Richard Kraft
University of Colorado at Boulder

Richard J. Kraft

Course Requirements and Percent of Grade

  1. Class attendance and participation in discussion and activities. 15%: since most class sessions are reflections on readings and experiences outside of class and involve a range of thought provoking activities, with few traditional lectures, your attendance and participation is absolutely critical.
  2. Individual book critique and group oral presentation- 15%: oral report due when topic/book is scheduled in the syllabus. Written critique/analysis due no later than March 8.
  3. Written reports/critiques on 5 visits, 1-2 pages on each visit- 20%: due April 7.
    1. school board meeting
    2. place of worship outside your own religion
    3. Alternative, pre-school, parochial or private school
    4. Teacher's assoc. Meeting or interview teacher about CEA/BVEA
    5. Interview teenagers on the hill, shopping center, teenage hangout etc.
    6. Juvenile court, dare, county jail, teen parenting program, Safehouse, attention homes, teen hot-line etc.
    7. Some setting with persons of a different ethnicity, race, language, or nationality than your own. E.G. ESL center, migrant center, church, club etc.
    8. Service learning project- 20%. You are to choose an individual or group service learning project and spend at least 10 hours during the term on that project.

      Projects should involve some social, civic, environmental or educational need.

      Examples of projects in the past have been tutoring in after-school programs, teaching English to non-English speakers, teaching/leading in boy or girl scouts, church/synagogue schools, or other non-public settings, working with handicapped in expand, kids voting project, conducting oral histories in a senior center, serving meals at a homeless shelter, working in handicapped ski program, designing and carrying out an outdoor education weekend for city kids, working on habitat for humanity building projects, and a wide range of other individual projects. Keep a journal of your activity and write a final summary, critique of what you did. Journal and summary/critique due April 21-May 3, depending on which day your individual and group projects are to be presented to the class. Your grade on this part of the course will be given to you, your fellow group members and by Prof. Kraft.

    9. Final exam- 30%, May 5. This will be a take-home essay examination, and you will have the questions sometime in the early part of the term so that you can be working on your answers as you read, attend class, and make your outside visits. Limited to no more than 10 pages, preferably typed.


Required: The following text will form the basis for many class lectures, discussions and other activities, in addition to informing much of your work outside in the community. It is therefore almost required that you purchase your own copy.

Critical Social Issues in American Education by H.S. Shapiro and D. Purpel, Longman. 1993

Recommended and on sale at Bookstore: All students will be expected to have read at least two of the following books and be prepared to do an individual written critique and a group oral presentation on the book. Whether you wish to purchase your own copies, share them, or try to find them in the library is up to you.

Additional Books, articles and reserve readings are available in the Equity, Diversity and Education Library, room 344 in the School of Education. Open Monday and Tuesday 9:30-5:00, Wednesdays and Thursday 9:30am to 8:00pm. Closed Fridays-Sundays.

Schedule of Class Sessions

1/13 Introduction to the class and to the social foundations of education: formation of working groups.

1/18 What are the major issues facing American schools and society in 1994? Read introduction xiii-xxi, and 103-115 in text.

1/20 Why do you want to teach? What do you have to contribute to the profession? Write a short, one page paper on why you want to be a teacher or are currently giving it serious consideration. Read 272-277 and 345-362. Please visit a non-school setting with children or teenagers and chat with them about schooling and their lives, prior to coming to class today.

1/25 Service-learning. What is it? What service have you "given" in the past? What is a service-learning project that you think you would like to participate in this semester? Read materials on service reserve in equity, diversity, and education library and read 116-130.

1/27 What are the purposes of American education? What is the underlying philosophy of Education? Read 5-29, 305-329 and 330-344 in addition to having completed the educational Ideologies inventory and bring it to class.

2/1 Experience and education. Read chapters 1-4 in your copy of Dewey, or read chapters on reserve in equity, diversity and education library. Class meets in room 231 with Paul Michaelec's class.

2/3 Experiential education- what is it in practice? Bring to class an "experiential activity" to teach a concept or idea in your teaching area. Have visited an outdoor education center, alternative school, or experience-based classroom by today. Student reports on experience and education by Dewey.

2/8 No class (service activities, projects, visits, and planning)

2/10 Values and ethics. What are your fundamental values? Write a one page paper on your fundamental values; Should the schools teach values? If so, how? If not, why not? Take the DIT Test prior to coming to class and bring it with you.

2/15 Church and state issues. Should public schools teach about religion? Should private, parochial schools be allowed to exist? Please visit a church, synagogue, temple or mosque, not of your own religious background prior to coming to class today. Read 408-428.

2/17 The economics of schooling. What is the expenditure per pupil in Boulder/Colorado? What do teachers get paid at various points throughout their careers? What should teachers get paid? How are schools funded? Read 52-60 and a chapter on economics in a text in equity, diversity and education library.

Tuesday, February 22. School reform. What reforms do you believe are needed? Why? What have the various state and national commissions recommended for school reform? Why is reform so difficult? Read a contemporary education journal. Phi delta kappa, education week, Harvard education review or some other journal on the topic. Read 288-304.

2/24 Legal rights of teachers and students. Read a foundations text chapter on the topic from equity, diversity and education library. Be ready to discuss case study handout. Class meets with Paul Michaelec's class in room 231.

3/1 Gender issues: have you ever experienced gender discrimination in school or elsewhere? In what ways do or might the schools treat boys and girls differently? Read 255-271 and other sources on gender and schooling. Student reports on boys and girls by Paley.

3/3 Issues of equity and equality. Should we track students? What are the advantages and disadvantages of homogeneous and heterogeneous grouping? Read pages 61-65, 67-84, and 85-102. Student report on savage inequalities by Kozol.

3/8 Marginalization and minority status. What are the causes of marginal status? In what ways do you feel marginalized? Read pages 131-136, 137-148 and 230-245. Book critiques/analyses due today.

3/10 International education-read the two-sided handout on international education topics and statistics and be prepared to discuss the topic. Read pages 278-287 in text. Class meets with Paul's class in room 231. Have informally spoken with or interviewed a foreign student or resident of Boulder prior to class, getting information about the culture, families, schooling, religion etc.

3/15 Read "the night is dark and I am far from home" by Jonathan, on reserve. Class meets with Paul's class in room 231.

3/17 No class (service-sites, projects and planning day)

3/29 No class (service-sites, projects and planning day)

3/31 Race, class and achievement. Read pages 149-178 in text. Class meets with Paul's class in room 231.

4/5 African-American culture in American society today. Read 179-193. Student report on White Teacher by Paley.

4/7 Politics and education. Read 30-42, 43-51, 212-229 and 385-394. Class meets with Paul's class in Room 231. Have visited a school-board meeting prior to today's class. Reports on 5 visits due today.

4/12 Linguistic differences in our schools. Should we offer bilingual education in our schools? What are the pros and cons of bilingual classrooms? Should the U.S. limit immigration? Read 194-211.

4/14 American schools in an historical context. How have schools changed during your lifetime? How have they changed or not changed over the past 300 years? Read 367-384. Student reports on the American school: 1642-1993 by spring.

4/19 No class (service projects, planning)

4/21 Group one report: journals, summaries, critiques of service learning due today for group one.

4/26 Group two report: journals, summaries, critiques of service learning due today for group two.

4/28 Group three report: journals, summaries, critiques of service learning due today for group three.

5/3 Group four report: journals, summaries, critiques of service learning due today for group four.

5/9 3:30-6:30pm Take home final exam due to Prof. Kraft by 5pm in his box in room 124.

                                Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 15:31:17 -0600(MDT)