Education

Professor: Robin Trainor (Chair and Coordinator of Elementary Student Teaching);Associate Professor: Joyce Bickerstaff; Assistant Professor: Christopher Roellke;Visiting Assistant Professor: Deborah Gatins; Visiting Instructor: Judith Wohl;Visiting Instructors: Linda Cantor, Judith Wohl (Coordinator of Secondary Student Teaching); Lecturers: Julie Riess (Director of Wimpfheimer Nursery School);

The teacher preparation programs in the Department of Education at Vassar College reflect the philosophy that a broad liberal arts education is the best foundation for teaching whether on the nursery school, elementary, or secondary level; whether in public or private schools. The student at Vassar who is preparing to teach works within a strong interdisciplinary framework of professional methods and a balanced course of study in a select field of concentration leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The department offers work leading to provisional New York State certification at elementary and secondary school levels. This certification is reciprocal in many other states.

Consistent with New York State requirements, the certification programs are based upon demonstration of competency in both academic and field settings. It is advisable that students planning elementary or secondary certification consult with the department during the first semester of the freshman year.

Transfer Students: Transfer students who wish to be certified for elementary or secondary school teaching under the Vassar program must take their units in professional preparation at Vassar. They are also required to do their student teaching under Vassar's supervision. Early consultation with the Department of Education is advised.

Students interested in the theoretical or cross-cultural study of education, but not in certification, should consult the department for a list of recommended courses.

Special Programs:

Oxfordshire, England: Internship in British Primary Schools. Vassar College, in cooperation with Oxford University and the primary schools of Oxfordshire, England, offers a one-semester internship in British primary schools. Students participating are expected to have a basic knowledge of child development, experience with children, and overall academic competence. Students work as interns in infant or junior schools in the vicinity of Oxford. Students are expected to take a "half-tutorial'' of study at Oxford University in some area such as history, English, psychology, history of art, physical sciences, geography, or another subject taught in the university. Students interested in applying should consult with their adviser and the Department of Education before making formal application through the Office of the Dean of Studies.

Clifden, Ireland: Internship in Irish Secondary Schools. Vassar College, in cooperation with University College, Galway, and the secondary schools of Clifden, offers a one-semester internship in Irish secondary schools. Students interested in teacher certification, the theoretical study of education, or the study of cross-cultural education are assigned as interns in the secondary schools in Clifden. They are expected also to take a "half-tutorial'' of study at University College, Galway, in some area such as history, English, psychology, history of art, physical sciences, geography, or other subjects taught in the university. Those interested in applying should consult with their adviser and the Department of Education before making formal application through the Office of the Dean of Studies.

Venture/Bank Street:

Urban (NYC) Education Semester. Vassar College, in cooperation with Venture/Bank Street, offers a one-semester program in urban education. Students interested in teacher certification, the theoretical study of education, or the study of cross-cultural education are assigned as interns in New York City public schools. In addition to the two-unit internship, students also take three additional courses at Bank Street College. Those interested in applying should consult with their adviser and the Department of Education before making formal application through the Office of the Dean of Studies.

Elementary Certification: Programs leading to the New York State Provisional Elementary Certificate (K-6) are offered. New York State will certify students for the provisional certificate upon recommendation of the department chair. Such recommendation will depend on academic excellence, specified competencies in professional course work, field experiences, and demonstrated fitness for teaching. In addition, students must pass a qualifying examination set by New York State. The program of study must include the following requirements:

Psychology 105, 202; Education 235, 290, 240, 350/351, 360, 361, 362.

Advisers: The department.

Recommended Sequence of Courses for Elementary Certification:


Freshman year: Sophomore year:

Psychology 105, 202 Education 235

Education 290 (Field Work). *Education 260

Junior year: Senior year:

Education 350/351 Education 360, 361

Education 240 Education 362 (Student

*Africana Studies 321 Teaching)

*Education 250b

NRO work may not be used to satisfy state certification requirements.

The student teaching internship is a five-day/week full time classroom experience in selected local schools ordinarily taken during the a-semester. In rare circumstances, students may be granted permission by the department chair to student teach during the b-semester.

Secondary Certification: Programs leading to the New York State Provisional Secondary Certificate (7-12) are offered in the fields of English, foreign languages (Spanish, French, German, Russian), mathematics, biology, and social studies. Students with a major in the areas of anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, urban studies, American culture and sociology are eligible for social studies certification. New York State will certify students upon the recommendation of the department chair. Such recommendation will depend on academic excellence, specified competencies in professional course work, field experiences, and demonstrated fitness for teaching. In addition, students must pass a qualifying examination set by New York State. The program of study must include the following:

Psychology 105; Education 235, 263, 290

English: Education 394, 374

Foreign Languages: Education 390, 370

Mathematics, Biology: Education 392, 372

Social Studies: Education 396, 376

In addition, there should be the required number of hours in the academic field in which the student plans to teach. These vary slightly for each field; therefore it is important that students planning such a program consult with the appropriate member of the department as soon as the area of concentration has been declared.

Advisers: The department.

Recommended Sequence of Courses for Secondary Certification:

Freshman year: Sophomore year:

Education 235 *Education 260

Psychology 105 *Education 263

*Education 290

Junior year: Senior year:

*Africana Studies 321 *Education 250b
Education 290 *Education 370-376

Education 390-396

NRO work may not be used to satisfy state certification requirements.

The student teaching internship is a five-day/week full time classroom experience in selected local schools ordinarily taken during the a-semester. In rare circumstances, students may be granted permission by the department chair to student teach during the b-semester.


I. Introductory

160b. Books, Children, and Culture (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 160b) This course examines select classical works from the oral tradition and contemporary works of children's fiction. The course addresses children's fiction as a sociological phenomenon as well as a literary and artistic one (illustrative content). The course traces the socio-historical development of American children's literature from Western and non-Western societies. Social, psychoanalytic, and educational theory provide a conceptual basis and methodological framework for the cultural analysis of fairy tale and modern fantasy in cross-cultural perspective. Socialization issues include: ideals of moral character; race and class; politicalization; and the human relationship to the natural environment. Ms. Bickerstaff. 


II. Intermediate

The following courses are part of the Urban Education Semester (Venture/Bank Street) and are taken at Bank Street. The first three are required and students may then elect to take one or more of the other four courses:

Urban Education Seminar/Field Experience

Anthropology of Urban Education

The Study of Normal and Exceptional Children through Observation andRecording

Comparative Migration Experiences of the Caribbean, Latin American andAsian People

Language Development, Diversity and Disorders

Foundations of Modern Education

Teaching Methodology

235a or b. Issues in Contemporary Education (1)

An examination of theories and issues in modern education as they affect and reflect the child, the schools, and the teacher; inquiry into social, economic, and political pressures as they affect education, with special emphasis on the disadvantaged. Mr. Roellke.

Prerequisite: Introductory course in psychology, sociology, or political science.

Permission required.

236a. Childhood Development: Observation and Research Application (1)

(Same as Psychology 236a) What differentiates the behavior of one young child from that of another? What characteristics do preschool children have in common? This course provides students with direct experience in applying contemporary theory and research to the understanding of an individual child. Topics include attachment; temperament; parent, sibling, and peer relationships; theories of mind; language development, humor, and language play; fantasy/reality distinctions; the self and moral development; and social categories. Each student completes a comprehensive study of one child in the Nursery School, based on detailed, extended observation and the application of research findings from the developmental literature. Ms. Riess.

Prerequisite: Psychology 202 and permission of instructor

One 2-hour period; 4 hours of laboratory participation

237b. Early Childhood Education: Theory and Practice (1)

(Same as Psychology 237b) What is the connection between a textbook description of preschool development and what teachers do every day in the preschool classroom? This course examines curriculum development based on contemporary theory and research in early childhood. The emphasis is on implementing developmental and educational research to create optimal learning environments for young children. Major theories of cognitive development are considered and specific attention is given to the literatures on memory development; concepts and categories; cognitive strategies; peer teaching; early reading, math, and scientific literacy; and technology in early childhood classrooms. Ms. Riess.

Prerequisite: Psychology 202 and permission of instructor

One 2-hour period; 4 hours of laboratory participation

240b. Mathematics for Elementary Teaching: Content and (1)
Methodology for Regular and Special Education

The purpose of this course is to develop the student's competency to teach mathematics to elementary school children, K-6. Lectures and "hands on'' activity sessions are used to explore mathematical content, methodology, and resource materials with an emphasis on conceptual understanding as it relates to the sequential nature of mathematics and to cognitive development. Special emphasis is placed on diagnostic and remedial skills drawn from a broad psychological and theoretical base. Students have the opportunity to plan, implement, and assess their mathematics teaching in appropriate classroom settings through two field assignments in the local schools. Ms. Cantor.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105, 202. Special permission.

[250b. Introduction to Special Education] (1)

The purpose of this course is to examine new ideas that have emerged with regard to the education and training of exceptional children. A humanistic philosophical approach is the emphasis of this examination with focus on the child rather than on the categories of handicaps. Considering "special education'' as intervention in the education of children who have special needs, several issues are dealt with: the medical, psychological, and sociological problems of these children; instructional practices; inclusion; and the restructuring of the traditional role of the special teacher. Ms. Trainor.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105, 202. Special permission.

Not offered in 1999/00.

[260b. Child Abuse and Domestic Violence: American Cultural (1)
and Social Problems]

This course examines, from a multidisciplinary perspective, the historical conceptions of child abuse and domestic violence; the underlying causes and consequences to children and to families; the views which influence professionals as they cope with the problems of maltreatment; the emotional reactions to these issues; the trauma and dynamics of family separation; and literary perspectives on the problems. Legal issues and proposals which may affect public policy changes in the prevention, intervention, and treatment of these problems are addressed. Ms.Trainor.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

Not offered in 1999/00.

262b. The Fairy Tale (1)

The course focuses on European and Asian folk tales, with emphasis on how writers from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have reinvented the fairy tale while borrowing from traditional sources. Readings include: Household Tales of the Brothers Grimm, and selections from Hans Christian Andersen, George MacDonald, Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, and Virginia Hamilton. Assignments will include critical papers, the writing of an original tale, and the presentation of a traditional tale in class. Ms. Willard.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

263a. The Adolescent in American Society (1)

This course provides a general review of normal adolescent development as well as typical adolescent problems (i.e. substance abuse, depression, eating disorders.) We review contemporary issues in education as they relate to adolescent development and the structuring of a classroom. There is also active discussion as to how to handle a variety of difficult classroom scenarios. Ms. Gatins.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

270b. Drama In the Classroom (1)

This course examines the topic, drama in education, in terms of its practical application for the classroom teacher and as a resource for education and training in other contexts. The course will concentrate on the work of well-known authors, educators, and practitioners in the field of educational drama. Class participation incorporates various dramatic techniques and drama exercises, and written projects and model lessons are required. Preference is given to students in teacher training. Ms. Wohl.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

One 3-hour period.

280. Urban Education Reform (1)

(Same as Urban Studies 280) This course examines American urban education reform from historical and contemporary perspectives. Particular attention is given to the political and economic aspects of educational change. Specific issues in the course include, but are not limited to: centralized vs. decentralized decision-making structures; standards and accountability mechanisms; recruitment and retention of teachers; micro politics within urban schools; and incentivebased reform strategies. Students are also afforded the opportunity to participate directly in current reform efforts through selected service learning projects in local Poughkeepsie schools. Mr. Roellke.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

Two 75-minute classes.

281. From Print to Film: The Reading, Writing and (1)
Seeing of Children's Books

A study of selected children's classics and the films based on them, both of which have attracted an adult audience: Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, Gulliver's Travels, Mulan, The Wizard of Oz and others. Ms. Willard.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

Two 2-hour periods.

290a or b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

All candidates for certification must demonstrate competency in an intensive field work experience at the elementary, middle school, or senior high school level prior to student teaching. The department.

Reading Courses

297.01. Teaching Reading: Special Problems (1/2)

Ms. Trainor.

297.02. Early Childhood Education: History and Theories (1/2)

Ms. Trainor.

297.03. The Adolescent in American Society (1/2)

Ms. Trainor.

297.04. Readings in the History of Education (1/2)

Mr. Roellke.

297.05. Special Problems in the Social Studies (1/2)

Mr. Roellke.

297.06. Learning About Secondary Mathematics Materials (1/2)

The department.

297.07. Learning About Science Materials (1/2)

The department.

297.08. Special Studies in Education (1/2)

The department.

297.09. Special Studies in Children's Literature (1/2)

Ms. Trainor.

297.10. The Changing Mathematics Curriculum (1/2)

The department.

297.11. Sexism, Racism, and Ageism in the Curriculum (1/2)

Ms. Trainor.

298a or b. Independent Study (1/2 or 1)

Individual or group projects concerned with some aspect of education, subject to prior approval of the department. May be elected during the regular academic year or during the summer. The department. 


III. Advanced

A minimum of 1/2 unit of field work is required for admittance to all 300-level courses for students seeking teacher certification.

[320a. Up From Slavery: Schooling and Socialization (1)
of Blacks in America}

(Same as Africana Studies 320) Ms. Bickerstaff.

Not offered in 1999/00.

321b. Cross-Cultural Studies in Education (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 321)

350/351. The Teaching of Reading: Process and Strategies (1)
for Elementary and Special Education

The purpose of this course is to examine the nature and process of reading within a theoretical framework and then to examine a variety of approaches and strategies used in teaching children to read and to gain competence in all of the language arts. Special emphasis is placed on diagnostic teaching for all children as well as on the selection of reading curricula, goals, methods, materials, and settings appropriate for children in regular classes and for children with cognitive and behavioral deficits for whom modifications in the learning program are necessary. Observation and participation in local schools is required. Ms. Trainor.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105, 202, permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period; one hour of laboratory.

360a. Workshop in Curriculum Development (1)

This course focuses on the current trends, research and theory in the area of social science and their implications for practice in the elementary schools. Procedures and criteria for developing and evaluating curricular content, resources and teaching strategies are examined and interdisciplinary units developed. Ms. Cantor.

Prerequisites: open to seniors only or by permission of instructor.

One 3-hour period.

361b. Seminar: Science in the Elementary Classroom (1)

A consideration of science topics that work particularly well in the elementary classroom. Both the science content itself and relevant methods of pedagogy are the foci of the seminar. Emphasis is placed on experiential approaches to the material. Ms. Cantor.

Open to seniors only or by permission of instructor.

One 3-hour period.

362a or b. Student Teaching Practicum: Elementary (2)

Supervised internship in an elementary classroom, grades K-6. Examination and analysis of the interrelationships of teachers, children, and curriculum as reflected in the classroom learning environment. One or more conference hours per week. Ms. Trainor, Ms. Cantor.

Open to seniors only.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105, 202; Education 235, 240, 290, 350/351; Education 360, 361 may be concurrent. (Ungraded only.) Permission of instructor.

370a or b. Student Teaching: (2)
Secondary School Foreign Languages

Supervised internship in teaching in a middle, junior or senior high school, grades 7-12. Examination of the interrelationships of teachers, children, and curriculum as reflected in the classroom learning environment. One or more conference periods per week. Ms. Wohl.

Open to seniors only.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105; Education 235, 263, 290; Education 390. (Ungraded only.) Permission of instructor.

372a or b. Student Teaching: Secondary School Mathematics (2)
and Science

Supervised internship in teaching in a middle, junior, or senior high school, grades 7-12. Examination of the interrelationships of teachers, children, and curriculum as reflected in the classroom learning environment. One or more conference hours per week. The department.

Open to seniors only.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105; Education 235, 263, 290; Education 392. (Ungraded only.) Permission of instructor.

374a or b. Student Teaching: Secondary School English (2)

Supervised internship in teaching in a middle, junior, or senior high school, grades 7-12. Examination of the interrelationships of teachers, children, and curriculum as reflected in the classroom learning environment. One or more conference periods per week. Ms. Wohl.

Open to seniors only.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105; Education 235, 263, 290; Education 394. (Ungraded only.) Permission of instructor.

376a or b. Student Teaching: Secondary School Social Studies (2)

Supervised internship in teaching in a middle, junior or senior high school, grades 7-12. Examination of the interrelationships of teachers, children, and curriculum as reflected in the classroom learning environment. One or more conference hours per week. Mr. Roellke.

Open to seniors only.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105; Education 235, 263, 290; Education 396. (Ungraded only.) Permission of instructor.

390b. Secondary-School Teaching: Methods in Foreign Languages (1)

A seminar in the methods of teaching and development of curriculum in foreign languages in the secondary school. Relation of effective learning to motivation, to adolescent development, and to individual needs. Discussion of currently evolving theories of instruction in the secondary schools. The department.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105; Education 235, 263, 290. Permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period.

392b. Secondary-School Teaching: Methods in (1)
Mathematics and Science

Seminar in the methods and materials used in a secondary-school science and mathematics program. Examination of current trends in application of learning theories related to those subject areas. Emphasis placed on expanding of student view of educational problem solving by exploration of instructional alternatives. The department.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105; Education 235, 263, 290. Permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period.

394b. Secondary-School Teaching: Methods in English (1)

Seminar in the methods of teaching and development of curriculum in English in the secondary school. Relation of effective learning to motivation, to adolescent development, and to individual needs. Discussion of currently evolving theories of instruction in the secondary schools. Ms. Wohl.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105; Education 235, 263, 290. Permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period.

396b. Secondary-School Teaching: Methods in the Social Studies (1)

Seminar in the methods and materials of secondary-school social studies teaching. Special emphasis will be placed on curriculum development. Specific attention given to the selection of materials and the exploration of innovative teaching techniques. Mr. Roellke.

Prerequisites: Psychology 105; Education 235, 263, 290, permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period.

399a or b. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Special permission. The department.