This course introduces students to a sample of basic questions and issues in education, including the concept or idea of education itself, learning and the learner, teaching and the teacher, disciplines and discourses of education, and, more generally, the broader contexts of education in our contemporary world. The course also provides exposure to different ways of approaching educational issues and questions-from philosophical and critical analyses, to cross-cultural studies, to empirical research.
Hours: 45 (Lecture Hours: 3)
Total Weeks: 15
Introduction to the Course
Opening Discussion of Educational Issues and Values
- Defining educational issues and values
- Educational issues and questions in our everyday lives
- Educational issues and values reflected in art and in other cultural artifacts
- The subtlety and complexity of educational issues and values
- Criteria for evaluating educational issues and values
Case Study of a Particular Educational Issue
- Simulation game and debriefing
Issues Embedded in Educational Practice
- Note the "Animal School" case study
- The purpose of education, learning, and teaching
- The roles that teachers, students, curriculum, and community members play in educational practice
- Educational practice in relation to individual differences and inclusion
- Methods of assessment and evaluation in educational practice
Focus on Learning and the Learner
- Making sense of the world and the implications for education
- Are there right ways, wrong ways, good or bad ways to "make meaning"?
- Appreciating, accepting, and respecting each others differences in making meaning and in learning
- Theoretical perspectives on childhood: Is childhood discovered or invented? What are the implications for learning?
The Concept of "Learning Potential"
- Defining learning potential and how it differs from intelligence
- Methods for increasing learning potential
- A model of learning potential that draws on education, psychology, medicine, and other fields to explain individual differences in learning.
Teaching and the Teacher
- What does it mean to be educated? Who is an educated person?
- The primary aim and end of education
- What is teaching?
- A moral life as the primary aim of education
- Teaching as the practice of moral caring
- Assessing effective teaching
The Disciplines and Discourses of Education
- Defining science and what it means to think scientifically
- The conditions of scientific activity
- Discussing how different science is from other disciplines
- What is involved in learning science?
A Case Study of the Discourse and Discipline of Science
A Case Study of the Discourse and Discipline of Music
- What is music?
- What is the meaning of music?
- Some of the conditions under which musical meaning is possible
A Case Study of Language Arts
- What is literacy?
- Are there different kinds of literacy?
- What does it mean to be literate?
Democratic Citizenship in a Global Age
- Conditions of the world we live in today
- Postmodernism as a theoretical perspective on the world we live in
- Attributes, practices, and knowledge that are important in today's world
- How such attributes, practices, and knowledge be achieved by Social Studies education
- The impact of the informal curriculum?
- Should education be different for different people?
- Views on essential, basic education in other parts of the world
- Cultural values, economic factors, and sociopolitical factors that prevent people from receiving a basic education in other parts of the world
- How educators can cultivate an environment that imparts desired attributes, practices, and knowledge
Being a Lifelong Learner
- What it means to be a lifelong learner
- The role that education plays in lifelong learning
Educational Research and Course Summary
- Defining educational research and its value
- Reading, evaluating, and applying educational research
By the end of this course, the student will be able to:
- Explain educational issues and values from a variety of theoretical perspectives
- Apply theoretical perspectives on educational issues and values to a particular situation or case study
- Discuss educational practice from theoretical perspectives
- Describe the purpose of education, learning, and teaching
- Discuss the roles that teachers, students, curriculum, and community members play in educational practices
- Use current educational literature to explain how educational practices should allow for individual differences and inclusion
- Describe what methods of assessment and evaluation should be used in educational practices
- Explain how learners make sense of the world and the curriculum
- Comment on the ethical implications of different approaches to making meaning
- Discuss theoretical perspectives on childhood and the implications for learning
- Define the concept of "learning potential"
- Use educational literature to describe the role of the teacher and the primary end of education
- Explain how effective teaching can be assessed
- Provide informed commentary on the various disciplines and discourses of education
- Comment on the significance of education in a postmodern world
- Use educational literature to describe the concept of lifelong learning
- Provide critical refection on the role and application of educational research
Sampling of current issues and questions facing educators
PowerPoint presentations; e-portfolios
Grading System: Letters
Passing Grade: D (50%)
Percentage of Individual Work: 80
Percentage of Group Work: 20
- Regular and punctual attendance at all classes is expected.
- Criteria will be set for each assignment, and criterion-based evaluation strategies will be used.
Textbooks are subject to change. Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current books lists.