Dr. Al Pearson, Ph.D.

Department of Education    1973-
Gustavus Adolphus College
St. Peter, MN 56082

BA - Augustana College, Rock Island, IL
MA & Ph.D. - Peabody College of Vanderbilt University
Secondary School Teaching Experience - Highland Park, IL, & Rockford, IL 

Blackfoot River near Missoula, MT

Office:    Old Main 204C 
Phone:    507-933-7451 
email:   apearson@gac.edu
Blackfoot River in Western Montana
Photo by Mark Alan Wilson
Last Updated 08/19/03
Background by BoogieJack 

Educational Technology
(EDU 241)

Developmental and Educational Psychology      (EDU 330)

Seminar in Elementary and Secondary Curriculum and Instruction       (EDU 399)

Secondary and K-12 Directed Teaching       (EDU 394 & 395) 

English School and Family      (January Term) 

Current Research Interest -  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and its effects on the development and language of children who have been prenatally affected by  alcohol.
Other Links:
Department of Education Web Page
Gustavus Adolphus College
Minnesota Department of Education



EDU 241 - Educational Technology (.5 course)
This course provides practical learning experiences addressing skills and understandings necessary for evaluating, selecting, accessing, and using educational media and instructional materials.  It addresses the operation of various media, including computers, and guidelines for conventional use in the classroom and for educational presentations.  Fall and Spring Semesters, January Term. 


Frantic Computer


Course Goals:

This course is designed to help you become more comfortable using technologies to support student learning in your classroom.  You will increase your technology skills by using them in your own learning and by creating learning experiences for your future students.  If you have not already discovered that using technology can, at times, be very frustrating and time consuming, you will in this course.  During those times, we will learn together how to problem solve and overcome the problems you may be encountering.

EDU 330 - Developmental and Educational Psychology (1 course)
A study of prenatal, child, and adolescent development and the principles of psychology as they relate to teaching and learning.  The course examines the principles and stages of human development prior to adulthood, as well as their educational implications.  Emphasis is also placed on learning theory and design of instruction through identification of learning outcomes, effective teaching strategies, and assessment procedures.  This course is taken along with EDU 340 during the semester immediately following formal admission to the teacher education program.  Prerequisite:  Admission to either the Elementary or Secondary Teacher Education Program. 

Kids Posing

Taught Fall and Spring Semesters.  Course Outcomes:  The student will 

  1. Understand the "science" of developmental psychology and some of its findings and theories. 
  2. Know the capabilities and limitations of the developing child so as to be a more effective parent, teacher, and consultant. 
  3. Describe in some detail the learner s/he is preparing to teach. 
  4. Become an advocate for the rights and needs of children and adolescents. 
  5. Explain the process of research in educational psychology and give examples of research findings that contribute to teaching effectiveness. 
  6. Compare and contrast the major theories of learning and instruction, including the appropriateness and effectiveness of methodologies based on these theories. 
  7. Describe approaches to classroom motivation and management, including specific techniques based on these approaches. 
  8. Describe a variety of philosophies and techniques for objectively and constructively determining if instructional goals have been met. 
  9. Identify factors outside of the classroom which influence students’ learning processes. 
  10. Articulate a personal model for learning, teaching, and evaluation which is based on his/her philosophy of education, an understanding of the learner, and a research base. 



EDU 399 - Seminar in Elementary and Secondary Curriculum and Instruction (.5 course)
A capstone seminar in which analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and integration are stressed.  Students are involved in a variety of projects during the directed teaching experience.  Issues and trends in education are examined, along with rules and standards for teacher licensure and advice for getting that first teaching position.  Prerequisite:  Admission to the Professional Semester.  Taught Fall and Spring Semesters. 

Course Content Includes: 
  • Ethical considerations and legal rights and responsibilities of teachers. 
  • Roles of and collaboration with support personnel (e.g., special education staff, counselors, parents and parent organizations, paraprofessionals, social workers, staff development coordinators, and other staff in the school building and district). 
  • Trends and issues in education. 
  • Assessment of learning. 
  • Application of previous learning to the directed teaching experience. 
  • Integration of skills across disciplines and development of skills across different age groups. 
  • Career counseling and support models. 
  • Other topics as needed. 
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EDU 394 or 395 - Secondary or K-12 Directed Teaching (3 courses)
This is 14 weeks of full-time supervised teaching in a cooperating school(s).  The course provides a wide experience in the planning and directing of learning at a secondary school (and elementary school for EDU 395) in the area(s) of the student's teaching majors.  Prerequisite:  Admission to the Professional Semester.  Taught Fall and Spring Semesters. 
Anne Aageson



English School and Family (1 course - January Term)

Schools in Great Britain and their educational programs have experienced significant changes in the years following the Education Reform Act of 1988.  Many of these changes are relevant to the various reforms being considered in American schools.  This course is designed to acquaint the student with the educational system in Great Britain and provide for an experience in an English school.  In addition, the student experiences English family life.  For two weeks the student lives with an English family and participates in a primary or secondary school in the Shenfield/Brentwood area.  Prior to the school and family placement, students experience a touch of English culture in London, Windsor, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Warwick. 

Tower Bridge, London