The aim of this learning community is to provide students with a rich and empowering understanding of the possibilities for their own and others’ learning. 

Photo of Tania Boster and Jody Kerchner
Course instructors for this learning community are Jody Kerchner and Tania Boster. Instructor Kate Thomson-Jones is not pictured. Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

The Art of Teaching and Learning

Offered spring 2019

Oberlin College has a long history of preparing people, who, directly (or indirectly) facilitate, guide, nurture—teach—others to do something for their personal or communal advancement. Whether studying in the arts, sciences, or humanities, Oberlin students are eager to engage in community service by leading and learning from others, regardless of age and background.

This learning community is dedicated to students seeking to reflect on and expand their roles as teacher, learner, and community leader.

In the required course, Principles of Education, students will explore the historical, philosophical, and pedagogical roots of the American educational system. Students will then apply this foundational knowledge either in teaching philosophy to young children or in leading community-based historical research focused on various experiences of learning.

The aim of the learning community is to provide students with a rich and empowering understanding of the possibilities for their own and others’ learning. 

EDUC 300 and either PHIL 214 or HIST 214 required for participation in the learning community.


Instructors 

Course instructors for this learning community are Associate Director of the Bonner Center for Community-Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Research Tania Boster, Professor of Music Education Jody Kerchner, and Associate Professor of Philosophy Kate Thomson-Jones.

Jody Kerchner, instructor

EDUC300/PACE 300 Principles of Education,
Meets 3 pm, Tuesday and Thursday; 4 credit hours; enrollment 20

Required for the Art of Teaching and Learning StudiOC learning community.

Students will explore the complex world of education from historical, philosophical, sociological, and political perspectives and assumptions, while also investigating why different models of schools function as they do.

Educational theory, policy, and curriculum will be addressed, specifically current issues and research dealing with students’ readiness to learn, assessment and evaluation, funding, teacher assessment, and educational standards.

Traditional and alternative pedagogies, their impact on teaching-learning partnerships, and models for teacher reflective praxis will be included in course readings, discussions, and written reflections.

While the course focuses on the American educational system at large, students will practice applying key educational concepts to subject areas of their own interest. 

Kate Thomson-Jones, instructor

PHIL 214 PHITS Philosophy in the School Practicum
Meets 2:30 pm, Monday and Wednesday; 4 credit hours; enrollment 20

Either this course or Oberlin History: Community-Based Learning & Research Practicum required for the Art of Teaching and Learning StudiOC learning community.

The Philosophy in the Schools (PHITS) practicum gives students a new community-engaged way to develop their philosophical skills and understanding, by teaching philosophy through children’s literature. Students will make weekly visits to Eastwood Elementary School, working in pairs to lead lively philosophical discussions.

The rest of the course will be taken up with preparation for and reflection on these visits. 

Tania Boster, instructor

HIST 214 Oberlin History: Community-Based Learning & Research Practicum
Meets 11 am, Tuesday and Thursday; 4 credit hours; enrollment 20 

Either this course or PHITS Philosophy in the School Practicum required for the Art of Teaching and Learning StudiOC learning community.

Learning the history of a place as recounted by members of the community helps us understand and act in the present. This course introduces students to community-based learning and research, with a particular focus on oral history.

To enhance their capacity to act as engaged citizens, students will learn from and with members of the Oberlin community and establish historical context and methodological familiarity through readings and site visits to local organizations.

Students will apply methods and ethics of community-based research and oral history techniques in partnership with the Oberlin Heritage Center’s Oberlin Oral History Project.