Educ 350: Teaching and Learning

Spring 2023 Syllabus

Our course meets in-person, wearing face masks in compliance with the campus Covid policy, on Fridays 1:30–4:10pm, McCook 313, Trinity College, Hartford CT.


Professor Jack Dougherty, Trinity College, Hartford CT. Email me a quick question or schedule a Zoom appointment on my calendar. Portions of this syllabus were originally created with former co-instructor Kyle Evans, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics.

Course Description: This seminar will explore theoretical, policy, and practical issues of teaching and learning. Who should teach in public schools, and what kind of preparation is necessary? What type of curriculum should be taught, and how do different interest groups shape that decision? How should we assess the quality of student learning? Finally, how do debates on all of these questions influence the nature of teachers’ work and classroom life?

  • For the community learning component, Trinity students will design, teach, and assess hands-on inquiry-based science or math workshops for grade 3-8 students in cooperation with nearby Hartford public schools.
  • Prerequisite: C- or better in Educational Studies 200 or permission of instructor.
  • Enrollment limited to 19 students.

Course Materials

This book will be purchased for you by the instructor’s course funds:

Peter Liljedahl, Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics, Grades K-12: 14 Teaching Practices for Enhancing Learning (Corwin Press, 2020).

Learning Goals and Assessments

  1. Students will gain contextual understanding of K-12 teaching by comparing different pedagogical approaches, national standards, modes of assessment, and strategies to promote equity.

  2. Students will design, teach, and assess inquiry-based math and/or science lessons in Grade 3-8 classrooms, and evaluate their own teaching as well as work by peers.

  3. Students will create online portfolios and presentations of their teaching that illustrate growth in their curricular decision-making and classroom experiences, for evaluation by a panel of educators.

Your progress toward achieving these goals will be assessed in these ways:

A. Lesson Plans and Portfolios

Students will prepare three inquiry-based math or science lesson plans, on topics requested by Hartford teachers, designed for about forty minutes of classroom time. Each lesson plan will feature appropriate learning objectives, engaging hands-on activities, meaningful assessment, and strategies to promote equity. (3 lesson plans x 10 points = 30 points)

After teaching each workshop, students will create a public web portfolio with narrative, video, and images of their lesson plan, reflections on their teaching experience, and ways to improve for next time. Students have the right to remove their web content after the course, or keep it online to share as part of their resume for future employment or graduate school. (3 portfolios x 10 points = 30 points)

B. Guest Educator Panel Evaluation

Students will deliver an 8-minute presentation of selected highlights from their public web portfolio, to be evaluated by a panel of experienced guest educators. This event will be scheduled during our final exam time slot on Tuesday May 9th from 3-6pm. (20 points)

C. Class Exercises and Participation

To encourage active learning and accountability, each student begins the course with 20 participation points. During class, you may be randomly called on to discuss a concept in our reading, share your responses to a pre-assigned exercise, or peer-review writing by another student. If you are not present or not able to participate when called upon, 2 points will be deducted from your participation score. Exceptions are granted only for documented health or family emergencies, or scheduling conflicts where you have notified me well in advance. (20 points)

If you are quarantined or isolated due to Covid, or if you have concerns about your health, email me in advance to request permission to participate remotely via Zoom during a specific class session. Last-minute requests may not be granted.


60 points for lesson plans and portfolios + 20 points for guest educator panel evaluation + 20 points for class exercises and participation = 100 total points. In this course, unsatisfactory work (below 70%) falls in the D or F range, adequate work (70-79%) in the C range, good work (80-89%) in the B range, and outstanding work (90 to 100%) in the A range. Each range is divided into equal thirds for minus (-), regular, and plus (+) letter grades. For example, 80 to 83.33% = B-, 83.34 to 86.67 = B, and 86.68 to 89.99 = B+. Access your individual assessments on the password-protected Moodle site for this course at

Late penalty: A 20 percent late penalty will be deducted for every 12-hour period that has passed since the assignment deadline. Exceptions are granted only for documented health or family emergencies.

Academic accommodations: please notify me before our third class session, and schedule an appointment on my calendar to discuss how we will implement your approved plan. For those students with accommodations approved after the start of the semester, a minimum of 10 days’ notice is required. Learn more at the Student Accessibility Resource Center.

Religious observances or other advance scheduling conflicts: please request accommodations well ahead of time, ideally by our third class session. Last-minute requests may not be granted.

How to Succeed in this Course

  • Bookmark this online syllabus and check it for important updates, which will appear in bold.
  • Keep a calendar (paper or digital) to manage your time and meet deadlines.
  • Bring a laptop (with a fully-charged battery) to every class, and turn off distractions to help you (and others) focus on learning. Set notifications on digital devices to “Do Not Disturb.”
  • Take initiative and ask questions: during or after class, via email, or by appointment on my calendar. If you don’t understand something, other students probably are puzzled, too. Go ahead and ask.
  • Meet up with other students outside of class. Create a small study group to review the course material and work together. The secret to success in college is teaching yourselves how to learn new material.
  • If anything is interfering with your learning, email or talk with your instructors about it. We care about how you’re doing in life, not just in our classroom.


  • Important updates from the instructor will be marked in bold.

Fri Jan 27

Fri Feb 3

Math Resources

Science Resources

Fri Feb 10

Fri Feb 17

  • Class meets 1:30-4:10pm
  • In class:
  • Revisions of Lesson Plan 1 due by Tues Feb 28th 4pm on GDoc Organizer for evaluation by instructor.
  • Need materials for your lesson? Email me specifics (including rationale, quantity, costs, and links) as soon as possible, and I will assist when feasible.

Fri Feb 24

  • No class: Trinity Days
  • Reminder: HPS Schools closed for break, Mon-Fri Feb 20-24

Fri March 3

  • Class meets 1:30-4:10pm
  • Need materials for your lesson? Email me specifics (including rationale, quantity, costs, and links, to any store) as soon as possible, and I will assist when feasible.
  • Video prep: Test recording video using either your laptop (set up on a table in the back of the room) or your smartphone (with tripod and mount provided by instructor). In your classroom, ask teacher if any students’ families have opted-out of the HPS media consent form, since they should not appear in your video on public web.
    • How to record video on Mac: QuickTime app > File > New Video Recording, start and stop, then Save
    • Create a duplicate backup before editing
    • Simple way to edit short video clips on Mac with Quicktime: drag slider then Edit > Split Clip, save new clip, then Edit > Trim clip.
    • Upload selected short clips to a video streaming service, such as YouTube or Vimeo. An “unlisted” setting will make your video public, but not findable unless users have the link.
  • Deliver 2-minute launch of Lesson 1, which should include, at minimum:
    • your name for classroom students
    • opening visuals or sample materials
    • guiding question to encourage deeper thinking
    • visual and/or verbal guides for students’ next steps
    • record on video using either laptop or smartphone
  • Feedback on lesson launches from peers and instructor: what worked and what to improve?
  • WordPress Workshop to start your site with at least three web pages:
  • During class: Small-group 10-minute feedback sessions on Lesson 1 plans with instructor, while others work on websites and practice video clips
  • One more time! Deliver improved 2-minute launch of Lesson 1. Also, beware of distractions…

Fri March 10

  • Teach Lesson 1 in Hartford school placement anytime before 3pm
  • Class meets 3:10-4:10pm to debrief and share reflections
  • Recommended: If you need guidance with sample web pages or preparing for the next lesson, see me in our classroom anytime 2:10-3:10pm today
  • Start writing Portfolio 1, due on Google Organizer by Fri March 17th 4pm. See Evaluation Criteria
  • Work as a group to sign up for 2-3 consecutive appointments on my calendar to discuss your Lesson 2 submissions with peer(s) and instructor
  • Start preparing Lesson 2, due on Google Organizer 24 hours before meeting with peer(s) and instructor
  • A personal note about learning from our mistakes
  • Advice on editing video and reducing size before uploading to streaming service

Fri March 17

  • Instead of our regular class time this week, schedule two consecutive 20-minute appointments in duos/trios on my online calendar for anytime prior to Fri March 17th at 4pm.
  • Lesson Plan 2 due 24 hours before scheduled meeting time for peer-review by duo/trio.

Fri March 24

No class: Trinity Spring Break

Fri March 31

  • Teach Lesson 2 in Hartford school placement anytime before 3pm
  • Class meets 3:10-4:10pm to share reflections and start writing Portfolio 2, due by Thursday April 6th 4pm

Fri April 7

  • Class meets 1:30-4:10pm
  • In-class Peer-review of Portfolio 2. Revisions due by Sun April 9th 4pm for evaluation by instructor.
  • How and Why to use Visual Advance Organizers (or Agendas) in your launch
  • Start preparing Lesson 3, due before class on Fri April 14th
  • Reminder: HPS schools closed today for Good Friday

Fri April 14

  • Class meets 1:30-4:10pm
  • In-class peer-review of Lesson Plan 3.
  • Revisions of Lesson Plan 3 due by Tues April 18th 4pm for instructor evaluation.
  • Reminder: HPS schools closed for spring break, Mon-Fri April 10-14

Fri April 21

  • Class meets 1:30-4:10pm
  • In-class practice teaching of Lesson 3 for peer and instructor feedback

Fri April 28

  • Teach Lesson 3 in Hartford school placement anytime before 3pm
  • Class meets 3:10-4:10pm to share reflections.
  • Start writing Portfolio 3, due before class on Thursday May 4 for peer-review.

Thu May 4

  • Class meets 1:30-4:10pm. Since the College decided that our last “Friday” class meets on Thur May 4, make sure that you do not have any schedule conflicts.
  • In-class peer-review of Portfolio 3. Revisions due by Fri May 5th 4pm for instructor evaluation.
  • Reflecting on your teaching trajectory and preparing presentation for guest educators

Tues May 9 from 3-6pm

  • Guest Educator Panel Evaluation (during our final exam slot). Students will deliver an 8-minute presentation of selected highlights from their public web portfolio, to be evaluated by a panel of experienced guest educators. Worth 20 points.