Published Date

January 1, 2003

Resource Type

AHA Resource

AHA Topics

K–12 Education, Teaching & Learning

This is part of the Training Teachers to Teach History in K-12 Schools project.


Training Teachers to Teach History in K–12 Schools

By John Tully


Assignments and Syllabus

General Assignments
This document describes the procedure for doing observation/student teaching and lists the assignments that should be completed during and after the experience. Assignments include Field Experience reports, class journals, lesson plans and group work. It seems to be Connecticut-specific.

Methods Syllabus
This document is a syllabus of a Social Studies Methods class. It has an introduction to the course, objectives, reading list, assignments, grading policies, and a class schedule. The class seems to focus not only on teaching assignments, but also on appreciation of history and on the unique and innovative ways with which to teach history.

Unit Plan Assignments
This document introduces the major assignment for the semester, which is a Unit Plan. The Plan should include all materials, assignments, and lectures for a major unit, usually a two-week span of time. Also included should be a rationale for teaching the unit, which should answer the questions “Why is this important?” and “Why should we study it in this way?” Knowledge and skills learned through this unit should also be addressed. The assignment should also include an extensive bibliography.


Field Experience
This assignment, 15% of the final grade, is graded on the student having completed the 30 hours of the field experience, having received positive comments from the host teacher, and having taught at least two lessons. The quality of the final reports is also graded, as is the inclusion of topics covered in the readings and in class. Grades range from A to <C.

Final Exam
The final exam, 10% of the final grade, consists of only two questions: History is ___ and My goals as a Social Studies teacher will be ___. The rubric grades the responses based on the inclusion of topics covered in class, in the readings, field experiences and assignments, as well as personal experience. The complexity and thoughtfulness of the responses is also considered.

Group Unit Plans Review
This assignment, 5% of the final grade, is based on the extensiveness and constructiveness of comments and critiques made to their colleague’s papers. It also takes into consideration the joint review handed in by the group. It assigns one grade to the group, but allows the professor to adjust the individual grades “out of a concern for fairness.”

The journals, 10% of the final grade, are graded based on the quality of insight and thoughtfulness exhibited in the responses, as well as the completeness of the entries and the extent to which the student incorporates outside readings and personal experiences to the topic. The length of the journal entries and the presentation of the journal is also considered.

Lesson Plans
The lesson plans, 10% of the final grade, are graded based on the completeness and creativeness exhibited in the plan. There is a fairly extensive checklist of the ideal components and the expected quality of each is stated. Creativity seems to be the factor that designates an “A” paper, whereas a “B” paper has all the components but does not go above and beyond. Fairly standard.

Micro-teaching, which is part of the participation grade, is graded based on presentation skills, such as clarity of voice, eye contact, use of time and classroom management. This rubric is in table format, with quality ranking descriptions for each skill according to the grade.

Participation, 20% of the final grade, is based on contributions to class discussion, attendance, group work, and overall level of involvement. Uses grading criteria that is standard across discussion classes.

Unit Plan: Final with Revisions
The final Unit Plan, 10% of the final grade, is graded based upon its completeness, its clarity and logical flow, and its ability to be used by a colleague without outside help. It is also graded upon the integration of revisions and a thoughtful revision summary. The accompanying materials (PowerPoints, quizzes, tests, etc.) are clear and contribute to the overall goals.

Unit Plan Lesson Plans
The Unit Plan Lesson Plans, 10% of the final grade, is graded based on the same criteria as the Lesson Plan, in addition to being directly related to the Unit Plan goals as a whole. The Lesson Plans should exhibit a wide range of techniques and methods in order to be graded highly.

Unit Plan Outline
The Unit Plan Outline, 10% of the final grade, is graded based upon its completeness and creativity. Also considered is the likelihood that the plan could engage students and the focus on activities that are directly related to the learning goals.

This document lists criteria that are applicable to all the rubrics for this class. Such criteria include grammatical and spelling errors and Academic Misconduct. This also makes clear that while the rubrics act as a guide both for student and professor, they are flexible and the professor is permitted to adjust the grade as s/he deems appropriate.