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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jean G. Eisele
B EDUC 315
Bothell Campus

History of Education in the United States

A historical survey of education. Emphasis on relationship between idea and practice. Topics include education and colonialism, formation of state school systems, progressive education, policy and practice, equal access and opportunity, education and social structure, and standards and reform.

Class description

The spring course on the history of American schooling will be “revolutionary” in itself. Rather than following chronological sequence, we’ll explore history in REVERSE chronological order, much as a mystery searching for clues to explain what has just happened. Beginning with the present state of American schools, we’ll examine those events/policies/attitudes that today’s schools are representing. Then ask, “How did these schools come to be?” And we’ll explore the previous era for evolving trends. Each era is representative of its time. Educational decisions are based on current events, current philosophy, trends, and what appears to be the students’ futures. Going back one era at a time, eventually we’ll trace these theories/trends/philosophies back through time to Colonial Days, where American schooling all began. This course is not for the faint of heart. While I’ve taught history courses before, I’ve never begun at the end and ended up at the beginning. It may work. Or we may discover why history courses never run this way. If you’re up for a mystery adventure backwards through time, I’ll see you at 1:30 on April 2nd in LB1-203.

Student learning goals

By the end of this course, you should: Be familiar with the overview of the history of American schooling from the colonial Era through the present,

Be able to articulate how the ideas of education have translated into practice across time, and

Be able to articulate how ideas about diversity and pluralism have impacted the practice of American schooling.

General method of instruction

Readings, class discussion, videos, student presentations, ongoing timeline development

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jean G. Eisele
Date: 02/20/2013