This course provides an introduction to urban learners, urban teaching, and urban school systems using case studies and first-person accounts of teaching and learning in an urban environment. Current issues facing urban P-12 students, teachers, schools, districts, and communities will be discussed. Society's responsibility to urban schools will be examined along with the roles that teachers and schools play in increasing student achievement and leading school improvement. Key concepts of the Urban Teacher Program will be introduced including the importance of high expectations, student and teacher resiliency, educational equity, using the community as a resource, and reflection. Various perspectives and dimensions of the achievement gap will be examined, including causes due to discrimination and perspectives on what constitutes high educational achievement for culturally and linguistically diverse youth. Students in this course are expected to explore and express their own experiences, assumptions, beliefs, motivations, and commitments related to teaching and learning in the urban environment. Various types of teacher reflection will be introduced as important means for continual professional growth to meet the needs of urban learners. Clinical field experience hours are part of the course requirements.
- Demonstrate an awareness of research, theories, and strategies to foster resiliency and close the achievement gap for historically underserved urban learners.
- Demonstrate knowledge of various characteristics, skills, and dispositions needed in urban teachers to successfully teach urban learners.
- Document pre-requisite urban field experience hours for admission to the Urban Teacher Program, and make an informed decision about pursuing urban teaching.
- Identify and describe various strengths of urban learners and families, and the need to use these assets to foster student learning and growth.
- Understand and use various types of reflection to gain deeper understanding about urban education, personal motivations for becoming an urban teacher, and strategies for improving instruction.
- Understand that urban classrooms and schools are part of larger systems which impact teaching and learning.
- Understand various opportunities, challenges and issues involved with teaching in an urban setting.