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University of New Mexico

College of Education

CIMTE 590 Seminar - Capstone

Spring 2008| Section 401, 3cr. hrs.

Thursdays | 5-8pm | SJC Rm. # 1301

Instructor, Dr. Frances Vitali |

505.566.3480 (unm)   |  324.0894 (home)  | 330.1536 (cell)

Offices: #233 Burlington Annex  |  Office Hours: By appointment

Reflection/Communication BLOG at        Revised 1/26/08


The following NM Teacher Competencies Master Teacher-Level III and UNM COE Understandings,

Practices & Professional Identity (U,P,I) are addressed in this course:

III.B.  Involve students in establishing instructional direction and plans. (P)

III.E. Engage students in the analysis and evaluation of their learning and adjust instruction

            based on their feedback.( U,P)

III.F. Communicate regularly with students about their progress. (P,I)

IV.B. Select the most effective teaching techniques to address a variety of student learning levels,

         styles, and needs as well as diverse interests and backgrounds. (U,P)

V.A. Design and use multiple methods of measuring student understanding and growth. (U,P)

V.B. Integrate assessment from multiple sources into instructional planning

        and improvement. (U,P)

V.C. Maintain documentation of student progress. (P)

VI.C. Engage students in establishing expectations for building a learning

        community in the classroom. (U,P,I)



















                Course Description:

This course serves as a capstone for the Master’s program in elementary or secondary education. Students will develop the practitioner project begun in CIMTE 501, Practitioner Research, into a research project to be presented at the end of the semester.  In the process they will review and apply learning from courses taken throughout their program. At the end of the semester, a final draft of the research project will be written and presented orally for their learning community and UNM reviewers as part of their ORAL EXAM Presentation, April 4, 2008. 


All students in the Master’s program will take this course.  Its purpose is to enable students to meet with each other and with faculty mentors in order to plan and receive feedback on the research projects.  Students will meet regularly in research/writing groups as they work on their projects during the semester.  The project will enable students to document their excellence and expertise as classroom teachers and research practitioners. An anthology of their practitioner research projects will be compiled. This course resonate with the UNM vision and mission emphasizing the study and practice of educational research. Each practitioner addresses an educational issue of critical value to them and their teaching practice. As teacher researchers their roles as collaborators accountable for implementing, analyzing and disseminating their educational research enhance their professional integrity and expertise within their respective classrooms and beyond.


                Text : Available in SJC Bookstore:

·         Hubbard, R. S. & Power, B. M. (1999). Living the questions: A guide for teacher- researchers. York, Maine: Stenhouse Publishers. [ISBN: 1571100814]

·         Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. (2001). [5th Ed.]. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological   

                                 Association. [ISBN: 1557987912]


                Materials needed:

                Completed practitioner research and IRB proposal from CIMTE 501 course.

                Course Support:

                Reflection/Communication BLOG at

                UNM Graduate Writing Lab Phone Support (277-0462 w/Greg, Izabella, Lucy, Matthew)


                Course objectives:

  To further develop and complete the inquiry project started in CIMTE 501, Practitioner Research, CIMTE 501.

  To receive feedback on the development of the research project.

                  To work independently in the research process in accordance to timelines and deadlines.

  To prepare a written and oral presentation of the research project.

                  To demonstrate competence in professional collaboration and academic oral and written communication.


                Course Requirements:

  The research project to be developed, implemented and presented this semester is the same one for which a preliminary proposal and IRB was generated the previous semester in CIMTE 501.

  The manuscript should conform to APA style. APA style is the convention of language used by professional academic communities which communicates through uniform standards regarding capitalization, punctuation, spelling, use of terms, formats, and citing resources in sharing research.

  Academic integrity will be honored according to UNM policy on Dishonesty in Academic Matters. See plagiarism statement below.

  Cell phones should be turned off during class to avoid disrupting the flow of ideas for other students and the instructor. Please take care of phone calls before or after class.

  Please make arrangements for child care while you are in class.  Bringing your child(ren) creates a major distraction for you, other students, and the instructor and is liability issue.

                  Out of collegial respect and in fostering a courteous and caring learning environment, all electronic devices are to be turned off or put on manner mode to avoid       unnecessary distraction or interruption during class sessions. Please communicate any questions or concerns you may have regarding this request with the instructor.

                  Engage in professional opportunities to share your research, such as at the Tenth College of Education Graduate Student Colloquium in February 2008 at UNM            Albuquerque. (


                Instructional Strategies:

        Instructors and graduate students will be involved in the following ongoing collegial learning interactions: peer writing groups, guided reading, reciprocal learning,       reflection/communication blog, individual conferences, and mentoring.


      Teacher practitioners will be encouraged to participate in the Eleventh College of Education Graduate Student Colloquium, in February 2008 UNM Albuquerque.        (



General Goal Requirements: extensive use of relevant resources, research of literature, and contacts in the field | meets all deadlines | attendance and active participation in all seminar sessions and writing group | in depth level of inquiry and problem-solving applied | quality of reflection | evidence of inquiry and problem-solving in collecting and interpreting data |

  Assignments will include regular reflections on the development of the project, a thorough study of the selected research question(s), rough and final drafts of the project paper, class presentations, writing group presentations, and final oral exam presentation.       

  For the research paper, current APA style is expected in form and for reference citations; and all spelling, grammar, and writing mechanics should be correct. 

  Completion of various aspects of the project should follow timelines selected with the assistance of the faculty advisor, reviewers, and writing group members.

• The final course grade will be determined by seminar participation, writing group involvement and research project completion as follows:









Evaluation Final course grade will be determined by practitioner research project quality & completion evidenced by the five dimensions of learning and course strands.


Distinguished completion of all Research Invitations with adherence to timelines and scholarly evidence across the five dimensions of learning and course strands.


Exemplary completion of all Research Invitations with adherence to all timelines. Evidence of significant development across the five dimensions of learning and course strands.


Satisfactory completion of all Research Invitations. Evidence of acceptable development across the five dimensions of learning and course strands.

In order to receive credit for the course, a grade of “B” or better must be attained.


                Attendance Policy:

                Attendance is required at all classes. Arrive on time to allow classes to begin (and end) at their scheduled times. Attendance and punctuality are crucial professional responsibilities. Thus, you should come to all classes well prepared to assume an active and thoughtful role in class and scheduled activities by having read all required readings and completed all class assignments.

                If you are absent two times this semester, arrange to meet with your instructor to discuss extenuating circumstances and whether it is advisable to continue the course. "The reporting of absences does not relieve the student of responsibility for missed assignments, exams, etc. The student is required to take the initiative in

                arranging to make up missed work, and it is expected that faculty will cooperate with the student in reasonable arrangements in this regard." (UNM Pathfinder).

                It is your responsibility to check in with the Instructor and your writing group after the missed class for all make up work.

                Accommodation Statement

                The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities.           Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for a reasonable accommodation of               their disabilities. If you have a disability requiring accommodation, please contact me as soon as possible to make arrangements. For more information, contact the               instructor.


                Plagiarism Statement

                Plagiarism is the presentation as original work by a writer of ideas, words, or thoughts belonging to someone else.  You must provide a reference indicating the source of any specific words borrowed from another source.  Any project containing incidents of plagiarism will receive no credit or grade.  Plagiarism is a serious offense in any college course and can lead to failure in that course or expulsion from UNM.


                Accreditation Information

                The College of Education is an NCATE accredited institution. NCATE stands for credita"National Counsel for Action of Teacher Education" ( All COE courses address specific NCATE and professional society guidelines and support the College of Education’s Vision, Mission and Conceptual Framework. You are encouraged  to reflect on I encourage you to learn about and spend some time thinking about the College of Education’s Vision and Mission Statements.

FINAL CURVE by Langston Hughes


When you turn the corner

And you run into yourself.

Then you know that you have turned

All the corners that are left.



Text Box: "Don't aim for success if you want it;
just do what you love and it will come 
naturally."  --David Frost









Jan. 24  Session #1


Accountability/Ethics Guidelines

Meet with Writing Groups-Question

Meet with Cohort Families

Syllabus: Highlights of Process | Checklist|   

Reflection/Communication BLOG at


Jan. 31  Session #3

Research Design/Data Collection/Results Guidelines

Data Analysis & Interpretation Guidelines

Sign-up for Progress Updates

Individual Conferences

Writing Group: Introduction, accountability,

design, data collection, data analysis & previous sections


Feb. 7  Session #4

6pm           Alumnae Panel Discussion

Results, Recommendations & Reflection Guidelines

APA – in text citations/personal communication

APA – figures/tables/charts/appendixes

Writing Group: results, recommendations,

reflections & previous sections


Feb. 14  Session #5

Work & Write on your own


Feb. 21  Session #6

Writing Group: (meet on your own)

      WRITING GROUP (WG) is a support and response/feedback group    

         with the  following RESPONSIBILITIES & ETHICS:

  • Share draft copies with members;
  • Have copies of drafts for each member to read;
  • Decide time and content for discussion with
  • Each member expected to participate.

Each group member is responsible and accountable to each other with meeting timelines, deadlines, being prepared, giving and receiving feedback. Each member is responsible for communicating honestly, collegially and sensitively for the benefit of everyone in the group.












Feb. 28  Session #7

Copy of Rough Draft [what you have]

Writing Group: choose section you want to focus

on for writing group feedback


March 6  (Midterm) Session #8


TBA: Coila, Vicki, Mary, Alexa, Frances


March 13  Session #9

Prepare for Oral Exams

Researcher’s Chair: Research Presentation (abbreviated version)


March 20  Session #10

Researcher’s Chair &

Preparation for oral exams


Including: Abstract, Title Page & brief academic bio


March 24 Final drafts to print shop


March 27



Friday, April 4  Session #11


Pictures & Practitioner Reflections for Anthology

Debrief & Celebration-Si Señor Restaurant


Tuesday, April 8 Completed Final Report, signed & dated


See you at Graduation!


  • Vicki Holmsten & Mary Schumaker-Hoerner may be available for consultation during our seminar.


  • Individual conferences can be arranged anytime throughout the semester.


  • UNM Graduate Writing Center Phone Support (50 minute sessions) is available with Greg, Izabella, Lucy, or Matthew at 277-0466

   (See brochure)


  • Graduate students who are not able to complete their final drafts during Spring 2008 semester will have the summer in which to do so. [This does not include Summer 2008 graduates.]



Course Strands and Dimensions of Research


Means of interpreting and assessing student achievement will involve Course Strands and Dimensions of Learning.


Course Strands

1. communication   2. research/content   3. technology, and  4. collaboration

components describing your development as researchers, writers, and users of technology.


Five Dimensions of Learning


1. Confidence and Independence
Confidence and independence in your own reading, writing, and thinking abilities. We see growth and development when learners' confidence and independence become coordinated with their actual abilities and skills, content knowledge, use of experience, and reflectiveness about their own learning. The overconfident student learns to ask for help when facing an obstacle; the shy student begins to trust her own abilities and begins to work alone at times, or to insist on presenting her own point of view in discussion. In both cases, students develop along the dimension of confidence and independence.

2. Skills and Strategies
Specific skills and strategies involved in composing and communicating effectively, from concept to organization to polishing grammar and correctness, and including technological skills for computer communication and adherence to APA style. Skills and strategies represent the "know-how" aspect of learning. When we speak of "performance" or "mastery," we generally mean that learners have developed skills and strategies to function successfully in certain situations. In this course, it will be communicating as pre-service educators in wrapping your own ideas and questions around what educating linguistically diverse children means and how as professionals we can meet these needs in a classroom.

3. Knowledge Content
Knowledge and understanding refer to the "content" knowledge you gained in the process of your research, writing, and communication technologies for expression. Knowledge and understanding is the most familiar dimension, focusing on the "know-what" aspect of learning. What do I know about this content and how can I extend my learning on different levels? What is my professional role in nurturing a diverse learning environment in my classroom?

4. Use of Prior and Emerging Experience
The use of prior and emerging experience involves the ability to draw on your own experience and connect it to your work. A crucial but often unrecognized dimension of learning is the ability to make use of prior experience as well as emerging experience in new situations. It is necessary to observe learners over a period of time while they engage in a variety of activities in order to account for the development of this important capability, which is at the heart of creative thinking and its application. In focusing, reflecting and designing your own research project and agenda, your prior experience might be tapped to help scaffold new understandings, or consider how ongoing experience shapes the content knowledge or skills and strategies you are developing.

5. Critical Reflection
Reflection refers to your developing awareness of our own learning process, as well as more analytical approaches to reading, writing, and communication. When we speak of reflection as a crucial component of learning, we are not using the term in its commonsense meaning of reverie or abstract introspection. We are referring to the development of your ability to step back and consider a situation critically and analytically, with growing insight into your own learning processes, a kind of metacognition.

It is important that you are made aware of the course strands and the five dimensions of learning. This evaluative process provides a framework with which you can see and evaluate your own growth. As researchers, you are measuring your own learning given the strands and dimensions, considering them in relation to your prior and current learning.






February 28

Midterm Summary

Summary interpretation of observations and evidence in terms of the four major strands of work and the five dimensions of learning.

1.      Four major strands of work: communication, research, technology, and collaboration

2.      Five dimensions of learning:

  • confidence and independence
  • knowledge content
  • skills and strategies
  • use of prior and emerging experience
  • reflectiveness (critical awareness)

Midterm evaluation

  • Estimated evaluation in terms of grade
  • Suggestions for your own further development during remainder of semester
  • Suggestions for class activities or for the professor to better support learning



April 8

Final Summary = UNM IRB Final Report submitted, signed and dated due April 8

Form available online at


Final evaluation

  • Reflections on semester's learning experience
  • Any suggestions for the professor for future classes
  • Estimated evaluation in terms of grade


































INTRODUCTION-What I wanted to know (research question) and why it’s worth knowing, including reference to reading that has helped bring me to this point in my thinking.








Accountability/Ethics-What I have done to share this information with people to whom I am accountable. Safeguards in place to protect co-researchers/students.









Research Design/Data Collection-What I systematically did to answer the question.







2/28 - 3/6

Results-What I found out – the facts.









Interpretation/Data Analysis-What I think this means, including relating this project to my vision of myself as a teacher/scholar.








Recommendations-What I will do with this, including new questions and where this takes me next.








Reflections-My own thoughts at this point.







2/7 & 3/20

Reference List

(APA style)







Abstract-brief comprehensive summary of your research (100 words approximately)







Author Academic Bio & Title Page

for final copies and anthology collection







April 4



Oral Examination Presentation

Present research story to academic community


April 8



UNM IRB Final Report completed, signed, dated and submitted to principal investigator  to send to IRB to close practitioner research project.