EDU 613: Current Educational Issues: About this Guide

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Course Objectives

This course involves the identification and analysis of significant, persistent issues in education in the United States and the relationship to student achievement and teacher effectiveness. After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Critically examine educational documents based on a spectrum of current educational issues and research methodology employed to study and present them.
  • Employ methods of analysis which are objective, empirical, and disciplined, as modeled in the research of anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, and others who study educational issues in a variety of contexts and from diverse disciplinary approaches.
  • Explore the origins, nature, purposes, and tactics of the following as they relate to education: interest groups (e.g., parent, community, religious, economic, political, minority), formats for schooling, parental choice, separation of church and state, ethnocentrism and racism, gender discrimination, and public school finance.
  • Examine the effects of social class, family structure, economic status, and other environmental factors on student achievement. Identify the socializing effects on children of primary agents of enculturation (e.g., parents, peers, churches, communities, media, schools) and the effects on student learning.
  • Analyze the effects on student achievement of life and death issues related to health, violence, drug use, sexual activity, and educational opportunity.
  • Trace the history of efforts to achieve inclusion for special needs children and to examine the major facets--attitudinal, economic, political--of this complex issue.
  • Analyze the effects on current public school practice of reform efforts implemented as responses to the national reports of the 1980s.

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