Identify the demographics of the school and class


The purpose of this case study research assignment is to reflect on your experiences at the fieldwork placement school through the lens of "democratic practice". The overarching research question you will be asking throughout your experiences at the school is "Are students at the school being prepared to be active and successful participants in a democracy?" You will be making your judgments based on criteria or standards that you will choose to write about. You will include evidence for your judgments in the form of examples that you collect during your experiences at the school. You will also make suggestions on how to make the school and classroom even more democratic than it already is.

The Four Categories of Analysis

We will be reading and discussing what democratic practice looks like in terms of the following four categories:

1. Room Set-up

2. School and Classroom Climate

3. Pedagogy

a. Content being taught

b. Teaching strategies

c. Assessment of student learning

4. Integration of Family and Community

Sources for Collection of Data

You will have several sources where you will collect your data that include the following:

a. Orientation to the school

b. One day shadowing of a teacher

c. Interview of that teacher

d. Attendance at two school-related meetings, one of which must be a school board meeting

e. Your service to the school community

In terms of writing, your paper will follow the format delineated in the syllabus under Writing Format. Here is the outline for the paper. Please use this outline format and put

II. Analysis and Interpretation of Your Data (7 to 9 pages) Here is the format you should follow, the criteria (direct, scholarly quotes) should come from the textbook, Portrait of a Teacher, class handouts, or your research in the library or online.

A. Room Set-up

1. Criterion 1 and discussion

2. Criterion 2 and discussion

3. Criterion 3 and discussion

B. School and Classroom Climate

1. Criterion 1 and discussion

2. Criterion 2 and discussion

3. Criterion 3 and discussion

C. Pedagogy (One criterion for each)

? Content being taught: Criterion 1 and discussion

? Teaching strategies: Criterion 2 and discussion

? Assessment of student learning: Criterion 3 and discussion

D. Integration of Family and Community

1. Criterion 1 and discussion

2. Criterion 2 and discussion

3. Criterion 3 and discussion

III. Conclusions (3 to 4 pages)

A. Summary of Conclusions

B. My Teacher's Philosophy of Education

C. Suggestions for Improvement

D. Evaluation of the Service Learning Experience

IV. References (1 to 2 pages)

Use APA style for your references, refer to Purdue OWL for details. The Portrait of a Teacher may be cited as Portrait of a Teacher (2003). Center of Pedagogy, Montclair State University.

Appendix A: Your raw notes (dated and may be handwritten) and then organized and typed using the four categories specified at the beginning of the assignment (Room Set-Up, etc.). (scanned file or photo as separate documents are acceptable) Appendix B: Your map of the classroom that you may use as supporting evidence in your paper. (scanned file or photo as separate documents are acceptable) Appendix C. Signed forms for school visits and service learning. (may submit in person separately)

Below is an explanation for some parts of your paper.

I. Introduction: Setting the Context: (1 to 2 pages)

A. Describe the school and the surrounding neighborhood including the demographics of the district. Identify the demographics of the school and class: grade level, number of girls and boys, racial and ethnic groups, # of ELL students, # students with disabilities, socioeconomic status of the children, etc. These demographics should be reflected in your data analysis. For example, many of the children in the school speak English as their second language. How do the school and classroom demographics match the district demographics? As you observe and work at the school, take notes on how teachers work with the diversity of the children in the class. Then reflect on whether or not their approaches are democratic.

B. Summarize the activities and data collection that you did at the school.

II. Analysis and interpretation of your data: (approximately 7 to 11 pages long)

This section is the meat of this paper. Here is where you will analyze your data against a variety of criteria and draw conclusions about what you observed in order to answer the overarching question "Are students at the school being prepared to be active and successful participants in a democracy?" Use the format specified above keeping these questions in mind:

Were students being prepared to be active and successful participants in a democracy in terms of these categories?

A. Room set-up?

B. School and classroom climate?

C. Pedagogy?

D. Integration of family and community?

For each of the four categories, you will provide a minimum of three criteria (examples below) that will serve as standards for your discussion.

You will then evaluate what you observed in relation to each criterion. For example, on Page 295 in your text it says, "In good classrooms teachers continually assess the progress of their students and use these assessments to evaluate the quality of their own teaching." You may want to use this criterion in evaluating your teacher on Pedagogy, using data from what you observed and your interview with the teacher. Be sure to provide citations for each criterion.

For example, a criterion you may want to use when reflecting on Classroom Climate is from the Portrait of a Teacher. It states that teachers should "Understand the practice of culturally responsive teaching. They understand that children bring varied talents, strengths, and perspectives to learning; have skills  4 for learning about the diverse students they teach; and use knowledge of students and their lives to design and carry out instruction that builds on students' individual and cultural strengths."

How might you assess your teacher on this criterion?

Some of you may be wondering how many criteria you need to use in assessing the democratic nature of the school and classroom you observe. You should have a minimum of three criteria in each of the four categories so that you have enough evidence to draw an overall conclusion about the school and the teacher you observed. You should number each criterion and then discuss how it is being met.

III. Conclusions (4 to 5 pages)

A. Summary of Conclusions:

In this section, you will present your overall conclusion regarding the overarching question: "Are students at the school being prepared to be active and successful participants in a democracy?" Using your analysis above you will present a summary of your conclusions. You may find that the school and or classroom are democratic in some regards and not in others. Write about that and support your conclusions.

B. My Teacher's Philosophy of Education:

You should also include your theory about your teacher's philosophy of education using your text and any other resources you may find. Identify the theory using the ones we studied in class or are in your text e.g. Progressivism, Essentialism, Humanism, etc. Perhaps you've taken Philosophy of Education and you still have your notes. Again, you may find that your teacher's philosophy is not cut and dry and may fall into more than one major philosophy. That's fine as long as you explain your thinking. You should also discuss whether or not the teacher's philosophy matches your own philosophy of education. Be sure to indicate what your philosophy is as well. How is the teacher's philosophy different from yours? How is it the same?

C. Suggestions for Improvement:

If this were your classroom, what is one thing you would do differently in each of the four categories that would make the school/class more democratic than it currently is?

Follow this format and provide headings.

1. Room set-up

-Provide one or more suggestions for improvement with a rationale for why you would improve it.

2. School and classroom climate

-Provide one or more suggestions for improvement with a rationale for why you would improve it.

3. Pedagogy

-Provide one or more suggestions for improvement with a rationale for why you would improve it.

4. Integration of family and community

-Provide one or more suggestions for improvement with a rationale for why you would improve it.

D. Evaluation of the Service Learning Experience:

Provide a brief discussion of your understanding of what service learning is and what you gained from this pedagogical approach. You should do some research to get a good definition of what service learning is as compared to something like volunteerism. What did you learn that you might not have learned from more traditional pedagogical  approaches like class lectures and discussion? Do you think this is a goodteaching/learning pedagogy? Why or why not? How would you improve the experience for future student who take the class?

Data Collection Guiding Questions:

Here are some sample questions that will guide your observations and subsequent reflections, but you do not have to answer these questions one by one. Rather, you should use them as guides to your analyses.

A. Room set-up: (Draw a map of the room to include in your paper and to use as support for your conclusions. This will be Appendix B) How are the desks arranged? Where is the teacher's desk? What do you see on the walls? What is the quality of the furniture? Does the room set-up promote democratic behaviors, skills and attitudes?

B. School and Classroom Climate: What is the atmosphere when you walk into and around the school? How are people greeted? What are the teacher's attitudes toward the students? Does the teacher treat all the students equally? What kinds of classroom management strategies does the teacher use? Does the teacher encourage students to listen to and respect different ideas? What is the nature of the classroom routines? Do they facilitate the academic and social growth of the students? Do the students have jobs and responsibilities in the classroom? Do the school and classroom climates promote democratic ideals?

C. Pedagogy

• Content being taught: What is being taught? Are the students interested in the content? Does the teacher have a good grasp of the content? Is the teacher connecting the content to students' background knowledge and cultures?

• Teaching strategies: What instructional strategies are being used? What kinds of questions does the teacher ask? Does the teacher capitalize on students' background knowledge and/or funds of knowledge? How does the teacher respond to student questions? Is the teacher differentiating instruction to accommodate the different needs of the students? How are children with special needs treated in the classroom? Are they included all day or pulled out?

• Assessment of student learning: How does the teacher know that the students learned what was taught? Does the teacher use different kinds of assessments? What is the nature of the assessments?

• Reflect on how the above promotes democratic ideals.

D. Integration of Family and Community: What was the nature of the meetings you attended? How were they conducted? Did you see democracy in action? Did you see family members or community members in the school the day you shadowed? Were family or community members involved during your service learning experience?

Keep in mind that these are only sample questions. As we read, research and discuss these areas in class, you will see that there are other questions that arise. Your interview with theteacher will also help you address the questions in the five categories.

Please talk to me if you end up observing in more than one classroom and we'll figure out how to write about your experiences.

Attachment:- Service Learning at Belmont Runyon Elementary.rar

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