Education | Child Development Seminar
P450 | 5893 | Dr. Joyce Alexander

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Fall ‘03
Constructing Developmentally Appropriate Environments for Learning

Day, Topics, Readings, and Assignments Due

August 30 Getting Started, Course Expectations, and Community
Building (Joyce & Becky)
READINGS: Paley (entire book)	

September 27 A.M. — Guiding Young Childrens Behavior (Judith)
P.M.  — Portfolio Development (Mary)
READINGS: MacKenzie (Chapters 1-14; 16)

November 1 Motivation and Assessment (Joyce & Becky)
READINGS: Berk (to be announced)

December 6 Working with Diverse Children and Families(Judith & Becky)
READINGS: Gonzalez-Mena, pp. 7-31; 73-114; TIS Packet of Readings

Spring ‘04 Constructing a Professional Identity as a

January 17 Transitioning to a New Placement
Topic to be Decided (Judith)

February 21 New Teacher Expectations, and Inclusion Issues (Becky)

March 27 Licensure, Job Interviewing, Dealing with Parents (Joyce)

May 1 Portfolio Sharing, Closure (Becky, Joyce, & Judith)

* In the fall, students enroll in E450 (Senior Seminar and Student
Teaching I ) (12 credits) and P450 (Child Development Seminar) (3
credits).  In the spring, students enroll in E451 (Senior Seminar and
Student Teaching II) (14 credits).

Course Description

In the senior year, students are expected to participate in a seminar
that accompanies the two semesters of student teaching. The seminar
is jointly taught by an early childhood education faculty member, a
child development instructor, and a practicing teacher of young
children. A team approach has been adopted to help students connect
the more theoretical nature of their coursework with the real-life
issues of classroom practice. Because half of the early childhood
education majors complete a preschool/kindergarten practicum and half
a primary level placement in the fall and spring, the seminar will
focus on teaching young children in preschool, kindergarten, and the
primary grades each semester.

Course Objectives
As a result of participating in the seminar, you will grow in your
ability to

1. connect theory with practice;

2. refine your emerging philosophy of teaching;
3. engage in reflection about your professional identity,
performance, and practice;

4. generate solutions to problems encountered in the field;	

5. identify, articulate, and defend your professonal commitments;

6. appreciate  the importance of cultural, economic, ethnic, gender,
racial, and linguistic diversity;
7. engage in community-building within the classroom and school;
8. adopt a creative, thoughtful, and responsive approach to teaching
and the design of learning environments for young children;
9. establish and maintain positive, collaborative relationships with
children, families, and professional colleagues;

10. advocate on behalf of young children and families, and seek
opportunities to grow professionally.

Required Texts

The following is a list of texts for the course. They are available
for purchase through the TIS and the Indiana University Bookstores.

1. Berk, L. (2001). Awakening children’s minds: How parents and
teachers can make a difference. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Inc.

2. Gonzalez-Mena, J. (2001). Multicultural issues in child care.
Toronto: Mayfield Publishing Co.
3. MacKenzie, R. (2003). Setting limits in the classroom. Roseville,
CA: Prima Publishing.

4. Paley, V. (1993).  You can’t say you can’t play. Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press.

5. TIS Packet of Readings. (Available from TIS Bookstore).

6. Handouts distributed in class or sent electronically to students.

Course Requirements

Expectations for the course center on four types of activities:

1.  You are expected to attend each of the four Saturday sessions, to
complete the required assignments, and to participate actively in all
class discussions and activities.  You are referred to the “Schedule
of Topics” for a description of the required readings.

Regular class attendance is expected of everyone and will be
recorded. There maybe times, when for some very good reason (e.g.,
illness) that you are unable to attend class. In exceptional cases
such as these, you should notify the instructor in advance. Any
unexcused absences will be figured into the final course grade.

Over the course of each semester (fall and spring), missing one half
day of class will not result in a lowered grade.  Beyond that, each
missing half day of class will result in the following letter grade
reductions: e.g., A to B+ (one half day missed), B+ to B- ( 2 half
days missed), and so forth. 	

Assignments are due on the dates assigned. Late papers will be
accepted at the discretion of the instructors, and the grade lowered
for every two days’ delinquency beyond the assigned due date: e.g., A
to A- (first two days late), A-to B+ (second two days late), and so

2. There will be electronic reflective journals due during the
semester. We will be using On-Course as our course discussion tool.
Becky Dixon will be supervising these assignments with you.
Participation in the discussions is an essential part of the course.
It is particularly important because the class rarely meets face-to-
face. Oncourse responsibilities throughout the semester will be worth
one third of your final grade.

You are responsible for participating in the Oncourse discussions a
minimum of three times following each of the four Saturdays that we
meet together. Each of the four discussion periods will extend from
Wednesday to Wednesday. After each live meeting, the discussion forum
in Oncourse will open for 10 days. During that period, students are
expected to participate in conversations tying together the
information presented in the live meeting, the course readings, and
student teaching events. You should post your own thoughts about the
topic and also respond to your classmate`s postings. Initial postings
should take place by the first Wednesday of each unit, and responses
should be posted by the final Wednesday of the unit. It is very
important that you check your oncourse e-mail and discussion forums
on a regular basis during each 10 day period (at least every 2 to 3
days). At least three postings are expected during each ten day
period. Missed postings will result in a lowered participation grade.

You can  access the discussion forums by going to the "In Touch" link
in your Oncourse navigation.(You can familiarize yourself with how to
use the discussion forum by going through the short tutorial
available in Oncourse.)
Oncourse conversations will allow for reflection and suggestions tied
directly to student teaching. Your participation must be of a
significant nature—that is, you must apply the reading and class
discussions to your professional practice, when sharing your
reflections on Oncourse. Because of the nature of this class, your
completion of these unit activities and discussions will be essential
to your success in the course.

3. You will receive a letter grade for the Fall ‘03 segment of the
course based on your performance on the two written assignments
explained below as well as your Oncourse participation. A final grade
for the course will not be assigned until the end of the Spring ‘04
semester. Assignments for Spring ‘04 will be described in a syllabus
given to you in January. The assignments about to be described have
been designed to help you to integrate the required readings with a
problem of practice. The  readings have been selected to help you to
broaden and deepen your understanding of important issues and themes
related to the teaching of young children. Although you have many
demands on your time, it is important to complete them.

A. Reflection Paper # 1 (due for Dr. Judith Chafel on October 1)
(four pages) (33% of course grade)*

Guidelines for Reflection Paper #1

One of our Saturday sessions together will be devoted to discussing
guidance and discipline of young children. To inform our discussions,
we shall read MacKenzie’s Setting Limits in the Classroom.  The book
addresses a variety of themes: setting limits with children,
communicating clear expectations, helping children learn from natural
(and logical) consequences, and more.

For this assignment, you are asked to select a specific case example
drawn from your own teaching experience that you found particularly
troublesome and that seems to fit with a theme(s) that MacKenzie
develops in his book. Prepare a 4-page reflective essay in which you
integrate “theory” (the readings, class discussions, your personal
thoughts and analyses) with “practice”(the case example):
• Compose a brief (one-half-page) description of the particular case.
Be sure to protect confidentiality by providing pseudonymns for any
names used, and provide enough relevant details to convey to someone
the important dynamics of the case;

• Explain (in one-half-page) why you selected the case to write (and
reflect!) about. In other words, share with the reader why you found
it troublesome;

• With the case in mind, skim through MacKenzie’s book and identify
textual material of relevance to the problem that you find

Resolve your dilemma of practice by applying the readings that you’ve
identified to the case. In your discussion, address each of the
points below:

• what do you want (hope) the child(ren) will do (about one-half
• what does the reading suggest as possible solutions to the
problem? Be sure to provide citations (about one page);
• carefully say how you will apply the readings to get the child(ren)
to conform to expected behavior(s). Provide examples of what you will
actually say and do when interacting with the child(ren) (about one
• “brainstorm” a few next steps that you might take, if the solution
you devised does not turn out successfully (a few sentences);
Step back from the exercise and consider in what ways it was or was
not useful to you (a few sentences);

***This assignment was developed in collaboration with Becky Dixon.

B.  Reflection Paper #2 (due for Dr. Joyce Alexander on November 13)
(33% of course grade)
Guidelines for Reflection Paper #2

There are three ways to approach this assignment: 1) give details
about some motivating event/unit you used or have seen used in your
classroom, or 2) give details about a particular activity/unit and
then detail how you think the matches between the motivation and
assessment principles allowed you to accomplish your goals, or 3)
going back to information about developmentally appropriate practice,
analyze a lesson/unit for developmental appropriateness. Your basic
question here is: how does learning, motivation, assessment, and
developmentally appropriate practice play out in the early childhood

Part I.  Give a very brief overview of your teaching situation. This
should include age of  children, number of children in class, number
of children in this activity/lesson, number of teachers in your room.
You should be able to give me all this information in a sentence or

Part II.  Describe the lesson/activity/unit that you implemented with
your class.  Here you will need to give a more descriptive account of
what you did with the children.  This  should include the
goals/purposes of the activity/unit, the nature of the activity/unit
(what you did, what you asked the children to do), what the children
did (how they responded, etc.). This should be no longer than 1 to 2

Part III. Identity and discuss the following: Given what we talked
about in class and in your readings, how does this activity/unit
match the principles we discussed about motivation? Why would this be
a good  activity to use? What were some shortcomings or how could you
have improved the activity? Discuss the connections between your
assessment of learning and motivation? Also, what goals did the unit
allow you to reach? How do you know that you accomplished your goals?

Given what you’ve learned about developmentally appropriate practice,
how might you tie your unit/activity to the principles of good
practice in early childhood classrooms.  What were some shortcomings
or how could you have improved the activity? Discuss the connections
between your assessment of learning and motivation? Also, what goals
did the unit allow you to reach? How do you know that you
accomplished your goals?

To get you started there are some questions below, but do not
restrict yourself to only these. These are just designed to get you

Appropriateness:  Is the assessment appropriate developmentally,
culturally, linguistically for all the children? Explain.

Participation: How does participation in this ssessment change/effect
the students? What goals am I accomplishing? Am I motivating students
to want to learn more?
Drawbacks: What are some drawbacks of this kind of activity/unit? If
this took  more time than a “traditional” unit, was it worth it? How
do I know?

Notes about Reflection Papers  #1 and #2
• Reflections #1 and #2 are to be done individually. In other words,
they should represent your own work. You may not pass off as your own
work what you have completed through collaboration with others.

• Forms of plagiarism include: failing to properly cite someone
else’s words, or staying too close to the text when paraphrasing
(e.g., changing only a few words of a  sentence while still retaining
the structure). You must credit the sources you use in developing
your assignments. APA style is the required format for this course.
Directions for using APA style can be found on the Internet:

• Plagiarism has serious consequences (e.g., failing a course).
Indiana University’s policies and regulations regarding academic
honesty can be found on the Internet: Please read them, and
be sure that you understand them. You are obligated to follow
• All written assignments must be typed. Re-writes of assignments are
not permitted.

4.  When grading, the following meaning is attached to letter
grades.  These meanings were developed through consultation with
faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.	

A. Extraordinarily high achievement; shows unusually complete command
of the subject matter; represents an exceptionally high degree of
originality and creativity.

B- Exceptionally thorough knowledge of the subject matter;
outstanding performance; shows strong analytical abilities.

B+ Significantly above average understanding of material, and
quality of work.

B Very good, solid, above average quality of work.

B- Fair, acceptable performance on most, but not all aspects of the

C+/C Satisfactory quality of work.

C-/D Minimally acceptable performance.

F Unacceptable work.

You may arrange an individual appointment with us within one week  of
receiving a graded assignment, if you would like to discuss your
grade. Please submit to the instructor in question beforehand a typed
written statement that presents the nature of your concern about the
grade, why you are concerned, and evidence that supports
reconsidering the grade. We will be happy to discuss the matter with
you privately but not publicly (that is, during or after class).

5.  A final, completed version of the presentation portfolio that you
began in E348 during  the second semester of sophomore year, will be
due at the end of the second semester of the senior year. The
portfolio will be the final product upon which you will be evaluated
in the program.