Teaching One Student at a Time
 

Instructor:  Ms. Samantha Grabelle, MSW (call me Sam)

E-mail:sgrabelle@verizon.net

Required Text

The Big Picture: Education is Everyone's Business by Dennis Littky with Samantha Grabelle (ASCD, 2004)

You can purchase this book directly from ASCD by going to: http://shop.ascd.org/productdisplay.cfm?categoryid=books&productid=104438

or at www.amazon.com or at www.barnesandnoble.com

Suggested Text

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 http://www.bigpicture.org.  There are some great videos and articles under "Publications" to help you get a better idea of how the philosophy looks in action.

Course Description

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.

Course Objectives

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.

Tentative Schedule

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.

Course Requirements

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 implementation.

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.

Grading Policy

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 Policy

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 course.

Academic Integrity

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.

Professionalism:                         
Shows respect for self and others; reliable, prompt, does his/her share of the work; pays attention and offers valuable insight to course content. 
 
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.
 

Print this page