3 Semester Hours

Semester/Year: Summer, 2000

Instructor: Dr. Mary Edwards

Office Location: Dalton State College

Office Hours: 1pm – 5pm

Telephone: 706-272-4594

E-Mail: medwards@westga.edu

Fax: 706-272-2495

Distance Support: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/webct3/main/help.html







A study of selected issues affecting educational thought and schooling practices emphasizing critical analysis of the cultural and sociological contexts of school-societal problems. This course meets via GSAMS - a two-way interactive video-conferencing system.



Through this course students will demonstrate progress in the achievement of two NBPTS propositions that form the conceptual framework for advanced preparation programs in the College of Education. This course will enable the student to begin the development of a portfolio that could be submitted for National Board certification.

Proposition #1: Educators are committed to students and their learning. The graduates will recognize the sacredness and uniqueness of each individual and develop a holistic approach to learning and life.

Proposition #5: Educators are members of learning communities. The graduates will recognize their role as part of a communality seeking truth.



The course is designed to encourage graduate students to critically examine and investigate issues they typically encounter in a variety of educational settings. The course is intended to refine and extend the skills and art of "critical thinking." (Anyon, 1980, Aronowitz/Giroux, 1985, Freire, 1970, Kozol, 1990, Purpel, 1989);

Students will:

1) read selected resources and be prepared to develop a presentation. Thought Question: What serves to guide our ability to recognize and respond to the "Critical concerns of education?

2) examine and analyze the sociological "dimensions" of selected issues, examine pro and con positions, and discuss and respond to their concerns as they impact our profession.

3) Students will study critical issues phenomenologically. Thought Question: How does experience inform our understanding of what is critical in the education , profession?



Required Texts

Annual Editions - Education 00/01, Fred Schultz, Editor. Duskin/McGraw-Hill. Additional readings will come from professional educational j oumals, books, web sites.



Aronowitz, @ta-nley, and Giroux, Henry. (1985). Education under sieg - Westport, CN: Greenwood,

Bergin-Gravey, Berger, Peter L. and Luckmann, Thomas. (1967). The social construction of reali . London: Penguin Press.

Bowers, C.A. (1974). Cultural literacy for freedom. Oregon: Elan Publishers, Inc. Coles, Robert. (1967). Children of crisis: a study of courage and fear. Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press Book.

Coles, R. (1990). The Wiritual life of children. Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Co. Dewey, J. (1915). Schools of tomorrow. NY: E.P. Dutton.

Dewey, J. (1938). EUerience & education. NY: Collier.

Kleinfeld, J. S. (1995). Gender tales: tension in the schools. NY: St. Martin's Press, Inc.

Kozol, J. (1967). Death at an early age. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Lasch, C. (1979). The culture of narcissism: American life in an age of diminishin Mectations. NY: Warner Books.

Martin, J. R. (1992). Schoolhome. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Moffett, J. (1994). The universal schoolhouse: Eiritual awakening through education. SF: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Nieto, S. (I 992). Affirming diversity: the sociopolitical context of multicultural education. NY: Longman.

Palmer, P. (1998). The courage to teach. San Francisco: Josey-Bass Publishers.

Purpel, D. (1989). The moral & Miritual crisis in education. N4A: Bergin & Gravey. Shapiro, S.H. & Purpel, D.E. (1993). Critical social issues in American education: toward the 2 1 st c . NY: Longman Publishing Group.

Shor, 1. (1992). Empowering education: critical teaching for social change. Chicago: -University of Chicago Press.

Spring, J. (I 993). Conflict of interests: the politics of American education. New York: Longman.




Students will be assigned to a small group. The group will be responsible for the following:

  1. Article Selection:
    1. Select the articles pertinent to the group's selected topic.
    2. Determine two (2) questions pertinent to each selected article to stimulate thought and discussion.
    3. Email the questions to each class member and instructor.

    Questions MUST BE emailed by 5 P.M. at least 4 days prior to the delivery date.

    A minimum of 3 articles must be selected.

  2. Presentation: Each student-will contribute to the development of a presentation on their selected topic to be delivered by the group. The presentation will incorporate the following:
    1. Prepare a graphic organizer of the presentation (emailed to each class member and instructor at least 24 hrs. prior to presentation).
    2. Major points of each article and how it pertains to the topic
    3. The pros and cons views of the topic.
    4. Relevancy to the current status of educational profession.
    5. Pertinent information that is necessary for the audience to know (major topics, minor topics, multiple views, etc.).
    6. Other readings that support or disclaim the prevailing views - Cited in outline.
    7. Examples of bias or faulty reasoning found in the articles.
    8. Hold discussion on topic via GSAMS

    Each presentation is limited to the class time allocated to this course.

  3. Final Paper: DUE: July 31st delivered to the Carrollton campus site. The paper will address a major topic, presented in class, of your choice. The topic selection CANNOT be the topic of your group. Questions: 1) What is your position on your chosen topic? 2) Has the information presented in this course changed your view of the topic? Explain your answer. 3) How does your experience inform your views of the topic?


Evaluation Procedures and Grading Policy

Presentation: 100 points

Emails received on time 10

Clarity of presentation 15

Major points made 10

Pros and Cons presented 10

Relevancy 10

Other Readings cited 15

Sequential delivery 10

Audience interaction 20

Final Paper: 25 points

Total Possible Points: 125


A = 112.5 - 125 points

B = 100- 111.5

C = 87.5 – 99



Attendance: No classes should be missed. More than one absence will lower your grade by one letter grade.

It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Instructor regarding missed work or any other concerns.

The Instructor retains the privilege to add or delete any component of the course requirements. The judgment of the quality of the materials and class requirements the student presents for evaluation will be based upon the Instructor's expertise in the methodological knowledge, content subject matter, and professional experiences. The student may discuss the evaluations made with the Instructor; however, an evaluation change will be made only if the student can provide the Instructor made a factual error.

*Students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty.

Plagiarism occurs when a student uses or purchases ghostwritten papers. It also occurs when a student utilizes the ideas of or information obtained from another person without giving credit to that person. If plagiarism or another act of academic dishonesty occurs, it will be dealt with in accordance with the academic misconduct policy as stated in The Uncatalog, Undergraduate Catalog, and Graduate Catalog.



June 12th Course introduction: What makes an issue critical?

Group selections; topic selections; email list. – Carrollton Campus

June 14th GSAMS – Theme: "No Excuses" – Lessons from High Performing – High

Poverty Schools

June 19th Library Day

June 21st First Presentation – GSAMS

June 26th Library Day

June 28th Presentation – GSAMS

July 3rd Library Day – Web Questions from Instructor

July 5th Presentation – GSAMS

July 10th Presentation – GSAMS

July 12th Presentation – GSAMS

July 17th Presentation – GSAMS

July 19th Presentation – GSAMS

July 24th Presentation – GSAMS

July 26th Presentation – GSAMS

July 31st Final Paper Due – Course Evaluations – Meet on Carrollton campus