The material on this page is from the 1996-97 catalog and may be out of date. Please check the current year's catalog for current information.


Associate Professor Corcoran, Chair; Assistant Professor Wortham (on leave, winter semester and Short Term); Ms. Dodd

Education, in the largest sense, is the process of continuing the human race. We are all born uneducated. Human infants are immature, and they only become fully human as they take on knowledge, skills, and dispositions from others. No matter how much we learn, however, we all die. So, for the human race to continue, we must pass on the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that make us human.

Because education is so fundamental, many academic disciplines study it. The curriculum in education at Bates introduces students to the anthropology, history, philosophy, politics, psychology, sociolinguistics, and sociology of education. Education, however, is more than an academic discipline. It is also a practice that goes on--formally and informally--throughout the College and the surrounding community. The Department of Education offers students opportunities to participate in a variety of educational activities. Almost all education courses include an internship in a local school, so that students will be able to integrate theory with the practice of education. We want students to become engaged by teaching actual students. And we also want them to reflect systematically on the larger questions that their experiences raise.

The Department of Education offers courses for students who want to include educational studies as part of their general pursuit of liberal arts at Bates, for students who want to explore the possibility of teaching, and for students who already know they want to teach after they graduate from Bates. The study of educational issues can add breadth and depth to students' study in another field. Through fieldwork with children, our students can obtain direct experience as they explore the idea of teaching or a career in a related human-services field. By becoming more knowledgeable about any aspect of education, all students will be better prepared to fulfill their future roles as citizens and parents. The skills and knowledge gained from education courses can also have a wide application in many other occupations and professions. Moreover, students who enter graduate study in any discipline often teach as graduate assistants.

We offer all of the courses needed for Maine certification as a public school teacher in grades seven through twelve, in several disciplines. The number of states changes over time, but Maine currently enjoys certification reciprocity with approximately twenty other states. Certification is not required for teaching in a private (independent or parochial) school, but students who complete the program will be better prepared for the challenges they will face when they enter a classroom on their own for the first time.

Although we do not offer all the courses necessary for certification at the elementary level, we can help students who wish to teach in the lower grades plan a program that will meet state requirements for later certification. It may be possible for some students to take the additional courses necessary during the summer at other institutions. Students who wish to become special-education teachers can also benefit from taking courses at Bates, but they, too, will need to enroll in a program at another institution after graduation to complete the requirements. In both cases students should consider graduate programs that offer both certification and a master's degree.

Students who wish to become certified should begin planning their course schedules no later than sophomore year. With early planning it is possible to meet all of the requirements for a major and for certification, and to spend some time abroad during the junior year. Students also need to think about how they will manage the demands of student teaching with other courses and work on a thesis during senior year. In every case early and careful planning will help considerably. Students should apply for formal admission to the program leading to certification by making an appointment with the Department Chair.

Teacher Certification. Current requirements for the College's recommendation for certification in Maine as secondary-school teacher include: 1) Education 231 or s21; and all of the following: 343, 362, 447, 448, 460, 461, including field experience in conjunction with each of these; 2) a major in an appropriate teaching field, although some fields may require additional courses; 3) fulfillment of the College's General Education and other degree requirements. Note that licensing of teachers is a state function: requirements differ from state to state, and change frequently. Courses and experiences other than those offered at Bates may be required. Students potentially interested in certification should consult with the Department Chair as early as possible to plan for required course work.

231.  Perspectives on Education.  This course introduces students to the theory and practice of education, and to the relationships between them. Conceptually, the course addresses two large questions. First, how does the inevitable fact of social groups in school--ethnic groups, linguistic communities, economic classes--affect students' education? How should teachers respond to such groups? Second, should education focus on transmitting the knowledge and skills that humans have accumulated, or should it focus on material more directly relevant to the students? Students explore these questions not only through reading and writing, but also by participating in the practice of education. Each student spends thirty hours observing and teaching in a local school. Enrollment limited to 25. Not open to students who have taken s21. Open to first-year students. S. Wortham.

233.  Environmental Education.  An intensive consideration of philosophy and methodology, this course explores the historical roots of environmental education, its recent evolution from several fields, and possible futures. Students survey contemporary programs, curricula, and research, and consider the role of formal education in generating environmental awareness and responsibility in light of ecological crisis. Students develop and teach lessons related to social and environmental problems of their concern. Extensive writing, curriculum development, teaching, and interacting with professionals in the field are expected. Enrollment is limited to 25. Open to first-year students. P. Corcoran.

240.  Gender Issues and Education.  This course considers education, especially classroom teaching, in relation to recent theory and research on gender. In addition to providing a feminist philosophical perspective on education, the course explores the implications of gender bias and females' ways of knowing, developing, and interacting for curriculum and classroom practice K-12. Some attention is given also to women and educational leadership. Extensive reading and writing and fieldwork in a school are expected. Enrollment is limited to 25. Open to first-year students. A. Dodd.

262.  Action Research.  Action research often begins with a general idea that some kind of improvement or change is desirable. For example, a teacher who is experiencing discipline problems in a classroom may seek an understanding of this issue with the help of trusted observers. In this course, students collaborate with local teachers or service providers on research projects that originate in their work sites. Class meetings introduce design issues, methods of data collection and analysis, and ways of reporting research. May be taken instead of Psychology 261 to fulfill the major requirements. This course is the same as Psychology 262. Enrollment is limited to 15. S. Wortham, G. Nigro.

343.  Learning.  This course presents classic and contemporary theories of the learner and the learning process--including those developed by Plato, Skinner, Piaget, and Vygotsky. It addresses several questions. Do humans learn differently than animals? Do children think differently than adults? Can learning be explained solely in terms of the individual, or is learning a relational process? Throughout the course, students consider how theories of learning relate to educational practice. Each student spends thirty hours observing and tutoring at a local school. Prerequisite: Education 231 or s21. Recommended background: Psychology 101. S. Wortham.

360.  Independent Study.  Individual work on individually developed projects. Permission of the instructor is required. Students are limited to one independent study per semester. Staff.

362.  Basic Concepts in Special Education.  An introductory course for students who wish to understand the characteristics of children who require special consideration in order to learn. The course considers the legal requirements for educating students with special needs. It explores ways all children can be helped to succeed in the mainstream or regular classroom despite their learning differences and abilities; physical impairments; emotional/behavioral disorders; cultural, social, racial, and ethnic backgrounds; or gender. It includes fieldwork and extensive writing. This course meets the particular requirement of a course in special needs established by the State of Maine for certification. Prerequisite: Education 231 or s21. Enrollment is limited to 25. A. Dodd.

365.  Special Topics.  A course or seminar offered from time to time and reserved for a special topic selected by the Department. Staff.

370.  Practicum in Foreign-Language Teaching.  This course is intended for foreign-language students who are interested in teaching at the secondary-school level or above. The course focuses on current issues in foreign-language pedagogy, with emphases on oral proficiency, authentic texts, and learner-centered instruction. Students design course syllabi and daily lesson plans, compose exams, review textbooks and related instructional materials, observe various levels of instruction at Bates and other schools, and teach practice sessions to other members of the practicum. This course is the same as Foreign Languages 370. Prerequisite: at least one year of a foreign language at Bates beyond the second-year level. Recommended background: at least two years of college-level foreign language. D. Browne.

447.  Curriculum and Methods.  This course presents the concepts needed to understand curriculum design and program evaluation. It also helps students develop the skills needed to design and teach curriculum units in their subject area. The course emphasizes methodological perspectives on education; many approaches are discussed in theory and modeled in practice. Throughout, the course is both conceptual and practical. The course is part workshop: students plan, develop, teach, and evaluate their own curriculum units. At the same time, students read about and reflect on classic questions in curriculum and instruction, such as: to what extent are teachers responsible for developing their own curriculum? should curriculum and instruction focus on transmitting established knowledge, developing individuals' talents, or preparing successful members of society? can teachers assess students' knowledge in ways that allow students to learn from the assessments? what particular teaching methods are appropriate for the different disciplines? Students develop a repertoire of methods to use in student teaching and in future teaching. Prerequisites: Education 231 and 343. In general, students should take this course concurrently with Education 448 and 461. S. Wortham.

448.  Senior Seminar: Reflection and Engagement.  The seminar helps students reflect on and engage with their experiences as teachers. Students are encouraged to develop their own philosophies of education, and to use these philosophies in planning and teaching their classes. The seminar also addresses three areas of practice--technology, environmental education, and interdisciplinary approaches--and helps students incorporate these into their teaching. Prerequisites: Education 231 and 343 and 362 and 460. Corequisite: Education 461 and generally 447. Permission of the instructor is required. P. Corcoran.

460.  Student Teaching I.  This is an intensive field experience in secondary education. Students begin by observing a host teacher in their academic field, spending one or two class periods each day in the high school. Soon they begin teaching at least one class per day. In regular, informal meetings, they are guided and supported by their host teachers, a supervisor from the Bates Department of Education, and other members of a supervisory support team. Students also meet weekly at Bates to address conceptual matters and to discuss problems and successes in the classroom. These weekly seminars include workshops in content area methods and extensive informal reflective writing. Students begin to move toward proficiency in four areas of practice: curriculum, instruction, and evaluation; classroom management, interactions, and relationships; diversity; time management and organizational skills. Prerequisites: Education 231 and 343 and 362 (Education 343 may be taken concurrently). Permission of the instructor is required. P. Corcoran.

461.  Student Teaching II.  This course continues and deepens the experiences and reflection begun in Education 461. Students spend four or five class periods each day in a local high school--observing, teaching, and becoming fully involved in the life of the school. Students continue to meet regularly with their host teacher, College supervisor, and others on their supervisory support team. Although there are no weekly meetings for this course, students spend extensive time planning their classes and reflecting in writing on their experiences. Prerequisites: Education 231 and 343 and 362 and 460. Corequisite: Education 448 and generally 447. Permission of the Department Chair is required. P. Corcoran.

Short Term Units
s21.  Perspectives on Education.  An alternative and intensive version of Education 231. Not open to students who have taken Education 231. Permission of the instructor is required. Enrollment is limited to 25. Staff.

s25.  Experiencing Disability.  To the extent physically possible, students "adopt" a significant physical disability and live with it full time for a major part of Short Term while continuing all regular activities of daily living. The unit gives students an intense experience in dealing with the environment from an altered perspective. Field trips allow students to see how they are perceived by others. Classroom discussions are of biographical literature and film, and related rehabilitation literature. Students discuss and describe their experiences in journals and interviews. Written permission of the instructor is required. Enrollment is limited to 12. G. Clough.

s28.  Action Research in Psychology and Education.  Students learn from and with members of the local educational community, by collaborating with them on research projects. The projects address significant community problems related to schooling, such as the high pupil-transfer rate or the low homework-return rate. Teams of students and local teachers collaborate in the design, implementation, and final presentation of projects. This unit is the same as Psychology s28. Recommended background: one course in psychology and one course in education. Written permission of the instructor is required. Enrollment is limited to 15. S. Wortham, G. Nigro.

s50.  Individual Research.  Registration in this unit is granted by the Department only after the student has submitted a written proposal and has secured the sponsorship of a member of the Department. Students are limited to one individual research unit. Staff.

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Last modified: 08/05/96 by PD