ED 633 | Spring 2017 | Tom Liam Lynch, Ed.D. |

 ED 633: Foundations of Education

Spring 2017 | Pace University, School of Education

Course schedule:

Online

Location:

Online (blackboard.pace.edu)

Instructor:

Tom Liam Lynch, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Educational Technology

Email:

tlynch@pace.edu

Office:

SOE 11th Floor, 163 William St., NY, NY 10038

Office Hours:

Wednesdays, 2:00 – 5:00 pm or by appointment

Web:

gradgrinds.com and tomliamlynch.com

Emergency:

In the event of emergency, communications will come through Blackboard and email.  

Course Description

In this course students will study the history, philosophy, and sociology of education. They will examine ethical, legal, political, and economic issues as well as current trends in education including technology's effect on education. They will learn about the roles and responsibilities of teachers and other professional staff, students, parents, community members, school administrators, and others with regard to education. Students will learn about the structure and organization of New York State's educational system. In order to develop productive relationships and interactions among school, home, and community, they will focus on various strategies including conflict resolution. Fieldwork is required.

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Introduction

Welcome to ED 633: Foundations of Education.  In this course, we will explore the past, present, and future of public education in the United States.  Before I go further, let me underscore why I think this course is of such great importance to who you are becoming as teachers.  When I began teaching 9th grade English, I remember feeling completely overwhelmed and terrible at my job.  (My colleagues swore I was doing better than I thought, but I had a hard time hearing that.)  In particular, I remember a stack of student assignments I kept in my desk--over 160 of them--because I didn’t have a clue how to meaningfully assess them.  At about that time, I came across a book on the history of teaching English in U.S. schools.  Not a riveting read, but illuminating.  I discovered that educators have been arguing over how to meaningfully assess writing for decades, that there are different philosophies, and that whatever the method it was most important that students’ writing be part of a writing process.  

In that moment, I wouldn’t say I magically became a better teacher.  But, my paradigm shifted.  The very issues I was encountering as a lone teacher in a classroom were part of a grander story.  Education has its own culture: histories, theories, philosophies, debates, dramas, politics, representations in media and entertainment, and scholarship.  There are things you probably don’t know about education that might radically shape how you envision who you are becoming as a pedagogue, how you view learning, what assessment means, what equity looks like, and so much more.  Education has a story.  Let’s tell it.  

There are lots of ways to embark on a course like this.  Here are some of the key curricular decisions I’ve made with a brief rationale for each:

  1. Lots of kinds of texts. You will notice that the “readings” for this course are not actually all written texts.  Rather, I embrace multimodal texts as essential to creating an engaging course.  There will be some traditional reading, but also other kinds of texts like images, video, and audio.  
  2. No papers. Building upon (1), academic institutions like K-12 schools and universities tend to value traditional written texts.  That goes for the texts that are consumed as well as those produced.  To be clear, writing clear, coherent, insightful, and engaging prose is incredibly important (and my favorite mode of composition). However, it is not the only mode of communication.  I will ask you to compose texts this semester, but not traditional papers.  (See below for more.)
  3. Mostly individual work. You will have plenty of opportunities to engage with each other in this course.  However, when it comes to the formal assignments and assessments, you will be working mostly solo.  One of the unique affordances of an online environment is that it makes it manageable for an instructor to actually track, support, and assess individual students quite well.  Group work will be formative, a social support mechanism to help yourselves individually.
  4. Public engagement.  Many of the texts in this class are posted on my education blog called Gradgrind’s (www.gradgrinds.com).  As I shared above, education has a story--one that most people don’t know--and part of our work as educators should be to learn about it while sharing it with others.  With some exceptions, most of what you read, view, watch, or listen to each week will be on Gradgrind’s.  

So, what will this course look and feel like? The course is divided into three main parts: 1) Past, 2) Present, and 3) Future.  More time will be spent on the former two than the latter.  

Readings

We will have one “traditional” text in the class, which is a fantastic collection of essays by education professor Mike Rose called Why School?  His essays are smart, insightful, and exceptionally clear and engaging.  They explore the nature of public education, with an emphasis on the present.  Rose avoids much of the soapboxing that sometimes accompanies discussions of education reform. For each of the three parts of the course, there will be several weeks where we focus on particular sub-questions.  

In addition to the Rose book I offer a few other suggested (but not required) texts.  They are books that I reread every few years and offer timeless insight on the promises and pitfalls of education. Here are some links:

Finally, I will curate other texts for you each week that I expect you to closely read, view, watch, or listen to--most of which will be posted on Gradgrind’s.

Assignments & Grade Derivation

There are three kinds of assignments in this course: Class Notes, Meaning-Making Maps, and APPD.  Each will be described below.  Here are descriptions of what each entails:

  1. Class Notes (40%; Format: PDF) | As you complete the readings, I ask that you take notes.  They do NOT have to be copious.  Rather, I’m interested in seeing a clear summary of the text and at least 2 quotations or comparable form of textual evidence.  You are welcome to do more, but it is not necessary.  This will help you engage with the texts with purpose while providing me a helpful glimpse into your learning process. Each of the Class Notes assignments will be assessed on a 0-10 point scale.
  2. Meaning-Making Maps (40%; Format: PDF) | You will be asked to make sense of our studies together via three meaning-making maps: one for the Past and Present units AND one final map.  They can take many forms like mindmaps, sketchnotes, data visualizations, and/or infographics.  After your Class Notes assignments based on reading, viewing, watching, and listening to different texts about a guiding question, you will try to convey the meaning you are making by mapping it.  Your maps should focus on a single central insight (think of it like a thesis statement) that you use to connect aspects of at least ten of the different texts. See the rubric below for more details. We’ll also look at examples.  The maps will be graded on a sliding scale based on time in the semester as a way to value your growth throughout the course:
  1. Map #1: Past (20 points)
  2. Map #2: Present (50 points)
  3. Map #3: What Everyone Should Know About Education (100 points)
  4. NOTE: there is NO meaning-making map required for the Future unit, though insights from those texts might be included in the final map.  
  1. APPD (20%) | This refers to students’ Attendance, Preparation, Participation, and Disposition throughout the course.  In an online course, this means that students check in on the course regularly, read or view all communications, submit all assignments in a manner that conveys their thorough and thoughtful engagement with assigned texts, provide peer feedback in a timely manner, and communicate professionally with each other and the instructor. APPD will be assessed on a 0-10 point scale.

Late assignments will be accepted at my discretion.  By default, late assignments receive a 2-point deduction for each day after the due date.

Communication Tips

In addition to these formal assessments, it is also important to be aware that there are other behaviours and traits that contribute to the quality of work, and which can affect your performance in the class less obviously.  Most important relates to communication.  In an online environment, it is imperative that you take time to really think about how you are communicating with others.  Before sending a communication to someone else--whether a message board post, an email, a text--be sure to re-read it for tone and clarity.  Ask yourself: what’s the worst way someone could reasonably read this communication?  Revise accordingly.  

If you are unsure of what to do or concerned about the course in any way, the onus is on you to speak up and get what you think you need.  It is almost always better to ask your classmates first for two reasons: 1) they might have already grappled with the same question in which case you will get an answer or you will have a compatriot in your inquiry, and 2) depending on what I have going on it might take up to 24 hours to respond, though anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours is more likely.  (If you don’t get a response from me after 24 hours, prod me. It’s cool.) I tend not to respond to emails at night and on weekends very quickly, though it can happen.  You might also avail yourself of the “General Comments and Questions” discussion board in our course, where I and others post responses publicly as a way to crowdsource support.  

Course Schedule

Every course has a rhythm to it.  In online classes, where part of the appeal is temporal flexibility, I’ve found it important to impose a rhythm to help students manage their time.  In this course, we will use Wednesdays as our downbeat.  That is, all assignments will be due on Wednesdays at noon.  Take a look.

Weeks

Guiding Questions

Read/View/Watch/Listen

What’s Due

1/26 to 2/1

Week 1

Who are we as learners and teachers? What will we be doing this semester, why and how?

  1. Read Why School?, “Introduction” (pp. 1-25)
  2. Read each other’s introductions

Read the syllabus very closely.

Introduce yourself (250-350 words) to the class by describing a “formative moment” in your experiences as a K-12 student.  DUE Wednesday at 12p (noon)

Past: What has education looked like?

2/2 to 2/8

Week 2

How has education been portrayed in film, literature, and other cultural texts?

  1. Read: Why School?, “Chapter 1. In Search of a Fresh Language of Schooling” (pp. 27-32)
  2. Excerpt from Plato’s Republic [link]
  3. Excerpt from Dickens’ Hard Times [link]
  4. Clip from Dangerous Minds [link]
  5. Clip from Dead Poets Society [link]
  6. Clip from Harry Potter [link]
  7. Video of “They School” by Dead Prez [link]

2/9 to 2/15

Week 3

What are the origins of U.S. education?

  1. Read: Why School?, “Chapter 2. Finding Our Way: The Experience of Education” (pp. 27-32)
  2. On the Absence of Education from the US Constitution [link]
  3. Watch: School - The Story of American Education” [link]
  4. Read: “The Invented History of ‘The Factory Model of Education’” by Audrey Watters [link]
  5. !! Explore: “States of Education” by Tom Liam Lynch [link]

Class Notes #1 DUE Wednesday at 12p (noon)

2/16 to 2/22

Week 4

What do historical artifacts old textbooks, journals, and advertisements tell us about the early years of formal education in the U.S. and NYC?

  1. Read: Why School?, “Chapter 5. Intelligence in the Workplace and the Schoolhouse” (pp. 83-98)
  2. Read: Noah Webster’s “American Spelling Book” [link]
  3. Read: Willson’s Intermediate Fifth Reader (1871) [link]
  4. View: Gallery of 19th century ads for teachers [link]
  5. View: Collection of Thomas Nast’s political cartoons [link]

Note: NYCDOE Midwinter recess is 2/20-2/24

2/23 to 3/1

Week 5

How have U.S. presidents talked about education?  

  1. Read: George Washington [link]
  2. Read: John Adams [link]
  3. Read: Thomas Jefferson [link]
  4. Listen: FDR [link]
  5. Watch: JFK [link]

Class Notes #2 DUE Wednesday at 11:59pm

Note: NYCDOE Midwinter recess is 2/20-2/24

3/2 to 3/8

Week 6

Map #1 DUE Wednesday at 11:59pm

3/9 to 3/15

SPRING BREAK

The University’s Spring Break is from 3/12-3/19.  No assignments will be due on 3/15.

Present: What does education look like today?

3/16 to 3/22

Week 7

How did No Child Left and Behind Race to the Top affect education in New York State and New York City?

  1. Read: Why School?, “Chapter 3. No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, and the Spirit of Democratic Education” (pp. 45-68)
  2. Watch: George W. Bush [link]
  3. Watch: Barack Obama [link]
  4. Watch: NYS Governor Cuomo discusses reforming education [link]
  5. Watch: Former NYS Commissioner King introduce the Common Core [link]
  6. Watch: Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin criticizes Governor Cuomo [link]

Tip: Watch this Review of Meaning-Making Maps from Map #1 Assignment

3/23 to 3/29

Week 8

What effects does high-stakes testing and teacher evaluation have on public education?

  1. Read: Why School?, “Chapter 8. Reflections on Standards, Teaching, and Learning” (pp. 117-146)
  2. Watch: David Berliner explains the parameters of teacher evaluations [link]
  3. Watch: Researcher explains what international tests do and do not mean [link]
  4. Watch: Atlanta judge sentencing teachers for cheating [link]

3/30 to 4/5

Week 9

How equitable are public schools?

  1. Read: Why School?, “Chapter 12. The Inner Life of the Poor” (pp. 181-200)
  2. Watch: James Baldwin on Education [link]
  3. Watch: A primer on Brown v. Board of Education [link]
  4. Listen: Malcolm Gladwell’s Carlos Can’t Remember [link]
  5. Watch: A discussion on resegregation in NYC [link]

Class Notes #3 DUE Wednesday at 11:59pm

4/6 to 4/12

Week 10

Map #2  DUE Wednesday at 11:59pm

Note: NYCDOE Spring recess is 4/10-4/18

Future: What might education look like tomorrow?

4/13 to 4/19

Week 11

How might new technologies like online learning, personalized learning systems, and mobile devices affect learning and teaching?

  1. Read: Why School?, “Chapter 9. MOOCs and Other Wonders: Education and High-Tech Utopia” (pp. 147-162)
  2. View: Jean-Marc Cote’s 1899 vision for 21st century learning [link]
  3. Read: “Not a Lightbulb,” by Tom Liam Lynch [link]
  4. Watch: Sal Khan on reinventing learning [link]
  5. View: Collection of Ed Tech Patents [link]
  6. Watch: Carpe Diem School [link]

Note: NYCDOE Spring recess is 4/10-4/18

4/20 to 4/26

Week 12

What does the charter school debate suggest about tensions between equity, public schools, and private interests?  

  1. Read: Why School?, “Chapter 4. Business Goes to School” (pp. 69-82)
  2. Read: Defense of charter schools by Arne Duncan [link]
  3. Watch: Criticism of charter schools by John Oliver [link]
  4. Watch: Researcher talks about charter schools [link]

Class Notes #4 DUE Wednesday at 11:59pm

Final Assessment: Based on your work this semester, what is something  everyone 

Needs to know about public education?

4/27 to 5/3

Week 13

DRAFT Map #3 DUE Wednesday at 11:59pm

Provide feedback as assigned within 48 hours using rubric below. Leave feedback to two peers as instructed in the designated Discussion Boards thread

5/4 to 5/10

Week 14

Map #3 DUE Wednesday at 11:59pm

Policies and Rubrics

Rubrics

In addition to the assessment overview articulated above, assignments also have additional rubrics.  Please see below for more details.

Class Notes

Category

Description

Scale

Coverage of all texts

The degree to which you provide evidence of active engagement with each of the assigned texts

0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10

 

Quality of summary

The degree to which you provide a succinct and accurate summary (2-3 sentences) for each text

0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10

Quality of textual evidence

The degree to which you provide specific evidence from each text (i.e. a quoted phrase, sentence, description of visual elements)

0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10

Timeliness

The degree to which you submit your assignment on time in the proper format (Note: 2 points are deducted for each day passed the due date)

0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10

Total Points Earned

_____ / 10

 

Meaning-Making Maps

Category

Description

Scale

Coverage of all texts

The degree to which you provide evidence of active engagement with at least ten of the assigned texts up to the due date of the assignment

1) 0   2   4   6   8   10   12   14   16   18  20

2) 0   5   10   15   20   25   30   35   40   45  50

3) 0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80   90  100

Quality of central insight

The degree to which you provide a clear and thoughtful insight that serves as the epicenter of your map

1) 0   2   4   6   8   10   12   14   16   18  20

2) 0   5   10   15   20   25   30   35   40   45  50

3) 0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80   90  100

Quality of intertextual connections

The degree to which you articulate clear connections between texts, including textual evidence for each

1) 0   2   4   6   8   10   12   14   16   18  20

2) 0   5   10   15   20   25   30   35   40   45  50

3) 0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80   90  100

Use of color and/or visuals

The degree to which you emphasize relationship, insights, and/or questions with the use of color and visuals

1) 0   2   4   6   8   10   12   14   16   18  20

2) 0   5   10   15   20   25   30   35   40   45  50

3) 0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80   90  100

Timeliness

The degree to which you submit your assignment on time in the proper format (Note: 2 points are deducted for each day passed the due date)

1) 0   2   4   6   8   10   12   14   16   18  20

2) 0   5   10   15   20   25   30   35   40   45  50

3) 0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80   90  100

Total Points Earned

_____ / 20

_____ / 50

_____ / 100

 

APPD | Attendance, Preparation, Participation, and Disposition

 

A or A-

100-90

B+ or B or B-

89-80

C+ or C or C-

79-70

Below C-

69-under

A

20%

Attends every class, arriving almost always on time.  Contacts professor with regards to tardiness.

Misses no more than one class, seldom comes late.  Contacts professor re: absence or tardiness.

Misses no more than two classes, sometimes comes late.  Sometimes does not contact professor regarding absences and tardiness.

Misses three or more classes, often comes late.  Does not contact professor regarding absences and tardiness.

Prep

30%

Always up to date on readings and assignments.  Demonstrates being prepared for every class by handing in work on time and consistently referencing readings accurately and appropriately in discussions.  Always brings materials to share with peers in class as requested.  Always demonstrates preparation for online work.

Usually up to date on readings and assignments.  Demonstrates being prepared for most classes by handing in work on time and often referencing readings accurately and appropriately in discussions.  Almost always brings materials to share with peers in class as requested.  Sometimes preparation for online work is well done.

Sometimes, but not dependably, up to date on readings and assignments.  Demonstrates being prepared for some classes by handing in some work on time and sometimes referencing readings accurately and appropriately during class discussions.  Sometimes fails to bring materials to share with peers in class as requested.  Preparation is often inconsistent for online work.

Rarely up to date on readings and assignments.  Is prepared for few classes; often hands in work late and seldom references readings accurately and appropriately in discussions.  Usually fails to bring in materials to share with peers in class as requested.  Preparation is very uneven or incomplete for online work.

Part

30%

Consistently participates actively in person and online, both by listening closely and by offering informed, constructive and critical comments.  Submits excellent, quality work online and on time.

Usually participates actively in person and online; usually listens closely and offers informed, constructive and critical comments.  Submits competent, quality work online and usually on time.

Sometimes participates in person; sometimes listens closely and offers informed comments.  Inconsistent quality work online and work is often late or incomplete.

Seldom participates in person; seldom listens closely or offers informed comments.  Never or very rarely participates online.

D

20%

Consistently shows respect for others’ perspectives and ideas and demonstrates an openness to exploring and re-thinking own ideas.  Consistently displays professional courtesy and classroom decorum and never distracts from the learning environment by checking phone messages, taking phone calls, conducting other business, tardiness, excessive chatter, and visible lack of interest.  Never is disrespectful, aggressive or condescending toward others.

Always shows respect for others’ perspectives and ideas and usually demonstrates an openness to exploring and re-thinking own ideas.  Usually displays professional courtesy and classroom decorum and rarely distracts from the learning environment by checking phone messages, taking phone calls, conducting other business, tardiness, excessive chatter, and visible lack of interest.  Never is disrespectful, aggressive or condescending toward others.

Sometimes shows respect for others’ perspectives and ideas and demonstrates an openness to exploring and re-thinking own ideas.  Sometimes displays a lack of professional courtesy and classroom decorum and distracts from the learning environment by checking phone messages, taking phone calls, conducting other business, tardiness, excessive chatter, and visible lack of interest.  Sometimes can be disrespectful, aggressive or condescending toward others.

Seldom shows respect for others’ perspectives and ideas and demonstrates an openness to exploring and re-thinking own ideas.  Often displays a lack of professional courtesy and classroom decorum and distracts from the learning environment by checking phone messages, taking phone calls, conducting other business, tardiness, excessive chatter, and visible lack of interest.  Often can be disrespectful, aggressive or condescending toward others.

Policies

Pace University School of Education’s Conceptual Framework

The School of Education believes that a fundamental aim in education is to create opportunities for individuals to realize their potential within a democratic community. Therefore, we prepare graduates of our programs to be:

These themes form the conceptual framework for the outcomes of the School of Education programs. They guide every aspect of our role in preparing educators for P-12 settings. We incorporate them through curricular planning, instruction, assessment and the evaluation of both candidates and our programs.

As reflective practitioners our candidates learn to appreciate the continuity between theory and practice and to seek an understanding of themselves in relation to others in social and historical contexts. Our candidates develop multiple perspectives on teaching and learning and gain increased awareness of their own learning strengths and weaknesses. The reflective process is promoted through course readings and assignments, case studies, field experiences, self-assessment and student teaching.

To become professionals who promote justice, our candidates learn to work toward equity in our society. As we understand it, justice implies a balance between the rights of individuals and the needs of society, equal protection under the law, fairness in the distribution and use of resources and equal access to opportunities. Through challenging coursework and varied field experiences our candidates are provided with multiple opportunities to recognize and address unjust policies and practices both within and outside of schools.

We believe caring classrooms and school communities are places where students are respected and cared for so that they learn to respect and care for others, discover and develop their abilities, and become engaged and responsible learners. At Pace we draw on our own experience of working in a caring professional community as additional evidence that such settings encourage people to develop high levels of commitment and competency. Through our respectful interactions with candidates and our insistence on similar behavior among candidates, we model caring communities in our classrooms to provide students with a framework for future practice.

 

Our candidates know that teachers who are successful at enabling all students to learn build upon the knowledge and experience that their students bring to school. Conscious that teachers can affect students’ sense of their potential, candidates plan and implement meaningful and effective teaching and learning activities. Drawing on constructivist theory and a strong base of content area knowledge, they provide scaffolding so that their students can develop habits of inquiry. Candidates use a variety of assessment tools to evaluate students’ needs and progress and to inform instructional decisions. As a result, it is our goal that our candidates’ students become proactive in posing and solving problems, understand the relevance of their studies to their lives, are more motivated learners who feel able to affect positive change in their society.

Pace University Policies on Students with Disabilities

Pace University believes that it is important that students receive appropriate accommodation for any disability.  In order to receive the accommodation, you must contact the University’s /counseling/Personal Development Office. Trained professional counselors will evaluate your medical documentation, conduct appropriate tests or refer you for same, make recommendations for your plan of accommodation, and contact your professors [with your permission] to arrange for the accommodations. You professor is not authorized to provide any accommodation prior to you arranging for the same through the Counseling/Personal Development Center.  If you have, or believe you have, a disability, be sure to follow the above procedure.

“Nothing is more common than for men to think that because they are familiar with words they understand the ideas they stand for.” – Cardinal J. Newman (1801-1890)

Pace University Policy on Academic Integrity        

Students must accept the responsibility to be honest & to respect ethical standards in meeting their academic assignments & requirements. Integrity in the academic life requires that students demonstrate intellectual & academic achievement independent of all assistance except that authorized by the instructor. The use of an outside source, including electronic sources, in any paper, report or submission for academic credit without the appropriate acknowledgment is plagiarism. It is unethical to present as one's own work, the ideas, words or representations of another without the proper indication of the source. Therefore, it is the student's responsibility to give credit for any quotation, idea or data borrowed from an outside source.

As a student, you cannot copy work from someone else's disk to your own, or print two copies of the same assignment to be handed in by two individuals. Each student must do his/her own work. It is easy for instructors to tell when data has been duplicated between students. All instructors reserve the right to challenge work they feel has not been completed independently.  Please note that students who fail to meet the responsibility for academic integrity subject themselves to sanctions ranging from a reduction in grade or failure in the assignment or course in which the offense occurred to suspension or dismissal from the University.  The first time that a student submits an assignment or an assessment that is not completely his or her own at Pace University, the student will receive a 0 grade for that individual assignment/assessment.  The second time that a student submits an assignment or an assessment that is not completely his or her own at Pace University, the student will receive an F for that course.  The third time that a student submits an assignment or an assessment that is not completely his or her own at Pace University, the student will be dismissed from the University.

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