Assistant teacher course/Instructors' guide

Cquote1.svg  Moral culture must be based upon 'maxims', not upon discipline; the one prevents evil habits, the other trains the mind to think. We must see, then, that the child should accustom himself to act in accordance with 'maxims' and not from certain ever-changing springs of action. Through discipline we form certain habits, moreover, the force of which becomes lessened in the course of years. The child should learn to act according to 'maxims', the reasonableness of which he is able to see for himself. One can easily see that there is some difficulty in carrying out this principle with young children, and that moral culture demands a great deal of insight on the part of parents and teachers. Cquote2.svg

On education (Über Pädagogik), Immanuel Kant


Welcome to the Assistant teacher instructors' guide. The target audience of this text are high school pupils, college students and adults. Qualified high school pupils can help their schools to organize a local assistant teacher program but should receive some assistance from teachers. Participants of courses in pedagogy or psychology should be particularly qualified as instructors.

The course has phases, which are represented by pages, and units, which are represented by sections. A derived course can recommend its own order of phases or units; the three week schedule is merely the default order and time schedule.

Instructors and authors of derived courses should read the Manual of style. Reading the Teachers' handbook is recommended.

Citizenship educationEdit

Citizenship education is a strong focus of the Wikiversity assistant teacher program. The responsible work as an assistant teacher is expected to be beneficial for many typical citizenship education competence expectancies. The governance of the assistant teacher effort in a school is expected to be useful to train understanding for and implementation of democratic procedures.

Preparing materialEdit

Each course unit has an information box that should refer to material in need of preparation. Further material that may be suitable may be attached to the course phase (the whole page) as a "Literature" section. Shorter Wikibooks and other short resources deemed relevant enough can be added to a binder and be given to each participant. Participants should be able to extend the binder with their own notes and concept ideas so that it can become more useful for the following book project.

Handouts may have to be printed or reviewed (possibly edited) and printed to prepare a course phase. Instructors can sometimes choose from the available material and may have to select the material considered most appropriate or sufficient. Material referred to may be part of another Wikimedia Foundation project and may be modified independently of the Wikiversity assistant teacher program and according to the policies of the hosting project.

The Wikiversity assistant teacher program does not assume that participants have access to computers during the course. Computers don't seem to add anything to discussions and working groups but provide much opportunity for distraction, which has the potential to disrupt the ambience of a well-made entertainment program during a summer camp.

Planning the scheduleEdit

The course suggests a schedule of three weeks and which phases should be completed in which week but there is no detailed daily schedule. The reason is that the instructors should plan their own daily schedule themselves. A certain degree of planning helps to make the instructors more involved in the topic and to make the course more their own work. An interspersed entertainment program with more need for preparation should promote this view. It is also recommended to evaluate the optional course units and to rearrange and modify the course as appropriate.

Entertainment programEdit

In a summer camp an entertainment program can complement the assistant teacher course in two ways: To make the course a more memorable event and to allow psychological training in a more relaxed context.

Cquote1.svg  Children's games we are playing. We dull our clarity of thought with superfluous problems; that sort of consideration does not help us to live well, but merely to talk scholarly. Worldly wisdom is more evident than erudition; let's state it openly: It would be better we could derive common sense from our scholarship. But as we waste all our other goods to superfluous luxury we waste our highest good philosophy to superfluous problems. Just as we suffer from excess in all things, so we suffer from excess in scholarship: Thus we learn our lessons, not for life, but for the lecture-room. Cquote2.svg

Epistulae morales ad Lucilium 106, Seneca

Philosophical workshopsEdit

Philosophical workshops are part of the entertainment program because philosophy is not (yet) a mandatory part of the assistant teacher program. Even if an optional course unit should cover philosophy in future it is recommended to keep informal, voluntary and entertaining philosophical workshops as a part of the entertainment program. In part this is meant to promote the view of learning as fun. [1]

Philosophical workshops can also discuss fallacies.

Psychological workshopsEdit

Psychological workshop can be mixed with philosophical workshops and discuss, among other things, cognitive biases.

Social gamesEdit

Cooperative and social games [2][3] can contribute to the entertainment value of a summer camp (or summer school) and at the same time allow socializing and socialization.


  1. Law, Stephen (December 2003). The Philosophy Gym: 25 Short Adventures in Thinking (1 ed.). Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 0312314523. 
  2. Luvmour, Josette; Ba Luvmour (2007). Everyone Wins!: Cooperative Games and Activities. New Society Publishers. ISBN 0865715874. 
  3. Luvmour, Josette; Debra Weistar (2002). Win-Win Games for All Ages: Cooperative Activities for Building Social Skills. New Society Publishers. ISBN 086571441X. 

See alsoEdit