Course Meeting Times

Seminars: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


There are no prerequisites for this course.

The MIT/Wellesley Scheller Teacher Education Program

The MIT/Wellesley Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP) prepares MIT and Wellesley College students to become teachers who are:

  • Competent to teach in their field and not afraid to challenge established norms
  • Able to bridge the boundaries among disciplines
  • Eager to help students develop the desire to question and explore that is so much a part of the MIT experience.

Course Texts

[Learn] = Buy at Amazon Committee on Developments in the Science of Learning. How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition. The National Academies Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780309070362.

[Schooling] = Buy at Amazon Graham, Patricia Albjerg. Schooling America: How the Public Schools Meet the Nation's Changing Needs. Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780195315844. [Preview with Google Books]

[Tinkering] = Buy at Amazon Tyack, David, and Larry Cuban. Tinkering Toward Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform. Harvard University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780674892835. [Preview with Google Books]

Course Rationale and Overview

This course is designed as the first semester of a two course sequence that introduces MIT students to K-12 teaching and learning. This sequence may be followed by an additional three course sequence involving student teaching that leads to state licensure.

These courses are designed to provide students with maximum exposure to different teaching and learning styles, and provide them with encouragement and support as they pursue their interests in teaching. The course emphasizes the benefits of a constructivist approach, and the merits of hands-on, project-based, collaborative work. All too many traditional education courses lecture to the students about the virtues of such hands-on constructivist approaches. Instead this course in turn takes a hands-on constructivist approach so that students may experience these methods while they learn about them. This approach sometimes confuses students who are not used to such methods. The second semester explicitly addresses these issues, and students consistently demonstrate understanding of this material in their own practice teaching.


  • Three formal written assignments
  • Math games assignment
  • Three in-class presentations/discussions
    • Town Hall
    • Ed Tech Poster
    • Mini-Lesson
  • Final written assignment
  • Blog entries based on observation
  • Eighteen to 22 hours of classroom observation
  • Schooling America or Tinkering Toward Utopia chapter reading
  • Current events, including weekly participation, and one week leading discussion about article
  • Daily participation in class discussion (for full class period)