My Course Wish List

Your list is empty.

Explore online education in Tennessee

TELC 2012 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

TELC 2012 - Teachers as Agents of Change

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course is designed for individuals working in a public school environment on the Professional Occupational license or one of the Alternative Licenses. It provides an overview of current issues, trends, and problems that are commonplace to teaching in public school settings. Students will engage in analytic learning experiences which focus on: a) teaching in urban, suburban and rural settings, b) meeting the needs of diverse student populations, c) historical, sociological and philosophical aspects of education in a diverse society, d) legal, financial, equality/inequality of access and resources, e) governance issues related to public schooling in the U.S., f) developing knowledge and skills regarding professionalism, national and state initiatives, effective teaching, and licensure, and g) action research to improve current practice.

Course Outcomes:
  • To provide an overview of current issues, trends, and problems commonplace to teaching in public school settings
  • To engage students in learning experiences focusing on teaching in a variety of settings--urban, rural, and suburban, in order to develop a broad perspective of classroom situations
  • To explore multiple factors that contribute to the state of public school education including national and state reform initiatives, rapidly changing populations, diversity within the classroom setting,
  • To develop an understanding of historical, sociological, and philosophical aspects of education in a diverse society in order to better meet the needs of learners,
  • To build background knowledge regarding the legal, financial, equality and inequality of access and resources that relate to public school classrooms across the state and nation,
  • To develop an awareness of social justice within the education arena by examining the history of the struggle for equal education opportunities,
  • To assist students in developing professionalism, becoming familiar with the certification process and in developing an awareness of effective teaching. 
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:


Course Topics:

Module 1 - The Profession of Teaching - Teacher Education and the Global Society. Status of Teachers, Education Reforms, Shortage Areas, Profile of Today's Teachers, Licensure Requirements and Board

Certification, and Effective Teaching Research.

Module 2 - Historical Perspectives of Education and the involvement of the community into the classroom through effective usage of Program/School Advisory Councils. Advisory Councils are required by federal law.

Module 3 - Today's Perspectives of Education - The Changing Face of Students, Diversity and Student Populations, Meeting Student Needs, Success for All Students, Accountability and High Stakes Testing, School and Society, Urban, Suburban, and Rural Populations, Inclusion, Illusion, and Exclusion of African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and the "Model Minority," American Schools and Education After Brown v. Board, Connection Between Poverty and Failure

Module 4 - The School as a Mirror of Society - Societal Demands, Societal Problems, Control at the State Level, Parental Choice, Charter Schools, The Flight to the "Private Haven," Purpose of School as Define by Different Populations, Violence, The High School Experience, The Need for Literacy, Parental Involvement, Home Schooling, Success of Magnet Programs, Privatization of Public Schools

Module 5 - The Courts and Schools - Student Rights, Teacher's Rights, Parents' Rights, Public Access to Schools: Where does it leave the P.S.?, The Language of Schools, Schooling as a Property Right, Secular Humanism and the Religion of Public Schools, An Examination and Analysis of School Law--From Search and Seizure to Immigrant's Rights

Module 6 - Cultural Issues in Education - Then and Now, Empowerment Through Education, through the reflection, and a first year teacher. 

Specific Course Requirements:

Course content is divided into seven modules of study. Related reading assignments as well as related slide shows for each unit will assist in understanding the material.

Modules consist of:

  • Reading assignments (textbook, electronic journal articles, handouts, and related professional material)
  • Online web-based mini-research assignments
  • Asynchronous Discussion Forums via Discussion Board
  • Supplemental reading and related meta-commentary to apply information in the classroom setting (Educating Esme)

Assignments are designed to provide relevant information and application of professional material to the classroom setting. In order to successfully complete the course, students should: a) become familiar with specific software application and b) be comfortable working with the online learning environment.

All assignments must be saved in MS Word. The online environment offered via the Desire 2 Learn/RODP course site requires that all completed assignments be uploaded through the site. Successful completion of the course depends on the timely completion of assignments, adhering to deadlines, and actively participating in Discussion Forums. 

Items that are to be placed on the student’s personal web page must be saved as a web document and constructed in a web based software such as Microsoft Front Page. 

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:
Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:


Grading Procedures:

Assessment and student evaluation consists of individual and collaborative assignments which are related to unit content material. These assignments include: a) web-based teleresearch, b) participation in Discussion Forums, and c) reflection paper based on Educating Esme.

Directions for completing all assignments (including Discussion Forums) are all available on the RODP site. Completed assignments must be uploaded via the course site. Students are encouraged to routinely check grades throughout the course to keep up with progress. 

Grading Scale:

A specific number of points may be earned for each assignment. Points are indicated on assignment guidelines. A total of 760 points may be earned for the course. The total number of points are converted to a 10-point scale as follows. 

GradeTotal Number of Points
A900-100 points
B800-899 points
C700-799 points
D600-699 points
F599 points and below


Assignments and Projects:

Students are expected to complete required assignments, take part in Discussion Forums, and engage in Action Research. Specific Course Requirements include:

Reflection Paper based on Educating Esme - After reading the text, each student will choose a specific school-related problem described in the book. Based on the problem, each student will conduct research in order to build a better understanding of the problems facing today's public school teachers. An analysis of articles and web site materials will be analyzed and synthesized into a short paper exploring the selected issue. Guidelines will be posted in the Assignments tab in the module.

Classroom Analysis - Each student will utilize their own classroom in order to engage in a collaborative analysis of classmate's classrooms. Students will write a descriptive report of the classroom situation and take pictures--digital or film--of the room. The diagram or picture will be posted in the discussion. Each student will conduct an analysis of the other group members' rooms and evaluate the rooms based on effectiveness criteria, available resources, and other factors. Suggestions for improvement will be posted to the Discussion Board Forum.

Readings, Related Web-Assignments, Teleresearch Mini-Papers/Projects, and Discussion Forum Postings (Varying Number of Points) Each student is to keep up with assigned readings, complete related assignments and/or post to the Discussion Forum. Assignments must be uploaded via the Student Drop Box. 

Class Participation:

Discussion Board Forums - In addition to "text-based" assignments, teleresearch, and action research, each student must actively participate in Discussion Forums. Due to the nature of the online learning environment, the Discussion Forums act as an avenue for dialog, sharing, exploration, and reflection. The Forums will be utilized to develop a better understanding of the multifaceted arena of public school education. In addition to the Discussion Forums that are associated with the Modules, there is a discussion for student initiated issues and the Home Discussion for non-Unit issued raised by the professor. 

Late Policy:

Students are required to adhere to assignment due dates, which are provided when each assignment is released. Although assignments will be accepted late (within one week of due date only), penalty points will be deducted for each day the assignment is late. The final assignment will not be accepted late. 

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on April 28, 2017