Realizing the Democratic Ideal:

Teacher Education at Illinois State University



Spring Semester 2019

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Catalog Description:


A seminar through which students exchange information, share reflections, and document observations and activities prior to and during student teaching. Note: This is a five-week in-class course taken during the same semester as, but prior to, student teaching.

WARNING: Associated with this course is one or more NSTA-mandated summative performance assessments linked with Professional Studies' Exit from Student Teaching gateway. Failure to adequately demonstrate the required competencies in a timely fashion will result in the teacher candidate being ineligible for the state teaching certificate. In addition, one or more PBA System requirements are linked with this course. All two required LiveText submissions (EdTPA, and Democratic Ideal Portfolio) must be completed and uploaded by the specified date.


Name: Ken Wester, Coordinator
Physics Teacher Education Program
Office Location: Moulton Hall, Room 322
Office Hours: drop in or by appointment
Telephones: (309) 438-2957 (office); 309-660-9902 (c)
e-mail address:

Meeting Days/Times/Location/LiveText Deadline:

The class will meet once weekly for one-hour seminars immediately following PHY 312 on Monday evenings for the first four weeks of spring semester.During this four-week period students will perform pre-student teaching clinical experiences at their future student teaching sites, and these experiences will be discussed in seminar.

edTPA must be completed and uploaded no later than April to livetext and no later than April to Pearson. Failure to submit on time will result in delayed graduation!


Pre-professional clinical experiences give the teacher candidate a chance to grasp more fully the educational dilemmas and opportunities presented by the educational process. Students will bring experiences and reflections to bear in a seminar as they exchange information derived from clinical observations and teaching activities made at their student teaching sites prior to and during the student teaching practicum. This seminar will culminate in the creation of a student teaching clinical experiences documentation folder and a student teaching portfolio. The heart of the student teaching portfolio will be based primarily upon NSTA Science Teaching Standards and Teacher Education's conceptual framework, Realizing the Democratic Ideal.

This course will have a learning environment that is student centered, knowledge centered, assessment centered, and community centered. This course will be student centered to the extent that the teacher builds on knowledge students bring to the learning situations. This course will be knowledge centered to the extent that the teacher helps students develop an organized understanding of important concepts in the physics teaching discipline. This course will be assessment centered to the extent that the teacher makes students' thinking visible so that ideas can be presented and verified. This course will be community centered to the extent that the teacher establishes classroom norms that learning with understanding is valued and students feel free to explore what they do not understand.

In this course, as in other Physics Teacher Education courses, emphasis will be placed on an Assessment-for-Learning policy. That is, assessments of student performance will be used not only to assign grades, but also to improve student performance. Unsatisfactory work will be returned to the student for improvement. A student's score can be improved following appropriate revision and resubmission of "unsatisfactory" course projects, so long as all deadlines are met.

Course Goals:

IPTS Correlation

1C, 1K,4M, 5M, 8E 353 C
1F 353 F
8A. 8E 353 A
9C 353 B


Course Outline:

Please note that the Weekly Reflections shown below are really part of STT 399.72 -- Student Teaching in Physics. They are listed here only as a reminder. In partial fulfillment of your obligation to document your clinical activity experience and time commitment, have your cooperating teacher or other school personnel sign the STT Clinical Experience Log.



Assignment / Follow-up Activity

1/14 Mon

Introduction and Orientation; Complete STT Info Sheet; Introduction to Practical Pointers for Teaching

Start pre-STT experiences #1, # 5, #9, #13, #17, and #21; begin work on determining needs and identifying help (steps 2 and 3 of Social Context Project); read Implementing inquiry-based instruction in the secondary science classroom: A model for solving the improvement-of-practice problem; start work on Safety Plan; read RTOP article and review assessment instrument.
 1/15 Tues

Discussion of RTOP article and assessment instrument; Situations #1 - #6 and Justifications #1 - #3; What's missing from _d_c_t_ _ n? PowerPoint; School Libraries - invited talk by Milner librarian and former physics teacher Julie Murphy (10:45-11:15 a.m. Friday)

Start pre-STT experiences # 2, #6, # 10, #14, #18, and #22; continue work on determining needs and identifying help (steps 2 and 3 of Social Context Project); review Minimizing resistance to inquiry-oriented science instruction: The importance of climate setting; conduct RTOP analysis as appropriate; read and act on (as necessary) Practical Pointers for Teaching.
1/21/ Mon

Situations #7 - #12 and Justifications #4 - #6; Recruiting the Next Generation of High School Physics Teachers; Motivating Students

Start pre-STT experiences # 3, #7, # 11, #15, and #19; continue work on determining needs and identifying help (steps 2 and 3 of Social Context Project); review A Framework for Teaching the Nature of Science; conduct RTOP analysis as appropriate.
1/22 Tues

Situations #13 - #18 and Justifications #7 - #9; Professional Development; ISBE PowerPoint: Applying for your Teaching Certificate (can complete process only after graduation)

Start pre-STT experiences # 4, #8, # 12, #16, and #20; conclude work on determining needs and identifying help (steps 2 and 3 of Social Context Project); conduct RTOP analysis as appropriate.
1/28 Mon

Situations #19 - #24 and Justifications #10 - #12; Ethics for Student Teachers; Orientation to Student Teaching - STT 399.72

Finish and turn in all observations and reports prior to the beginning of student teaching; failure to do so will result in the student being barred from the teaching practicum; complete and turn in RTOP analysis.
2/11 Student teaching begins; all in-class assignments must now be turned in.  
 End Week 1 Some time during or shortly after student teaching be certain to take and pass the ICTS Assessment of Professional Teaching test. The test is quite broad, and includes questions about "foundations, characteristics, and assessment; planning and delivering instruction; managing the learning environment; collaboration, communication, and professionalism; language arts; and educational technology." An online test framework is available to help you prepare. Weekly Reflection #1 Due
 End Week 2 Weekly Reflection #2 Due
 End Week 3 Weekly Reflection #3 Due
 End Week4 Weekly Reflection #4 Due; complete midterm self-assessment prior to third site visit by Supervisor
 End Week 5 Weekly Reflection #5 Due
  No spring break reflection due (date approximate)
End Week 6 Weekly Reflection #6 Due
 End Week 7 Working breakfast meeting, 10:00 a.m., Moulton 307-B Weekly Reflection #7 Due
 End Week 8 Conduct STT Course Evaluation as appropriate; conduct NOSLiT and ScInqLiT post-tests in classes as appropriate. Weekly Reflection #8 Due; complete final self-assessment prior to fifth site visit by Supervisor
 End Week 9 Warning: All 3 required LiveText submissions must be online seven days prior to the start of finals week. Weekly Reflection #9 Due;
 End Week 10 Student teaching ends Weekly Reflection #10 Due
Finals week; Make-up week for any missed STT days (50 required). Summary Reflection Due

Student Performance Assessments:

353A: SOCIAL CONTEXT DOCUMENTATION FOLDER (40% of course grade) - Note: This item must be completed prior to the start of student teaching.

Students will be present in the student teaching site physics classroom for not less than 20 clock hours prior to the beginning of student teaching. During this time students will be required to complete a Social Context Project in which they make 20+ directed observations, record their findings, and prepare written reflections on the meaning of what has been observed following Pre-Student Teaching Clinical Experience Guidelines. These observations and reflections will serve as the basis of a clinical experiences documentation folder and must satisfy all requirements. The Clinical Experiences Documentation Folder will be assessed on the basis of quality of original questions, comprehensive nature of interview, and adherence to the specified format. A scoring rubric providing specific criteria for acceptable performance is available. An example of quality work is also available. NOTE: As part of your obligation to document your clinical activity experience and time commitment, have your cooperating teacher or other school personnel sign the STT Clinical Experience Log.

353B: SAFETY PLAN (10% of course grade) - Note: This item must be completed prior to the start of student teaching.

Students will each be required to develop a safety plan from the perspective of their student teaching location. Students begin by conducting a safety inspection using a checklist, and then moving on to an interview about safety policies with the cooperating teacher and other school personnel as appropriate as part of Pre-STT Experience # 3 - Classroom Procedures and School Policies. Students then write a detailed Safety Plan following specific guidelines. Note: This is an NSTA-mandated student performance assessment. Failure to adequately demonstrate the required competency at a mastery level (82% or above) will result in the teacher candidate being barred from student teaching.

353C: CPS Lesson 0% of course grade)

The student will make a one-day classroom observation of the class the lesson will be presented.  The date will be established and the class will go as a whole.  Reflections of the observations will be submitted not more than one week after observations.

  • The student, in identified groups will meet with the CPS teacher for a discussion of the observed classes and to discuss topics for the ISU lesson.  This will occur during the day of the observations.
  • The student, in identified groups will write a short summary of the schools profile from information obtained from the state report card as well as information gathered from the meeting with the classroom teacher.
  • The students working in identified groups will prepare and present a one day lesson at the identified school and class, using the edTPA lesson plan template.  The lesson topic will be determined with the help of the CPS teacher.
  • A written reflection of the exercise will be submitted one week after the lesson is taught.  The reflection will contain the following: (1) how do you think the lesson presentation went? (2) What were the strengths of the lesson presented?  (3) What were the weaknesses of the lesson presented? (4) How do you think the students perceived the lesson (support with evidence)?  (5) What changes need to be made about the lesson? Why?

353D: TEACHING ANALYSIS USING RTOP (10% of course grade) - Note: This item must be completed prior to the start of student teaching.

Teacher candidates will observe their cooperating teachers over the course of at least three days to determine to what degree they are teaching in a way that is consistent with the trends of the science teaching reform movement. Students will study a TST article about the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP), and then use this assessment instrument.

353E: edTPA Teacher Candidate Information Release From (5% of course grade) - Note: This item must be completed prior to the start of student teaching

Teacher candidates will complete the information release form found in Livetext and submtitt in Livetext prior to student teaching. Failure to do so will result in candidate not being allowed to begin student teaching.

353F: WEEKLY AND SUMMARY REFLECTIONS (35% of course grade)

Students must complete and turn in weekly reflections and at the conclusion of student teaching, an 11th "summary reflection." Cooperating teachers must review and sign these reflections. They should be completed and uploaded to Livetext by Monday 5:00 p.m. of each week. (Warning: These are part of each student's legal record - failure to complete these in a timely fashion will result in a failing grade for this course. Penalties will apply for late submissions.)


353H: CLASS PARTICIPATION (0% of course grade)

Students will be evaluated on the degree of their contributions to in-class discussions and other group activities. Class participation will be assessed with the use of a Participation Rubric.

Submission Deadlines:

All required Student Tasks/Assignments MUST be completed and/or turned in by the Friday prior to student teaching. There will be no exceptions to this rule without a substantial grade penalty. In the advent that work is not completed and submitted in final form by the due date, the course grade will be lowered by one full letter grade.


The final course grade will be determined on the basis of a composite score according to the following schedule:

 A > 90%

 82% < B < 90%

 74% < C < 82%

 66% < D < 74%

 F < 66%

Academic Integrity:

Students are expected to be honest in all academic work. A student's name on any in academic exercise shall be regarded as assurance that the work is the result of the student's own thought and study. Offenses involving academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to the following: cheating, computer dishonesty, plagiarism, grade falsification, and collusion. For more information about this important topic, visit the Student Dispute Resolution Web Site.

SAAMEE: A Model for Academic Success

Caution: Keep in mind as you progress toward student teaching that as a student teacher your students will have an interest in finding out about you. This will lead them to Internet searches. Don't put anything on a web page, uTube, Facebook, MySpace, etc., that you wouldn't want students, parents, teachers or administrators to see.

Disposition Concerns: The College of Education, in an effort to ensure top quality graduates, provides faculty members and interested others with the opportunity to provide input into the teacher preparation process. One of these inputs is in the area of disposition concerns. Education faculty, in particular, are encouraged to bring to attention of CECP any significant problems associated with the following major areas. If three or more filed dispositions concerns have not been resolved, the teacher candidate will be blocked from advancing in Professional Studies.

Performance Objectives for All Undergraduates:

To be admitted to student teaching, every teacher candidate must demonstrate each of the following competencies at a B level or above:

Sources of Course Objectives

Correlated Assessment

(1) demonstrate in writing and prior to student teaching a deep knowledge of the public school setting which has been developed through 20 interviews with teachers as well as conferral, referral, and administrative personnel, and by working directly with students in at least 5 different settings.  
(2) develop a safety plan that reflects the realities of the student teaching environment. NSTA # 8 - Environment and Safety
(3) access and use resource information to improve teaching and learning in a diverse setting through the creation of a lesson plan that addresses, at least in part, pertinent conceptual framework elements (#1, #4, and #6) and makes the subject matter and learning experiences meaningful to a diverse population of students; complete, teach, and submit in a timely fashion a meaningful multicultural/diversity lesson plan via LiveText. ISU Professional Studies Requirement
NSTA # 2 - Nature of Science
NSTA # 4 - Issues
NSTA # 6 - Curriculum
NSTA # 7 - Science in the Community
(4) analyze the cooperating teacher's classroom practice over the course of at least three days using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol to see how well it aligns with the science teaching reform movement.  
(5) document and submit via LiveText the fact that (s)he teaches within the framework of Realizing the Democratic Ideal ISU Professional Studies PBA Requirement
(6) complete in a professional and timely fashion weekly clock hour reports and 10 weekly reflections and, at the conclusion of student teaching, an 11th "summary reflection."  
(7) complete and submit via LiveText in timely and professional fashion a final reflective essay  
(8) demonstrate an ability to include students with exceptionalities. ISBE
(9) participate fully in class discussions (including Situations and Justifications of the Day) and activities.  

Course Alignment with Teacher Education Unit's Conceptual Framework:

Conceptual Framework

Course Objective No.

Moral Virtues:
 Sensitivity toward the varieties of individual and cultural diversity.

1, 3-8

 Disposition and ability to collaborate ethically and effectively with others.


 Reverence for learning and seriousness of personal, professional, and public purpose.


 Respect for learners of all ages, with special regard for children and adolescents.

1, 3, 6, 8, 9

Intellectual Virtues:
 Wide general knowledge and deep knowledge of the content to be taught.

1-6, 8, 9

 Knowledge and appreciation of the diversity among learners.

3, 6, 8, 9

 Understanding what affects learning and appropriate teaching strategies.

1-6, 8, 9

 Interest in and an ability to seek out informational, technological, and collegial resources.

1-6, 8, 9

 Contagious intellectual enthusiasm and courage enough to be creative.

2, 3, 5, 9



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