<<PR/PE Index 

Application for State Approval of

Teacher Preparation Specialty Programs


Michigan Department of Education, Office of Professional Preparation Services

P.O. Box 30008, Lansing, Michigan 48909

Phone:  (517) 335-4610 *** Fax:  (517) 373-0542



  • For each new, amended, or experimental program, a separate application is required. 
  • Application and all documentation are to be submitted electronically. 
  • Fax or mail only the cover page that is signed by the unit head. 
  • All correspondence regarding this application should be addressed to the consultant/coordinator identified on Application Attachment 1. 


I.  Application Information


Lake Superior State University

MDE Endorsement Area and Code (from Application Attachment 2)


Political Science (CD)

Date of this Application

February 4, 2005

Name and Title of Unit Head

Dr. David Myton, Chair, School of Education

Signature of Unit Head




II.  Contact Information for Questions Related to This Application

Contact Person’s Name and Title

Dr. Gary Johnson, Professor of Government

Contact Person’s Phone Number

(906) 635-2763

Contact Person’s Fax Number

(906) 635-2111

Contact Person’s E-Mail Address



III.  Type of Request for Approval                                                                  (Indicate One)

New program for institution


U.S. Department of Education Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Code, if vocational occupational area


Compliance with State Board of Education new or modified program criteria


Experimental program


Program amendment (See Section IX for guidelines)



IV.  Institutional Representatives                                                                 

Name/Title Specialty Mailing Address E-mail Address Phone Fax

Gary R. Johnson, Professor

Political Science Lake Superior State University  650 W. Easterday Avenue, Sault Saint Marie, MI  49783 gjohnson@lssu.edu (906) 635-2763 (906) 635-2111
Richard T. Conboy, Professor Political Science Lake Superior State University  650 W. Easterday Avenue, Sault Saint Marie, MI  49783 rconboy@
(906) 635-2339 (906) 635-2111
Paul R. Pioszak, Teacher Political Science and English Sault Ste. Marie Area High School, 904 Marquette Ave., Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783 ppioszak@eup.k12.mi.us (906) 635-6605, ext. 5842 (906) 635-3641


<<PR/PE Index 

Quick Link Index:

Section 1. Summary of Course Requirements

Section 2. Program Summary

Section 3. Instructional faculty

Section 4. Candidate Preparation

Section 5. Collaborative Partnerships

Section 6. Professional Development and Support

Section 7. Standards Matrix

Section 8. Special Recognition

Section 9. Instructional Methods

Section 10. Course Descriptions

Section 11.  Course Syllabi


            Political Science (CD) Specialty Program

            Lake Superior State University

            February 4, 2005






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Section 2. Program Summary

(Narrative below)




a. Describe the philosophy, rationale, and objectives of the specialty program and explain how the program is consistent with the philosophy, rationale, and conceptual framework of the unit.


The secondary political science teacher education program at Lake Superior State University (LSSU) is designed 1) to provide prospective teachers with the basic factual knowledge they need, 2) to stimulate in them a passion to be the kind of life-long learners they must be in order to become and to remain effective teachers in the field, and 3) to provide them with the pedagogical tools they need to succeed as teachers. 


Secondary teachers of government and political science, of course, need to possess factual knowledge of contemporary government and politics, as well as historical perspective.  To that end, our teacher education program seeks to provide students with the requisite factual knowledge and historical perspective.  However, unlike some other areas of secondary teaching, much of the subject matter of Political Science is constantly changing.  For that reason, virtually all of our courses go beyond merely presenting the facts of government and politics.  We seek to instill in our students a passion for politics and contemporary affairs that will turn them into life-long learners, learners who will share up-to-date knowledge with their students and convert that new knowledge into effective assignments and classroom experiences 


We also believe that, beyond the essential factual knowledge, and beyond a passion for constant learning, teachers of government and politics need broad background as well as good writing, speaking, analytical, and critical thinking skills.  The program provides a broad education by requiring that students take courses across the various fields of political science, as well as some courses outside of political science.  It helps students acquire speaking, writing, analytical, and critical thinking skills through course requirements.  These requirements supplement the university’s general education requirements, which include two freshman writing courses and a speech course. 


The School of Education Vision Statement states that we are a community of learners bound by the shared values that exemplify excellence in the professional education of teachers.  The School of Education Mission Statement affirms that we are committed to provide opportunities for research, reflection and response in the education of teachers.  We achieve these opportunities through situated and contextual learning experiences, and in the foundations for the development of content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and professional dispositions.  We value a commitment to learning communities, and are dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of learners. 


In keeping with the logo of Lake Superior State University, the School of Education summarizes its mission in the motto: EDUCATING TEACHERS FOR TOMORROW’S SCHOOLS

With respect and understanding for individual differences and shared heritages

For whom learning is an ongoing lifelong process, and

With high academic and professional standards


We believe that the act of teaching and learning involves a framework of research, reflection, and response.  We see these elements as an evolving cyclical process, a pathway that learners and leaders of learning must employ to create powerful knowledge bases, develop as participatory members of a democratic society, and establish and maintain environments conducive to learning. The process of research, reflection, and response is focused upon four areas that we believe are the essential elements of expert teaching.  These areas include: content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, professional dispositions, and learning communities.  At the center of the process of acquiring and applying the skills and knowledge of professional practice we place the learner. 

We see the learner as inclusive of all stakeholders in schooling and education. 


What is

Research:  Expert teachers understand the need to maintain a current perspective on the numerous facets of education.  A professional educator strives to engage in the study of pedagogy, examination of the literature related to teaching and explore avenues for the transformation of theory to practice. The act of research is often precipitated by observed events in the classroom and school.  When dilemmas arise, expert teachers ask questions and then seek answers through research.


Reflection:  John Dewey stated “The active, persistent, careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in light of the grounds that support it is reflective thought” (1933, p.9).  Expert teacher are continuously reflecting upon their practice.  Engaging in critique, they look at the elements of teaching as well as their whole practice within the contexts in which pedagogy is engaged.  The act of reflection requires the teacher to question their behavior, their beliefs as determinants of practice, and carefully consider the responsibility of being a leader of learning.


Response: The act of engaging in pedagogy should be responsive.  To implement change or modifications in one’s practice to better facilitate learning is a key element in the repertoire of an expert teacher.  Response however is not change for the sake of change.  Response is the act of planned change given careful research and reflection.  The professional educator employs change in relationship to perceived need, then after review of literature and active research within the classroom, supported by careful reflection, the teacher implements the change.  The expert teacher then monitors the response, actively engaging in continued research and reflection to better their pedagogical practice.


Content Knowledge: Teachers need to be broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences, and be able to knowledgeable of the interdependence of the disciplines. They must be able to analyze and synthesize ideas, information, and data and make applications of knowledge in inquiry, problem-solving, and critical thinking. The professional educator must be an effective communicator, possessing the skills and abilities of listening, speaking, writing, and reading.


Pedagogical Knowledge: Professional educators must have the knowledge to effectively engage individuals in the learning process.  In order to engage in teaching excellence they must posses a strong understanding of cognition, the multidimensional dimensions of learners and learning, and demonstrate the skills of research, reflection, and responsive pedagogy.   Via an understanding of human growth and development, a variety of instructional techniques, assessments, materials and technologies, and an abundance of practical experience in classrooms, teacher candidates should be able to mature as exemplar professional educators.


Professional Dispositions: Teachers are stewards of society.  They are the models and guides of future generations. In light of their influence in classrooms and schools, all teachers and teacher candidates must model the ethics, values and dispositions of professional educators. They should be able to engage in active reflection, self-critique and accept constructive criticism from others.  The developing professional educator should invite and respect others' points of view and incorporate reasonable suggestions from peers and experts.  Teachers and teacher candidates should be committed to life-long learning and the belief that all candidates can learn.  


Learning Communities: Schools and classrooms are microcosms of society, and as such are the venues for candidates to learn and grow as participatory members of the community.  The themes of caring, responsibil°ity, democracy, and stewardship are woven into the fabric of curriculum as teachers and teacher candidates take on the role of facilitators of environments conducive to learning while modeling tolerance, dignity, participation and shared decision making.


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b. Describe the sequence of courses and/or experiences to develop an understanding of the structures, skills, core concepts, ideas, values, facts, methods of inquiry, and uses of technology.


Students begin their study in political science by acquiring basic knowledge of (and passion for) American government and politics, both at the national level (PS 110) and the state and local level (PS 130).  We also normally expect students to take a year-long sequence in U.S. history in their freshman year (HS 131-132).  In their sophomore year, students will generally take a comparative politics course.  Given our location, and the fact that many of our students will stay in the region, we require “Introduction to Canadian Government and Politics.”  In the same year, they will also generally study political science research and statistics (PS 211), international relations (PS 241), macroeconomics (EC 201), and world geography (GG 201). 


During their junior year, students will take a course in modern political philosophy (PS 352) and two advanced courses in American government and politics, “Congress and the Presidency” (PS 367) and “Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties” (PS 467).  Their education is rounded out in their senior year with a capstone senior seminar sequence.  In the first semester, they engage in career analysis, learn how to prepare cover letters and resumes, polish their writing and editing skills, learn advanced library research skills, and prepare two drafts of a senior thesis proposal.  The spring semester is devoted to researching and writing a senior thesis of at least thirty-five pages (theses are sometimes as long as 60 or 70 pages).  In addition to the written thesis, students must make a public thesis presentation in a professional atmosphere and to 30-50 people (the campus and public are invited, as are the student’s family and friends).  Each student must also serve as a discussant for the thesis and presentation of one of their peers.    


In addition to their major, students are required to complete a certifiable teaching minor.  They fit these courses in, as their schedule permits, over the four years of their education. 


Formal admission to the School of Education teacher certification program also requires (in addition to university general education requirements of one year English, one semester of speech, one year of social sciences, on year of humanities and a course in student diversity), the following items:

CS101 Introduction to Computer Science – addressing basic competencies in technology

MA207 Statistics

Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Basic Skills Test

Formal Interview

Impromptu timed essay – assessing written communication skills

2.70 minimum overall GPA with no grade below C in major/minor, and

B- minimum grade in professional education sequence courses.


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c.  Describe how candidates are prepared to utilize a variety of instructional approaches to address the various learning styles of candidates.


Political Science faculty at LSSU employ a wide variety of instructional approaches that teacher education students may themselves find useful.  In additional to traditional lectures, we employ dialectical exchanges, class discussions, debates, role-playing activities, simulations, student presentations, group presentations, and individual meetings about student projects and theses.  Whenever possible, given the constraints imposed by subject and class size, we seek to engage students in the learning process by making them active collaborators.  The diverse learning styles of students are also taken into account in the diverse methods of assessment that we

employ (to be discussed below). 


Student learning styles are a significant topic addressed in the professional education core sequence, especially in TE250 Student Diversity and Schools and TE301 Learning Theory and Teaching Practice.  In TE301 candidates analyze various approaches to teaching and learning and the decisions which teachers make in applying theory to diverse classroom situations.  TE443 Secondary Science Methods extends these topics to the science classroom and provide a discipline specific context for continuing these discussions while candidate’s field placements are focused on instructional practice in their science specialty.


d.  Describe any differences that may exist between elementary or secondary preparation to teach in each major or minor area (e.g., instructional resources, field placements, instructional techniques), if applicable.


Political Science at LSSU does not have an elementary teacher preparation program


e.  Describe how the program incorporates gender equity, multi-cultural, and global perspectives into the teaching of the subject area.


Gender equity is an important subject in several parts of PS 110, the introductory course in American government and politics, including the sections on civil rights, political socialization, elections, and social welfare and health policy.  It is also an important subject in PS 467, “Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties.”  Most political science courses include at least some discussion of this topic. 


Multicultural perspectives are addressed in PS 110, especially in the introductory material on American diversity and the sections on civil rights, political socialization, elections, political parties, economic policy, and social welfare and health policy.  This is also an important topic in PS 160, “Canadian Government and Politics,” given Canada’s official multicultural structure.  In PS 352, “Political Philosophy II,” an attempt is made to open the minds of students to other perspectives by challenging them to imagine what their social and political views might be if their embryo had been removed from their mother and implanted in the womb of a member of the Russian communist party, an Iranian Muslim, or an American woman of a different race or class.


Multicultural perspectives are also addressed in


  • PS 241, Introduction to International Relations,
  • PS 467, Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties,
  • PS 419, U.S. Foreign Policy,
  • HS 131-132, U.S. History I and II, and
  • GG 201, World Regional Geography.


It may also be worth mentioning that the students in the Political Science program as a whole are currently more racially and ethnically diverse than any other program on campus with 20 or more majors.  This probably reflects, at least in part, the extent to which those of diverse backgrounds feel comfortable in the program, but it also suggests that students who enter this program will experience multicultural perspectives just by being part of the program. 


Global perspectives are first raised in the introductory American government and politics course, especially in the section on foreign policy.  These perspectives are the principal topics in


  • PS 241, Introduction to International Relations,
  • PS 419, U.S. Foreign Policy, and
  • GG 201, World Regional Geography.



f.  Describes how the program prepares candidates to use multiple methods of assessment appropriate to this specialty area.


In addition to the assessment methods they study in their TE courses, and observe in their internships, political science students will have experienced highly diverse methods of assessment in their own courses.  These methods include objective quizzes and exams, short answer and short essay exams, long essay exams, book reviews, short analytical essays, observational reports (e.g., reporting on a political meeting they have attended and observed), research papers, portfolios, and a senior thesis.  They will also have been assessed through their participation in classroom discussions, debates, role-playing activities, simulations, group activities, individual presentations, and group presentations







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Section 4 Candidate Preparation

Submit available data specific to the program area being reviewed




The political science program has been offered as a certificate endorsement program only through our minor.  The department has recognized, through a re-alignment to the content standards and a review of the test data below, that some the sub-area content needed strengthened.  The program as presented here contains significant revisions and less latitude for the candidate to opt-out of essential content as represented in the current political science standards.  Some candidates who took the exam during 2003-2004 had completed social studies majors and were seeking qualification under NCLB for the additional content areas. These candidates were not as well qualified as those who completed the approved program.  More recent guidance from MDE have made this unnecessary, and only candidates completing the approved program will be recognized in the testing results.

Poly Sci 10 7/15/2000 2 232.5 2 100 0 0 100 50 50 50
Poly Sci 10 4/20/2002 2 222 1 50 1 50 100 50 50 50
Poly Sci 10 4/20/2002 1 235 1 100 0 0 100 0 100 0
Poly Sci 10 1/11/2003 1 231 1 100 0 0 100 0 0 100
Poly Sci 10 4/12/2003 1 270 1 100 0 0 100 100 100 100
Poly Sci 10 7/12/2003 1 167 0 0 1 100 100 0 0 0
Poly Sci 10 10/18/2003 1 186 0 0 1 100 100 0 0 0
Poly Sci 10 1/10/2004 2 216 1 50 1 50 100 0 50 0
Poly Sci 10 4/3/2004 1 250 1 100 0 0 100 100 100 100
Statewide Political Science 10     230.2   68   32 67 52 75 44


Subarea/Subarea Name/Number of items

1. Social Studies / 11-20

2. Political Though Comparative Government / 21-30

3. United States Government / 21-30

4 .Michigan History and Government / 1-10


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Section 5 Collaborative Partnership

  • Describe how candidates for majors and minors in specific specialty programs participate in early field experiences in K-12 schools. 
  • Describe aspects of the student teaching experience for certification candidates that enhance the applicants’ abilities to teach in this specific specialty area.  Are candidates in your institution assigned to K-12 classrooms as student teachers in both their major and minor (if applicable)? 








Field placements are integrated throughout the professional education sequence beginning with TE250 Student Diversity and Schools where the focus is on tutoring experiences.  In subsequent courses, after admission to the School of Education, candidates have diverse and varied experiences of increasing responsibility and duration.  These early field experiences require a minimum of 15 hours per semester per course in focused experiences coupled with reflective journaling and fulfillment of additional course outcomes focused on the experiences.  Field experiences are required in each of the professional education core courses (TE250, TE301, TE430, TE431, TE440 and TE444) prior to entering the student teaching internship.  During the internship candidates work for approximately 22 weeks under the direct supervision of a classroom teacher and the periodic oversight of a university supervisor.  Candidates meet regularly with a university instructor for a seminar course, and are also concurrently enrolled in a graduate course each of the two semesters of the internship.  During the fall semester, candidates complete TE602 Reflection and Inquiry in Teaching Practice I examining qualitative and quantitative research methods and developing their own research based question addressing student learning.  During the spring semester students complete a second graduate level course on curriculum planning and implementation, TE605.


Student teaching internship placements extend across two university semesters, beginning generally with the start of the academic year in August/September and continuing through mid-April.  Candidates are strongly advised to use the transition at mid-year to change their placement venue to gain experience at a second level or subject area in the spring.  Such changes in placement do require the consent and concurrence of the building principals and teachers, and in some cases teachers wish to continue with a single student the entire time.  Wherever possible candidates are placed in situations where they can teach in both their major and minor fields, either through split morning/afternoon assignments with different teachers, or placements in different schools for each semester.


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Section 6 Professional Development and Support

Postponed until 2005-20012



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Section 8 Special Recognition





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Section 9 Instructional Methods

Describe how candidates are prepared to teach in this specific specialty area. 

Describe how this program will utilize technological resources.






Lake Superior State University teacher candidates are prepared in instructional methods through both the professional education sequence (TE150-TE444) and through courses in their political science curriculum.  In the professional education sequence, the secondary candidate completes TE430 General Methods for Secondary Teachers (a study of strategies and methodologies to facilitate learning...), TE440 Reading in the Content Area (a study of reading methods) and TE444 Social Studies Methods for Secondary Teachers (curriculum, objectives, content, materials, organization methods and assessment).  Each of these courses has a required fieldwork component where the candidate applies the concepts and theories through modeling and practice lessons in secondary classrooms as appropriate to their certification. 


Technology is integrated throughout the professional education sequence, in fulfillment of the 7th standard of the Entry Level Standards for Michigan Teachers (ELSMT).  The School of Education uses extensive resources available for Michigan teachers to enhance their preparedness for the effective use of technology, including, for example, the Preparing Teachers for Tomorrow project through Merit (http://ptft.merit.edu) and Intel's Teach to the Future project into our professional education sequence.  This integration is reflected in many of our internal documents which are archived on the School of Education website, including the PTFT alignment matrix and the PTFT assessments per module summary.


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Section 10 Course Descriptions

Provide descriptions of all courses contained on Application Attachment 3.  Descriptions must provide enough information to show that standards could logically be met in these courses. 





Course descriptions for each course are published in the university calendar (catalog), and reproduced here for reference.  Catalog course descriptions broadly describe course objectives, credit earned and prerequisites.  The course syllabi, provided in Section 11, are the more complete record of course content, objectives, assessment, and alignment to the content standards.


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Section 11 Syllabi


Provide a representative syllabus for each required course (those listed on Application Attachment 3 and referenced in the standards matrix).






Introduction to American Government and Politics



PS 110



Introduction to State and Local Government



PS 130


Introduction to Canadian Government and Politics

[Not used for meeting an MDE standard]


PS 160


Political Science Research and Statistics



PS 211


Introduction to International Relations




PS 241


Political Philosophy II



PS 352


Congress and the Presidency



PS 367


U.S. Foreign Policy


PS 411



Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties



PS 467


Senior Seminar I

[Not used for meeting an MDE standard]


PS 491


Senior Seminar II

[Not used for meeting an MDE standard]


PS 492


Principles of Macroeconomics 



EC 201


World Regional Geography





United States History I

[Not used for meeting an MDE standard]


HS 131



United States History II

[Not used for meeting an MDE standard]


HS 132



Social Studies Methods for Secondary Teachers



TE 444




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