Friday, June 13, 2008

Final Reflcetion - Course Feedback

The most valuable portion of the course were the site visits. I have never been to an urban school, so seeing was believing. I do believe that we should have visited some of the more struggling schools in addition to the schools we did visit, but just visiting the city gave me an idea of the enviornment. The most valuable of the site visits were the time we spent in the classroom, observing student-student and student-teacher interactions. We should spend more time in the classrooms, and less time with the formal presentations given by the schools. I also really wished we able to visit the high school that focused on science, although, through no one's fault, that was just not possible this time.
The course's organization was favorably, as we had some time before we visited urban schools, although the schedule was a bit "last minute". We weren't penalized if we couldn't make all of the site visits for the entire time (I hope). I appreciate a flexible course. I am struggling a bit to finish 15 blog entries, it would be helpful to have more assigned blog entries.
I enjoyed most of the readings, and found most of them to be quite pertinent to the course. However, I did not find the reading on utopia to be very helpful. I am useually very interested in philosophical concepts and readings, but that text did not expand my understanding of urban education very much. I would like to read more about urban psychology, and concepts framed around psychology and urban environments.
As I mentioned before, the course was valuable for even those who do not have any interest in urban education. I learned a lot of practical information that all teachers should know. I am also very appreciative of the knowledge of blogs and websites with wehich this course provided. If we had a full semester for the course, I would suggest a project that involves developing a lesson plan (group or individual) that is geared to an urban environment. I would have also liked to participate in more community of inquiry type discussions with the class.
Overall, I am happy with what I took from this course, even if I never wind up teaching in an urban environment.

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