Teaching One Student at a Time
Instructor: Ms. Samantha Grabelle, MSW (call me Sam)
For further reading during or after the course, see pages 209-216 in
the required text. Also, please set aside some time to learn more
about The Big Picture Company and Big Picture Schools by going to
. There are some great videos and
articles under "Publications" to help you get a better idea of how
the philosophy looks in action.
This 8-week course will be split into two sections. For the first 4
weeks, we will read the required text together and thoughtfully
answer the questions at the end of each chapter. In order to feel
more like a class discussion, students are encouraged to read other
students' answers and post responses as well.
During the second 4 weeks of the course, you will take what you've
learned through reading the book, answering the questions, and
reading/responding to other students' answers, into the "real
world". Each week, you will assign yourself an aspect of the
education philosophy described in the text, and implement it in your
classroom or other educational context. You will then write up a
reflection on the experience and post it for the class to read.
By reading the book "The Big Picture: Education is Everyone's
Business" together, and then implementing what you've learned, the
students in this class will be starting a mini-revolution to make
our schools more effective and more responsive to the needs of kids.
If one student's life is changed, one parent empowered, or one
administrator encouraged to re-think what are the real goals of
education, we will all have succeeded.
Week One: Read pages iii to xvii. Read Chapters One and Two and
post your answers to the questions at the end of each chapter.
Respond to other students' answers as desired.
Week Two: Read Chapters Three and Four and post your answers to the
questions at the end of each chapter. Respond to other students'
answers as desired.
Week Three: Read Chapters Five, Six and Seven and post your answers
to the questions at the end of each chapter. Respond to other
students' answers as desired.
Week Four: Read Chapters Eight, Eight and a Half, and Nine and post
your answers to the questions at the end of each chapter. Respond
to other students' answers as desired. Also read pages 202 through
the end of the book.
Weeks 5-8: Each week, select an aspect of the philosophy described
in the text and apply it in your classroom or other educational
setting. Write at least a one-page paper describing the aspect of
the philosophy you chose, your reflections on the experience of
implementing it, and your plans for the future.
During the first 4 weeks, students are required to post thoughtful
answers to each chapter question and respond to at least one other
student's posting per week. During the second 4 weeks, students are
required to post at least a one page paper on the aspect of the
philosophy they chose to implement, their reflections on the
experience, and their plans for the future. These papers must be
posted as attachments to the Discussion Forum for that week, as well
as put into the Drop Box for that week so that the instructor can
give you personalized feedback. Students must read all other
students' papers and comment when desired.
There are no "wrong" answers to the questions. When trying to
implement the philosophy in your educational setting, remember that
problems are just opportunities to reflect and learn more. Don't
hesitate to post requests for help/feedback from the instructor and
fellow students if you run into bumps along the road toward
Students should plan to do coursework at least 4 hours/week in order
to earn the 2 credits for this 8-week course. During the first 4
weeks, approximately two hours should be spent reading the assigned
chapters in the book, and two hours should be spent online answering
the chapter questions and responding to other students' answers.
During the second 4 weeks, approximately two hours should be spent
in the field implementing ideas chosen from the book. The other two
hours should be spent writing a one or more page paper on the
experience, uploading it, and reading other students' papers.
Students will be assessed by quality and adequate quantity of
discussion postings and enthusiastic participation. Participation
includes thoughtfulness and evidence (in the second half of the
course) that students are bringing what they are learning and
thinking about back to their students and classrooms. Each student
will receive a one-page narrative from the instructor at the end of
the course describing their participation, progress, and quality of
work. As long as you complete all assignments and demonstrate
commitment and effort, you will receive an A. At any time that your
progress in the course is seen to be lacking, the instructor will
communicate with you independently to determine how best to support
your successful completion of the course.
Attendance will be monitored by determining whether students are
posting their assignments by the end of each week. If you are
missing one or more assignments, or are not submitting complete
assignments, the instructor will communicate with you independently
to determine how best to support your successful completion of the
Students will demonstrate academic integrity through their level of
involvement, fulfillment of requirements, and professionalism.
Level of Involvement:
Exhibits dedication to personal and professional growth; passion for
learning; enthusiasm for participation in class activities.
Fulfillment of Requirements:
All course requirements are met; participant posts commentary to the
online discussion on a regular basis and has established a
connection to the group as an active learner.
Shows respect for self and others; reliable, prompt, does his/her
share of the work; pays attention and offers valuable insight to
While all assignments must be posted in the discussion forum, please
do not hesitate to communicate with the instructor via e-mail with
any problems, concerns, or specific feedback. General feedback
about the course and the book is requested and welcome.