Syllabus TCED 6922:

Principles of Instruction


Randy L. Hoover, Instructor

2210 Beeghly College of Education



Prerequisites: Admission to the School of Graduate Studies


Required Readings:  

Essays on Philosophy and Psychology:  1912-1914. "Interest and Effort"  (Dewey)

Teaching Methods for Empowerment: The Pedagogical Imperative. (COMDOC Draft)  (R. L. Hoover)

A Framework for Understanding Poverty.  (Payne, Ruby K. 2005)

How We Think. (Dewey, 1933)

Experience and Education. (Dewey, 1930)

"Psychological Type and the Matching of Cognitive Styles" (Bargar/Hoover)

Nesting Academic Standards in Thematic Unit Planning. (Hoover & Shook)

Package of class readings (Wilcox CRC—Closed Reserve)


Graduate Catalog Description: A course dealing with fundamental principles of K-16 pedagogy for both traditional and non-traditional classroom settings.  Emphasis is on relationships among academic standards, instruction and learning assessments across licensure areas.  Historical, developmental, and cognitive bases for instructional strategies are examined in light of the need to empower all learners and the need to raise standardized test score performance as defined by state-compliant NCLB expectations.


Course Purpose & Overview:  To develop the practitioner's ability to plan, execute, and evaluate lessons that center academic content standards within thematic unit planning such that learners are empowered intellectually and NCLB-related test scores are increased. 

The course will address, at the advanced level, the fundamental methodologies of empowering instruction in terms of how to select and value what is taught, how to teach it in a manner that academically empowering the learner, and how to assess the degree to which the learners can think with and apply  the knowledge that has been taught.  Further, the course is intended to engage experienced practitioners in activities and discussions that will enhance their ability to reflect critically on what is taught and how it is taught in classrooms. 

Specifically, the course is intended to enable the practitioner to:

       read, interpret, and select concepts, principles, and ideas directly from academic content area standards that are powerful and useful;

       generate standards-based conceptual instructional objectives from those standards;

       map and create thematic unit  plans that provide learners with authentic learning assignments that require learners to use the concepts made explicit in the instructional objectives;

       design and implement authentic assessments with rubrics to determine learner achievement; and,

       execute those unit plans with provision for evaluating their effectiveness.


Primary Topics:

  1. Understanding purposeful instruction.
    1. Vision
    2. Mission
    3. Passion
  2. The relationship between Curriculum and Instruction.
  3. Empowering versus traditional instruction.[1]
    1. In terms of student achievement
    2. In terms of raising test scores
    3. Matrix of comparison
  4. Using academic content area standards.
    1. The epistemological typology of standards
    2. Performance (activity) standards
    3. Concept (instrumental) standards
    4. Content (factoid) standards
  5. Empowering instructional objectives.
    1. Explicit knowledge reference
    2. Learning activity reference
    3. Learning activity as related to learning assignment
    4. Translating standards into instructional objectives
  6. Principles and basis for developing learning activities.
    1. Developing detailed student assignments
    2. Conceptualizing authentic learning activities
    3. Differentiated instruction
    4. Developmental appropriateness
    5. Social construction of knowledge
    6. Meaning and relevance for the learner
    7. Cognitive/Learning style frameworks & effects implicit in various pedagogies

1.     Cognitive style/Learning style fallacies

2.     Reflective thinking as a function of cognition across cognitive styles

  1. NCLB  district &  building level AYP as related to instruction.
  2. Nesting standards in thematic unit planning.
    1. Thematically organized academic standards
    2. Conceptual instructional objective
    3. Situated learning activities
    4. Authentic performance assessment
    5. Validating questions
  3. Traditional & Authentic assessment.
    1. Validity considerations
    2. Reliability considerations
    3. Standardized test considerations
    4. Alternative assessments
    5. Rubric development

10.    Outcomes-based/Standards based education models.

11.    Synthesis of neurobiology and neuropsychology of human learning.

12.    Value-added teacher evaluation.

13.    Effects of race, class, gender, disability, lifestyle and ethnicity across teaching and schooling

14.    Effects of wealth and poverty on academic performance

15.    Reflective thinking as the complete act of thought

16.    Learning disabilities

17.    Developmental considerations in assigning and assessing student learning activities

18.    Formative and summative evaluation


Grading and Assessment:


Anyone requiring special adaptations or accommodations should inform the instructor as soon as possible. In accordance with University procedure, if you have a documented disability and require accommodations to obtain equal access in this course, please contact the office of Equal Opportunity and Disability Services at the beginning of the semester or when given an assignment for which an accommodation is required. Students with disabilities must verify their eligibility through the Office of Disability Services' (330-941-1372) intake procedure.


[1] Revised 8-26-08 --rlh