Fall 2014 Courses

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EDUC 1101. Contemporary American Education.
What are the purposes of public education and what makes it “public”? Do schools serve an individual good or a collective good? Is America’s “system” of public education organized to serve these purposes? What is the public’s responsibility towards public education? How do current school reforms affect various stakeholders? The primary objective of this course is to examine the cultural, social, economic and institutional dilemmas confronting public schooling in the United States today. By approaching these dilemmas as unsolved puzzles instead of systematic failures, we will gain important insights into the challenges confronting a democratic society historically committed to the public provision of education. We will consider which theories and purposes of education motivate current reform efforts. Likewise, we will examine who shapes public discourse about public education and by what strategies. We will employ a mixed approach of reading, discussion, and class-based activities to explore important educational issues including school reform and finance, charter schools, busing, and vouchers, unequal educational opportunities and outcomes, and accountability, standardization and testing.
EDUC 2203. Educating All Students.
An examination of the economic, social, political, and pedagogical implications of universal education in American classrooms. Focuses on the right of every child, including physically handicapped, learning disabled, and gifted, to equal educational opportunity. Requires a minimum of twenty-four hours of observation in a local secondary school.
EDUC 2222. Educational Psychology.
Examines theories of how people learn and the implications of those theories for the education of students, particularly those who have been traditionally underserved in the United States. Course concepts will be grounded in empirical research and authentic activities geared towards understanding the nuances and complexities of perspectives on behavior, cognition, development, motivation, sociocultural identities and pedagogy in PK-12 educational contexts. Insights for the ways educators can structure learning experiences to better serve students’ needs from a variety of backgrounds will be cultivated through a field placement working with students.
EDUC 2250. Education and Law.
A study of the impact of the American legal system on the functioning of schools in the United States through an examination of Supreme Court decisions and federal legislation. Analyzes the public policy considerations that underlie court decisions in the field of education and considers how those judicial interests may differ from the concerns of school boards, administrators, and teachers. Issues to be discussed include constitutional and statutory developments affecting schools in such areas as free speech, sex discrimination, religious objections to compulsory education, race relations, teachers’ rights, school financing, and education of the handicapped.
EDUC 2251. Teaching Writing: Theory and Practice.
Explores theories and methods of teaching writing, emphasizing collaborative learning and peer tutoring. Examines relationships between the writing process and the written product, writing and learning, and language and communities. Investigates disciplinary writing conventions, influences of gender and culture on language and learning, and concerns of ESL and learning disabled writers. Students practice and reflect on revising, responding to others’ writing, and conducting conferences. Prepares students to serve as writing assistants for the Writing Project.
EDUC 2272. Urban Education.
Explores the roles of urban public schools in their communities, the historic, sociocultural, and economic contexts for urban schools and examines what we know about excellent teaching and learning in urban schools as well as reform and activism efforts in urban schools and their communities. Films and readings will interrogate representations of urban students, their teachers, and their schools. We will analyze the purposes, challenges, and possibilities of urban education, consider schools’ relationships to the cities in which they are located and will interrogate the politics of urban teaching. The perspective of this course views urban schools as sites of promise and innovation as well as sites for social and political struggle. Not open to students who have credit for Education 1015 {15}.
EDUC 2285. The Ivory Tower: Higher Education in American History.
What role do colleges and universities play in the United States today? What role have they played over time? Examines the social, political, and economic tensions that transformed American higher education from a collection of small, narrowly defined, post-secondary institutions in the eighteenth century into a vast, multipurpose educational enterprise in contemporary society.
EDUC 3301. Teaching and Learning.
A study of what takes place in classrooms: the methods and purposes of teachers, the response of students, and the organizational context. Readings and discussions help inform students’ direct observations and written accounts of local classrooms. Peer teaching is an integral part of the course experience. Requires a minimum of thirty-six hours of observation in a local secondary school. Education 3302 {303} must be taken concurrently with this course. In order to qualify for this course students must have Education 1101 {101} and 2203 {203}; junior or senior standing; a concentration in a core secondary school subject area (English: four courses in English; foreign language: four courses in the language; life science: four courses in biology; mathematics: four courses in mathematics; physical science: three courses in chemistry, earth and oceanographic science, or physics and one course in one of the other departments listed; or social studies: three courses in history and one course in anthropology, economics, government, psychology, or sociology); and permission of the instructor.
EDUC 3302. Curriculum.
A study of the knowledge taught in schools; its selection and the rationale by which one course of study rather than another is included; its adaptation for different disciplines and for different categories of students; its cognitive and social purposes; the organization and integration of its various components. Education 3301 {301} must be taken concurrently with this course. In order to qualify for this course, students must have Education 1101 {101} and 2203 {203}; junior or senior standing; and a concentration in a core secondary school subject area (English: four courses in English; foreign language: four courses in the language; life science: four courses in biology; mathematics: four courses in mathematics; physical science: three courses in chemistry, earth and oceanographic science, or physics and one course in one of the other departments listed; or social studies: three courses in history and one course in anthropology, economics, government, psychology, or sociology).