Danilo M. Baylen

Graduate ePortfolio

Knowledge and Performance

The last three years as a graduate student at Florida Gulf Coast University's elementary education graduate program was an opportunity to learn and relearn new concepts and skills on specific content areas and grade levels. I have enjoyed the interactions with fellow graduate students as well as with the faculty members. Vicariously, I learned about being a classroom teacher by actively listening and participating in class discussions in face-to-face and online formats.


Several graduate courses stood out for me as I completed my graduate program -- Literature and the Learner, Trends in Language Arts Instruction, Foundations of Reading Instruction, Writing Workshop, Current Trends in Elementary Math Education, Trends in Science Instruction, Elementary Curriculum and Instruction, Curriculum and Instruction Practicum (Elementary), Socio-Economic Foundations, and Seminar in Curriculum Research.


The Trends in Language Arts Instruction (LAE 6616) course provided opportunities to learn concepts, trends, research, and instructional techniques that are current and significant in the implementation of language arts curriculum in elementary classrooms. The Writing Workshop (LAE 5295) engaged me in exploring the practice of effective writing strategies. I acquired a lot of ideas from the teaching strategies demonstration at the end of the term. The Foundations of Reading Instruction (RED 6116) provided conceptual knowledged on approaches, materials, and procedures relevant and applicable to an elementary classroom. The current research on emergent literacy especially the integration of technology was helpful in my thinking as I work with undergraduate and practicing teachers. Finally, the Literature and the Learner provided depth and scope in my knowledge about uses of literature for instructional, informational, and recreational purposes, and relationship to current pedagogical theories.

To enhance my knowledge in teaching and learning science and math concepts, I took two courses: Current Trends in Elementary Math Education (MAE 6115) and Trends in Science Instruction (SCE 6616).

In MAE 6115, I learned about philosophy, content, and process of mathematics education in elementary school programs. I learned how manipulatives can be effective tools to support learning of math concepts and principles. I learned about word problems as an effective strategy in engaging groups of students. iAlso, I gained new ideas on how to teach math from the teaching strategies demonstration. In SCE 6616, I was exposed to concepts and principles in the biological and physical sciences appropriate for teaching in elementary school programs. I learned from my peers on how to conduct simple and safe science experiments.

I learned from interaction with my peers (especially practicing teachers) in analysing curriculum materials used in presenting science as a process of inquiry. One of the memorable experiences I had in this course was driving to Sarasota and participating in a FIFE workshop conducted by the Florida Department of Forestry.


Two foundations of education courses were helpful in enhancing my understanding of how context impacts school. The first one was Socio-Economic Foundations of American Education (EDF 6606). The course experience examined social, economic and political issues surrounding schooling in America from its early years to the present. I learned to listen to diverse perspectives and to reflect on the of role of education in the social and economic aspects of American life.

The second course was a Seminar in Curriculum Research (EDE 6935). The course involved evaluating exisiting research literature related to a selected topic and familiarizing oneself to research design and methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative approaches. It culminated to the conduct of a manageable research project. I focused my research project on literature circles with fourth grade students at Villas Elementary School.



The Elementary Curriculum and Instruction (EDE 6206) course demonstrated how curriculum theories, materials, and practices are aligned to impact student learning as part of their elementary schooling experience.

A practical experience always provide an opportunity of the concepts, principles and strategies that one learns in an academic program. A culminating experience for my graduate program involves working with a practicing teacher and teaching in an elementary classroom for a limited time.


In fall 2006, I completed my Curriculum and Instruction Practicum (Elementary, EDE 6946L) in a first-grade classroom at Pinewoods Elementary School. The experience allowed me to apply and make connections from theory into practice in a supervised field experience as well as develop and practice effective curriculum planning and instructional practices.





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Designing Effective Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategies
Updated last April 24, 2007