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Raising Expectations: Through the Course Syllabus Gay Burden, Ph.D. High Schools That Work.

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Presentation on theme: "Raising Expectations: Through the Course Syllabus Gay Burden, Ph.D. High Schools That Work."— Presentation transcript:

1 Raising Expectations: Through the Course Syllabus Gay Burden, Ph.D. High Schools That Work

2 Workshop Objectives/Agenda, p. 2 n To define what is meant by high expectations n To determine characteristics of courses that set high expectations n To establish a clear rationale for writing common course syllabi, including how the syllabi will promote horizontal and vertical articulation and guide the use of common planning time n To incorporate literacy goals into course expectations n To examine components of effective course syllabi: a course description, course standards, an instructional philosophy, major projects and assignments, and a course assessment plan and grading policy n To develop a rough draft syllabus that includes the five recommended components

3 Why use a course syllabus? n Map for planning n Opportunity to reflect on a whole course n Communication of expectations to students, parents, community n Communication with other teachers or programs in the school

4 What Its NOT… / What It IS… n Not a prescription for HOW to teach n Not a mandate forone size fits all instruction n Not a muzzle for creativity n A road map to a common destination n Allows multiple avenues to reach high expectations n A building block for creative expression

5 Think-a-thon n Characteristics of Learning Environments with High Expectations –School District –High School –Classroom (p.3)

6 6 Indicators of High Expectations in a Course ( pages 4-5) 1. Clear alignment to standard 2. Communication of course expectations to students and parents 3. Assignments and assessments that will provide evidence that students are proficient in relation to the standards 4. Quality of expected work 5. Clear grading practices and communication of progress 6. Opportunities for extra help/intervention

7 NAEP Proficiency Descriptors n Reading, p. 6 n Mathematics, p. 7-8 n Science, p. 8-9 n Additional criteria, pp

8 What is needed in todays workplace? n Solve problems and be creative in meeting consumer demands for customization n Retrieve, organize and synthesize information into a plan n Apply algebra, geometry, and statistics n Read, understand, and communicate in the language of the field n Understand technical concepts and principles n Understand, manage, and use technology to complete projects n Construct written and oral responses

9 Components of a Course Syllabus Page n Course Description n Instructional Philosophy n Major Course Goals/Power Standards n Major Course Projects and Instructional Activities n Course Assessment Plan Describe each component on page 1 of the planner

10 Instructional Philosophy n What kinds of classroom learning activities are typical in your class? n What are your expectations for student participation?

11 Sample Syllabi n Read the instructional philosophy component on each example, p. 16 n Score the sample using the rubric, p. 12 n Write your own instructional philosophy for your course (planner, p. 2) n Share with your group.

12 Instructional Philosophy n Create your own instructional philosophy (Planner, p. 2)

13 Syllabus Characteristics That Support High Quality Learning n National and State Standards n Challenging Assignments n Quality of Expected Work n Assessment Methods

14 Power Standards n Those essential standards that once mastered will give a student the ability to use reasoning and thinking skills to learn and understand other curriculum objectives

15 Why Power Standards? n All standards are not equal in importance! n Make room for the essentials n Narrow the voluminous standards by distinguishing the essentials from the nice to know

16 If we have power standards, does it mean we ignore all the other standards?

17 No! n State and district curriculum remain important guides for instruction n Few teachers actually cover everything n Power standards provide a safety net n Direct development of essential teaching and assessment

18 Essential Criteria for Identifying Power Standards n What endures? n What has leverage? n What prepares students for the next level of learningin school, in life, and the workplace?

19 Incorporate National Standards Example: The National Standards for Business Education n Because all students will participate in the economic system, all students need to be literate in business and economics. n Because all students will encounter a business environment that is characterized by diversityboth domestic and internationalall students need to practice the interpersonal, teamwork, and leadership skills that will help them function successfully in that environment. n Because all students will use technology as a tool for managing information, all students need to hone the lifelong learning skills that foster flexible career paths and confidence in adapting to a workplace that demands constant retooling. n Technology has accelerated the pace and frequency of change not only in business but also in life. Today, life and work activities tend to overlap. This trend is likely to continue and will require more sophisticated decision-making in all spheres. Source:

20 Critical Conversations n What knowledge and skills must this years teacher impart to students so that they will enter next years class with confidence and a readiness for success?

21 Technical Power Standards (Examples) n Plan, connect, assemble and test electronic components n Demonstrate a thorough understanding of body systems, the diseases associated with them, and the treatments and prognoses of those diseases

22 Technical Literacy Power Standard: Reading n Read, comprehend, and synthesize information from a wide range of sources within the technical field

23 Technical Literacy Power Standard: Communication n Write and speak clearly using the language of the field to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences

24 Technical Literacy Power Standard: Using Information n Gather, evaluate, and synthesize technical information from a variety of sources

25 Technical Literacy Power Standard: Using Technology n Use technology in work-related situations

26 Technical Literacy Power Standard: Mathematics n Demonstrate mathematical reasoning and numeracy skills, mathematics procedures, and an understanding of major mathematics concepts that underlie a career field

27 Using Power Standards to Improve Student Performance n Visible standards--syllabus and classroom n Exemplary work n Student explanations of proficient n Posted expectations n Evaluation according to standards n Redoing work that doesnt meet criteria

28 Power Standards n Identify those essential standards that once mastered will give a student the ability to use reasoning and thinking skills to learn and understand other curriculum objectives –Planner, p. 3

29 Major Course Assignments and Projects (Planner, p. 5) n Connected to standards n Connected to literacy goals n Connected to real world

30 Authenticity n Real world context n Issues that matter to students n Real and appropriate audience

31 Applied Learning n Problem-solving n Teamwork n Communication n Collect, organize and analyze information n Product design n Event Organization n Self-management skills

32 BusinessThe Stock Market Game n Teams of students use $100,000 in play money to buy and sell stocks on a weekly basis. They research, record, graph and track all transactions.

33 Food Science Project n Students work in teams to learn and publicize information about the metal residue that various types of cookware leave in food. Food science students will prepare omelets in a variety of types of cookware. Students take samples to the chemistry lab for analysis. Test results and information will be reported in the school newspaper.

34 The Physics of Bridge Building and Design n Grades n 6-18 Weeks n Integrated with Math, English, Social Studies, Business Technology

35 Health Science Project n Students team up for a semester-long project in which they learn about the negative effects of tobacco use. Students create a pamphlet for school- wide distribution to students, make presentations during the schools televised morning announcements and conduct a survey to determine the impact of the information campaign.

36 Agriculture Project: A No Pesticide Use Integrated Project n Students in agriscience and ecology classes will debate a No Pesticide Use bill. Ag students will take a stand against the use of pesticides, and ecology students will argue in favor of the bill. Communication students will be the audience for the debate.

37 Research Paper n Complete a research paper (4-5 pages in length), citing at least five research sources such as professional journal articles, books and Internet readings.

38 Reflection Paper: Following a Project n One- to two-page paper describing what was learned, how problems were solved, what skills were developed and how the project prepared the student for the workplace.

39 Assessments in Career/Technical Classrooms Used More Frequently n Projects n Observation n Attendance Used Less Frequently n External employer exams n Homework n Portfolios of student work n Objective tests

40 Project Assessment Practices n Exhibitions of work n Variety of assessment tools n Professional standards of performance n Self-assessment & reflection n Student involvement in creating criteria for project (rubric)

41 Assessment and Grading Plan (Planner, p. 6-7) n Tests n Projects n Homework n Class work/participation/effort n Other items? n Policy for redoing work, extra help opportunities n Overall grading rubric

42 How Does Your Syllabus Measure Up? (p ) n Rate the draft syllabus you have created using the scoring rubric

43 Q & A


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