The Passion-Driven Classroom
Course Outline

Course Fee: $160
Course Numbers: EED x701 47066, SED x701 47067
Standard Course Time: 30 hours
Semester Credits: Two (2) academic credits at the graduate level (available for an additional fee)
Credit Issued by: Humboldt State University (refer to our Graduate Credit page for credit pricing and details)
Subject Area: Special Topics

This course has been developed and optimized for online delivery using the licensed title The Passion-Driven Classroom, 2nd Edition, published by Routledge and authored by Angela Maiers and Amy Sandvold.

Introduction/Course Description:

As teachers, our role is challenging. In subtle and in not-so subtle ways, we are getting mixed messages. We are told to plan engaging lessons, make students behave, and increase test scores—or else. Many of us teach in schools that integrate technology and focus on more math and science initiatives. The worst case scenario are initiatives with strings attached: Make sure the test results show proficiency, or your funding for innovation disappears. Fidelity to the curriculum and preparation for the test have become the priority. We are coerced to remove love and emotion from our instruction because those things can’t be measured. We slowly and wearily set aside our own love for learning and our students, as well as passion for the profession. Our teaching has become a prescription as everything is decided for us—what to teach, when to teach it, and how to assess it. Students are tested on their performance and mastery of the content.

It is time to reassert and reinsert the “heart” back into teaching and learning. Our goal in The Passion-Driven Classroom course is to help you to do just that and to convince you that Passion-Driven Learning will move our students further and deeper into mastery of content and knowledge than ever imaginable, while helping them discover their own aspirations. Our classrooms will move away from prescription-driven to Passion-Driven Learning. Educational scholarship can be achieved only when we allow our hearts and heads to work in tandem rather than as opposing forces.

Course Objectives/Program Outline

Module One: Achievement Gap or Passion Gap

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn what it means to Listen to our Students.
  • Understand what is a “Passion Gap”.
  • Understand how to close the “Passion Gap” step by step.

Project 1: Putting Passion into Practice
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Two: Let's Talk About Passion

Learning Objectives:

  • Redefine and understand what Passion is.
  • Learn an acronym that summarizes the intrinsic nature of individuals driven by passion.
  • Understand that passion-driven learning is more than a project.
  • Discover what passion can do and its abundant benefits.

Project 2: Identify Your Biggest Passion
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Three: The Clubhouse Mindset - Where Passion Meets Practice

Learning Objectives:

  • Rediscover what a passion-driven learning club is and the philosophy behind it.
  • Learn what makes club life enticing.
  • Learn and understand what a Passion Discovery Continuum is.
  • Explore a workshop classroom driven by curiosity.
  • Redefine the role of the teacher as an expert learner and passion practitioner.
  • Redefine the role of the student as an apprentice learner and global citizen.
  • Learn how to create an Expert Wall

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Four: A Passion-Driven Classroom

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the difference between learning clubs and classroom jobs.
  • Learn the importance of “You Matter Time”.
  • Expand their learning of the importance of reflection.
  • Learn the value of a task board.
  • Learn to utilize good-fit tools and technology.
  • Understand the power of “Celebration”

Project 3: Transitioning to Learning Clubs
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Five: Organizing the Passion-Driven Classroom

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to create a passion-driven classroom’s physical environment.
  • Learn passion-driven tools to add to the environment and enrich the learning experience.
  • Learn the importance of a routine sequence.
  • Learn and understand how simple changes equal BIG impacts.

Project 4: Creating Your Own Thinkbook
Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Six: Phase 1 - Managing the Clubhouse Classroom

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to launch learning through opening message anchor lessons.
  • Learn the process of shifting our lessons away from routines to metacognition (thinking about one’s own thinking).

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Module Seven: Phase 2 and 3 - Managing the Clubhouse Classroom

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore the value of students recognizing their own thinking through learning clubs.
  • Understand the value and importance of sharing individual’s gifts.
  • Profoundly understand that passion still matters for global educators.
  • Understand the value of choosing passion in times of change.

Quiz: Multiple-choice questions that pertain to objectives above.

Final Exam

Multiple choice questions taken from each module

Final Learning Statement

Learning statements should be in a narrative format – as opposed to an outline format. Depending on individual writing styles Learning statements should be 2-3 pages. The learning statement can vary according to individual style. Your learning statement should answer the broad question of "what did you learn?". To help get you thinking, here are some suggested questions:

  • What are the major concepts of the course that you have learned?
  • What new professional language have you acquired relating to the topic?
  • What teaching techniques for implementing new strategies in the classroom did you come away with?
  • Thinking back to your project reflections, were you surprised at the outcomes?
  • What new resources did you find in the study of the content?
  • As an educator, what new concepts will you now integrate into your teaching?
  • Are there any ideas that presented themselves as enlightening and useful?

--- Sample Course Project ---

Project #1 Overview

In this module, we have learned how to listen to our students and understand the need for creating a culture of passion as well as keeping it alive.

For this project, answer these question:
  • How can we, as educators, stand in front of learners and tell them to pursue their passion, to write what they know and care about, and use their gifts to change the world...if we are not willing to do the same?
  • Are we worthy of such a role in our students’ and our own children’s lives if we have not done everything possible to stand up for what we believe in, defend it publicly, and move forward with causes that matter most?
  • Do we as leaders and learners have what it takes to pursue our passion all the way? Do we have the ambition, the instinct, self-motivation, and the drive to put passion into practice?

For Your Written Project Reflection Submission

Take a moment to reflect on your findings for this project, using the questions below as a guide:

  • What is your biggest "aHa" about yourself as an educator and life-long learner?
  • Are you passionate about being an educator? Life? Learning?

Visit the "Module Projects" section located within the Course Dashboard, and take a moment to share your findings by submitting your written project reflection.


Humboldt State University Credit Specifics

  • Academic Credit at the Graduate Level through Humboldt State University (HSU) is offered after successful completion of this course.
  • The 700 series semester credit is post-baccalaureate level appropriate for credentialed teachers which do not require admission to a graduate program.
  • 700-level classes are graduate level classes meant specifically for credential purposes, and are appropriate for license renewal or recertification.
  • Courses are letter graded on official transcripts from HSU.
  • HSU is the northernmost and westernmost institution in the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system.
  • HSU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions.

Summer Option

If you are not currently teaching (ie. Summer break, you are a substitute teacher, etc.), each class offers you the ability to complete coursework independent of a classroom assignment.