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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Natasha Merchant
B EDUC 220
Bothell Campus

Education and Society

Examines educational problems, policy, and practice from interdisciplinary perspective. Explores the tensions between education values and goals throughout the history of public schooling in the United States and develops critical perspectives through which to evaluate current proposals for school reform. Offered: ASp.

Class description

This course examines the relationship among education and society by examining current educational problems, policy and practice in the United States. The course asks students to understand the tensions and recognize the divergent histories and agendas involved in educational debates today. The course also asks students to connect their lived experiences to the course material in order to better understand the complexity of contemporary educational problems and societal responses.

This course is open to all UWB undergraduate students and is appropriate for those preparing to be teachers or those interested in learning more about education in the United States.

Student learning goals

1. Connect educational policies and practices to societal and political influences;

2. Connect major federal and state level policies and documents to U.S. education;

3. Recognize how power dynamics impact educational policy, practice, and student experience. Use vocabulary useful in describing these dynamics (including but not limited to culture, whiteness, racism, power, self-identity, group-identity, hegemony, heterosexism, meritocracy, stereotype/generalization, prejudice, equity/equality, multiple perspectives, diversity, pluralism, democracy, and social justice);

4. Connect current curricular content to political and economic influences of the past;

5. Practice skills of democratic citizenship by thoughtfully engaging in classroom discussions;

6. Recognize and discuss the divergent perspectives of stakeholders (students, teachers, parents, community members, private and public institutions, etc.);

General method of instruction

This course invites students to make connections between their lived experiences and the course material. Successful students will interact meaningfully with the course content if they complete the course readings thoroughly, come prepared to class having reflected on the assigned readings, participate respectfully in classroom activities including discussion, consistently reflect on the course experiences outside of the classroom, and ask for assistance when needed.

The course format centers around (1) individual written reflections of course readings, (2) in-class discussions, (3) drawing from previous experiences, (4) group work, and (5) applied fieldwork.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

A. Participation: 1. Weekly Discussion Posts (10 points) 2. Class Discussions (5 points) 3. Class Written Reflections (10 points)

B. Community Based Learning Project: 1. Field Notebook (15 points) 2. 15 hr. Field Experience (10 points) C. Exam 15 points

D. Final Paper: 1. Autobiographical Narrative (5 points) 2. Critical Reflection (20 points) E. Group Presentation (10 points)


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 Natasha Merchant
Date: 10/28/2013