SOE plans new course curriculum


A few courses in Baker University’s School of Education will undergo significant changes in the fall.

Some classes will be added to the school’s curriculum, while others will combine.

Assistant Professor of Education Merrie Skaggs said the changes include combining FA 380 and ED 349, which focus on art, music and physical education for elementary teachers, into one class.

Skaggs said instead of taking two practicum courses, each of which require students to spend a total of 40 hours in a classroom, students will only have to take one in which they spend 30 hours in the classroom.

Jessica Miner, a senior education major, said she isn’t sure how doing 30 hours of practicum in one semester will work.

“I had difficulty sometimes getting 20,” Miner said.

Skaggs said a big part of this decision is because of placement in classes since there are more students than places to put them in many cases. <br/>Schools also are not always willing to share classroom time with students because of time constraints.Schools also are not always willing to share classroom time with students because of time constraints.
Schools also are not always willing to share classroom time with students because of time constraints.

“Time is precious in public schools. They’re very contentious,” Skaggs said.

Skaggs also said U.S. History Since 1877 and Introduction to American Politics will now be prerequisite classes for social studies for elementary teachers so that they know the material before they begin learning how to teach it.

Skaggs said the department also plans to combine classroom management and English language learners courses, which will be required for elementary and secondary education majors, as well as adding an educational technology course.

However, these have not been passed by the Undergraduate Teachers of Education Committee.

Associate Professor of Education Karla Wiscombe said she will be teaching the combined classroom management and English language learner courses, which she usually teaches individually.

Skaggs said if students already have had either of these classes, they will not have to take them again.

She said if students have taken one, they will attend the portion of the class dedicated to the other for fewer credit hours.

Hillary Farmer, a junior elementary education major, said her only reservations about the changes are because she fears a loss on the emphasis of classroom management, where students realize who they are as educators and learn to deal with unruly children.

“You see what your personality will be in the classroom,” Farmer said.

Skaggs said the general education courses for Teaching as a Career and Introduction to Education also will be combined.

Skaggs said the changes come after the Education Advisory Council, made up of Baker professors and other educators, suggested the department take a serious look at certain areas.

She said the department did extensive research to find specific areas in need of change.<br/>