George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

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Institute for Education Transformation--Teaching Courses (IETT)


University Programs

750 Structures of Language I (3:3:0). An inquiry into the major forms of language, how individuals draw on their structures to learn about the world, and how this approach influences our perceptions of children as learners. In this unit, individuals study the value of making sense of their own experience, writing narratives and autobiographies, studying them as objects of thought, critiquing them from different interpretative theoretical frameworks (e.g., Vygotsky, Brice-Heath, Baratz), and using them as a basis for conceptualizing research.

751 Structures of Language II (3:3:0). An examination of how we can study the world through novels and stories, how the languages of disciplines can be understood, and how meaning can be created and critiqued with different structures. The teacher as a technician and as an artist, and what a curriculum might be if conceived as a work of art, are examined. Different forms of dialogue and conversation are examined as a way to assist children to understand their world, especially through such forms as theater.

752 Research in Practice: The Team Project (9:3:0). Each school team works throughout the first year in refining the topic of its proposal. At the beginning of the second year, this proposal is formally submitted and approved, having been built on the preparatory and continuing research training offered. The design of the work plan must contain a detailed strategy, preferably involving children as partners rather than subjects in research. The product of the project must be a substantial piece of work, especially as a vehicle for hearing children's and teachers' voices, together with a plan for its dissemination in the school community.

753 Teaching and Learning (3:3:0). The culminating unit of the program, taken as an exit requirement during the third summer workshop. Three main themes are presenting the team project; constructing an individual portfolio of work, including the journal and a summative evaluation of an individual's career; and mentoring through the team structure of teachers enrolled in the new program.


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