Educational Studies

Galen E. Benson, Assistant Professor

Lyman E. Ellis III, Professor

Lauren S. Hinchman, Associate Professor

Winifred A. Needham, Assistant Professor

The B.A. in Educational Studies prepares students to contribute to a variety of educational contexts. This major does not lead to teacher licensure. Graduates will have in-depth knowledge of educational theory, group management, building learning communities, and experience putting theory into practice through lesson and curriculum design. Students will develop strong skills in communication, critical thinking, experiential learning, inquiry-based teaching and learning, leadership, and the use of technology. The Educational Studies department offers a B.A. in Educational Studies with a choice of two different concentrations.

Students pursuing a B.A. in Educational Studies with a concentration in Educational Theory and Practice will visit a wide variety of schools which will contribute to their knowledge of the American educational system. Students will consider the role of teachers, learners, parents, community members, and leaders in educational reform. This topic will be explored in terms of both past and present efforts to design an educational system which supports learning for all students. Graduates are encouraged to use the Educational Studies major to expand the potential use of the content gained in a second major. The skills gained during the course of this major will be valuable to students who want to pursue consulting, training, facilitating, group management, teaching at all levels, involvement in higher education, and other leadership roles.

The B.A. in Educational Studies with a concentration in Outdoor & Experiential Education takes advantage of Principia College’s 2,600 acre campus, which sits on top of limestone bluffs that tower over the Mississippi River. We use the beautiful and untamed portions of campus to give our students experiences that emphasize leadership, outdoor program design, environmental ethics, outdoor education, adventure education, experiential teaching and learning theories and methods, program planning and delivery, team building, lesson plan design, hard and soft skill development, and communication skills.

Graduates will not only be confident in their ability to design, lead, and evaluate outdoor pursuits, but will also understand the subtleties involved with designing experiential and hands-on learning opportunities for multiple other venues, including in a traditional classroom setting. This program reflects Principia’s commitment to experiential education and interdisciplinary learning. Graduates may go on to have careers as outdoor guides, challenge course facilitators, interpretive center guides or directors, outfitters, park rangers, camp directors, environmental program designers, or eco-tourism guides. Graduates will be recognized for their strengths in the areas of leadership, group facilitation, communication, interpersonal skills, and moral character.

Departmental Learning Outcomes

  1. Communication – graduates will use verbal, nonverbal, written, and visual skills to effectively communicate
  1. Active listening
  2. Giving and receiving feedback
  3. Effective communication in group settings
  4. Use of grammar and punctuation conventions
  5. Introduction and purpose
  6. Sequence and focus
  1. Reflective Thinking, Observing, and RespondingGraduates will be able to observe, document, and analyze personal and group processes through reflection

  1. Documentation/reporting
  2. Questioning
  3. Analysis and response
  1. Pedagogical Knowledge – Graduates will be able to articulate their own personal pedagogical beliefs about teaching and learning

  1. Understanding of diverse learners and needs
  2. Knowledge and application of differentiation and inclusion
  3. Demonstrate the skills needed to develop safe and positive learning communities
  1. Authentic Leadership – Graduates will develop their own authentic leadership styles

  1. Recognize the role of character and dispositions in effective leadership
  2. Develop and know one’s own authentic leadership style

College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes of Principia College: Defining a Liberal Education

The curricular and co-curricular programs at Principia College are designed for students to be lifelong learners, thinkers, and problem-solvers, to draw out spiritual and moral qualities indispensable to growth in Christian Science, and to cultivate an understanding of service to the Cause of Christian Science in meeting the global needs of the 21st century. To accomplish this, the College has established the following outcomes for its graduates. Students graduating from Principia College will:

  1. Demonstrate a depth and breadth of knowledge.
  2. Demonstrate critical and generative thinking.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively.
  4. Be intentional learners.
  5. Be effective members of communities.
  6. Act on the basis of Principle.

EDST 101Pathways to Success3.0 SH[  ]

This course gives students a foundation for lifelong learning and helps them to succeed in college and beyond. Focus will be on communication, professionalism, study skills, 21st-century skills, creativity, presentation skills, time and distraction management, collaboration, critical reading and thinking skills, note taking, and effective study techniques.

EDST 120Signs of the Times3.0 SH[GESS]

A liberal arts foundations course centered around a contemporary national and world issue. Using a cross-curricular approach to analysis and problem solving, students critically read current and classic material, write extensively, discuss actively, and work collaboratively with other members of the class. Students also explore the attitudes, skills, and behaviors that contribute to success in a changeable college experience. The contemporary issue that the class focuses on could change from year to year, but the purpose and process will remain the same. The title will be extended to describe the current issue. This course is designed to encourage a successful transition to the breadth and depth of college learning and living at Principia.

EDST 130Outdoor Education3.0 SH[GESS]

This course is designed to give students in-depth exposure to a wide variety of skills applicable to the outdoor educator. Students gain a strong foundation in group facilitation, team building, leadership, group processing, debriefing, diversity, and Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. Hands-on skills include knot tying, fire building, camping, and ropes course work.
Class Level Restriction: Freshman and Sophomore only

EDST 170Environmental Education3.0 SH[  ]

This course integrates ecological concepts with theories about teaching and learning. Students gain practical experience designing and delivering creative hands-on learning units. Students learn how to adapt these lessons and methods to a variety of different age groups, settings, and outcomes. Course material focuses on constructivist teaching methods, eco literacy, and "green" teaching.

EDST 183Adolescence and Society3.0 SH[GESS]

Human growth and development of middle through high school age children, emphasizing the perceptions of adolescents in wider societal contexts such as government, corporate culture, literature, mass media, and cultural traditions. Includes researching and evaluating definitions of adolescence from a variety of perspectives given by the humanities and social sciences. Individual research projects include a focus on adolescent literature.

EDST 184Children and Society3.0 SH[GESS]

Human growth and development from birth through late elementary-aged children, emphasizing the perceptions of children in wider societal contexts such as government, corporate culture, literature, theatre, mass media, and cultural traditions. Includes researching and evaluating definitions of childhood from a variety of perspectives given by the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Individual research projects include a focus on children's literature and the direct observation of children's behavior.

EDST 21021st Century Learning3.0 SH[GESS]

Introduces students to 21st century skills and concepts that have been identified as key to successful and effective global citizenship. These include innovation, creativity, critical thinking, and technological proficiency. Experiential and discussion-based classwork will engage students in an ongoing converstation about the educational reform movement as a response to the call to prepare for the demands of the future.

EDST 218Education in America3.0 SH[  ]

An exploration of American education through historical, philosophical, and political lenses. Students will be exposed to a variety of readings which will develop their understanding of the past, present, and future of education in America.

EDST 222Field Experiences in Education2.0 SH[  ]

Students gain firsthand experiences in public, private, and alternative schools. Course will include extensive and frequent field trips to observe a variety of educators implement classroom methods and management strategies. They will also observe and reflect upon the influence of race, gender, and socioeconomic differences in the classroom.
Prerequisite: EDST 260.
Corequisite: EDST 223, EDST 251, EDST 253, EDST 254, EDST 325.

EDST 223Classroom Methods & Management3.0 SH[  ]

This course will provide students with a strong foundation in best practices in education which are rooted in educational theory and cultural awareness. This includes methods of unit and lesson design, classroom management approaches, development of learning environments, and pedagogical strategies.
Prerequisite: EDST 260.
Corequisite: EDST 222, EDST 251, EDST 253, EDST 254, EDST 325.

EDST 235Outdoor Leadership2.0-4.0 SH[  ]

Exploration of outdoor education in an experiential and hands-on way with an emphasis on the application of its related theories, skills, and methods. Emphasis will be on experiential, environmental, and adventure education. Core competencies of outdoor leadership will include facilitation skills, technical skills, decision-making skills, teambuilding, self awareness, safety and risk management, diversity mindfulness, and environmental stewardship. Offered on Principia abroad or field programs only. May be offered for variable credit from 2-4 semester hours. The title will be extended to reflect the specific country, region, or focus topic.

EDST 240Contemporary Topics3.0 SH[  ]

An exploration of a contemporary topic or issue in education. Examples of topics include design thinking, creativity and innovation, project-based learning, differentiation and inclusion, grit, instructional design, coaching, and adult education. Students will develop critical and reflective thinking skills, effective communication, and pedagogical knowledge. Title will be extended to describe the topic. May be taken more than once if the topics differ.

EDST 242Outdoor Ed Topics3.0 SH[  ]

This course may focus on interpretive studies, leadership, leisure and recreation, hard skills, country-specific themes, adventure theory, or other current and evolving topics in the field of outdoor education. Coursework will require students to demonstrate critical and reflective thinking, effective oral and written communication skills, and pedagogical knowledge. Title will be extended to describe the topic. May be taken more than once if the topics differ.

EDST 250Educational Psychology: Majors3.0 SH[  ]

Application of general principles of psychology to educational settings. Theories of teaching and learning and the study of curriculum in a critical, historical, and social context are included. Consideration of such educational issues as race, class, gender, methodology, research, evaluation, assessment, management, and learning processes are also examined. Taken as part of Beginning Block.
Prerequisite: EDST 260.
Class Level Restriction: Sophomore and Junior and Senior only
Field of Study Restrictions: Educational Studies Majors only.

EDST 251Educational Theory3.0 SH[  ]

Addresses critical questions related to teaching and learning: What is learning? How do people learn? How do I learn best and how does that inform my practice? Through an exploration of selected educational theorists, students will explore and question their own beliefs about teaching and learning. These theories are evaluated through the lenses of cultural, racial, socioeconomic, and gender differences.
Prerequisite: EDST 260.
Corequisite: EDST 222, EDST 223, EDST 253, EDST 254, EDST 325.

EDST 253Dynamic Learning Communities2.0 SH[  ]

Students will research and practice communication, collaboration, and professionalism in the context of learning communities. Students will participate in complex dialogs, group interactions, decision making, and visioning. These skills will be applied to individual and group learning needs, and the design of safe and inviting learning environments. Awareness and appreciation of diversity and multiple perspectives will be included.
Prerequisite: EDST 260.
Corequisite: EDST 222, EDST 223, EDST 251, EDST 254, EDST 325.

EDST 254Child & Adolescent Development3.0 SH[  ]

Study of the development of children from childhood to adolescence in diverse school contexts. Study is grounded in related development theory and school issues related to physical, social, and cognitive development. Applicable Illinois standards for middle school teachers are addressed.
Prerequisite: EDST 260.
Corequisite: EDST 222, EDST 223, EDST 251, EDST 253, EDST 325.

EDST 260Communication3.0 SH[GESS]

Introduces study of oral communication in large and small groups. Techniques and theories of oral communication, as well as interaction with readings, process activities, and dialogue with communication professionals form the course content. Verbal and nonverbal communication skills are developed through practiced large and small group interactions. Emphasis is given to learning about communication in a variety of social contexts, as well as cultural and ethnic awareness in communication.

EDST 275Pedagogy of Place3.0 SH[GESS]

Place-based education uses the community, cultural heritage, environment, landscapes, geography, economics, sustainability, and current issues to immerse students in authentic experiences that foster connections between the environmental and human forces that shape a region. This interdisciplinary approach builds ecological and cultural literacy. Title will be extended to describe the current topic. May be repeated once provided the topics differ.

EDST 277Tutor Training Seminar1.0 SH[  ]

This course provides practical and theoretical instruction for student peer tutors and teaching assistants across the disciplines. Recommended for students planning to be tutors, TAs, and those hoping to be Principia post-graduate teaching interns. Communication skills, lesson planning, and developing a teaching philosophy are among topics covered. This course is not a substittue for WRIT 350 Teaching the Writing Process.

EDST 278Child & Adolescent Literature3.0 SH[GESS]

An introductory study of literature for children and adolescents ranging from picture books through adolescent literature. The course includes study of literary themes and forms, the genre, and ethnically and culturally diverse authors and their literature. The course may be interesting to prospective teachers, librarians, and parents as well as English majors. Students can expect to discuss and critique themes and issues found in children's literature. Plot, setting, characterization, and the other literary elements are considered as rich criteria for literary analysis. Applicable Illinois standards for elementary and middle school teachers will be addressed.

EDST 285Foundations in Experiential Ed3.0 SH[  ]

Provides a framework for understanding the history, theories, philosophies, current trends, best practices, and pedagogical approaches in experiential and outdoor education. Students will explore the connections between experience, knowledge, and learning processes. Research methods, scholarly works, and sub-categories such as service learning, cooperative learning, and project-based learning will be studied in relation to this topic.
Class Level Restriction: Sophomore and Junior and Senior only.

EDST 287Character Education3.0 SH[GESS]

Exploration of philosophical and practical theory and issues about character growth focused by approaches to character education at The Principia. What is character education in today's contemporary culture? Special historical, social, political, religious emphasis, based on Mary Kimball Morgan's writings, as well as a wide array of readings on related moral theorists.

EDST 295Wilderness Literacy3.0 SH[  ]

Outdoor educators have many opportunities to facilitate the exploration of wilderness through discussions, readings, and field experiences. Methods associated with teaching and learning about attitudes and beliefs regarding wilderness will be modeled and taught through the study of writers, philosophers, poets, and their relationship to the Wilderness Act, land conservation, and the establishment of the National Park System.
Class Level Restriction: Freshman may not enroll.

EDST 300Exper. Educ Practicum/Intern3.0 SH[  ]

Students will creatively demonstrate a mature understanding of experiential teaching and learning by designing original curriculum in the form of an expedition, course, or program. The design may include budget considerations, safety precautions, lesson plans, equipment and staffing needs, risk management considerations, identification and application of learning theory and best practices, and a personal philosophy of experiential teaching and learning.
Prerequisite: EDST 130 and EDST 285.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only
Field of Study Restrictions: Outdoor & Experiential Studies Majors and Educ St:Outdoor & Experiential Minors only.

EDST 310Global Education3.0 SH[  ]

Explores historical and contemporary issues in educational systems around the world. Course will examine international education through political, social, and cultural lenses. Students will compare and evaluate the progress of education on a global scale.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

EDST 312Teacher as Leader3.0 SH[  ]

Teachers with effective leadership skills are needed in a variety of educational settings. This course will focus on learning about and developing positive teacher dispositions and associated character traits applicable to classroom and administrative settings. Students will participate in an in-depth exploration of leaders in the field of education.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

EDST 325Literacy Across the Curriculum3.0 SH[  ]

Reading and writing instruction and methods in the context of all content areas. Includes a study of what literacy is, how it occurs, and different philosophies of how it can be taught. This course uses a student-centered approach where students examine their own experiences in literacy training and their own literacy traits.
Corequisite: EDST 222, EDST 223, EDST 251, EDST 253, EDST 254.

EDST 330Math for Elem/Mid Sch Teachers3.0 SH[  ]

This course focuses on understanding mathematical thinking and best current practices through experiencing math. Considers methodology, materials, integration with total curriculum. Special attention given to differentiated instruction and culturally responsive teaching.
Prerequisite: EDST 223.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

EDST 342Science Methods for Teachers3.0 SH[  ]

Through a constructivist approach, students will learn educational theory and methodology appropriate for STEM classrooms. Science content will be explored with an emphasis on inquiry-based teaching and learning and best practices in assessment. Special attention is given to differentiating science instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners and to make science accessible to everyone.
Prerequisite: EDST 223.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

EDST 352Inclusive Learning Environment2.0 SH[  ]

Content will include instructional theory and methodology focused on establishing learning environments that include and embrace all students. Strategies for curriculum, instruction, and management modifications for all learning styles and needs will provide future educators with the foundation they need in order to structure learning environments where all students will be valued and find success.
Prerequisite: EDST 260 and EDST 330.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

EDST 383Adolescent Development3.0 SH[  ]

Human growth and development of children of middle through high school age, emphasizing the impact of wider societal contexts on social, moral, intellectual, and language development. Includes researching and evaluating definitions of adolescence from a variety of social science perspectives including the perspective of educational theory. Examines how adolescence is a component in contemporary school and society issues.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

EDST 388Philosophy of Education3.0 SH[  ]

Study of classic and contemporary philosophies of education. A beginning, personal philosophy of education is produced.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

EDST 420Capstone: Educational Studies2.0-3.0 SH[  ]

Students will independently design and present a project that includes application of theory and reflects their interest area in education. Projects may be portfolios, case studies, research projects, or field work. Proposals must be approved and supervised by the Education department faculty. May be offered for variable credit from two to three semester hours.
Prerequisite: EDST 260.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.