Classroom Interactions (EDSE 4000) continues the process of preparing students to teach mathematics and science in the secondary classroom. The specific objectives of this course are to:
Demonstrate to students how learning theories (from the Knowing and Learning course) manifest themselves in instructional settings (usually classrooms), allow students to design and implement instructional activities from their own understanding of knowing and learning mathematics and science, and evaluate the outcomes of those activities based on evidence from student artifacts
Provide students with a framework for thinking about equity issues in the classroom and larger school settings and their effects on learning, as well as provide students with strategies for teaching diverse students equitably.
Classroom Interactions begins with the assumption that students have conducted and analyzed a number of clinical interviews in science and mathematics as part of Knowing and Learning. Students must understand that the process of concept acquisition must encompass learners' prior formal and informal knowledge, the importance of task construction in eliciting student thinking, and the critical role of reflection and language in the construction of knowledge. In Knowing and Learning, students study the meaning behind understanding a particular content area from an individual perspective. In Classroom Interactions, the perspective shifts to studying how classroom events can promote or discourage learning mathematics and science and student equity.
In this class, students typically participate in several learning activities and consider how the activities reveal and change their own understanding before implementing similar activities in high school classrooms. Bringing together students from different disciplines allows the students to see their subjects from the perspective of a novice and to consider how different perspectives might affect the same curriculum. Participating in learning activities also allows students to consider equity issues. The class considers the implications of deficit thinking (e.g., blaming the student) in classroom outcomes. A major component of the Classroom Interactions course is the opportunity for students to reflect upon and evaluate their own work as high school classroom teachers.