Introduction to Education (BETA)
Jennifer Beasley, University of Arkansas
Myra Haulmark, University of Arkansas
Copyright Year: 2021
Publisher: University of Arkansas
Conditions of Use
Beasley and Haulmark's Introduction to Education: Becoming a Professional covers similar content to other education texts I have examined and/or adopted. While most of the chapters are thorough, I did note a few that could have been expanded upon.... read more
Beasley and Haulmark's Introduction to Education: Becoming a Professional covers similar content to other education texts I have examined and/or adopted. While most of the chapters are thorough, I did note a few that could have been expanded upon. For example, adding a brief overview of the history of schools may provide more depth when discussing the purpose of schools in Chapter 2. Further, addressing current education reform may offer a broader perspective about what a new teacher can expect in Chapter 11. Finally, since some Introduction to Education courses require students to complete a certain number of field experience hours in K-12 classrooms and compile a portfolio, brief tips or questions could be added to the "What do you think?" sections at the end of the chapter.
Overall, the content is accurate. I noted a minor error at the end of Chapter 3. The information following "Who are today's students?" (p. 33 of downloaded text) seemed to be related to the first chapter.
The arrangement of the text makes it easy to update information or videos. I appreciated the relevant content the authors included, such as using movement and considering furniture choices to manage the learning environment.
I found this text to be conversational, engaging, easy to digest, and honest. Without mention of the current teacher shortage, the authors clearly explain the demands of teaching while also reflecting on the rewards of the profession.
Chapters in the text follow a similar organizational structure, making it consistent and predictable. However, the use of a variety of videos, links, and assignments keeps each chapter fresh and interesting.
The two sections of the text makes it easy to realign topics and chapters. For example, when teaching Introduction to Education, I often discuss educational philosophy before the midterm exam, so I would most likely assign Chapter 9 earlier on the syllabus without being disruptive to students.
The overall organization of the text was clear although some of the content in the shorter chapters could be integrated into another chapter. For example, some information about educational philosophy in Chapter 9, which is a brief chapter, could be incorporated into Chapter 5 about what is taught. The same could be true about Chapter 10 on excellence or equity.
Although some charts were small and difficult to read, the visual images were aptly chosen. Being able to enlarge them could be helpful to students.
The book contains a few minor errors, such as omitting an occasional word. For example, on p. 98 of the downloaded text, the word "be" should appear in this sentence: "...others may ruminating about...(p. 98).
Although the text includes chapters about today's students and social issues, I prefer a stronger focus on and examples of inclusiveness within each chapter, particularly with the increasing diversity and variety of students in our classrooms and a decreasing variety of teachers.
This book is comprehensive in that it covers many of the most current view of the daily life of a teacher while braiding in the historical background of education in the United States and theories of child development and teaching and learning. ... read more
This book is comprehensive in that it covers many of the most current view of the daily life of a teacher while braiding in the historical background of education in the United States and theories of child development and teaching and learning. The textbook covers what it means to teach and finishes with useful tools on ethics, curriculum and instruction, and classroom environment.
Content is up to date and sources of information are cited throughout each chapter. A comprehensive list of sources is found at the end of the book. At the end of the chapter students have the option to "dig deeper" into the content and learn more from sources or with searchable terms like "Individuals with Disabilities Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400 (200)". I would suggest in the spirit of sharing current terms in education that the authors may want to mention the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act in chapter 4 under the the heading "Homelessness".
The authors cover relevant topics like Special Education law, Maslow's Heirarchy of Need, differentiated instruction, and socio-economic status. Each of these relevant topics are explained in adequate detail along with a connection to its impact on the daily life of a teacher. The presentation of information is broken up so that revisions and updates can be made without impacting the flow of information. Chapter 9 does discuss Danielsen's framework of teaching which is used in some states. Some states, however, measure teacher effectiveness using different measurements. I would say similarities can be found that are transferrable.
The textbook is written with the mindset of a true introduction. Information is shared in a conversational pattern which makes it easy to read. Any technical vocabulary is defined in understandable terms within the text. I do think bolding the key terms would be useful for readers.
Each chapter begins with a question that is answered throughout the chapter. Key terms and objectives are presented prominently following and introductory paragraph. Information progress with headings, videos, charts, images, videos, and links to further information. Each chapter ends by summarizing the answer to the chapter question, key term interactive flashcards, and the "dig deeper" section.
The textbook is broken into logical and appropriate lengths by chapters and headings. The presentation of information can easily broken into parts for instructors to mold and use alongside their own syllabus.
Each chapter follows a predictable pattern. The organizational pattern makes it easy to read and navigate.
Overall the text is easily navigated. I found the charts titled "Erikson's Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development" and Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs in chapter 3 hard to see. It would be nice if they were larger or if you could click on them and they would be magnified so you can read the fine print. White text on colored background can be hard for some readers. It may also be useful to bold the titles and headings.
The textbook was free of grammatical errors from my observation.
The authors have presented information on diversity and culture differences in a unbiased and positive way. Again, they reference the changes that the educational system has undergone through the last several years which includes creating inclusive environments.
In my personal opinion, this textbook is a great introductory text. This approach allows the reader to make connections and reflect on new information in a way that is productive and positive about education. In order to be a teacher today, it is essential for new teachers to have a wholistic view of education that makes sense at an introductory level. This will help them know what is ahead.
For students considering majoring in education the book is comprehensive, covering a myriad of topics they should consider as they decide, "Do I want to be a teacher?" The book begins by asking "Why Teach?" asking the students to examine their... read more
For students considering majoring in education the book is comprehensive, covering a myriad of topics they should consider as they decide, "Do I want to be a teacher?" The book begins by asking "Why Teach?" asking the students to examine their motives for teaching. After the students read through the following chapters they are presented with a final chapter on "What can the new teacher expect?" By the time they cover the content of the book that discusses many of the areas they probably haven't considered they should be able to make an informed decision about pursuing a career in education. In addition, the authors provide additional resources at the end of each chapter to allow students to "dig deeper."
Students are presented with relevant and timely content based on best practices in education including differentiated instruction, classroom management strategies, the importance of the school environment, connecting with families, etc. In addition, background knowledge students should have, but may not possess, is shared such as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Erikson's Eight States of Psychosocial Development.
The information in the textbook is up-to-date and informs the students not only about foundational topics in education but more recent information such as the ethics of teaching and current practices in teaching that have proven beneficial for student learning. The linked resources are from within the last few years providing timely information. The information is presented in such a manner that when updates are needed they can be done with relative ease.
The content of the textbook is presented in a way that students should understand it. Each chapter title is presented as a question and a very brief overview is given at the beginning of the chapter. In addition, the chapter objectives and key terms are given to the students within a framed window making them very clear to the students. While the key terms are identified within the colored window at the beginning of the chapter, they are not highlighted throughout the text of the chapter. In some cases, when doing a search, the term wasn't found within the text of the chapter. An example of this is in the chapter "How do social issues affect students?" the key terms "at-risk" and "socioeconomic status" were not found within the text of the chapter. However, each key term for the chapter is found in interactive flashcards at the end of the chapter. The text clarifies difficult to understand information by explaining it in terms students can understand.
Each chapter of the book is consistent in presenting the same format for students, so there are no surprises mid-way through the textbook. Students first encounter the ideas of the chapter in a question form with the title presented as a question. Then they read a short introduction followed by the chapter objectives and key terms and another paragraph or two on the topic after which they are asked the question, "What do you think?" After pondering their thoughts they dive into each concept within the chapter. Occasionally there is a link to an outside source or a video for them to watch, and/or an interactive activity for them to engage in. Once they read through the content they may encounter a summary or conclusion followed by the heading "Thoughts" in which they are given an idea to ponder. The end of the chapter also contains the interactive flashcards of the key terms.
Overall, the textbook is divided into two sections which can be seen in the sidebar menu. Each of the main sections has a drop down menu allowing students to see and access the specific chapters within the section. The sequence of the material is logical. The students have access to additional information via links that are provided which access additional articles about the topics being covered. In addition, the textbook chapters are segmented in ways making them accessible and allowing students to easily find sections to read if they are not assigned an entire chapter.
The textbook is divided into two sections: Foundations of Schools and Their Students and Teachers and the Profession. This organization allows the student to learn foundational information about education first and then follow that with more teacher-centric information. In order for students to gain an understanding of the "Teacher and the Profession" information having the foundational knowledge will be beneficial.
When working my way through the textbook, I didn't not experience any problems with the interface. All of the links were working, the images, charts, etc. were not distorted in any way and the interactive components worked effectively. I was able to navigate chapters non-sequentially by using the menu in the side-bar. After navigating my way through the textbook, I would not anticipate that the students would have any problems.
The text contained no grammatical errors and was easy to read and follow.
Students who read this textbook will gain an understanding of the importance of diversity, inclusiveness, and equity in education. The information provided is presented in a manner in which students are able to "digest" the information and it's relevance to education. The book also represents different cultures in the images and videos students will see.
I am confident if I used this OER Introduction to Education textbook the students would gain a valuable understanding of the concepts and be able to apply the relevant information to past educational experiences allowing them to move forward with their studies in education with a solid base of knowledge regarding key points in education.
Beasley and Haulmark provide a comprehensive introduction to P-12 education with 11 chapters in 2 parts: Foundations of Schools (Chapters 1-6) and Teachers and the Profession (Chapters 7-11). Each chapter includes objectives and keywords on key... read more
Beasley and Haulmark provide a comprehensive introduction to P-12 education with 11 chapters in 2 parts: Foundations of Schools (Chapters 1-6) and Teachers and the Profession (Chapters 7-11). Each chapter includes objectives and keywords on key topics in the field with links to Wikibooks, videos, and other relevant sources. A concluding reference section includes all sources in a chapter by chapter listing.
The authors present material from credible sources that exemplify inclusiveness, equity, and diversity in chapter narratives and linked material. External sources include primary and secondary materials relevant to today's schools, students, and teachers. The authors include special education law and prepares teachers to work effectively in Arkansas as well as schools nationally. The course highlights knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to begin a teaching career successfully.
By constructing the course in two distinct parts related to schools/students and teachers, the authors can update chapters easily as laws and protocols change. The chapters introduce topics clearly and and engage participants in short activities that provide immediate reinforcement of concepts and terms. Each chapter includes key terminology as flashcards for review and reinforcement. All chapters provide additional reading for a deeper dive, and some chapters include short quizzes or questionnaires to engage learners in relevant topics.
The authors use an appropriate level of terminology and phrasing with illustrations, photos, and documents to reinforce learning. Mini-quizzes with key points and flashcard vocabulary provide short exercises to ensure learners acquire needed knowledge, skills, and dispositions for each topic. Some chapters include case studies written conversationally for more depth on topics.
The authors organize chapters consistently with primary and secondary headings, thought-provoking quotations, and adequate white space between sections. All chapter titles pose relevant questions that orient the learner to its purpose. Common features in chapters include Objectives and Key Terms, What do you think? exercises, Test Your Vocabulary Skills, Dig Deeper, and credits and citations.
Learners easily access the Contents as a sidebar on the left side of the page. The two course sections function with separate dropdown menus for each chapter that show or hide contents, as the learner prefers. Each chapter narrative scrolls down easily with chapter sections clearly indicated by primary and secondary headings. Hot links for supplemental information keep the chapter narrative uncluttered and focused. Each chapter seems manageable individually and clearly distinguished as an integral part of its respective section and context.
The course begins with the broader context of the school/student, then focuses on the teacher/profession. Within these two parts, chapter titles pose a short essential question to orient the learner. The foundations part avoids overlap of content by addressing a rationale for teaching (Ch. 1), purpose of schools (Ch. 2), today's students (Ch. 3), social issues (Ch. 4), education philosophy (Ch. 5), and excellence and equity (Ch. 6). The second part applies foundational understanding to ethics and legal issues (Ch. 7), elementary and secondary curricula (Ch. 8), effective teaching (Ch. 9), classroom environment (Ch. 10), and expectations of new teachers (Ch. 11). The course organizes these topics logically, clearly, and relevantly for persons entering the field of education.
Given 10 or more hot links in each chapter, only one in Chapter 7 (Michigan.gov) failed to open. When I requested access to a Google Document, the author sent the direct link within hours of the request. In Chapter 3, clearer images of the Erikson and Maslow models--or hot links--would reduce distortion. A limitation imposed by the New York Times prevent access to content in Chapter 6. In Chapter 9, I wondered if learners type in responses for their respective definitions of effective teachers. In Chapter 10, the chapter quiz link appeared missing. The Chapter 11 quiz seemed to indicate one response, yet all response selections applied. The references for each chapter help learners further study important topics.
The authors write clearly connecting narrative without grammatical errors. In some cases, current APA style and formatting might update citations and references.
The text narrative seems learner-friendly and engaging for diverse learners, and the authors provide relevant resources that promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging for today's schools, classrooms, and teachers. The course provides an excellent orientation to dispositions needed for beginning elementary and secondary teachers to succeed in their chosen profession.
The collaboration of two seasoned educators contributes to the tone, content, and practice provided in the course. Each author contributes their unique perspective and background as a Director of Teacher Education (Beasley) and Director of Teacher Licensure (Haulmark). The blending of their respective roles contributes to a readable and engaging course to prepare teacher candidates for today's diverse primary and secondary schools.
This textbook presented a thorough review of the teaching profession to students considering the field of education. Each chapter is organized by guiding questions regarding the purpose of school, student demographics, qualities of an effective... read more
This textbook presented a thorough review of the teaching profession to students considering the field of education. Each chapter is organized by guiding questions regarding the purpose of school, student demographics, qualities of an effective teachers, and issues facing educators in today’s society. The textbook provides opportunities for students to reflect on chapter content with interactive multiple-choice questions. Upon completion of the textbook, students will gain a better understanding of the demands and rewards of the teaching profession.
The textbook presented an accurate representation of the role of a teacher in today’s educational field. High leverage practices were incorporated throughout the textbook. These practices included student- centered instruction such as learning centers, choice boards, and explicit instruction. The importance of differentiating instruction to meet the diverse needs of learners was described. The practices and theories explained in this textbook are implemented in schools and classrooms throughout today’s society.
The content in this textbook is up to date and directly relates to today’s teaching profession. However, the content could easily be altered as the teaching profession continues to change to meet the needs of today’s learners. The content presented in this textbook answers big questions about education and the teaching profession. Due to this unique organization, the textbook could easily be updated to change instructional strategies, add technology teaching components or revise information regarding standards or student demographics.
The textbook language was concise and applies directly to the audience of preservice teachers. Each chapter begins with a relevant question and continues with student friendly objectives. Key terms are also presented in the beginning of each chapter allowing readers to preview important concepts. The chapter text is organized in paragraphs and contains bullets and charts for a variety of learners. Presentation of content is not overwhelming. An interactive vocabulary activity is available at the end of each chapter to review learning.
Students will appreciate the simplistic and expected format of each textbook chapter. Each chapter has a guiding question, objectives, terms, explanations and thinking prompts. In addition, each chapter provided students an opportunity to check their understanding of key concepts. Practical examples were also provided throughout the textbook.
This book could easily be divided into syllabus course topics and assigned readings. The textbook provides an overall view of the field of education. However, each topic is thoroughly explained regarding the role of an effective teacher, curriculum development, today's students.
Topics are presented in a logical and clear fashion making content accessible to grasp. The textbook begins with a broad understanding of education and moves to specific roles of teachers along with characteristics of today's students. In addition, the textbook presents ethical issues within the profession and how to develop a personal philosophy of education. Textbook organization moves from basic understanding to application.
I had no interface or navigation issues when reviewing this textbook. I was able to navigate easily through the chapter and all text features displayed properly. The interactive questions and vocabulary reviews were easy to use in order to review textbook content. The interface was not confusing.
The text contained no grammatical errors and was written in a way that was easy to understand and comprehend. There was varied sentence structure and relevant examples to ensure the readers' attention. I have no suggestions for grammatical edits.
I appreciated how the text addressed diversity regarding today's students. Family structure, cultural, language, socioeconomic status were examples of diversity included throughout the textbook in an inclusive and sensitive manner. The importance of equity and inclusiveness in the classroom was a priority.
This textbook provides a strong introduction to the field of education!
I think it is quite difficult to present an exhaustive view of teaching. I think the text was quite comprehensive, given it's an introduction. Other books are more narrow in scope. The First Days of School, by Wong and Wong, is generally... read more
I think it is quite difficult to present an exhaustive view of teaching. I think the text was quite comprehensive, given it's an introduction. Other books are more narrow in scope. The First Days of School, by Wong and Wong, is generally considered the gold standard for new teachers, but this is a good first look at teaching, in general.
I found no evidence of inaccuracy in the text. There were places I didn't agree with whole-heartedly, as I retired from 25 years of public school teaching, all in Title I schools. I have dealt with a lot of the topics they mention regarding poverty. I wouldn't say the authors' information is inaccurate, just different than my view.
The world of education has changed a great deal in a short period of time. Prospective teachers must also be masters of the Zoom parent-teacher conference, communicate via text message, and open their classrooms to scrutiny, like never before. That said, this text does cover teaching fairly comprehensively. I appreciated the references to Linda Darling-Hammond, to Hirsch, but was surprised that Wiggins and McTighe weren't mentioned. Most new teachers will have some accountability for backwards design, especially if their schools have adopted project-based learning and STEAM. I also missed the mention of Multi-Tiered Support Systems, having evolved from the simpler Response to Intervention model. Most new teachers will also be accountable for MTSS or RTI with the added behavior interventions. It's a new world in education. I believe with a few revisions to reflect the major changes, this text will be an excellent resource for pre-program teaching candidates to decide whether a teaching career is right for them.
The text appears to be written for a pre-program teacher candidate, possibly a high school senior. While there were some specific vocabulary that might be challenging for someone who is not a teacher, there were explanations and additional resources to add to the reader's growing understanding of teaching.
The book was arranged helpfully with initial objectives for reading and follow-up thinking prompts. Each chapter followed a predictable structure.
I prefer a book that can be easily segmented. This text has solid, stand-alone chapters yet supportive of the central message.
For the most part, this text is organized in a clear fashion. Chapter 6: What Makes an Effective Teacher, might be useful if directly following Chapter 1, Why Teach? The two chapters build very well on one another. Because each chapter is a fairly good stand-alone, however, this isn't a huge issue as a reader.
There were some readability issues with graphs and charts. For instance, the t-chart on page 14 was cut off, and on page 74 I could not see the Fixed Mindset portion of the chart.
I found no significant areas for revision of grammar.
The text addresses topics that relate to culture, equity, and inclusion, however there have been significant changes in policy and norms. I'm wondering if these chapters should be moved up towards the beginning and double-checked for content.
Table of Contents
- 1. Why Teach?
- 2. What is the Purpose of School?
- 3. Who are Today's Students?
- 4. How Do Social Issues Affect Students?
- 5. What is Taught?
- 6. What Makes an Effective Teacher?
- 7. What is a Positive Classroom Environment?
- 8. What are the Ethical and Legal Issues in Schools?
- 9. What is an Educational Philosophy?
- 10. Excellence or Equity...Which is More Important?
- 11. What Can a New Teacher Expect?
About the Book
This book was written to provide students with an introduction to the field of education. The book is broken into chapters that focus on questions students may have about education in general. Although some chapters may go into more depth than others, this is created as an introductory text.
About the Contributors
Jennifer Beasley has more than 25 years of experience in education as an elementary school teacher, gifted facilitator, university professor, and education consultant. She is currently the Director of Teacher Education at the University of Arkansas and a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Beasley specializes in Gifted Education, Differentiated Instruction, Understanding by Design, Teacher Education, Professional Development, and the Integration of Technology in the Classroom.
Myra Haulmark began her 25 plus years in education as a speech pathologist and gifted programs coordinator in K-12 schools. Myra is currently the Director of Teacher Licensure at the University of Arkansas and works with teacher candidates as they prepare for state licensure and provides training and support in the areas of reciprocity and teacher ethics to students during their educator preparation programs.