Introduction to Education

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EDN 101

       Course Name: Introduction to Education

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course provides overview of teaching as a profession in the American educational system. Course examines the historical, social and philosophical development and current state of American public education. Issues, policies, and trends in education are explored, including diversity and equity, organizational structure, governance, finance, law and ethics. Fifteen hours in local, K-12 school settings are required.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Courses within the Education Program contribute to the fulfillment of multiple professional teaching standards. In most cases the courses at Oakton will introduce the skill/concept covered in the standard; however, some standards are fully met at this level. Each course will have assignments linked to particular learning standards. These assignments, or “artifacts,” serve as evidence that the student has either been introduced to or met the concept/skill described in the standard. The artifacts will be saved in an electronic learning portfolio within each Education course so that at the time of transfer each student will have standards-based evidence of accomplishment in all Education courses completed prior to transfer to a College of Education.

It is crucial that students understand the linkage of assignments in all Education courses to particular standards. Assignments are not only a part of a certain course, but begin to build the body of knowledge each student will continue to develop during the remainder of her/his academic life and throughout her/his professional career. Each student, while in an Education major program at a four-year college or university, will be asked to collect and look back over all artifacts created, create linkages among the artifacts, and reflect upon the learning that has occurred during the course of his/her entire sequence of Education classes. Each student will develop a complete electronic learning portfolio that addresses all professional teaching standards prior to graduation with a Bachelors degree. Even though graduation with a BA may seem many semesters away, Education students at Oakton must begin to plan and develop their electronic learning portfolios while completing Education courses offered at Oakton.

For a full listing of professional teaching standards met at Oakton and more detailed information on where this course fits into the entire Education program and individual portfolio development, go to the Education Program website:

Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (IPTS - 2013)
Standard 1: Teaching Diverse Students
The competent teacher understands the diverse characteristics and abilities of each student and how individuals develop and learn within the context of their social, economic, cultural, linguistic, and academic experiences. The teacher uses these experiences to create instructional opportunities that maximize student learning.

Standard 3: Planning for Differentiated Instruction
The competent teacher plans and designs instruction based on content area knowledge, diverse student characteristics, student performance data, curriculum goals, and the community context. The teacher plans for ongoing student growth and achievement.

Standard 6: Reading, Writing & Oral Communication
The competent teacher has foundational knowledge of reading, writing, and oral communication within the content area and recognizes and addresses student reading, writing, and oral communication needs to facilitate the acquisition of content knowledge.

Standard 8: Collaborative Relationships
The competent teacher builds and maintains collaborative relationships to foster cognitive, linguistic, physical, and social and emotional development. This teacher works as a team member with professional colleagues, students, parents or guardians, and community members.

Standard 9: Professionalism, Leadership, and Advocacy
The competent teacher is an ethical and reflective practitioner who exhibits professionalism; provides leadership in the learning community; and advocates for students, parents or guardians, and the profession.

There are three levels that indicate the level to which the standards / indicators identified are addressed:
Partially Introduced: Concepts are partially covered at a beginning level of knowledge and/or skill.
Introduced: Concepts are covered at a beginning level of knowledge and/or skill.

Met: Concepts are covered at a proficient level of knowledge and/or skill.

Partially Introduced
Knowledge Indicators:
The competent teacher
1A. Understands the spectrum of student diversity (e.g. race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, special education, gifted, English language learners (ELL), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity) and the assets that each student brings to learning across the curriculum.

Knowledge Indicators:
The competent teacher
1C. Understands how teaching and student learning are influenced by development (physical, social and emotional, cognitive, linguistic), past experiences, talents, prior knowledge, economic circumstances and diversity within the community.
1D. Understands the impact of cognitive, emotional, physical, and sensory disabilities on learning and communication pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (also referred to as “IDEA”) (20 USC 1400 et seq.), its implementing regulations (34 CFR 300; 2006), Article 14 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/Art. 14) and 23 Ill. Adm. Code 226 (Special Education).
1E. Understands the impact of linguistic and cultural diversity on learning and communication.
1F. Understands his or her personal perspectives and biases and their effects on one’s teaching.
3E. Understands the appropriate use of technology, including assistive technology, to address student needs, as well as how to incorporate contemporary tools and resources to maximize student learning.
6B. Understands that the reading process involves the construction of meaning through the interactions of the reader’s background knowledge and experiences, the information in the text, and the purpose of the reading situation.
8A. Understands schools as organizations within the larger community context.
8E. Understands school- and work-based learning environments and the need for collaboration with all organizations (e.g. businesses, community agencies, nonprofit organizations) to enhance student learning.
9B. Knows laws and rules (e.g. mandatory reporting, sexual misconduct, corporal punishment) as a foundation for the fair and just treatment of all students and their families in the classroom and school.
9C. Understands emergency response procedures as required under the School Safety Drill Act (105 ILCS 128/1), including school safety and crisis intervention protocol, initial response actions (e.g. whether to stay in or evacuate a building), and first response to medical emergencies (e.g. first aid and life-saving techniques).
9D. Identifies paths for continuous professional growth and improvement, including the design of a professional growth plan.
9G. Understands local and global societal issues and responsibilities in and evolving digital culture.

Performance Indicators:
The competent teacher
9I. Models professional behavior that reflects honesty, integrity, personal responsibility, confidentiality, altruism and respect.
9K. Reflects on professional practice and resulting outcomes; engages in self-assessment; and adjusts practices to improve student performance, school goals, and professional growth.
9O. Participates in professional development, professional organizations, and learning communities, and engages in peer coaching and mentoring activities to enhance personal growth and development.
9R. Is aware of and complies with the mandatory reporter provisions of Section 4 of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (325 ILSC 5/4).

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Topics are not listed in chronological order; students should refer to the course calendar for the sequence of topics in a specific section. Individual instructors may add additional topics.

  1. Requirements of an Education major
  2. Development of Public Schooling in the United States
  3. Public Schooling During the Progressive Era
  4. Public Schooling in the Twentieth Century
  5. Current Reform Initiatives in Public Schooling
  6. Philosophical Movements in Education
  7. Purposes of Education in Society
  8. The Profession of Teaching
  9. School Governance, Finance and Issues of School Choice
  10. School Law and Ethics
  11. Curriculum Development, Standards and Testing
  12. Technology and Education
  13. Race, Ethnicity, Language and Education
  14. Socioeconomic Class and Education
  15. Gender, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation and Education
  16. Students with Special Needs and Education

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Individual instructors will use an array of methods, which could include lectures, demonstrations, guest speakers, small group or full class discussions, student presentations, student debates, multi-media presentations, and/or field trips.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

This course may be taught as a face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

Students in all EDN 101 sections must:

  • Attend an Education Program orientation session during this course if they have not done so beforehand.
  • Create a plan for completing and passing the Test of Academic Proficiency, which is required of all students prior to admittance into an Education major at a 4-year institution.
  • Complete 15 hours of in-school experiences and observation for this course. Students cannot pass this course without completing the required hours, most, if not all, of which will take place during normal school hours.
  • Submit a criminal background check in order to begin the observation hours. Students will be provided detailed instructions for the background check by the Education Program Coordinator. There will be a fee associated with the background check.
  • Submit results from a tuberculosis (TB) skin test (also known as the tuberculin or PPD test) in order to begin the observation hours. TB tests are given at the Oakton nurse’s office on either campus. A small fee is associated with the test.
  • Complete EDN 104: Pre-Clinical Observation in Education (1 credit) simultaneously with this course (highly suggested). If not, students should enroll in EDN 104 anytime after successfully completing EDN 101.
  • Attend class, participate in class discussions, and fully engage in group work and individual assignments given as part of the class session.
  • Purchase the required textbooks and bring the textbook to every class session.
  • Complete the assigned readings before coming to class. 
  • Complete work on time. Late work will not be accepted without consultation with the instructor.
  • Possess the ability to read and understand college-level text material. 
  • Write at least the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take many forms. Writing should be free from typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors; and be typed, doubled-spaced, using 10 or 12 point normal fonts (Arial, Times New Roman), with 1-inch margins. When applicable, all citations should use APA format.
  • Possess the ability to use basic technology, such as Desire2Learn (the on-line course management system used for all EDN courses), e-mail, Internet search engines, library research databases and presentation software.  Students should regularly check the D2L course site, at least once before each class session.  Class announcements are made via D2L. Students should e-mail the instructor within the D2L class shell. Students need regular access to the Internet, which is available in the computer labs at both campuses. Students should schedule a technology instruction session with the instructor during office hours if extra technological help is needed.
  • Help the instructor create and maintain a safe and healthy learning environment for all students in the class. All students and the instructor should be treated respect and consideration.  Bullying, discriminatory, disruptive and/or disrespectful behavior can result in removal from the class and possible suspension or dismissal from the college.

 Instructors of specific EDN 101 sections may create additional requirements of students, related to things such as:

  • Specific attendance policies
  • Specific policies regarding use of technology in the classroom
  • Specific classrooms rules
  • Specific academic requirements

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

  • Teachers, Schools and Society: A Brief Introduction to Education, 3rd ed. David M. Sadker & Karen R. Zittleman, McGraw Hill, 2012.
  • Deculturalization and the Struggle for Equality: A Brief History of the Education of Dominated Cultures in the United States,7th ed. Joel Spring, McGraw Hill, 2013.
  • American Education, 16th ed. Joel Spring, McGraw Hill, 2013.
  • Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Educational Issues, Expanded, 17th ed. James Noll, McGraw Hill, 2013.
  • On-line articles and readings

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Instructors of EDN 101 sections will create specific assignments based on the suggested assignments below. At least one assignment must be linked to each of the learning objectives of this course, which are based on the Illinois Professional Teaching Standards (IPTS) 2013. Assignments may apply to more than one IPTS. There may be some assignments or elements of the course that are specific to that section and do not align with one specific IPTS. Individual instructors must fill out the grid below and include brief descriptions of each assignment below the grid. Each assignment should also have a detailed assignment sheet and grading rubric that is available to students in addition to the syllabus.


Assignment / Artifact (suggested)


Group presentation, debate, reflection paper or journal, D2L discussion, panel discussion, educational autobiography, interview, in-school observation tasks, current issue analysis



Group presentation, debate, reflection paper or journal, D2L discussion, panel discussion, educational autobiography, interview, in-school observation tasks, current issue analysis



Group presentation, debate, reflection paper or journal, D2L discussion, panel discussion, educational autobiography, interview, in-school observation tasks, exam / quiz



Group presentation, debate, reflection paper or journal, D2L discussion, panel discussion, educational autobiography, interview, in-school observation tasks, exam / quiz



Reflection paper or journal, D2L discussion, educational autobiography, pre and post attitudinal survey



Research report / presentation, internet research, power point presentation, video presentation, D2L discussion, website analysis



Reflection paper or journal, D2L discussion, case study, interview of school librarian, exam / quiz



Report on school board meeting,  analysis of school report cards, reflection paper or journal, D2L discussion, interview, in-school observation tasks, current issue analysis, exam / quiz



Report on school board meeting, organizational chart, critique of school websites, analysis of school report cards, current issue analysis, reflection paper or journal, D2L discussion, interview, in-school observation tasks



Presentation, debate, research paper, examination of controversial law, exam / quiz



Presentation, debate, research paper, examination of controversial law, current event analysis, compare / review school handbooks, exam / quiz



Reflection paper, learning portfolio, attitudinal survey, personal inventory, interview of principal, teacher interview, participation in student club, exam / quiz



Group presentation, debate, reflection paper or journal, D2L discussion, panel discussion, interview, in-school observation tasks, current issue analysis



Essay / journal, personal reflection, instructor interview, attitudinal survey, in-school observation tasks, current issue analysis



Learning portfolio, essay / journal, personal reflection, case study, instructor interview, attitudinal survey, portfolio progress report



Attend professional conference or workshop, join professional organization, student club, learning portfolio, personal reflection, D2L discussion



Current event analysis, compare / review school handbooks, interview, in-school observation tasks, exam / quiz


All sections of EDN 101 must include the following elements of evaluation:
  1. In-school Experiences and Observation
    Students are required to complete 15 hours of in-school experiences and observation for this course. Students cannot pass this course without completing the required hours. Specific instructors will determine the tasks to be completed during the 15 hours. They must include 1) at least 9 hours of direct observation of children in the classroom based on specific observation tasks; 2) attendance at a school board meeting; and, 3) interviews with individuals, such as, school administrator(s), teacher(s), school librarian, and/or guidance counselor / school psychologist. Students must track the hours completed on the official Oakton observation log sheet, as well as write a reflection based on the experiences.
  2. Education Orientation
    Students must attend an Education Program orientation session during this course if they have not done so beforehand. Instructors may give points or extra credit for completion of this requirement.
  3. Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP) Plan
    Students must create a plan for completing and passing the Test of Academic Proficiency while at Oakton. This assessment is required of all students prior to admittance into an Education major at a 4-year institution. Instructors may give points or extra credit for completion of this requirement.
  4. Learning Portfolio
    Students must organize all their completed work for this course in an electronic portfolio. The portfolio should include the assignments / “artifacts,” a document that clearly links each artifact with one or more IPTSs, and a reflection by the student on the linkages among artifacts and the extent of their learning in the course.
  5. Examinations
    Student learning must be assessed by at least two examinations or multiple quizzes. At least fifty percent of the assessments should be in class or in a proctored testing center and be closed book, closed notes.
  6. Evaluation Scheme
    Individual instructors must include a detailed breakdown of the possible points awarded for each assignment, as well as a tally of the total number of points available in the course.
  7. Final Grade
    1. 90% - 100%
    2. 80% - 90%
    3. 70% - 80%
    4. 60% - 70%
    1. Below 60%

XI.   Other Course Information

Instructor Contact Information
Instructors will provide their contact information and office hours.

Test of Academic Proficiency 
This assessment (formerly the Basic Skills Test) is a statewide requirement of all students prior to admittance into any Education major at a 4-year institution. Students should take the TAP at least one semester prior to graduation or transfer from Oakton. It is strongly recommended that candidates take measures to prepare for the test in order to maximize their potential for success. Given the high stakes nature of this test, students are urged to be prepared. There is a limit on the number of times that an individual can take the Test of Academic Proficiency. No individual will be allowed to take the Test of Academic Proficiency more than five times. For this reason, individuals not passing the test should not repeat the test without taking measures to remediate their areas of weakness. Sitting repeatedly for a test will also require paying to take the tests multiple times, which will be costly. 
The test is available in a computer-based format only through Pearson Vue Centers (  Individuals will be able to schedule a time to take the test whenever the test center is open (generally Monday-Saturday). As of July 2013, the cost of the entire test is $125 and a single sub-test fee is $75.

Oakton offers EDN 100, a 1-credit preparation course for the TAP. In order to pass the Test of Academic Proficiency individuals must achieve passing scores on the three multiple choice sub-tests (Reading Comprehension, Language Arts and Mathematics) and achieve a passing score on the Writing sub-test (Writing Sample). The minimum passing scores for the three multiple choice sections require individuals to get approximately 75% of the items correct for each given sub-test. Individuals who take the Test of Academic Proficiency and are successful on one or more of the sub-tests will only need to retake the sub-tests on which they were unsuccessful.

The Illinois State Board of Education will also accept a composite score of 22 or above on the ACT Plus Writing; or a composite (mathematics and critical reading) SAT score of 1030.  Note that the writing subtest must have been taken for each test; however, the writing score is not included in the composite score requirement for either test. The ACT or SAT must have been taken within the past 10 years. 
Students must designate Oakton as a recipient of the scores on the TAP test application, or submit a copy of their ACT or SAT scores to the Education Program Coordinator, so that the Oakton Education Program can verify students have met this requirement prior to completion of the Teacher Preparation Concentration.

This course transfers as an Education major requirement to many 4-year colleges and universities; however, in order to transfer, students must attain a “C” or better in the course. For more information about the transferability of this and other Oakton Education courses, see the Education Program website (

Important dates
Instructors will insert the current college calendar of important dates.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.