EDU538: K-12 Teaching: Legal and Societal Contexts

Course Credits:
Course Hours Per Week:

Course Overview

Engaging candidates in research, analysis, and application of important legal concepts to job-related roles and responsibilities, this course prepares candidates for entry into the teaching profession. In addition to legal and ethical responsibilities of teachers, the course covers:

  • Applicable federal, state and local district laws
  • Rules, regulations, policies, and requirements including Constitutional provisions
  • Reporting child abuse and neglect

The course project, Teacher’s Legal Manual: Understanding and Applying Legal Concepts to the Teaching Practice, focuses candidates on various legal issues that apply to the teaching profession. Reviewing and reflecting upon legally challenging circumstances, candidates create a manual of “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for application in their own classrooms.

This course does not include a required field-based activity.

Course Learning Objectives

  • Describe and discuss the legal framework in which K-12 schools operate, including federal and state constitutions, federal and state statutes, and the U.S. System of Courts.
  • Analyze and articulate federal legal influences on educational practice including No Child Left Behind, IDEA, FERPA, ADA, and the U.S. Constitution.
  • Analyze and articulate the concept of school liability and teachers’ responsibilities to protect students from harm.
  • Analyze and discuss the societal context of K-12 schools, including religion in schools, school vouchers, charter schools, and home schooling, and public sector input from business, advocacy groups, and the public.
  • Research, analyze, and discuss local school and school district rules, regulations, and policies that influence educational practice in schools and classrooms.
  • Synthesize a concise, comprehensive job aid that contains statements of essential laws, regulations, rules, and responsibilities of student teaching.