EDPS 310

Department of Educational Policy Studies

University of Alberta


The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of equity and respect for all people within the university community, and to educating faculty, staff and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all. For further information, please refer to Toward the Use of Inclusive Language Throughout the Faculty, Guidelines Regarding Sexual Harassment of the Faculty Equity Plan.


Students who require accommodations in this course due a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Specialized Support and Disability Services, 2-800 Students’ Union Building, 492- 3381 or 492-7269.


Policy about course outlines can be found in Section 23.4(2) of the University Calendar.


Course Syllabus

EDPS 310 (Elementary) Managing the Learning Environment

Teacher Education North (TEN) Program

Grande Prairie Regional College

Fall Term, 2009



Instructor:                   William Shaw M.Ed. CIA

Section:                       Grande Prairie Regional College

Phone:                        780-532-4491  Ext. 1047

e-mail:                        william.shaw @gppsd.ab.ca

Office hours:            Meetings/appointments can be scheduled at the request of the student and/or instructor



Course Schedule:

            September 2 – October 23                        On Campus (13 Classes)

            October 26 – October 30                        Off Campus IPT Field Orientation

            November 2 – November 4                        On Campus (2 Classes)

            November 9 – November 13            Final Examinations (NOV.9)

            November 16 – December 11            Off Campus Field Experience


N.B. Friday Sessions: All students enrolled in EDPS 310 or minor courses must set aside all Friday afternoons for instructional use. Instructors will inform students of specific dates reserved for EDPS 310 purposes.


Introductory Professional Term

The Introductory Professional Term (IPT) is the pre-service teachers’ introdution to the current integration of current educational theory, research, and practice. The term in organized around a coherent set of courses and an initial field based experience grounded in academic and scholarly rigor. The Introductory Professional Term provides the opportunity for the pre-service teacher to begin to develop:

§  Pedagogical expertise;

§  A professional identity;

§  An awareness and beginning understanding of how diverse contexts affect students and teachers; and

§  A preliminary competence in teaching through an initial field experience.


Important Dates

The deadline dates students may:

Add or Delete the course – September 9;

Withdraw from the course and receive a 50% refund – September 23

Withdraw from and forfeit the cost of the course – October 14


Course Description

Classroom management is a complex decision-making process that involves creating and managing socially complex learning environments. It is more that eliciting predictable obedience; rather, it a process that enhances student  self-understanding, self –evaluation, and the internalization of self-control. This course provides the professional knowledge necessary for teachers to establish and maintain an environment suited to teaching and learning. This professional knowledge – pedagogical and practical – includes a “repertoire of procedures [that] ensured optimal learning for all students.” (Levin et al.,. 2009, 20). It is about a teacher’s responsibility “to provide students with a learning environment that is conducive to achievement and free from disruptions, distractions, and threats to their safety and well-being” (Congelosi, 2004). It is about their actions teachers take to establish order, engage students, and elicit their cooperation. Effective classroom management establishes learning environments that are well organized and efficient, where students become more cooperative, responsible for their choices, and more willing to engage in learning activities. This course is designed to provide pre-service teachers with required knowledge and skills to create and manage socially complex learning environments that enhance students’ learning and personal growth. Drawing on a body of research findings and concepts taken from the disciplines of sociology, psychology, political science and philosophy, the course adopts a professional decision-making model where judgments and decisions are made on the basis of fundamental principle relating to classroom management. The course views the teacher as a reflective practitioner making informed decisions in a systematic and thoughtful way.


The course content consists of theories and approached to management, underlying assumptions and objectives, instructional features relating to management, techniques for working with diverse students, preventative and interventionist strategies to create and maintain classroom order, types of assistance available to teachers when dealing with severe behavior problems. Over arching these aspects of classroom management practice are issues of equity and diversity. To that end the course examines contextual factors that influence management practice – social variables such as gender ethnicity and class – which must be recognized and understood when making informed decisions. Teachers must recognize these and other factors associated with student life experiences as they attempt to relate to students and interpret their behavior.