

Nondirective Teaching - chapter 14

Developing Positive Self-Concepts - chapter 15 for some reason the authors do not have the usual: Syntax, social systems, and principles of reaction, support system, instructional effects, and nurturant effects for this model. However, if you would like to create them, Great. If you choose to do so I have information that describes motivational theory and self-efficacy, which I believe is more appropriate for a goal than self-concept. At the bottom of the article are suggestions for syntax.

Part Six
Behavioral Systems Family Models

Explicit Instruction - chapter 16

Mastery Learning - chapter 17

Direct Instruction - chapter 18

Use your scoring guide to evaluate and critique another student's scenario or plan from Part five or six.


Part Seven The Conditions of Learning, Learning Styles, and Conceptual Levels

Chapter 19 Creating Curricula: The Conditions of Learning

  1. Describe how and where in your general teaching model ideas from the chapter are or could be or if not, then why not. Ideas like: Responding, chaining, discrimination, classification, rule using, and problem solving, self-efficacy, cooperation and how were the seven instruction functions included? page 354

Chapter 20 Expanding Our Horizons: Making Discomfort Productive

  1. Select one idea, from the chapter, and explain in detail or 3-5 ideas and describe in general why you believe they are good or not and how they are or are not an important part of your Educational Philosophy.

For example: I would write something to support why I believe: It isn't possible to correct marginality with a standardized subject centered common curriculum (CCSS...).

To correct marginality we must care enough for students to empower them by giving them autonomy to make real choices. Choices that give them flexibility in deciding what and how to learn, which will motivate them to achieve at high levels. To do so in a caring environment demonstrates how citizens of a democracy honor individual freedoms to make decisions. Decisions that provide for individual and collective needs of all our citizens so we might successfully adapt to unexpected changing situations, which have serious consequences for quality of life and survival if not met in a timely manner.

Treating standards as dogmatic ideologies and imposing autocratic punitive consequences for refusal results in a narrowing of curriculum with less choice for all. Less choice results in less opportunity for achievement and less effort to achieve in the narrowed curriculum. Less effort creates less achievement, with punitive consequences being imposed that are a wasteful use of resources attempting to coerce achievement of narrowed curricular goals with less rigor.

Whether successful or not the evaluation process for such a standardized curriculum results in a narrowed curriculum with less rigorous achievement, choice, autonomy, flexibility, and caring. Not only are students less knowledgeable, but the culture and socialization process is at opposition with a democratic society and results not only in the acceptance of marginality, but causes people to claim it as a reason for failure. Maybe more important is a failure of not being able to adapt to unexpected changing situations with the results being a serious reduction of the quality of life even extending to the possibility of extinction by not being able to adapt successfully to change in a timely manner.

2. Educational philosophy

Review these instructions and suggestions and answer the seven questions at that URL and post in the Forum. Later after reading chapters one and two, reviewing other class responses and discussion, write a final summary.

Complete with quality and post in the forum.

3. Create and describe a general teaching model/ plan/ outline/ framework....

Quality includes quality information that describes how to plan for and implement instruction to facilitate learning. As well as a model with the inclusion of explanations for each of the common threads included in the text:

  • Describe how to insure sufficiently analyzed and organized content is included in the model when planning and implementing instruction in the way outstanding teachers prepare and respond to students on the fly when facilitating learning. See activity 4a and 4b. (7 categories)
  • Describe a general syntax, social system, principles of reaction, support system, instructional effects, and nurturant effects for the model. (6 categories)
  • Describe how your model will relate to students with respect to the following: (8 categories)
    • Constructivism
    • Scaffolding & optimal mismatch
    • Formative assessment
    • 21st - Century Skills
    • Cultural Literacy and Global awareness
    • Collaborative and cooperative skills
    • Creativity
    • and how it is consistent with your educational philosophy.

See article on general teaching model

You could create separate categories for all of the ideas (7 + 5 + 8) or you could include them with the six categories used in the text for each model. Just make sure you label them or color code them so I can tell how you have included them.

You are welcome to post working drafts so everyone can comment or share ideas as you develop it during the semester. If you do, Post them in the Questions for the professor if you want me to comment and in Questions for classmates if you want others to comment.

4 - a and b. Create or use the instructors content planning maps to create two content maps for the content you will include in your chapter models or your sequence.

The purpose of the content planning map is to analyze, organize, and describe ideas, related to the content for a big idea or topic, sufficiently to prepare to respond effectively to facilitate student learning. While many teachers may not plan for or are aware of these ideas, research suggest outstanding teachers are either aware of this information or are able to access it as needed on the fly to met the needs of students when facilitating their learning.

Quality maps or outlines include this information for a big idea (matter, number value, fraction, problem solving, democracy, cooperation, family, self-efficacy, story elements, quality fiction, .…) in the following categories for each big idea to be used in an instructional lesson, unit, or sequence.

Categories for the planning map:

  • Perceptual information - what students know (visual gut reaction way of knowing. Naive ideas which may or may not be misconceptions;
  • Observations made by students for which initial information or ideas are derived to use as facts, ideas, concepts, generalizations … to reason with.
  • Facts are information used to construct concepts and generalizations.
  • Transformations - or bridges are charts, graphs, maps, webs, illustrations, outlines, classifications that combine facts, concepts, generalization with reasons and explanations for concluding or constructing the concepts and generalizations. These connect the observations and reasoning used to construct concepts and generalizations (definitions, ideas, and explanations with arrows and lines connecting information, color coding, before and after examples...)
  • Activities - opportunities for students to construct information about the topic or ideas. Opportunities to learn.
  • Values - identify how students are going to use the information or the value it will provide by learning or conceptualizing the it.
  • Assessment - what outcome levels might students demonstrate with respect to the topic.

Categories are identified on the blank map.

Explanations are in the Category Explanations... Map, and completed maps are linked below:

Another reference you may find helpful is Considerations for Planning to Teach Concepts and Generalizations.

4B. Planning map two - same as above with a totally different big idea.

5a. Application of book model as teaching plan or scenario.

Select one model from Part 2 or Part 3, Chapter 3-10 and create a teaching scenario and plan. It would be nice to so there is one from each chapter. Include a planning map and reference enough information to show how the categories on the planning map fit with the syntax and other categories included on scoring guides (see chapter 2 activity 2).

5b. Application of book model as teaching plan or scenario.

Select one model from Part 3 or Part 4 Chapter 11-18 and create a teaching scenario and plan. It would be nice to so there is one from each chapter. Include a planning map and reference enough information to show how the categories on the planning map fit with the syntax and other categories included on scoring guides (see chapter 2 activity 2).

6. Create and describe instructional teaching curriculum sequence plan.

Quality: includes four models, each from a different family in the text. Include instructional procedures for each that describes a sequence of study for each of the four selected models. Also include content maps or information describing how the big ideas will be represented. Include any class assignments, parts of assignments, answer keys, and content rubrics along with the syntax, social systems, principles of reaction, support system, instructional effects, and nurturant effects as you would like them to apply for each model.

I will not provide a completed example for this assignment, however, I will describe initial thoughts or brain-storming for the activity:

Based on my philosophy, I would want to start with an information processing family model: inductive thinking, scientific thinking, or picture word inductive model, to help students focus on what they already know and begin to analyze and construct deeper understanding with the accumulation of new information to attain deeper understanding of the desired outcomes.

After students conceptualize the big ideas I would move on to offer opportunities to apply the information with greater clarity in more varied situations with the use of a social family model: partners in learning, group investigation or role playing. This would help students apply the information in problem solving situations for deeper understanding to develop self-efficacy of the big ideas and practices of the discipline in a learning community type of social system with nurturing reactions and support.

After students participate in these sequences, together we might identify skills or ideas to learn more deeply or well enough to achieve flow. Which, would suggest the special purpose information family or behavior family. Models from these families could be used to help develop automaticity and strive for flow through review and practice to attain mastery for application or testing.

I could also include a model from the personal family to improve students perceptions of their abilities or to increase their self-efficacy for doing the subject or to engage in the practice of the subject.

To get more specific let me put it all together for mathematics.

Start with what is mathematics and how do you feel about it. Maybe a survey of students abilities and perceptions to solve problems and represent ideas mathematically. Use a model from the personal family to have them evaluate where they are, set achievable goals, encourage them, help them attain their goals, and then celebrate their success to increase their self-efficacy.

Next use a concept attainment or an inductive model for students to conceptualize concepts to achieve their goals for understanding decimal and fractional number values.

Follow this with a social families model with students working together to apply what they learned about fraction and decimal numbers to solve problems.

When students understand the concepts move to a mastery learning model to develop skills in representing number values with fractional and decimal numbers.

Then to close the sequence go back to the first: Developing positive self-concept or self-efficacy. Discuss what is mathematics and how do you feel about it now and your ability to solve problems and representing ideas mathematical now? Review their achievement and how they increased their mathematical power (self-efficacy) so they will be motivated to continue.

Suggestions for inclusion of multidimensions of content for one activity:

I could also use information processing models, and include two different outcomes in the same activity. For example one for learning a social outcome like working cooperatively while they were also doing an activity learning content outcomes like properties of matter. Or by combing two other outcomes like learning a process skill: observation, inferring, problem solving, practice of science or math, or inquiry, while also learning a content outcome: place value, number value, democracy, matter, attributes of fiction... To achieve this the syntax needs to be adjusted to include discussion for each outcome before and after doing one activity.

7. Teach and reflect or describe a detailed planning script.

Quality includes quality information that describes how you will or did teach information related to a big idea and how the instruction or hopes for the instruction relate to the common threads of the teaching model: syntax, social system, principles of reaction, support system, instructional effects, and nurturant effects and how those results are or might be measured by your scoring guide and meet the futuristic needs of students and society.

8. Research article review.

Find a research article that includes research for an instructional model or another of the big categories we have been studying, read it, briefly summarize, and describe how you would apply the information from the research article and the value for students and teachers.

The articles need to be quality research comparable to the samples in the Resource section:

  • I selected this article,
    Chapter 3 Image, Genre, Voice, and the Making of the School-literate Child.
    because of the emphasis on culture which is one of the main ideas in chapter one: cultural literacy and global awareness and also fits with one of the areas used to analyze all models: social systems
  • I selected this articles,
    Chapter 4 Introduction Multimodal Literacy to Young Children Learning English as a Second Language
    because I believe it fits with the PWIM model in Chapter 5 among other ideas.

If you are not sure if I would consider an article quality, then ask.


All assignments are due before midnight on the day indicated on the schedule: I will set the end of the week as 11:55 Sunday. However, it is not my intention to be available Saturday and Sunday. Therefore, if you plan on working on weekends, make sure, in advance, you have the resources and information you need. I will check for and answer questions daily M-F. Therefore, questions posted before Thursday midnight, of the week, would have answers available for the weekend.

Week 1 - August 18 - 24, 2014

Week 2 - August 25 - 31, 2014

Week 3 - September 1 - 7, 2014 (9-1 labor day recess)

Week 4 - September 8 - 14, 2014 (9-12 faculty assessment retreat)

Week 5 - September 15 - 21, 2014

Week 6 - September 22 - 28, 2014

Week 7 - September 29 - October 5, 2014

Week 8 - October 6 - 12, 2014

Week 9 - October 13 - 19, 2014 (13 & 14 mid-term break & low grades)


Week 10 - October 20 - 26, 2014

Week 11 - October 27 - November 2, 2014

Week 12 - November 3 - 9, 2014

Week 13 - November 10 - 16, 2014

Week 14 - November 17 - 23, 2014

Week 15 - November 24 - 30, 2014 (26 & 28 fall break)

Week 16 - December 1 - 7, 2014

Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes