Syllabus: Introduction to Schooling in a Diverse Society

EDUC 008: Introduction to Schooling in A Diverse Society

Fall 2004

Instructor: Dr. Terry Burant
Office: Schroeder Health Complex #189
Office #: 288-6772
Department of EDPL office #: 288-7375

Office Hours:
Wednesdays 2-4 PM
Thursdays 10:30AM-12:30PM
Or by appointment on Fridays
Time and Location: Section 1001 TU/TH 1:00-2:30 TW 108

Course Purposes and Aims:
EDUC 008 invites prospective teachers to think in new ways about the common, yet often unquestioned, construct of schooling. By focusing on the unique concerns, demands, conditions, and rewards of the teaching profession; the impact of race, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic class, gender, and identity on schooling opportunities and experiences; and the multiple layers of power and control that influence schools (historically and in current times), students in EDUC 008 will develop more complex understandings and questions about both schooling and themselves (as students and potential future teachers).

The course is NOT designed to teach students how to teach; rather, students in the course will:

  1. Understand and practice critical reflection
  2. Interrogate commonplace assumptions and tensions about schooling
  3. Examine structures of power, control, and governance in schools
  4. Understand socially constructed concepts of race, culture, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, and identity, and examine their impacts on schooling experiences
  5. Make decisions and create plans for becoming teachers for social justice (or not) using resources of the teaching profession
  6. Understand the teacher education program at Marquette University, including available student services, MU, WI, and ISTE standards for teachers, and admission criteria.
  7. Build a culture of collaboration and critique with other School of Education students
  8. Develop skills in communication and collaboration with colleagues
  9. Participate in school visits and community engagement “action” experiences and reflect on their connections and disconnections to course experiences and texts
  10. Use technology to access, organize, interpret and present information.

The knowledge, skills and dispositions developed in this course reflect the standards of Marquette University’s School of Education (MU), the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WI DPI) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

Primary MU Standards introduced in this course include:

MU 9. Critical Reflection—The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effect of his or her choices or actions on students, parents, professionals in the learning community and others, and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.

MU 10. Collaboration and Partnerships—The teacher collaborates with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support pupil learning and well being and acts with integrity, fairness and in an ethical manner.

MU 12. Social Justice—The teacher acts positively and productively at classroom, school and systemic levels to correct social inequities that prevent all students from having equal access to educational opportunities.

The course is organized in two parts. Each part addresses a major theme with related questions:

A) Reflective Teaching for Social Justice:

  1. What is it like to be a reflective teacher? An anti-racist teacher? A multicultural teacher? A teacher for social justice? A teacher in a diverse urban community?
  2. How can I recognize and critique the varied approaches to multicultural education?
  3. What are the challenges and promises of a critical, anti-racist, multicultural approach to education?
  4. How do racial and ethnic identity, gender, and social class matter in teaching?
  5. What experiences, knowledge, skills and dispositions are required to become a competent beginning teacher for social justice?
  6. Which experiences, knowledge, skills and dispositions do I currently have and which do I need to cultivate in order to become a competent beginning teacher for social justice?
  7. What are the demands and rewards of the teaching profession, particularly in urban schools?

B) Schooling in a Diverse Society

  1. What are schools for?
  2. How do the public and the individual purposes of schools conflict and overlap and how are these purposes reflected in school practices?
  3. Who decides what schools are for?
  4. Who controls schooling and the work of teachers?
  5. How have schools and their structure and governance, control, and purposes changed over time in the United States?
  6. How have race, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic class, gender and identity shaped schooling opportunities and experiences in the United States?

Special Features of EDUC 008:

1. Manresa Project
EDUC 008 is part of Marquette’s Manresa Project for the Theological Exploration of Vocation—a $2 million dollar grant program funded by the Lilly Endowment. As a Manresa Project course, EDUC 008 incorporates reflective writing, dialogue with peers, reading stories of educators for social justice, and service learning and field experiences in order to assist students in vocational discernment in an introductory level course. Students will participate in a semester-long vocational discernment project to consider whether teaching is “the place God calls [them] to [and] the place where [their] deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet” (Buechner, 1992).

2. Service Learning Option
Students in EDUC 008 have the option of participating in Marquette’s Service Learning program. This valuable opportunity affords students the chance to actively engage in experiences in the Milwaukee area that connect to course content. Information about this option will be available on the second day the course meets. Students who choose service learning are reminded that this is a semester long commitment to an outside agency and the people that use services the agency provides.

3. School Visits and Action Hours
To support the Manresa vocational discernment project, as well as to provide all students in EDUC 008 with opportunities to engage in the wider communities of Marquette and Milwaukee, students in EDUC 008 take at least two field trips (during class time) to visit nearby urban schools. In addition, all students are required to participate in at least two additional action hour experiences. Options for action hours and guidelines for documentation will be addressed in class.

4. Diverse Cultures Common Core Course
As a part of the common core curriculum at Marquette, EDUC 008 meets the requirements for a Diverse Cultures designation.
In two sections of 008 this fall, Dr. McClure and Dr. Burant will be piloting a team-teaching approach to portions of the course. It is our hope that combining our unique perspectives, knowledge, experiences, and positions will provide students in these sections with a richer and more interesting 008 experience.

Why are we doing this?
The emphasis [in teacher education] should go beyond focusing exclusively on excellence and on strengthening intellectual competence … It should also include a passionate commitment to educational equity and to the elimination of the conditions of poverty in the United States. Unless we can achieve as a people a society where everyone’s children can be guaranteed their basic human rights to adequate shelter, food, health care, and the promise of high-quality education and a meaningful job, all our talk about excellence in education will accomplish very little. Teacher education has an important role to play in the movement toward a more just and humane society.

Liston, D. and Zeichner, K.
(Teacher Education and the Social Conditions of Schooling )

How this course works:
The studio master says to the beginning architecture students, I can tell you that there is something you need to know, and with my help you may be able to learn it. But I cannot tell you what it is in a way you can now understand. I can only arrange for you to have the right sorts of experiences for yourself. You must be willing therefore, to have these experiences. Then you will be able to make informed choices about whether you wish to continue. If you are unwilling to step into this new experience without knowing ahead of time what it will be like, I cannot help you. You must trust me.

D. Schön
(Educating the Reflective Practitioner)

Required Texts

1) Rethinking Schools. (1994). Rethinking our classrooms: Teaching for equity and justice. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.

2) Spring, J. (2002). American education (10 th ed). New York: McGraw-Hill.

3) Ladson-Billings, G. (1994). Dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

4) Rethinking Schools. (2004). Rethinking Schools: Brown vs Board of Education special Spring issue.

5) Beals, M. (1994). Warriors don’t cry: A searing memoir of the battle to integrate Little Rock’s Central High. New York : Pocket Books,

6) One of the following teacher stories (these will be chosen on the second day of class)

Kohl, H. R. (1967). 36 children. New York: New American Library.

Kozol, J. (1967). Death at an early age: The destruction of the hearts and minds of Negro children in the Boston public schools. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Landsman, J. (2001). A White teacher talks about race. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press .

Michie, G. (1999). Holler if you hear me: The education of a teacher and his students. New York: Teachers College Press.

Paley, V. (1979). White teacher. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

7) Other Required Readings (available on Electronic Reserve by searching for EDUC 008, at the Reserve Desk in Memorial Library, or in the School of Ed’s ERC)

Banks, J.A. (2002). Selected chapters from Introduction to multicultural education (3 rd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Dewey, J. (1933). Why reflective thinking must be an educational aim. How we think. Heath.

Erickson, F. (2004). Culture in society and in educational practices. In J.A. Banks & C. M. Banks (Eds.), Multicultural education: Issues and perspectives (5 th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Freire, P. (1998). Fourth letter: On the indispensable qualities of progressive teaches for their better performance. Teachers as cultural workers: Letters to those who dare teach (pp. 39-46). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Jackson, P. W. (1990). The daily grind. Life in classrooms (2 nd edition) (pp. 3-37). New York: Teachers College Press.

Joseph, P. B. (2001). One hundred years of schoolteaching: An invented interview. In P .B. Joseph & G. B. Burnaford (Eds.), Images of schoolteachers in America (pp. 3-32) . Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Labaree, D. (1997). Public schools for private advantage: Conflicting goals and the impact on education. In How to succeed in school without really learning (pp. 16-52).

McIntosh, P. (1998). White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack. In E. Lee, D. Menkart, & M. Okazawa-Rey (Eds.), Beyond heroes and holidays: A practical guide to k-12 anti-racist, multicultural education and staff development (pp. 79-82). Washington, DC: Network of Educators on the Americas.

Pang, V.O. (2004). How does it feel to be discriminated against? In Multicultural education: A caring-centered, reflective approach (2 nd ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Zeichner, K.M. & Liston, D. P. (1996). Historical roots of reflective teaching. In Reflective teaching: An introduction (pp. 8-22). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Additional and supplemental readings:
From time to time, there will be additional required readings handed out in class. There may also be additional supplemental articles placed on reserve, in addition to the two listed below, that will assist students in making sense of the course content and researching issues for course assignments.

Lazerson, M., McLaughlin, J. B., McPherson, B., & Bailey, S. K. (1985). The expectations of schooling. In An education of value: The purposes and practices of schools (pp. 3-23). New York: Cambridge University Press.

MacMannon, T. J. (1997). Introduction: The changing purposes of education and schooling. In J. I. Goodlad & T. J. MacMannon (Eds.), The public purpose of education and schooling (pp. 1-17). San Francisco; Jossey-Bass.

General Course Expectations

Attendance and participation
Attendance and participation are important in a participatory class like EDUC 008. Much of our success as a community of “students of education” (Dewey, 1904) comes from collective conversations about texts and experiences. To facilitate your learning as individuals, as well as the development of a collegial learning community, attendance is expected and will be periodically recorded. Attendance will definitely be recorded at two school visits (field trips during class time) and during follow-up discussions about the visits. The school visit experiences and the follow-up discussions will be worth 20 total points in the course.

3 or more absences will result in a reduction of your course grade by one letter grade.

6 or more absences will result in a reduction of your course grade by two letter grades.

Dispositions for learning
Open-mindedness; whole-heartedness; intellectual curiosity; respect for the voices, beliefs, and feelings of others; and responsibility for your words and actions are critical to the success of our class sessions. Because EDUC 008 addresses content that is potentially emotionally charged and/or controversial, please be prepared to think past your prior experiences and biases. Some students may find themselves offended or disturbed by particular topics, theories, and perspectives addressed and discussed in EDUC 008.

Preparation for engagement
Please come to class prepared for the day’s activities and bring the assigned readings, as well as notes you’ve taken on the texts.

Written assignments
All written assignments must be word-processed with no larger than 12-point type (double spaced or 1/1/2 spaces). Although written assignments will be primarily evaluated on content, pay careful attention to quality. Edit all written documents. Assignments are due on time unless prior arrangements are made. Late assignments will result in a 10% reduction of your grade for the assignment for each week late.

Academic Integrity
It is expected that you will conduct your academic work with integrity per Marquette University policies.


Grading Scale

0-64% F

Course Assessments/DUE DATES at a Glance (Total points=200)
(You will be provided with more detailed assignments guidelines as the semester unfolds)

Participatory and Field Experiences (With written and/or oral reports or discussions) (30% of grade)

20 pointsTeacher Story Book Discussion Facilitation, Participation, & Reflection
10 pointsTeacher Story Group Fishbowl Presentation
20 pointsTWO Action hourparticipation Reports using required critical reflection format (10 points each)
10 pointsSchool visit attendance and participation using required critical reflection format (5 points per visit and follow-up discussion) NOTE: IF you do not choose to do service learning, you will lead school visit trips and post-visit discussions in your assigned group.

Exams (50% of grade)

60 pointsMidterm Exam
40 pointsFinal Exam

Vocational Discernment Paper
(with service learning option) (20% of grade)

40 pointsVocational Discernment Paper (to include reflection on Service learning participation IF YOU CHOSE SERVICE LEARING OR to include substantial research on racial and ethnic identity development and multicultural anti-racist teaching if YOU DID NOT CHOOSE SERVICE LEARNING)

A NOTE about grades: Because of the participatory nature of this course, not every thing you do as astudent in the course is done for an accumulation of “points” in the typical credit economy of schooling. These activities are important parts of the course and will assist you with projects that do count for points.

Activities in this category include:

Writing exercises: Periodically, you will be given prompts from which to reflect and write either in or out of class. From these rough think pieces, you will write a fully developed comprehensive reflective piece related to the Manresa vocational discernment project due towards the end of the semester.

Quick writes or reaction notes: Generally after films or class activities.