EDUC 240 - Social Issues in Education

This course introduces students to a number of sociocultural issues affecting the procedures and conditions of education. Studying perspectives and thoughts on educational issues and application of fruitful dialogues and critical thinking will stimulate students’ reflection on the subject matter. In addition to reviewing the impact of social issues on education generally, we will focus particularly on selected themes and issues, including: gender; socio-economic, ethnic, and/or cultural differences; and the position of First Nations peoples within Canadian society. Other topics may be explored depending on student interest and on legal and political developments at the time of delivery.


Credits:  3


Hours: 45 (Lecture Hours: 3)


Total Weeks:  15





Non-Course Prerequisites: 





Course Content:
Introduction to the course
The Relationship between the Child and the Outside World
- Reflections on John Dewey’s Pragmatic philosophy
- Creativity in Education
- What is curriculum?
- What should students learn?
Moral Education
- Emile Durkeim's theoretical approach
- Roger Bergman on "Caring for the Ethical Ideal"
- What's wrong with character education?
- Children's responses to character education
Exchange of Knowledge across Cultures
- Strategies for success when teaching and learning across cultures
- Creating a place for indigenous knowledge in education
- Accultural assumptions of empiricism
- Learning in Chinese culture
- Learning in French culture
- Negotiating effective teaching and learning in Brazil
Canadian Natives Education
- Empowerment through First Nation control of education
- The teacher as an enemy?
- The role of native elders
Poverty and Schooling
- The conflict theory of educational stratification
- Theoretical perspectives on schooling in capitalist societies
- Educational responses to poverty
- The relationship between schooling and work
- Education, "class," and testing for order and control in the corporate state
Gender and Schooling
- The subtleties of sexism in education
- Feminist theory on girls and schooling
- Teaching boys: new research on masculinity
- Should the public schools address the issue of sexual orientation?
Ethnicity and Race in Education
- Education in communitarian societies
- The myth of the "model minority": rethinking the education of Asian Canadians
- Understanding cultural diversity and learning
- Black popular culture and the politics of curriculum studies
- Postmodernist perspectives on the social construction of race: Stuart Hall and other theorists
Education and Media
- The Hollywood model: Who is the "good" teacher?
- Were Romeo and Juliet just good friends?
- The Mickey Mouse Monopoly
Teacher and Student Relationships
- From hierarchy to collaboration

- Trust with boundaries


Learning Outcomes:
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
- Critically read sociological perspectives in educational theory
- Analyze and synthesize available perspectives in the field
- Apply theoretical perspectives to actual classroom situations
- Ultimately, students who complete this course will gain an enhanced awareness of sociological theory in education and be better prepared to function as professionals in their fields


Grading System:  Letters


Passing Grade:  D (50%)


Percentage of Individual Work:  80


Percentage of Group Work:  20


Additional Comments:

- In regard to the Written Commentaries that comprise the course writing assignments, note that a commentary is not a summary of the reading material. Summaries discuss content, while commentaries evaluate the article’s strengths and weakness and validity through explanation, interpretation, and making relevance to one’s personal experiences.
- Commentaries can be made on the basis of highlights of readings and the valuable lessons that one can apply in their day-to-day act of teaching. Commentaries are clear and critical exposition of logical arguments and systematic association of ideas from reading materials and personal experience. The commentaries must be 3-4 pages long, typed double space, size 12 font. They will be evaluated according to university-level criteria..
- Students will be notified in advance whether written responses would have to be completed in class or taken home.
- Research Paper: the research paper should be written in essay format. It is expected that the students have already learned the basic elements of academic writing. Recommended topics will reflect course content. The research paper should be 10-12 pages long, typed, double-spaced, size 12 font.


Textbooks are subject to change.  Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.