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Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 4 months ago



Welcome to our course wiki site.






H 340: Education and American Culture


Questions to Consider Throughout the Semester


  • How does the purpose of schools change for different people?

  • Will Postman's proposed changes be enacted? Will schools be better?

  • What assumptions do we make about education that might need to be changed?

  • How can schools recognize different cultures, languages, religions and ethnicities?

  • What roles will teachers play in deciding how children are taught?

  • What is age appropriate with different content? (e.g. language, history)

  • What does it mean for students to be doing things for "the right" reasons?

  • What does it mean to be an educated person?


Purpose of the course:


This course is intended to help students understand how United States education has developed over time in terms of its cultural, historical, social, moral, economic, and political contexts. Throughout the course, you will critically examine how past events, ideas, and experiences have contributed to and formed current educational practice. In understanding schooling in the United States, it is important to understand that teaching and learning have complex intellectual and cultural traditions, have deep moral and ethical dimensions, that social forces (such as race, class, and gender) have shaped what we know as schools, and that schools and the issue of education are highly political and often economic in nature. Questions central to this examination include but are not limited to: What is the purpose of schools? What institutions have been most educative in the United States? How have or haven’t schools been educative institutions for different groups over time? What is education policy? How has education policy developed in the U.S.? How have schools been structured in the U.S.? How do schools and education policy address specific social questions?


Learning Objectives:


  • Students will analyze a variety of source material in studying different dimensions of schooling and education individually and in groups

  • Students will conduct a policy analysis that stems from their own interests in education and involve different methods of inquiry

  • Students will understand different philosophical traditions and forms of education over time

  • Students will examine how policies related to schooling and education have changed, how they have been implemented, and what they have meant for different groups over time

  • Students will critically question commonly held assumptions and beliefs about education through classroom interaction and written work

  • Students will critically examine the historical development of the United States and its educational institutions

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