Foundations of education: the school curriculum

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EDEE 3320



Course Meeting Information
Instructor Information
Course Description

Principles and foundations of curriculum for grades EC-8 in public schools. Includes the study of professional ethics/responsibilities, educational philosophies, the history of American education, schools and society, legal/political control and financial support, school/classroom organizational patterns, and curriculum development/alignment. Prerequisite(s): Admission to the teacher education program (includes participation in a field-based program), a child/adolescent/lifespan development course, and an educational-application computer course.

Standards Addressed

Texas PPR Standards and associated objectives are addressed by this course at the knowledge level and some at the skill development level as listed in the next section. Especially relevant is Standard IV: The teacher fulfills professional roles and responsibilities and adheres to legal and ethical requirements of the profession.

TEKS addressed by the course include: English language arts and reading related to comprehension of informational/expository text (10) and informational/procedural text (12), reading/media literacy (13), writing personal (16) and expository text (17), research/gathering sources (23), research/synthesizing information (24), research/presenting information (25), and listening and speaking/teamwork (28); mathematics related to evaluation of predictions and conclusions based on statistical data (13); and social studies related to understanding the organization of government (11) as it pertains to schools, understanding the similarities and differences within and among cultures as a basis for multiculturalism (15), application of critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired through established research methodologies from a variety of valid sources, including electronic technology (21), and communicating in written, oral, and visual forms (22).
The Checkpoint 1 program portfolio completed in the course addresses all sections of the UNT Conceptual Framework and the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium Standards (1992) at the awareness level.
It also addresses the following standards:

Association of Childhood Education International 1, 2.1-2.7, 3.1-3.5, 4, and 5.1-5.2;

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages 2b, 3a, 4c, 5b, and 5c; and

National Middle School Association 1.1k-1.3k, 1.5k, 1.6k, 1.2d, 1.6d, 2.3k, 2.1d, 2.4d, 3.1k, 3.3k, 3.4k, 3.9k, 3.1d, 3.2d, 3.4d, 3.5d, 4.1k, 4.1d, 5.1k, 5.2k, 5.8k, 5.1d, 5.2d, 5.3d, 5.5d, 6.2k, 6.8k, 6.9k, 6.7d, 6.8d, 7.1k, 7.2k, 7.3k, 7.8k-7.10k, 7.1d, 7.2d, 7.4d, and 7.5d.

Course Objectives

Course objectives are related to Texas Pedagogical and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) standards and objectives at the knowledge, and occasionally at the skill, levels as indicated.

The candidate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of rewards and challenges of teaching, teaching as a profession and how it is shaped by the current reform movement and dimensions of learner diversity (4.10k, 4.12k, 4.14k).

  • Demonstrate knowledge of professional education routes and the development of career teachers (4.9k, 4.11k, 4.13s).

  • Describe teacher response to changes in the American family, to socioeconomic differences, and to risk factors that influence elementary and middle school children (1.18k, 2.1k, 4.1s).

  • Demonstrate knowledge of influences on children’s learning of cultural, linguistic, gender, developmental, and ability differences and of exceptionalities in the context of age graded schools (1.1k, 1.2k,1.3k,1.4k, 1.5k, 1.6k, 4.1k).

  • Demonstrate awareness of the teacher’s role in developing the capacity of families to advocate for children and to plan for their children’s futures (4.2k, 4.3s)..

  • Demonstrate familiarity with important people, events, and movements in the history of American education (1.18k, 1.20k, 1.22k, 2.4k).

  • Apply knowledge of educational philosophies in developing a personal teaching philosophy (2.5k,4.7k,4.8k,4.12k)

  • Demonstrate understanding of the overall organization of elementary and middle schools and of effective schools (4.3k, 4.4k, 4.5k, 4.6k, 4.7k, 4.18k, 1.17k).

  • Demonstrate knowledge of school governance and funding (4.18k, 1.12k, 1.14k, 1.15k).

  • Demonstrate knowledge of ethical and legal issues in schools and their implications for teachers and students in elementary and middle schools (4.13k, 4.14k, 4.15k, 4.16k, 4.17k, 2.2k, 2.3k, 2.6k)..

  • Define curriculum and forces that influence its development in public elementary and middle schools (1.7k, 1.6s, 1.12k, 1.13k, 1.19k)..

  • Demonstrate knowledge of effective instruction as it is related to children’s learning (1.11k, 1.16k, 1.20k, 1.23k, 1.24k, 1.30k).

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the relationship of assessment to curriculum and instruction and to school accountability (1.24k, 1.25k, 1.26k, 1.27k, 1.30k).

  • Construct a professional portfolio based on the InTASC Standards that focuses on the role of the teacher and defines yourself as a beginning teaching professional. (4.9k, 4.10k, 4.14s)

Required Texts
Kauchak, D., & Eggen P. (2011). Introduction to teaching: Becoming a professional (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson with MyEducationLab. The text may be accessed online through which is available to you with purchase of a new text or direct purchase.
Frequently used websites: (Look here for information about the UNT program and TK20 access.) (Source of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, TEKS; history of Texas education; and information about AEIS, Academic Excellence Indictor System) (Textbook companion website) (The InTASC Standards are changing. This site previews the new edition. See the current standards in TK20.)

Schedule and Topics
A tentative schedule for the class is presented below. Assignments may be changed by the instructor, with changes to be announced in class and posted on Blackboard.

Date and main topic

Chapter to be read and major question

Assignment due during or before class

Related INTASC Standards

Week 1

What will we learn in the class?


Week 2

What does it mean for teaching to be a profession?

Chapter 1, Essay 1


Week 3

How do teachers develop professionally?

Chapter 2


Week 4

How can I advocate for students who may be at risk?

Chapter 3, Quiz 1


Week 5

How can I respond to cultural, language, and gender differences?

Chapter 4, Teacher interview


Week 6

How can I respond to differences in development and ability?

Chapter 5, Powerpoint


Week 7

What is important about the history of U.S. education?

Chapter 6, Quiz 2


Week 8

What do I believe about education?

Chapter 7, Essay 2


Week 9

How are schools organized?

Chapter 8, Quiz 3


Week 10

How are schools governed and financed?

Chapter 9


Week 11

What are important school laws?

Chapter 10, Legal briefs


Week 12

What is curriculum and how it is determined?

Chapter 11, Quiz 4


Week 13

How is learning related to instruction?

Chapter 13


Week 14

How is assessment related to standards and accountability?

Chapter 14


Portfolio Reviews.

What do I know about the role of a teacher?

Quiz 5, Portfolio completed


Final Exam

Final exam

Assessment of Learning Outcomes
These types of assignments will be given the following point values in assignment of the final grade.

Quizzes 10

Teacher interview 20

Essays 10

Legal briefs 5

PowerPoint 20

Portfolios 50

Final Exam 50

If there are 5 quizzes with the lowest grade dropped, 1 interview, 2 essays, 3 legal briefs, 1 Powerpoint, the portfolio, and the final, this will total 215 points. Students earning 90% or more of the points would be considered for an A, attendance, participation and professionalism also being considered in determination of the grade. Students earning 80% or more of the points would be considered for a B, etc. Although the actual assignments made might lead to different total, the same process will be used in grade determination.
Teacher Education & Administration

University and Departmental Policy Statements

The University of North Texas complies with Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The University of North Texas provides academic adjustments and auxiliary aids to individuals with disabilities, as defined under the law. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring accommodation, please see the instructor and/or contact the Office of Disability Accommodation at 940-565-4323 during the first week of class.”


Students are encouraged to become familiar with UNT’s policy on academic integrity: Academic dishonesty, in the form of plagiarism, cheating. or fabrication, will not be tolerated in this class. Any act of academic dishonesty will be reported, and a penalty determined, which may be probation, suspension, or expulsion from the university.


Expectations for behavior in this class accord with the Code of Student Conduct: “Student behavior that interferes with an instructor’s ability to conduct a class or other students' opportunity to learn is unacceptable and disruptive and will not be tolerated in any instructional forum at UNT. Students engaging in unacceptable behavior will be directed to leave the classroom and the instructor may refer the student to the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities to consider whether the student's conduct violated the Code of Student Conduct. The university's expectations for student conduct apply to all instructional forums, including university and electronic classroom, labs, discussion groups, field trips, etc.” See


All students should activate and regularly check their Eagle Connect (e-mail) account. Eagle Connect is used for official communication from the University to students. Many important announcements for the University and College are sent to students via Eagle Connect. For information about Eagle Connect, including how to activate an account and how to have Eagle Connect forwarded to another e-mail address, visit


Students should turn off cell phones when they are in class. This means vibrate as well as ring modes. Also, there should be no texting during class. Laptops may be used in class for taking notes and for engaging in learning activities for the course.


The Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness (SETE) is expected for all organized classes at UNT. This brief online survey will be made available to you at the end of the semester, providing you a chance to comment on how this class is taught. I am very interested in the feedback I get from students, as I work to continually improve my teaching. I consider the SETE to be an important part of your participation in this class.


In order to monitor students' achievement, improve instructional programs, and publish research findings, the Department of Teacher Education and Administration collects anonymous student work samples, student demographic information, test scores, and GPAs to be analyzed by internal and external reviewers.


Some undergraduate and graduate education courses require assignments that must be uploaded and assessed in the UNT TK20 Assessment System. This requires a one-time purchase of TK20, and student subscriptions are effective for seven years from the date of purchase. Please go to the following link for directions on how to purchase TK20: Announcements regarding TK20 will also be posted on this website.

Conceptual Framework: The Educator as Agent of Engaged Learning

Improving the quality of education in Texas schools and elsewhere is the goal of programs for the education of educators at the University of North Texas. To achieve this goal, programs leading to teacher certification and advanced programs for educators at the University of North Texas 1) emphasize content, curricular, and pedagogical knowledge acquired through research and informed practice of the academic disciplines, 2) incorporate the Texas Teacher Proficiencies for learner-centered education, 3) feature collaboration across the university and with schools and other agencies in the design and delivery of programs, and 4) respond to the rapid demographic, social, and technological change in the United States and the world.

The educator as agent of engaged learning summarizes the conceptual framework for UNT's basic and advanced programs. This phrase reflects the directed action that arises from simultaneous commitment to academic knowledge bases and to learner centered practice. "Engaged learning" signifies the deep interaction with worthwhile and appropriate content that occurs for each student in the classrooms of caring and competent educators. "Engaged learning" features the on-going interchange between teacher and student about knowledge and between school and community about what is worth knowing. This conceptual framework recognizes the relationship between UNT and the larger community in promoting the commitment of a diverse citizenry to life-long learning. In our work of developing educators as agents of engaged learning, we value the contributions of professional development schools and other partners and seek collaborations which advance active, meaningful, and continuous learning.
Seeing the engaged learner at the heart of a community that includes educators in various roles, we have chosen to describe each program of educator preparation at UNT with reference to the following key concepts, which are briefly defined below.
1. Content and curricular knowledge refer to the grounding of the educator in content knowledge and knowledge construction and in making meaningful to learners the content of the PreK-16 curriculum.

2. Knowledge of teaching and assessment refers to the ability of the educator to plan, implement, and assess instruction in ways that consistently engage learners or, in advanced programs, to provide leadership for development of programs that promote engagement of learners.

3. Promotion of equity for all learners refers to the skills and attitudes that enable the educator to advocate for all students within the framework of the school program.

4. Encouragement of diversity refers to the ability of the educator to appreciate and affirm formally and informally the various cultural heritages, unique endowments, learning styles, interests, and needs of learners.

5. Professional communication refers to effective interpersonal and professional oral and written communication that includes appropriate applications of information technology.

6. Engaged professional learning refers to the educator's commitment to ethical practice and to continued learning and professional development.

Through the experiences required in each UNT program of study, we expect that basic and advanced students will acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions appropriate to the educational role for which they are preparing or in which they are developing expertise.
A broad community stands behind and accepts responsibility for every engaged learner. UNT supports the work of PreK-16 communities through basic and advanced programs for professional educators and by promoting public understanding of issues in education.

This course syllabus is intended to be a guide and may be amended at any time by the instructor.

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