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Middle School Curriculum

ED 441/641 Section 400

Three credit hours
Summer II 2010
Online Course

The Mission of the Eugene T. Moore School of Education is to prepare caring and capable
professionals through intellectually engaging experiences in theory, method, and research that
connect them to the communities in which they live and serve.

Academic Integrity Policy

"As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson’s vision
of this institution as a ‘high seminary of learning.’ Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to
truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others.
Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree.
Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form."

Disability Policy
If you have a documented disability that requires accommodation, you must notify the professor in writing
during the first week of classes. It is University policy to provide, on a flexible and individualized basis,
reasonable accommodations to students who have disabilities. Students are encouraged to contact Student
Disability Services to discuss their individual needs for accommodation.

Professor: Ron Knorr, PhD

Office location: MAT Office – University
Phone: 864.360.0082
Office Hours By appointment

Course co-requisites:
Knowledge of pedagogical techniques from educational psychology (specifically, Bloom’s Taxonomy,
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, and other learning theories/techniques applicable to early adolescents).

Required Material:
Focus on the Wonder Years: Challenges Facing the American Middle School. Available at

This We Believe

Other materials will be e-mailed to you or posted to the class blog at

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Additionally, one of the following books is required reading for book review.
Except as noted, all books are available from Amazon or other online stores. Previous editions are fine.
You may also find them in a library. We will decide together in the first class online session individual
book assignments.

Fair Isn't Always Equal by Rick Wormeli

Meet Me in the Middle: Becoming an Accomplished Middle-Level Teacher by Rick Wormeli

TeamWork: Setting the Standard for Collaborative Teaching, Grades 5-9 by Monique Wild, Amanda
Mayeaux, and Kathryn Edmonds

Inventing Powerful Pedagogy: Share. 'Steal'. Revise. Own. by Ross Burkhardt. Only available at

Setting Limits in the Classroom, Revised: How to Move Beyond the Dance of Discipline in Today's
Classrooms by Robert J. Mackenzie

Required articles and resources:

Articles and resources will be posted on the class blog or e-mailed to you and assigned in class to provide
help and clarity for course materials and assignments. See class schedule for description and related

Course description:
Concepts and methods for teaching middle school students. Discusses nature of middle school students,
teacher characteristics, curricular and co-curricular programs, organization, and teaching.

The objectives of this course are to provide:
• an understanding of appropriate professional standards,
• the history of the middle school and its application to middle school curriculum,
• the structure of the team teaching concept in the middle school,
• the mechanics of an interdisciplinary teaching unit,
• the importance of instructional differentiation in the middle grades curriculum,
• the value of an appropriate classroom management plan for early adolescents, and
• theoretical and practical applications of research on middle grades curriculum and pedagogy.

Instructional strategies employed:

Class discussion, reflection, critical reading, presentation, and lecture.

Assessment strategies employed:

Blog discussion, article reviews, book reviews, presentations, reflections, and synthesis project.

Technology, equipment, or skills required:

This course uses a class blog, which is accessible to you via the internet through All course materials (including the text) and supplemental readings
will be posted on this blog. You are expected to submit your assignments by e-mail. I will give you
feedback on all of these assignments electronically by e-mail as well. You should check our course blog

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and e-mail frequently. For reading class resources and communication, internet access, your Clemson e-
mail account, and the ability to read Office-compatible and PDF files (Adobe Reader or compatible) are
required. Office- compatible files are required for article reviews and other document submissions.

Attendance/Participation Policy:
In this online course, you will interact several times with the professor and classmates per week through
various methods, including blog postings and e-mails of class assignments, as instructed in the class
syllabus and my instructions to you. Failure to interact as indicated will result in significant reduction in
your grade.

Assignments at a Glance:


Article Reviews 25
Reflections 20
Book Review 25
Curriculum Synthesis 30

Grading Scale out of 100 total points:

A: 92%-100%
B: 85%-91%
C: 75%-84%
D: 70%-74%
F: <70%

Assignment Details:
Article Reviews: brief responses (approximately two pages/ 250 words), illustrating professional critical
thinking on a class day’s assigned article posted on the class blog, and are due before that class. These
article reviews should be e-mailed to me at

Reflections: brief responses (approximately two pages/ 250 words) to a prompt posted on the class blog;
the response should illustrate professional critical thinking on that day’s class topic and are due before
the beginning of the next class. See class blog at

Book Review: The book review is a written report of your examination of major ideas contained in your
assigned book, based on its applicability to teaching middle school and early adolescents. You should
summarize the major themes in the book, give examples of how they would be used, and provide insight
into their further application in a middle school setting.

Curriculum Synthesis: The curriculum synthesis is a statement of your educated concept of middle school
curriculum, based on the ideas covered in this course. The framework for this synthesis is This I Believe,
an extension of the ideas of This We Believe. It should show your critical thinking, based on the materials
presented and other information you have located to bolster your ideas. I will provide more detail to you
in a separate mailing.

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Class Schedule
Text Articles/
Date # Class Topics Presentations Assignment
Reading Materials
6/30 1 • Introduction to Chapter 1 This We Reflections,
Middle School Believe Article Reviews
• Orientation to the Assigned
class Articles
• This We Believe
7/1 2 • Professional Chapter 2 Assigned Reflections,
Standards Articles Article Reviews
• Middle School History
7/5 Holiday

7/6 3 • Conditions for Chapter 5 Assigned Reflections,

Student Learning Articles Article Reviews

7/7 4 • Academic Chapter 4 Assigned Reflections,

Achievement Articles Article Reviews
7/8 5 • Whole-School Reform Chapter 9 Assigned Book Review: Reflections,
Models Articles How to Article Reviews
• Differentiated Differentiate
Instruction Instruction in
Mixed Ability
7/12 6 • Instructional None Assigned Reflections,
Techniques for Early Articles Article Reviews
7/13 7 • Core Practices of the Chapter 3 Assigned Book Review: Reflections,
Middle School Articles TeamWork: Article Reviews
Concept Setting the
• Teaming Standard

7/14 8 • Promoting Teacher Chapter 7 Assigned Book Review: Reflections,

Competence Articles Inventing Powerful Article Reviews
• Pedagogy Pedagogy

7/15 9 • Research Day None Assigned Reflections,

Articles Article Reviews
7/19 10 • Classroom None Assigned Book Review: Reflections,
Management in the Articles Setting Limits in Article Reviews
Middle Grades the Classroom
7/20 11 • Parental Involvement Chapter 8 Assigned Reflections,
Articles Article Reviews
7/21 12 • Grading None Assigned Book Review: Fair Reflections,
• Standard Assessments Articles Isn't Always Equal Article Reviews
7/22 13 • Effective Leadership Chapter 6 Assigned Book Review: Reflections,
• The Future of the Chapter 10 Articles Meet Me in the Article Reviews
Middle School Middle: Becoming
an Accomplished
7/26 14 • Synthesis None None Synthesis Reflections
Presentations Presentations

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7/27 15 • Research/Writing

7/28 16 • Research/Writing

7/29 17 • Research/Writing

8/2 18 • Synthesis Paper Due None None Synthesis

Write Up
8/3 19 • Course Wrap Up

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