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Indiana University Northwest

Professor Rochelle Brock

EDUC T550 Course Syllabus

EDUC T550: Cultural / Community Forces and the Schools

Instructor: Dr. Rochelle Brock     E-mail Address: [[brock2]]
Phone: (219) 980-6889 (24 hour voice mail)     Fax: (219) 980-6846
Summer II 2007     Office: Hawthorn Hall, Room 303

I. Course Description

Bulletin Description: T550 Cultural / Community Forces and the Schools (Variable Title) 3 Credits
Promotes modification of instructional strategies with diverse educational settings by providing opportunities to analyze community forces and cultures through cultural orientation workshops, to analyze culturally focused readings, and to direct residential participation in community activities and site-based culture/ strategies reports.

Expanded Description:  This course promotes the importance of culture and community to the effective delivery of instruction and the improvement of education for k-12 urban students. Discussions will focus on both theory and practice and how to balance the two to yield the best results in instruction.  The culture of families, organizations, communities in the cities of Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago will be explored, along with relevant research and writings on community and urban education in general.

The role of parents, families, and other caregivers will be emphasized.  Students will have an opportunity to explore their understanding of these factors as they relate to K-12 students in the urban districts that we serve. Time will be spent interviewing people, visiting agencies and organizations, and writing about the cultural, social, and political aspects of life in this tri-city area

II. School of Education Model

This methods course is part of the IU Northwest School of Education Teacher Education Program and is required for Option II Initial Licensure for Secondary Education.  The program is based upon a research-based conceptual framework that incorporates nine outcomes, all of which are designed to prepare a "Reflective Professional".

Reflective Professional Outcomes


Course Objectives

Communication Skills*



Higher Order Thinking Skills



Instructional Technology



Learning & Development



School Culture & Diversity*


1, 2, 3, 5, 6

Instructional Design & Delivery



Classroom Management



Assessment & Evaluation



Professional Development



* This course provides an opportunity for students to prepare a portfolio artifact for these program outcomes

The course Outcomes are that by the end of the semester students will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of how factors such as culture and community context impact teaching through class discussions.
  2. Read about and personally investigate the cultural, social, and political realities of urban life to acquire an appreciation for the complexity of urban living.
  3. Reflect on their capacity for urban teaching.
  4. Identify and consult with community agencies and organizations to ascertain what services are available to urban children and their families.
  5. Conduct internet research to determine local, state and national resources available to urban children and their families.
  6. Conduct interviews with community activists, religious leaders, or politicians to gain an awareness of major issues facing a particular urban community.
  7. Create a resource pamphlet, brochure, or packet addressing one of the major issues facing urban children and their families.
  8. Deliver an informative presentation to their peers on their research topic, utilizing media and technology.

Initial Program Dispositions

  1. Attendance, punctuality, and professionalism (i.e., actions, appearance).
  2. Connect subject matter to students' worlds.
  3. Align teaching with state and professional teaching standards.
  4. Prepare for and promote active learning.
  5. Communicate ideas clearly in speech and writing.
  6. Use of multiple approaches and technology to teach.
  7. Student-centered management of class time and student behavior.
  8. Respects students from diverse backgrounds.
  9. Promote cooperation in class, school, and community.
  10. Tract student progress & adjust teaching to meet needs.
  11. Willing to receive constructive criticism & suggestions.
  12. Committed to becoming an effective teacher.

Attendance: Attendance is required and is an integral aspect of this course. You are required to remain for the duration of a class. Attendance will be taken and absences will be reflected in your grade.  You are allowed one excused/ un-excused absence. For each class missed beyond the one excused/ un-excused absence one-half letter grade will be deducted from your final grade.  Students missing more than three weeks for any reason are advised to drop the course. If you are tardy to class three times it counts as one absence. A tardy is defined as coming to class 10 minutes late.  Please note: Any combination of three ten-minute increments equals one absence. Each ten-minute increment will count as one tardy. (In other words if you come to class ten minutes late one day and twenty minutes late another that counts as one absence)

Academic Honesty and Citations: All of your writing must be your own and must be meticulously referenced according to APA style.  Directions for APA style are available at and many other places on the web.  You may also wish to purchase the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association published by the American Psychological Association (5th ed. American Psychological Association: New York. 2002).  Do not copy work from other students or from texts. Failure to appropriately reference your work often constitutes plagiarism, which according to the Dean of Student’s Office, can be punishable by an “F” on an assignment or an “F” in the entire course.  For more information consult your student handbook. All of your work must be of your own authorship. Disciplinary action is typically taken for academic dishonesty.  Cheating puts you at risk of being dismissed from Teacher Education.  Pre-service teachers are expected to pursue education with a commitment to honesty, a sense of personal honor, and a respect for knowledge and reflection. 

Special Needs: Students with disabilities must be registered with Adaptive Programs in the Office of the Dean of Students before classroom accommodations can be provided. If you have a disability that requires academic adjustments, please make an appointment with me to discuss your needs as soon as possible.

VIII. Principles of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC)

The INTASC principals are addressed by the Conceptual Model that underlies all of the initial programs of the School of Education at IU Northwest. The 10 principles are listed below followed by a table that shows how the objectives of this course relate to the principles.

  1. The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.
  2. The teacher understands how children learn and develop, and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal development.
  3. The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.
  4. The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students’ development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and performance skills.
  5. The teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
  6. The teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.
  7. The teacher plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community and curriculum goals.
  8. The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social and physical development of the learner.
  9. The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.
  10. The teacher fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well-being.
Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium
(INTAsc) Principles by Course Objectives
INTASC Principles
Course Objectives
Knowledge of Subject Matter      
Knowledge of Human Development & Learning      
Adapting Instruction for Individual Needs      
Multiple Instructional Strategies      
Classroom Motivation & Management Skills    
Communication Skills    
Instructional Planning Skills    
Assessment of Student Learning    
Professional Commitment & Responsibility    
School & Community Partnerships    

IX. Indiana Professional Standards Board Developmental Standards

The Indiana Professional Standards Board has established developmental standards for Teachers of Early childhood, Teachers of Middle childhood, Early Adolescence Generalist Teachers, and Teachers of Adolescence & Yong Adults. The last two categories are relevant to the outcomes of this course.  A complete listing and discussion of these is found at the following website. The following table indicates how the objectives of this course are keyed to those developmental standards. 

Indiana Professional Standards Board
(IPSB) Developmental Standards by Course Objectives

Early Adolescence Generalist Teachers
Teachers of Adolescence and Young Adults (AYA)
ipsb Standard
Course Objectives
ipsb Standard
Course Objectives
Young Adolescent Development      

Development of Adolescence / Young Adulthood 

Health & Development       Decision-making  

MS Philosophy & School Organization


High School Learning Communities

MS Curriculum       Curriculum  
MS Instruction       Instructional Strategies  
Family Involvement
1,2 ,4
    Home / School Connections
Community Involvement

Community & Transition to the Future

Teacher Role
    Collaborative Behavior