Education | Learning: Theory into Practice
P312 | 6036 | Ana Baratta

Course Description

Welcome to P312 Learning: Theory into Practice!! This class is an
opportunity for you as a student and future teacher to get a deeper
understanding about how people learn, and apply this understanding to
your life and your profession.

It is imperative for education professionals to have comprehension of
how people learn, and in this way be able to design learning
environments for adolescents that will help them develop skills and
knowledge relevant to being good citizens and professionals.
In this course you will be exposed to different learning theories
which explain how people learn, how people get motivated, and how
people should be assessed.  These theories are lenses by which
professionals in education make sense of what is going on in learning
environments. We are going to study these theories as tools and not
as absolute truth. Theories can be used for specific purposes
depending on the context of the learning process. Also, theories
carry with them a world- view, a conception of what it means to be
human, what it means to learn something, to teach something, to know
something, to be a person. It is important that we examine these
world-views so that we can better judge the appropriateness of using
a particular theory into our practice.

You will also find in this course that some of the topics will be
discussed many times in different contexts and using different
examples so that we get a deep understanding about how people learn.

My primary goal is to facilitate the development of a rich
understanding of how people learn based on current theoretical and
scientific knowledge about student learning and development in
educational environments. However, your own learning goals for this
class are important for the development of the discussions and the
assignments. Some of you will find that your own goals are different
from your peers, enhancing and enriching our on class discussions
Understanding how people learn is not a matter of memorizing a list
of “facts”. But what is it? That is the task I hope you will engage
for the semester.

Text -Bransford, J.O., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (Eds.) (2000).
How people learn: Brain, mind, experience and school.  Washington,
DC: National Academy Press.  (HPL)

-P312 Course Packet (Available at IU Bookstore)

Estimated student work load

This course emphasizes collaboration and discussion with your peers
in and out the class, intensive observation and reflection, and it
requires several hours per week for reading and homework.
Consequently, if you depend heavily on lectures, prefer to work
alone, or do not have adequate time for reading and assignments or to
commit to reflection, this may not be the class for you at this time.
The way this course is design involves whole class and small group
case discussions and less lecture.

Course Policies

Equal Opportunity in the Classroom

No one will be discriminated against for any reason, including
gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, language
spoken, differing opinions, physical or mental differences, by the
instructor or by any member of class. To maintain an open and non-
threatening environment, everyone must treat each person with respect
and dignity.

Academic Integrity and Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct

As an educator, you will unfortunately have to deal with an
occasional student that attempts to gain credit falsely through
academic dishonesty. Naturally, you cannot permit deceitful
practices, an in turn, I expect you to show integrity in all of your
academic work as well. All University policies for academic honesty
as stated in the Undergraduate Bulletin apply in this course. If you
are unfamiliar with any of these, make yourself familiar with them
immediately. In addition, all guidelines stated in the student code
of rights, responsibilities and conduct will be expected and applied
in this course. You may download the code at
Students who are caught cheating or plagiarizing will receive a Zero
for the assignment and may fail the course.

Adaptations or Modifications

Please let me know within the first week if you require adaptations
or modifications to any assignment or due date because of special
circumstances. I will gladly accommodate religious holidays, learning
disabilities, medical conditions or other appropriate needs if you
let me know in advance.

Prepared and Alert Attendance

This class is driven by discussion, group work and cooperative
learning activities, which means attendance of each person is
critical and it counts as part of your participation grade. Regular
attendance and alert participation are expected by me and the School
of Education as part of our requirements for graduation. You are
allowed 2 class absences during the semester to accommodate any
unforeseen problems that may rise (sickness etc).  Any absences that
have documented and warranted circumstances will not count against
this total. If you miss class is your own responsibility to get the
notes for that day.


Due to the technical nature of this material, independent reading is
a necessity to be prepared for our daily discussion of current
educational topics. As you read, learn the concepts, generate
questions, and form your own opinions. Teachers talk about these
topics during their prep hours and in Job interviews. You will be
doing the same in our class. All of us have a responsibility to come
to class prepared so we can dive into interesting and provocative
discussions. See the course calendar for reading assignments and
dates. You are also responsible to ask questions when the readings
are difficult for you.

Late Work

All assignments are due by the start of that day’s class. Please be
careful to get work on time, as any late item will automatically loss
one letter grade for each calendar day that it is late.  Items turned
in more than a half hour after class has began (on the due date) will
also be docked ½ letter grade
Missed assignments will be counted as Zero unless there are
extraordinary circumstances that can be documented in writing or you
make arrangements with me well in advance.

Changes to the Syllabus

I reserve the right to change the syllabus as deemed necessary to
ensure adequate student progress. Any changes will be made in class,
based on student input and general class agreement.


I will be using ONCOURSE –an online forum. You can access Oncourse by
going to . All of the courses you are enrolled
in should be listed. I would like it if you signed in (click
on “listed”) by the first week of class so that I can tell if you are
having access problems. I will use Oncourse to make announcements,
post additional readings, adjust the class schedule, and so forth.
Please make sure to check your Webmail and Oncourse very often
because this is the way I will usually communicate with each of you.
Oncourse allows students to set Preferences, which will cause a
message to be sent to an external address once a day announcing if
any Course Mail messages have been received in the previous twenty-
four hours. In order to that please click In touch, then click
Oncourse email, then change preferences, type an email address, and
then click to accept the change.

Standards and Principles for teacher education

This course is structured around a set of core principles developed
by the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium
(INTASC), the educational task force responsible for constructing
model standards for the licensing of new teachers.  These principles
represent the knowledge, dispositions, and performances deemed
essential for prospective teachers in all subject areas.  You can
read about the principles at  This
course will specifically address five principles by covering the
topics of student development and learning (Principles 2.1A and
2.1B), individual and group motivation and behavior (Principles 5.1A
and %.1B), and assessment strategies (Principle 8.1A).  Additionally,
this course, like all courses offered by the IU School of Education,
is developed within a framework comprised of six major principles.
If you are not familiar with these principles, please read about them

a) Participation (5% of grade): This may come through in class
discussion, email discussion, and cooperation in the class. It is
critical that you attend classes and engage in the discussion of
ideas, in class and small group activities.

b) Short Assignments (10 % of the grade): Every week I will have one
or more short assignments to complete in relation to the articles you
read. These assignments will be reflective pieces, generally asking
you to identify the important issues in the readings and why do you
think they are important, to apply the concepts to your context, or
to abstract the theoretical views.
Also, concept maps will be required for some of the readings in HPL
and other readings. Please see schedule for due dates!

The short assignments are the following: (2% each to make a total of
1.Own theory of learning with understanding short paper (2 pages).

2.Comparison between Learning Theories short paper (2 pages).

3.Expertise short paper (2 pages).

4.Learning and Transfer concept map.

5.Design of learning environment concept map.

These assignments serve primarily to enrich in class discussion and
contribute to your thinking about the final paper; keep that in mind
as you write the short papers and develop your concept maps.

c) Reading guides (20 % of the grade): I have developed a reading
guide for some of the readings that you have to do for this class.
The objective of the reading guides is to help you synthesize the
readings based on your own understanding and in this way enhanced
your critical thinking.  You will have to turn in 4 reading guides
during the semester.

The reading guides are for the following readings: (5% each to make a
total of 20 %)

1. How People Learn Chapter 1 “Learning from Speculation to Science”.

2. Choose one of the following:
- Freire, P.  (1970) Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum
Chapter 2 (pg 71-86)
- Freire, P.  (1970) Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum
“There is no teaching without learning” (pg 29-48)

3. Dweck, C.S. (2002). Caution! Praise can be Dangerous. In Abbeduto,
L. (Ed.) Taking Sides: Clashing views on controversial topics (2nd
ed.) New York: McGraw Hill. (pg 117-125)

4. Strong, R., Harwey, S., & Perini, M. (2001) Making students as
important as standards. In Annual Editions: Educational Psychology
03/04. Guilford, CT: McGraw-Hill

d) Final Paper (25 % of the grade): This paper will be about 8 pages
maximum in length and will be an integrative piece in which you
revisit your theory of learning and understanding from your first
short paper, and discuss how or if your views have changed, you
present your integration/synthesis of all we discussed and read for
the semester, and your detailed and meaningful analysis of how the
ideas and perhaps new understanding apply to the work in your career.
This is a very difficult task and should be something your work
throughout the semester. I would be happy to discuss your work on
this at any point during the semester.
Due date: December 15, 2003

e) Problem Based Learning Video Case Analyses (40 % of the grade)
During the semester you will complete three video case analyses.
Using videos of actual classrooms from the Inquiry Learning Forum,
you will complete a series of steps, some by yourself, others with
members of a group to which you will be assigned. Your basic task is
to reflect upon the instructional activities that you see in the
videos and identify issues for further analysis and study, both by
you personally and as a group. In all cases, the emphasis of the
analysis should be on the instruction rather than the instructor-
standards of professional critique (e.g., constructive, respectful
comments) will be required. The first two video case analyses will be
worth 10% each and the last case analysis will be worth 20% to make a
total of 40%.


A  Extraordinary high achievement; shows unusually complete command
of the subject matter; represents an exceptionally high degree of
synthesis and application
B  Very good, solid, above average quality of work; good synthesis
and application.
C  Satisfactory quality of work; average level of synthesis and
D  Minimally acceptable performance.
F  Unacceptable work, does not meet objectives of course

It is a requirement of the School of Education that you achieve a
minimum of C to “pass” this class and continue in the teacher
education program. A grade of C- or lower will result in having to
retake the course and the lab.

Please note also that I do not give incompletes except under
extraordinary circumstances. Keep up with the reading and attend
classes and you will have no trouble succeeding.

The automatic withdrawal date for first semester 2003 is October
29th. After this date, it is up to the instructor and the Associate
Dean for Teacher Education whether to give a W or an F.

Education P312-Learning: Theory into Practice
Tentative Schedule: Fall 2003, Section 6039

Sep 2
(T)Introduction to the course
Definitions and Resources
Own goals of Learning
Overview of the class and topics to be covered.	No readings for today!

Sep 4
(Th)Learning from speculation to science
Prior Knowledge and misconceptions
“My Own theory of Learning with Understanding” is due today!!

Sep 9
(T)Learning from speculation to science
Knowledge and Learning with understanding-HPL Chapter 1 (pg 3-23)
Reading guide of HPL Chapter 1 is due today!!

Sep 11
(Th)Learning Theories:
Learning theories as lenses
Behaviorism and Social Learning Theory
-Behavioral Theories of Learning.
-The Theory ‘Heard Around the World.

Sep 16
Learning Theories:
Information Processing	-Omrod, J. E. (pg 189-214)

Sep 18
(Th)Learning Theories: Constructivist views of Learning
Whitehead, Bruner, Piaget, Vygotsky
- Constructivism and Situated Learning (pg 322-328)
-The Many Faces of Constructivism (pg 164-167)

Sep 23
(T)Learning Theories: Constructivism, Examples and Conclusions
Introduction to PBL
Comparison between learning theories
- Constructivism and Situated Learning (pg 329-340)
-Problem Based Learning (1-14)
-A sixth Grade Teacher Experiments (pg 11-27)
Comparison Between Learning Theories short paper is due today!!

Sep 25
(Th)The Aim of Education
Banking concept of education
Problem posing education
Implication for teaching
Evaluation of the Course!!!-There is no Teaching without Learning
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed Chapter 2 pg (71-86)
Choose one of the readings for today for the Reading Guide that is
due Today!!!

Sep 30
(T)Experts and Novices
Definition of Expertise and Why it is important to study it as future
Expertise through the lenses of Learning Theories-HPL Chapter 2 (pg31-

Oct 2
(Th)Experts and Novices
Six principles of Expert Knowledge and examples
Expertise short paper is due today!!

Oct 7
(T)Expertise: Research
Importance of doing research
Conclusions about characteristics of experts-Differences Among
Teachers in a Task Characterized by Simultaneity,
Multidimensionality, and Immediacy (pg 63-88)

Oct 9
(Th)Learning and Transfer
Definition and implication for teaching
-HPL Chapter 3(pg 51-78)
Concept Map of Chapter 3 is due today!!

Oct 14
Learning and Transfer conclusions
What triggers transfer and applications in their own field of study
The role of culture in learning and Transfer
No readings today!
PBL video case Analysis 1 is due today!!!

Oct 16
(Th)How Children Learn: Children as Active Learners
Learning strategies and Metacognition
Intelligence theories held by children
-HPL Chapter 4 (pg 79-113)

Oct 21
(T)How Children Learn :Guiding Children Learning
Vygotsky´s zone of proximal development and scaffolding
Culture and Children’s learning
How adolescents learn.
Experts profile	No readings for today!!

Oct 23
(Th)Mind and Brain
Key findings from Neuroscience
Environment and Brain Development
Memory and Brain Processes
Evaluation of the course!!-HPL Chapter 5 (PG 114-127)
-Educators Need to Know about the Brain. (pg 78-82)

Oct 28
(T)Motivation and Learning
Basic concepts and different theories about motivation
-What is Motivation?( pg 350 to 386)

Oct 30
(Th)Motivation and Learning
101 ways to praise a child
Praise and Intelligence
-Caution! Praise can be Dangerous (pg 117-125)
Reading guide from this reading is due today!

Nov 4
(T)Individual Differences
Multiple Intelligences and implications for teaching
Learning Styles	-One Class, and 20 learning Styles (Pg126-127)
-A Rounded Version (pg 13-34)
-Web of Skills: How students learn.
PBL video case analysis 2 is due today!!!!

Nov 6
(Th)Design of Learning Environments
Overview of important concepts
Relationship with transfer, expertise, motivation,  and individual
differences-HPL Chapter 6 (pg 131-154)
-HPL Chapter 1 (pg 23-27)
Concept Map of Chapter 6 is due Today!!

Nov 11
(T)Design of Learning Environments
Learner centered environment
-Teachers Bridge to Constructivism.(pg 116-119)

Nov 13
(Th)Design of Learning Environments
Knowledge centered Environments

Nov 18
(T)Design of Learning Environments
Community centered Environments

Nov 20
(Th)Design of Learning Environments
Assessment centered environments
-Making Students as Important as Standards
Reading guide is due today!!

Nov 25
Performance assessment and grading
Formative self assessment
Student involved classroom assessment
Implications for teaching-Teaching about Performance Assessment (191-
-Classroom Assessment for Learning (pg 208-211)
-Assessment (pg 1-4)

Nov 27	Thanksgiving!!!!!!!	

Dec 2
(T)Effective Teaching: Examples in History, Mathematic, and Science.
HPL Chapter 7(pg 155-189)

Dec 4
(Th) The Reflective Teacher	

Dec 9
(T)Teacher Learning HPL Chapter 8 (155-189)
PBL video case analysis 3 is due today!!!

Dec 11
(Th)Conclusions	HPL Chapter 10 (pg 233-247)

Dec 15	No class today!!