Field Experience & Student Teaching




The English Education program in the Department of Teaching and Learning offers a variety of courses to satisfy the requirements for graduation. You'll find information regarding course offerings as well as the frequency with which courses are offered on these pages to help you plan your program of studies.

EDTL:4314 Introduction to Practicum: Secondary English

One section of this course is offered every Fall and Spring semester.

Introduction to Practicum is the first formal course on the journey to becoming an English teacher. This course immerses students into real classrooms and schools to work with secondary-aged students and experience public school education through the eyes of a teacher. To meet these ends, students work in and observe an English classroom in one of the area secondary schools and participate in an after-school mentoring program at a local junior high school. In these placements, students plan, instruct and assess, working closely with a cooperating teacher to observe and practice the act of teaching, and discuss and reflect on their experiences. The weekly class meeting time allows students to explore the complexities of teaching English/language arts through reading selected articles and discussing them.  The main goal is for students to study the English classroom with the hopes of them gaining a better understanding of their chosen profession and their own philosophies as emerging teachers.

EDTL:4315 learning to teach secondary english/language arts & Field experience

One section of this course is offered every Fall and Spring semester.

This course provides students a time and a place to practice “thinking like a teacher.”  It is a place to synthesize coursework and develop a teaching philosophy that is unique to your own professional persona. The class explores a variety of instructional strategies and assessments to appeal to different learners in the classroom. Students create lessons and unit plans, discussing the purpose of daily goals and overarching objectives as well as the current realities of teaching English today and how different societal aspects impact the classroom. You will serve as one another’s audience, assessor and support network as you plan, teach, evaluate your own learning and that of your students. The requirements for this class are structured to prepare you for student teaching and your own future classrooms. The main course objective is to socialize candidates into the profession as a new teacher who is committed to student learning, passionate and knowledgeable about their subject matter, and grounded in a theoretical framework that creates a confident yet reflective practitioner. A 6-week placement in a literacy classroom serves as a home context for a portion of the planning in this class.

EDTL:4355 Approaches to Teaching Writing

One section of this course is offered every Fall and Spring semester. If it meets minimum enrollment, a section is sometimes offered in one of the Summer sessions.

This course is designed in three layers--the practice of writing itself, the theory and pedagogy of the teaching of writing, and the understanding of how to watch both. One half of our class time will be a collaborative workshop configuration. We will draft, read, share drafts in conferences and response groups, and "publish" the pieces we write in formal "read-arounds." During the other half, we will respond to the readings, the theory, and learn how to work in the classroom with the techniques we are using in the "practice" layer. In short, I hope this course will give you "praxis," theory applied to practice. The two are inextricably tied. One of my teachers, Donald Graves, liked to say, "There is nothing so practical as a good theory." I hope you’ll agree. We try to find opportunities to work with local student writers through the public schools and here at the University. I’ve always maintained that the best way to learn to teach writing is to “go head to head” with another student writer.

EDTL:3382 Language and Learning

At least one section of this course is offered every Fall and Spring semester. If it meets minimum enrollment, a section is sometimes offered in one of the Summer sessions.

Intended primarily for elementary and secondary pre-service language-arts teachers, this course focuses on the nature of linguistic development and performance. We’ll read works that reflect a range of scholarly approaches to language study, explore language use both in and out of school, and consider implications for classroom teaching. Students will be expected to reflect thoughtful habits of mind in class activities and discussions, plan instructional sequences that promote awareness of linguistic diversity, and demonstrate understandings of young people’s language practices and learning.

EDTL:3393 Reading and Teaching Adolescent Literature

One section of this course is offered every Fall and Spring semester and sometimes online. If it meets minimum enrollment, a section is sometimes offered in one of the Summer sessions.

In this course, we will be immersing ourselves in a range of literary texts at the same time that we are thinking through the multiple ways in which those texts and teachers and students interact with one another. Our goals will be to become familiar with ourselves as readers of literature, with the conventions that shape the ways literature is read and taught in school, and with the wide variety of literature intended for the young adult reader

EDTL:4394 High School Methods Reading

One section of this course is offered every Fall and Spring semester. 

This course is designed to bring together theory and methods of teaching literacy with developing an understanding of the literacy needs and preferences of adolescents. A main focus of this course is understanding and appreciating the many purposes of literacy, while also exploring teaching methods and techniques that will help adolescent readers make the most of their literacy experiences. Throughout the course of our study, we will read a range of texts appropriate for English/language arts classrooms and will utilize a variety of activities and strategies for literacy these, and other, texts. The course will attempt to blend theory and practice in such a way that students in the course will both understand some basic elements of what to teach and how to teach it, as well as how thinking about literacy in ways that will benefit secondary students. The progression of the course is designed to build upon the knowledge we develop through our literacy and activities; we will begin the semester with trying to define the teaching of literacy for ourselves and our study will build upon what we learn about ourselves as readers – and as teachers – as the course progresses.

EDTL:6315 MA Seminar

This course is offered in the Fall semester only.

What does it mean to be a fully “literate” person in these new times-and how to define the study of “English”? Where have we been as a field and where are we going? Is English something one comes to “know”, something one does, or both? Is it best seen as a discrete subject, or as a set of concerns that cut across the curriculum? How do political and institutional contexts shape our work as teachers of English? How to convince policy-makers and parents that our English courses are offering understandings and opportunities of key significance? We'll explore an array of such questions, from various perspectives and along multiple pathways through reading, writing, discussion, and our own research.

EDTL:4087 Seminar: Curriculum and Student Teaching

This course is offered in the Fall and Spring semester.

As an accompaniment to student teaching, Seminar is a course that helps you make sense of your student teaching experience. It provides a forum for you to converse with other student teachers of English, to explore your question about student teaching with an eye towards your own professional career. Every week we discuss the various aspects of teaching in general, such as planning, instruction, assessment, and classroom management, as well as delving into the unique characteristics of English/language arts teaching. Students are required to show evidence of their short- and long-term planning, their ability to reflect on their teaching practices, and their understanding of instructional strategies and assessment. We complete the edTPA portfolio-based assessment as well as work on professional portfolios.

EDTL:4091 & EDTL:4092 Student Teaching

Student Teaching is offered in the Fall and Spring semester.

The student teaching semester is the culmination of any teacher-education program. It allows teacher candidates to apply knowledge from their coursework to a real teaching situation over an extended period of time. This is the most vital and critical phase of a teacher’s preparation; the goal is to professionalize teacher candidates as confident, informed, reflective practitioners who are committed to students’ learning, passionate and knowledgeable about their subject, and grounded in theory. We are proud of our English Education graduates. Many of them serve as mentors to our student teachers regularly.