University of Colorado at Boulder
EDUC 4102-3 FOUNDATIONS OF AMERICAN EDUCATION
Education is more than books, desks, pupils, and teachers. A
complete description would also include an analysis of the social
and cultural context of schooling (e.g. race, class,gender,
history, religion, economics, philosophy, politics, and reform).
For instance: is it accurate to assume that even though boys and
girls are sitting in the same class, reading the same books, and
listening to the same teacher, that they are learning the same
material in the same fashion?
The main purpose of this course is to explore and understand the
differing answer(s) tothe above question. The format of
instruction will include small group discussions, seminar style
discussions, reaction papers, notebooks, portfolios, and practice
- To provide students with a working model of non-mainstream
learning and teaching.
- To alert prospective teachers to the effects of the social
context of schooling on the classroom environment.
- To create a sense of activism.
- To create a student centered learning and teaching
- To inform preservice teachers of the legal and instructional
terrain that characterizes today's classrooms.
- Experience and Education, John Dewey
- White Teacher, Vivian Gussin-Paley
- Articles (Course articles are on reserve and available for
photocopying from the Equity, Diversity, and Education library,
third floor School of Education.)
Service Project Requirements
- It is common complain among pre-service teachers that their
training was too theoretical, that it had little if any connection
to practice. What is learned in class is frequently forgotten or
significantly modified as a result of the pressures associated with
teaching in the public school system.
- In an effort to create a stronger link between theory and
practice, each student will be required to spend a minimum of 20
hours, at a service site, engaged in an educational endeavor.
- Groups of 3/5 students will be responsible for establishing
their own service site.
- Service sites must contain an educational component,
students must be actively involved in the activity, and all
students must be active participants.
- Non-public school sites are preferred.
Final class project:
- The final course project will be a detailed analysis,
description, commentary on the service experience. Special
emphasis should be placed on answering questions like: What
relevancy does this experience have to my practice as a teacher?;
How did my experience enhance or detract form my understanding of
the material we read in class?; What is the purpose of education?;
and What piece of advice would you give to next class of
- Projects can be presented in a variety of styles including
(but not limited to): slide shows, video tapes, oral reports, site
visitations, audience participation, and drawings.
- Instead of a final exam, which is an instructor designed
test to determine whether or not a student has learned specific
kinds and amounts of information, students will be required to
organize a portfolio. the purpose of the portfolio is to create a
student centered assessment tool that allows students the
opportunity to show the instructor what they have learned during
- Portfolios can be written (15/20 page paper), preformed,
audio, video, or visual. They must be organized and tangible, oral
presentations will not be accepted.
- Each student will have thirty minutes to present their
What is a notebook?
- A notebook is a record of each student's experience in this
class. It is reflective, critical, and analytical piece written in
a systematic fashion.
- A notebook is not a diary.
Why a notebook?
- Individualize course work.
- Allow for flexibility in learning styles.
- Another form of dialogue between student and instructor.
What goes in a notebook?
- Reaction to readings (not a rewrite; I have already read the
- Questions raised by the readings.
- Feelings about class.
- Feelings and thoughts on your service site.
- Connection between service site and class work.
- Intellectual, philosophical, or intuitive rambling.
- Reaction to class discussions.
- What you agree or disagree with.
Are notebooks graded?
- Notebooks will be collected on a rotating biweekly basis
(half the class every two weeks). I will read them and return them
as soon as possible. I may occasionally add questions or comments.
- Students should continue writing even though they do not
have their notebooks.
Reaction Paper Guidelines
- Three to five pages (minimum).
- The writing must be clear, and the paper well organized.
- Your work will be judged on the quality of your
descriptions and explanations, as well as on the depth of your
thought and deliberation. You should analyze and evaluate, not
just report and describe.
- The value of your work will be determined by the validity
and the soundness of your argument(s).
- Organize your thoughts and ideas with the reader in mind.
- Whenever possible, try to use the concepts and ideas
discussed in class. Make these connections as clear as possible.
- Type your papers leaving sufficient room in the margins for
me to make comments.
- Proofread your papers.
- The key considerations are clarity in expression, care in
organization, and depth of ideas.
Grades and assignments:
Attendance Service Projects 20%
Class Discussions 15% Notebook 5%
Reaction Papers 20% Portfolios 40%
The radical, progressive, and conservative traditions in
1/18 Group one notebooks. Building a student centered class.
1/20 Dan Liston and Ken Zeicher, Teacher Education and the
Social Conditions of Schooling. Ch. 1.
1/25 Personal orientation paper due (Who am I as a teacher?).
Group two notebooks.
E.D. Hirsch, "Literacy and Cultural Literacy".
1/27 NO CLASS (service sites and planning day).
2/1 Group one notebooks (Rm. 231)
John Dewey, Experience and Education. Ch. 1/3.
2/3 John Dewey, Experience and Education. Ch. 4/8.
2/8 Group two notebooks.
Anne Fausto-Sterling, "The Myth of Neutrality: Race,
Sex, and Class in Science".
2/10 Traditions reaction paper due.
Race, ethnicity, gender, and schooling.
2/15 Group one notebooks.
Jane Rolland Martin, "The Ideal of the Educated Person."
2/17 NO CLASS (service sites and planning day).
2/22 Group two notebooks.
Lisa Delpit, "The Silenced Dialogue".
2/24 Legal rights of teachers and students
Dr. Dick Kraft (Rm. 231)
3/1 Group one notebooks.
Vivian Gussin-Paley, White Teacher. p.1/77.
3/3 Racial and ethnic diversity reaction paper due.
Vivian Gussin-Paley, White Teacher. p.77-143.
3/8 Group two notebooks.
Dorothy Holland and Margaret Eisenhart, Educated in
3/10 International education: comparisons and contrasts.
Dr. Dick Kraft (Rm. 231)
3/15 Group one notebooks. (Rm. 231)
Gender reaction paper due.
Jonathan Kozol, The Night is Dark and I am Far From
3/17 NO CLASS (service sites and planning day).
Social class and schooling.
3/29 Group one notebooks.
Jean Anyon, "Social Class and the Hidden Curriculum of
3/31 Society and schooling reaction paper due.
The effects of society and culture on learning.
Signithia Fordham (Rm. 231)
4/5 Group two notebooks.
NO CLASS (service sites and planning day).
Politics, reform and schooling.
4/7 Politics and schooling.
Dr. Dick Kraft (Rm. 231)
4/12 Group one notebooks.
"A Nation at Risk".
4/14 Reform reaction paper due.
David Tyack and Elizabeth Hansot, "Conflict and
Consensus in American
Wrap-up and final reports.
4/19 Group two notebooks. Service Reports.
4/21 Service Reports.
4/26 Service Reports.
4/28 Service Reports.
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 1995 15:14:51 -0600 (MDT)