Teaching, Learning, and Schooling: Synthesis seminar papers

(formated for word)

Questions and Product

Throughout the first quarter we will closely examine the questions: What is learning? What is teaching? What is the relationship between teaching and learning in school? On Friday, December 2nd , as part of your portfolio, you will submit a final paper, using APA format, that answers the key questions.  During winter quarter, you will add to your paper answers to the question, What are the relationships of teaching and learning to schooling?”  You will then submit a revised paper incorporating all your thinking and conclusions about teaching, learning and schooling.


Within the maze of schools, textbooks, kids, assessments, schedules – sometimes basic questions like “how do people learn,” and “what is a teacher’s role in student learning” get lost. Student learning is your central goal. Teaching in a way that supports student learning is your task!  The paper is intended to help you figure this out.


Seminar preparation

In preparation for seminar each week, you will develop a visual map of what you read.  Part of this preparation will involve deciding which visual map will best help you to organize the author’s information and analyze the concepts. (Sample visual models can be found in A Field Guide to Using Visual Tools by David Hyerle. Copies of this book are on reserve in the library).  You will include a short paragraph that lists the questions or wonderments the book raised for you. Please turn in your visual model on Tuesday morning.

Weekly Seminar Papers

Each week you will also write a thesis-driven seminar paper based on the texts we’ve read.  You will add to and modify this paper weekly, building up to your final Teaching, Learning, and Schooling Paper. The first three weeks you will only focus on the question, “What is learning?” Beginning in week four you will fold in your answer about how teaching and learning are connected.

Posting weekly seminar papers on Web-Crossing

Seminar groups will be split into groups A and B. Groups A and B will rotate posting their papers to the web every other week. Over the quarter, each person will post their developing papers four times. Seminar papers must be posted to the web by 5pm Sunday night.

Providing feedback for colleagues

An important aspect of graduate school is learning that both revising and editing are ongoing and substantive processes, much more substantive than correcting spelling and grammar. Each week you will provide feedback on two of your colleagues’ papers. Feedback should be primarily focused on Ideas and Content. Minor comments can be made about organization or conventions. Begin your online feedback with a summary statement of your gut response to the paper. Then refer to the writing rubric to evaluate the ideas and content, using language of the rubric (not headings, but key phrases). A schedule of feedback will be provided so that you respond to different papers each week. Online feedback needs to be complete by Monday evening at 6pm.

Incorporating feedback from colleagues

As the author, you have control over how you incorporate your colleagues’ feedback. After reading your colleagues’ feedback, you will briefly summarize the feedback your colleagues have provided for you. What recommendations and critiques did they make? How do you plan to incorporate their feedback? On Friday of that week you will submit your revised seminar paper to your seminar instructor. Please staple your summary of your colleagues’ feedback and your intent to use their feedback to your revised paper. Include also your initial paper so we are able to see how you incorporated the feedback.

Assessing your own writing

Prior to submitting your paper to your seminar leader, evaluate your writing using the writing rubric and staple that evaluation to your paper for submission.

Additional notes

Make sure that you do write each week, building in what you learn from each book during the quarter. Just because you don’t have to submit your paper on your off week doesn’t mean you should delay in adding to and modifying your paper. Also note, it’s quite likely that your thesis will change along the quarter as you learn new things.


From the beginning you need to use APA published format (5th edition – yes, this means you J).

Note: If you struggle with your writing skills we would like to provide additional feedback for you to increase your probability of success within the program. We reserve the right to require a weekly submission of your seminar paper for our additional feedback.  We may also require that you seek assistance with the writing center.

We wish you great success and learning!


Group A

Group B


Seminar prep #1: Everyone hands in “written notes” about:

      • the authors' definitions of learning; 
      • their ideas about learner responsibility; 
      • their arguments about the relationship of schooling and learning; and,
      • YOUR questions or responses.

EVERYONE POSTS, GIVES FEEDBACK & SUBMITS paper on teaching & learning incorporating ideas from Learning Outside the Lines and The Art of Changing the Brain

  • Post draft on both web-crossing and your personal web page.
  • Provide feedback to 2 other drafts & submit draft at end of week. This will give faculty a chance to see students’ work early on. 

Post & submit




Post & submit


Post & submit




Post & submit


Post & submit




Post & submit


EVERYONE: Formal peer review of pen-ultimate draft.  Students will organize trio in-person peer review sessions outside of program time.  Up to this point students will probably have seen the evolving paper.  Here is an opportunity for you to help each other make sure the whole is coherent and logical before handing in a final to us.

**  Everyone submits final seminar paper Friday, December 2nd **



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