EDSS 415: Adolescent Development for Secondary Educators

Course Assignment: How does racial identity play a role inside the classroom

CI education students examine various articles focused on diverse racial identities, including William Cross’s, “African American Racial Identity Development” and Janet Halems’s, “White Racial Identity Development Theory,” and readings from the course text Understanding Youth. Upon completing these readings, each student drafts a response essay describing how/why these theories will help them get a better understanding of the diversity of students in their classroom. Students then have class discussions regarding their reflections on these various racial identity theories and how they will inform their future classroom. Subsequent readings focus on ethnic and sexual identity theories.

EDSS 424: Creating and Managing Effective Secondary School Learning Environments

Course Assignment: Teaching Philosophy

The Teaching Philosophy Statement requires students to think about the type of teacher they aspire to be in today’s diverse public schools. Students write about their own experiences in diverse classrooms, the importance of home culture, and how they plan to work with diverse families. CI teacher candidates then connect philosophy and practice by considering the concepts of equity and equitable instruction, their significance, and how they plan to make these concepts come alive in their future classrooms. This assignment is a component of the signature assignment which is an inclusive/accessible Google site CI teacher candidates create for their future and prospective k-12 classrooms and students.

EDSS 530: General Secondary School Methods

Course Assignments: Universal Design for Learning

This course focuses on secondary lesson plan writing, assessment, teaching strategies and student engagement. Embedded across those components are the concepts and practices of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) that facilitate meaningful and equitable instructional practices. The UDL assignments in the course ask CI students to review Multiple Means for Learning and to consider the spectrum of all types of learners. CI students then develop lessons that include accommodations that make the content accessible and that provide various means for secondary students to express understanding of class content. This includes considerations of students’ mental, emotional and physical well-being.

EDSS 540: Literacy in The Content Areas

Course Assessment: Text Accessibility

There are four parts to this assessment that requires CI students to design a text-accessibility plan that will allow all students equitable access to course content. Students will: Identify the demands of the text in terms of genre, structure, vocabulary and Lexile/reading level; Document student needs in terms of context, culture and/or background knowledge; Select appropriate strategies, instructional approaches, methods, and/or activities to use prior to and during reading, considering potential problem areas within the text; Determine ways to extend or reinforce students’ knowledge of content and/or skills after reading is completed, incorporating key strategies in the future.

EDSS 550: Access to Learning: English Language Learners

Course Assignment: EL Interview/Observation

CI candidates investigate various methods of helping students grow academically, linguistically, and personally. In field placements candidates conduct an intentional observation of an English Learner (in their content area). They observe the student and discover/explore: the student’s interests, what the student seems to understand and do well, and what the student is working on, and what strategies teachers might try with this student and why. Candidates hold an informal interview with the student to learn about him/her/them as people and learners. The goal is to situate the secondary student as a teacher who enables the teacher candidate to learn to include and educate diverse learners.

EDSS 560: Access to Learning: A Focus on Individual Differences

Course Assessment: Inclusive Education Project

For this Signature Assignment, CI Students incorporate knowledge of students’ needs and their cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic experiences to create inclusive instructional materials in Google Classroom. Activities and lessons embody Universal Design for Learning and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support concepts and use various technologies to ensure accessibility for all learners. Students must address the needs of students whose first language is not English and those with IEP goals through accessible materials and by using appropriate assistive technologies. Students reflect/discuss lessons learned through the collaborative process of creating these instructional materials.


EDSS 531: Teaching Mathematics in Middle Schools

Course Activity: Mathematics Literacy for All

One of the primary and recurring themes in the course is the importance of equitably and inclusively developing mathematical literacy for all students - reading, writing and speaking the language of mathematics. CI students experience and discuss numerous background readings on the topic and watch the video "California Students Have Big Dreams" to collectively and individually reflect on ways of making mathematics accessible for all students, including English Learners and students with learning disabilities. During class, students are introduced to Integrated English Language Development (ELD) as a responsibility of all teachers, and they begin creating resources for developing vocabulary.

EDSS 541: Teaching Mathematics in High Schools

Course Assignment: Reading Reflections

CI students reflect on course readings to help shift mindsets away from traditional mathematics instruction toward more inclusive and differentiated approaches that embrace struggle and creative problem solving. Students compare the 2013 CA Math Framework with different approaches to math instruction. Students further compare different models from the literature to their own math education. Students answer reflection questions such as: “How do the traditional mathematics classroom norms contribute to the problem?” “How might you use the research on productive struggle to convince students and parents that in mathematics mistakes are valuable, and that struggle is an inherent part of learning?”


EDSS 532: Teaching Science in Middle Schools

Course Activity: Nature of Science and the Underrepresented

A crucial component of implementing disciplinary norms and routines is how science and scientists are introduced to students, including what is presented as valued and who is most often chosen to “represent” the discipline. In this course activity, CI students explore the importance of being intentional about incorporating opportunities for middle school students to routinely experience the diversity of scientists and scientific contributors in inclusive, just, and meaningful ways. Course discussions center on how science instruction can perpetuate or subvert the norms and routines that exclude the accomplishments, histories, and ways of knowing of non-dominant or underrepresented groups.

EDSS 542: Teaching Science in High Schools

Course assignment - Stories of Scientific Discoveries

CI teacher candidates connect the stories of scientific discovery to classroom teaching while highlighting the process of science and scientists from non-dominant or underrepresented groups. Candidates draft two stories of scientific discovery based on standard form the Next Generation Science Standards framework. One story will address scientific content that is no longer accepted with an explanation of how and why this knowledge changed, focusing on the scientist, the discovery, and the issues that led to its (de) legitimacy. The other story will focus on a new (within the past five years) discovery of science from a content area, again focusing on the scientists, the discovery and their significance.


EDSS 533: Teaching English in Middle Schools

Course Assessment - Signature Assignment; Unit Plan

The Signature Assignment for Teaching English in Middle Schools is the creation of an individual Unit Plan. For the plan, teacher candidates create a series of lessons that build on students’ identities, their prior knowledge and their community cultural wealth. For the plan, teacher candidates also write a rationale in which they explain how the chosen literary text(s) and assignments offer “windows,” “mirrors,” or “sliding glass doors” to the students in their care. Texts allow students to see their experiences reflected, to see others’ experiences, and to “walk” into the diverse experiences created by authors. Candidates create the units based on the Social Justice Standards from Learning for Justice.

EDSS 543: Teaching English in High Schools

Course Assignments (s): Lesson Demonstrations and Assessment

The lesson demonstration requires CI students to construct multiple ways of accessing lesson content and to demonstrate these for their peers so that all candidates benefit from collective ideas about inclusive and engaging instruction for all students. The CI course becomes a high school classroom, and we capitalize on our own diversity to respond to the presentations. The Assessment assignment requires students to design assessments that show the variety of learning styles, address learning levels and cultural diversity, provide rationales for choices made, and explain how students of all types can develop skills to be successful in the academic ELA tasks of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

History/Social Studies

EDSS 534: Teaching Social Studies in Middle Schools

Course Assignment: Developing Curriculum and Celebrating Classroom Diversity

CI education students draft a middle school social studies assignment that deals with curriculum and representing diversity/diverse perspectives inside the classroom using the California Department of Education’s History-Social Science framework/curriculum guide. The assignment must look at both equity and fairness within a diverse classroom. Students then analyze the draft assignment using prompts such as: "Does the assignment favor one group over another?" and "Does the assignment create a shared learning environment for all students?" Each CI student will present their draft and analysis to their peers to deepen the critical analysis of their inclusion diversity/diverse perspectives.

EDSS 544: Teaching Social Studies in High School

Course Assignment: Digital Community Archive

The purpose of this assignment is to equip students to be active agents in doing history, using historical archives to connect themselves to the diversity and diverse experiences of the larger community. Students draft an inquiry to an organization or cultural institution asking to collaborate on a community archives project that will illuminate the rich history of diverse local experiences and perspectives. Students examine the usage of digital archives to pursue this project. The key prompt guiding this work: How can digital community archives empower individuals and their communities to feel like their lived lives-stories, material artifacts, and objects-are valuable to the historical record?

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