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EDUC 140 Intro to Teaching Class Guide

Welcome to the EDUC 140 Intro to Teaching Class Guide. This guide is intended to help you with your exploration into an aspect of the history of education. In this guide, you will find information on:

Picking a Topic to Research

Look back at what you have watched and read in class during the history of education unit and see what stands out to you as particularly interesting. Review the notes that you took during these classes to see what you might like to explore more.

To refresh your memory, here are some topics covered:

  • 1770-1890: the Common School
  • Indian Schools
  • The professionalization of the teacher in the 1960s
  • Every Student Succeeds Act 
  • Desegregation of schools, with a focus on Virginia public schools
    • Farmville, VA
    • Prince Edward County Schools
  • Perennial tensions in education

Focusing Your Topic

All of the above topics are very broad, and in order to effectively discuss your topic, you'll want to narrow down your searching to something more specific.

For example, if I'm interested in the Common School, I might like to look into:

  • Horace Mann, who was a strong advocate for public education, and later became the first secretary of Massachusetts' State Board of Education.
  • the concept of moral instruction
  • the use of phrenology in the Common School

Any of these topics would be more accessible as a researcher than just searching for the Common School.


To think more about what direction you'd like to go, try some of these brainstorming techniques to find a more specific topic:


Once you know what you'd like to explore more fully, work toward finding your sources with the tools found here.