A traditional certification program typically includes, early on, a general-purpose educational psychology course. While similarly placed in the GeauxTeach program, the Knowing and Learning course was developed as a significant alternative to such an all-inclusive, all-things-to-all-people course. Rather than pursue very general claims about knowing and learning across disciplines and ages and rather than being based on only one formal perspective (educational psychology), GeauxTeach’s Knowing and Learning course is intended to focus on knowing and learning in secondary mathematics and science as understood from a multidisciplinary perspective. The course stands on the premise that formal research on knowing and learning in mathematics and science has emerged, in itself, as a robust line of inquiry and design. This line of inquiry has tended to be situated relative to classroom practice and draw on significant insights from many fields of inquiry, including psychology, anthropology, critical literacy, sociology, biology, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, developmental theory, artificial intelligence, and the domains of mathematics, science, and computer science proper. Some now call this integration of domains a “learning science” perspective.
This course is not simply a general survey of theories of mathematical knowing and learning. Instead, the primary goal of Knowing and Learning is to provide students with the opportunity to identify theories and employ these theories to guide their own practice. GeauxTeach is committed to the idea that practice and theory build on each other. Any teaching practice is guided by some theory of how people learn. If students are not aware of this, they are likely to adopt teaching practices without considering the full implications of theory behind them. GeauxTeach wants its students to be thoughtful and reflective practitioners.