The curriculum for the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows program uses a variety of pedagogical approaches such as one day workshops, short lecture series, traditional courses, seminars and an extensive professional year-long clinical in rural schools. The 'coursework' is integrated with classroom experience and supported by faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Patton College of Education, and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, as well as by practicing middle school and high school teachers.
The curriculum can be thought of being divided into five strands:
Managing and Monitoring Student Learning: The topics and experiences provided by this strand prepare Fellows for entry into school classrooms starting in fall with direct participation in the roles of teachers, which are completed by the spring semester Professional Internship. Throughout this strand Fellows study and apply essential information relevant to student learning, lesson planning and meeting student learning and behavioral needs. Deeper study of schooling is achieved through reviews of relevant topics such as school law, policy and procedures; cultural variances; socio-economic differences, and geographic locations. All topics are channeled so that Fellows achieve success in managing and monitoring student learning.
STEM Learning and Teaching: This strand addresses mathematical and/or science content and connect it with the curriculum and pedagogy used by middle and high schools. The primary goal is to provide the background and necessary tools for further growth as a teacher; not every topic In the middle school or high school curriculum is covered. Rather, this portion of the program offers the knowledge and skills needed to delve into and create lesson plans on unfamiliar topics. This strand includes material traditionally included in teaching methods courses and discipline content courses as well as building the background and understanding necessary to help students understand the broad nature and spirit of the development of mathematics and science.
STEM Literacy: This strand equips Fellows to help school learners develop skills for using print and multi-media learning resources to elevate achievement and success in school. Fellows who pursue the Middle Childhood license complete the full range of literacy requirements, which fulfill the required Ohio statute. Reading and English language usage form the foundation of the STEM literacy topics, which are placed within the context of STEM for rich functional classroom teaching strategies that serve learner needs.
STEM Learning Community: The learning community interfaces with all aspects of the program, and its function, focus, and role evolves as a cohort, i.e., all of the fellows who enter the program in a given year, move from entry into the program into the first years of teaching (and beyond). During the entry year, the learning community serves as a discussion forum to integrate the different facets of the program. As time goes on, an online component will be a means to share resources, offer moral support, and publicize workshops and other professional development.
STEM Education Research: As part of the program, Fellows design and complete an education action research project. There is coursework on the basics of education research, which includes designing and completing a small pilot study in preparation for a larger study that will be done during the professional internship portion of the program. Reporting the findings of these studies is part of the capstone experience at the end of the year-long program.