Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA) in Service-Learning Program

January 26, 2001

EDUC 388: Special Topics in Education: Guided Experiences in College Teaching
Syllabus for Fall 2000
Classroom: 0135 Holzapfel
Thursdays 8:45 – 10:45 am
Office Hours:
E-mail or call the instructor to make an appointment to discuss any questions or concerns.

Application and Enrollment:
Only students who completed a UTA in Service-Learning application form and were accepted into the program can be enrolled in this course. Students in this class should be simultaneously enrolled in EDCI 498: Special Problems in Teaching (one credit).

UTA Responsibilities:
Spend 8-10 hours per week on your teaching assistantship as determined by you and your faculty mentor. Demonstrate full participation in UTA seminars and completion of all assignments.

Grades are determined by averaging the grade for the teaching assistant responsibilities (grade assigned by your faculty mentor) and a grade assigned for the seminar portion (grade assigned by Marie Troppe). In addition, a brief evaluative description of your work will be requested from your faculty mentor.

Seminar Grade:
Active participation 20%
Journal 15%
Midterm paper 30%
Presentation 15%
Final paper 20%
Active Participation:
Because of the nature of the seminar, attendance is crucial. If you are ill and need to be absent from the seminar (or the class for which you are a UTA), please call or email the instructor as soon as you know you are ill. More than two excused absences from the seminar may result in deductions from your grade. Promptness is especially appreciated. Active participation includes preparing for class by doing the readings, practicing active listening, responding to others, asking questions, and adding your own contributions.

The UTA journal is the major ongoing assignment for the seminar portion of your experience. It is intended to be a vehicle for reflection on your experience rather than a diary or a notebook of ideas from seminar sessions. The journal should be more analytical than descriptive. You are required to make some entries each week. At each seminar session you should submit the pages maintained since the last meeting. The instructor, or a UTA colleague, will read your entries and offer feedback. Appropriate items for the journal include discussion of the following:

* your work as a teaching assistant
* seminar presentations, discussions, readings, etc.
* your UTA experience in relation to your own education, past and projected
* your UTA experience in relation to your future teaching or other career and academic goals
* other reflections concerning the relevance of the UTA experience to any aspect of personal or cognitive growth or applications to issues that concern you (e.g., the education of your own children or issues being debated in your community).

Midterm Paper:
Your five-page paper should document your course implementation process. Give a profile of your course (i.e., number of students, elective/CORE course/requirement for major, class format, etc.) Describe how the service-learning component was introduced to the students, the specific course objectives met by the service-learning experience, criteria for site selection, how reflection is incorporated, and anticipated impacts of the service-learning course on the students. Also state how you·ll evaluate student learning in the course and how you·ll evaluate the service-learning component of the course overall. Use examples to illustrate your points. Feel free to include other issues you feel are relevant and significant.

You will be asked to make a half-hour presentation on how you and your faculty mentor have integrated service-learning into your course. At a minimum, you should address issues such as the following:

* the appropriateness and quality of the sites at which students are serving;
* anticipated and actual impacts of the service-learning course on the students;
* the strength of the connection between the course readings and the service activities;
* a reflection assignment you·ve used;
* your role as a UTA;
* a specific challenge you·ve faced in the course;
* future recommendations for the faculty member teaching the service-learning course for which you are a UTA.

I encourage you to expand beyond these topics in whatever direction you see fit. Organize these topics in the order that makes most sense to you; you do not need to respond to them exactly in the order appearing here. This is the time to inspire your peers and exchange strategies with them. Be sure to create some useful handouts for the group and a thorough written outline to hand in as part of your presentation grade. In the past, we have invited faculty mentors and other interested parties to the presentations for feedback and discussion.

Final Paper:
At the end of the semester, you will review and reflect on your journal entries and write a 7 or 8-page synthesis paper on them. The synthesis paper will achieve the following:

* identify and elaborate on major themes from your journal;
* discuss how well the course objectives were met by the service-learning experience;
* explain how you know if the method by which you evaluated student learning was effective;
* explain how you evaluated the service-learning component of the course and what you found as a result;
* connect your UTA experience with our seminar readings;
* explain several effective strategies for teaching using service-learning;
* state your rationale for including service-learning in the practice of effective teaching.

The paper should demonstrate the depth of your understanding of service-learning theory and practice.

Note on Major Assignments:
The midterm paper, the presentation and the final paper represent a progression from gaining specific skills and knowledge related to service-learning through a particular course, their application in the UTA role, and the ability to generalize broadly from the UTA experience to other courses and teaching in general.

Course Objectives:
* To articulate a working definition of and principles of good practice for service-learning
* To demonstrate understanding of experiential learning theory
* To develop skills in facilitating reflection
* To gain experience in teaching within the context of a service-learning course
* To gain skills needed to serve as a liaison between faculty and community agencies
* To offer critical analysis of social issues
* To thoughtfully discuss issues of civic responsibility, diversity, community and social justice
* To advocate for service-learning as a means of enhancing undergraduate education

Course Readings:
Reading packet (available from BSOS Copy Center in 1105 Tydings Hall for $7.65*) and UM Faculty Handbook for Service-Learning (to be distributed by instructor).
Tuesday, Aug. 29 Orientation 10am ? 1pm Holzapfel Hall
Issues in teaching (box lunch provided)
(Aug. 30 First day of classes)
Thursday, Aug. 31 What is service-learning?
Readings: McGovern, Lee
Thursday, Sept. 7 Attitudes of those serving
Readings: Bringle (excerpts), McIntosh
Thursday, Sept. 14 Community assets
Readings: McKnight, Illich
Thursday, Sept. 21 Importance of reflection
Readings: Selections from UM Faculty Handbook for Service-Learning
Thursday, Sept. 28 Research on impacts of service-learning
Reading: Eyler/Giles
Thursday, Oct. 5 Midterm paper due
Reflection stations
Thursday, Oct. 12 Principles of good practice for service-learning
Reading: Howard
Thursday, Oct. 19 Paradigms of service
Reading: Morton
Thursday, Oct. 26 Presentation due
Thursday, Nov. 2 Presentations (continued)
Thursday, Nov. 9 Issues in teaching revisited
Reading: Marchese
Thursday, Nov. 16 Social responsibilities of higher education
Reading: Lisman
Thursday, Nov. 23 Thanksgiving holiday ? no class
Thursday, Nov. 30 Final paper due
Reflection revisited
Thursday, Dec. 7 Lives of commitment

Assignments must be turned in on time. If you wish to turn in an assignment early and get feedback on it from the instructor before it is graded, please turn it in a week in advance, arrange to pick it up a day later, make your revisions and turn it in on the regular due date.

Academic Integrity:
All students are expected to adhere to the Code of Academic Integrity. Cheating and/or plagiarism detract from a learning environment and will not be tolerated.

Documented Disabilities:
Any student who has a documented disability and requires academic accommodations for this course should notify the instructor during the first week of classes.

Religious Observances:
The University System of Maryland policy provides that students should not be penalized because of observances of their religious beliefs; students shall be given an opportunity, whenever feasible, to make up within a reasonable time any academic assignment that is missed due to individual participation in religious observances. It is the student's responsibility to inform the instructor of any intended absences for religious observances in advance.

School: University of Maryland
Professor: Marie Troppe
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