Standard 3: Foundational Educational Ideas and Research

Through planned prerequisites and/or professional preparation candidates learn major concepts, principles, theories and research related to: (a) child and adolescent development (cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical); (b) human learning; and (c) social, cultural, philosophical, and historical foundations of education.

The program provides opportunities for candidates to examine how selected concepts and principles are represented in contemporary educational policies and practices in California schools.

In CI 152 Psychological Foundations of Education, candidates learn about the cognitive, social, and moral development of students and how to apply this knowledge to classroom practice. They also learn to analyze the learning process from the standpoint of alternative learning theories (and to apply this type of analysis to their own instructional planning and teaching. In this course, candidates study the developmental theories of Piaget and Vygotsky, the connection between these theories and constructivism, and the classroom applications of all three. Also in this course candidates learn about personal, social, and moral development. This includes an examination of Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development, Kohlberg’s theory of moral development and the implications of those theories for teachers and learners. [ See CI 152 syllabus.] 

In EHD 155A and EHD 155B, the initial and final student teaching semesters, students teach at both the middle school and high school levels. They are expected to differentiate their practice according to the developmental levels of the students they are teaching.

In CI 151 Social Foundations of Education, candidates are introduced to perennial issues regarding the function of schools in society. In addition, they examine contemporary school policies and practices, e.g., curriculum tracks and testing policies as they relate to social variables which impact schooling such as class and culture.

In this course, candidates gain a more complex and comprehensive view of the purposes and functions of American education. They examine the school’s role in promoting academic, vocational, social, civic, cultural and personal goals. Social and cultural issues that impact or are impacted by schooling are discussed. These include issues related to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, immigration, school safety, and problems of youth, e.g., teen pregnancy, drug use, and teen violence. As they plan instruction in methods classes and plan and teach in field experiences, they are asked to reflect on how their decisions and actions will serve long-range goals, solve social problems, and/or reduce inequalities in the outcomes of schooling. [ See CI 151 syllabus.]

In CI 151, for every topic or issue presented, students read one or more articles from journals or chapters from books. These readings are discussed in class either in whole class or small group discussions guided by prompts followed by small group report-outs to the larger group. (See the CI 151 syllabus for an example of a small group discussion prompt.) For some of the topics a related video is shown. For example, under the topic Secondary School Reforms, candidates read about the movement to fuse career/technology and academic education in career focused, project-based programs at the high school level. They also view a video about four high schools that have implemented such a program. Guest speakers are invited to present on some topics. For example, in conjunction with the topic of character education, a guest speaker is invited to describe character education programs in selected near-by districts. A lawyer is generally invited to respond to candidate questions about school law. Debate is another learning activity used in the course. Typically, candidates debate the issues surrounding charter schools and in another debate, they look at the pros and cons of national as opposed to state content standards. Finally, candidates themselves teach each other in CI 151. In the section of the course that deals with youth related problems, candidates work in small groups to prepare and deliver PowerPoint presentations on specifiedproblems. [ See the Directions for PowerPoint Presentations in the CI 151 syllabus].Candidates conduct interviews as a learning activity in this course. For example, these include interviewing an individual who immigrated to the U.S. and attended school here after beginning school in another country to learn about the problems such students experience and how teachers can be of help. Candidates summarize what they learned from the interviews in writing and present their findings orally to the class.(See Action Assignments in the CI 151 syllabus for details on the three assignments that require candidates to conduct interviews.)The major assignment for the course is to develop a lesson plan that is multicultural in both content and methodology, based on research they have conducted about multicultural instruction in their specific content area. In addition to submitting the actual lesson plan and a summary of the research they have done, they submit an explication of how their lesson’s content is multicultural and how the methods proposed to teach this lesson are also multicultural.(See the CI 151 syllabus for the Directions for Multicultural Lesson Plan Assignment.)

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