For your capstone assignment in the course, you will selectively draw on the content for Weeks 8, 9, 10, 20, 21, and/or 22 as you write a 900 - 1000 word dialog between two teachers who are discussing their respective philosophies of education - I.e., what they each believe the primary role and purpose of education should be
Here is an abbreviated example of what such a dialog might look like. Jack is representing the 'education for economic development' philosophy (Week 8) and Nora is representing the 'education for inquiry learning' philosophy (Week 22):
"Nora: Did you have a good morning?
Jack: I certainly did. I put the Grade 6 students into role as scientists during science class. I gave each student a lab coat to wear and I addressed them as "Dr." throughout the class. They were especially delighted by that!
Nora: How did you come up with that idea?
Jack: Well, as you know, I think the primary role of schools is to prepare students for the world of work and what better way to do this then to treat them as career professionals, so they can experience what it's like to be a scientist, or a historian, or an author?
Nora: But don't you think there's so much more to school than just preparing kids for the world of work? I certainly do. There's so much more to life. For example, I want to my students to be prepared to take on all those challenges we can't possibly predict today. So my focus is on helping them to develop inquiry skills that will help them succeed - in work, but also in life more generally - regardless of what careers they choose.
Jack: What do you mean by inquiry skills exactly?
Nora: Well, skills like problem solving and decision making, but also collaborative skills related to working with others. Those are all going to be important skills to have regardless of their career choices.
Jack: Yes, but what about all those skills which are specific to individual careers? Don't you want students to develop specific skills in science, history, or language arts for example?
Nora: Oh, the bell's about to ring. Better get back to class. It was a good discussion though. See you later.
Jack: You too. Have a great rest of the day."
The above example adopts a few conventions that you might want to follow:
- The dialog opens with a very short introductory exchange which sets the stage for the philosophical discussion which follows.
- Each teacher asks questions of the other which prompts them to provide further explanation or give an example.
- Examples from practice are shared.
- The phrase "the primary role of school" is used to clearly indicate when a philosophical perspective related to the course content is being shared.
- The two teachers gently challenge one another. For example, one teacher asks, "But don't you think there's much more to school than just preparing kids for the world of work?"
- The conversation is informal. Words like "kids" are used, as you might expect in an informal staff room exchange.
- Specific terminology from the course is used throughout (e.g., inquiry skills).
- The conversation closes with a brief concluding exchange (I.e., about the need to get back to class).
- Through the dialog, the discussion is respectful. The two teachers are not arguing with one another.
Think of this assignment as a short excerpt from a movie, television, or stage play screenplay that in part features two teachers discussing their philosophical beliefs related to K-12 education.
A rubric for this assignment can be found in the course outline which is available on the LMS.