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This page focuses on the course 11.124 Introduction to Education: Looking Forward and Looking Back on Education as it was taught in Fall 2011 by Professor Erik Klopfer. Most content on this page also applies to the course 11.125 Introduction to Education: Understanding and Evaluating Education.
This course is an introductory course on teaching and learning science and mathematics in a variety of K-12 settings. Topics include education and media, education reform, the history of education, simulations, games, and the digital divide. This course is required for the Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP) at MIT, through which students can earn a teaching license.
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Prof. Klopfer shares his thoughts at the end of a student-led discussion. (Image courtesy of MIT OpenCourseWare.)
In the following pages, Professor Eric Klopfer discusses specific aspects of his experience as the lead course instructor.
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11.124 is taught in a classroom that seats 60. Seats are often rearranged to accommodate small-group work and a range of activities.
All undergraduate students, mostly sophomores and juniors.
Student interest in the Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP), including 11.124, has grown significantly in the past decade alongside increasing interest in education and social issues among the overall MIT student population. For 11.124 in particular, enrollment has surged, with 60-70 students trying to enroll in the Fall 2012 offering. A decade earlier, the course instructors had to advertise extensively to gather a class of 20 students. The class is capped at 25 students due to CI-H limitations. Students are selected based on interest in education, interest in the full STEP program, and seniority.
About 25 students. In past classes with 12-14 students, there wasn’t enough diversity of opinion; in past classes with 32-35 students, it was difficult for everyone to be an active part of class discussions.
During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:
Distribution of class time:
To inspire and encourage student learning and comprehension of the content covered in class. To design the syllabus and course content, create the assignments, lead in-class activities, and facilitate discussion.
To help prepare some materials, facilitate discussion, and work with the main instructors to grade and provide feedback on student papers.
To lead a few in-class writing activities. To work with students outside of class to develop their drafts into polished final papers.