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Department of Education and Allied Studies

ED253 School & Society 

Tuesday & Thursday:  3:30PM-4:45PM

Dolan Building Room E134



Professor David Shutkin, Ph.D.


Office: 304 Administration Bldg.     

Office Phone: 216.397.4754


E-mail Address:



Course Web site:



Office Hours: 

Tuesday: 1PM-2PM, 5PM-7PM; Wednesday: 1:30PM-3:30PM; Thursday: 1PM-2PM.

and by Appointment 


Required Text:

Oakes, J. and Lipton, M. (2007) Teaching to Change the World. 3rd edition.  NY: McGraw-Hill.



Pre-requisite for formal admission to teacher education.

Foundations of education examined through historical, sociological, and philosophical perspectives to provide a comprehensive understanding of American education and realted educational issues in a diverse society.

Course Rationale

What is the place of educational foundations in teacher education?  While study and practice of teaching methods and the design of learning environments are central to the teaching profession, methods and design make sense only in historically specific contexts with specific goals. 


In the wider society, these goals are frequently contested and made the objects of partisan debates. Yet education is perhaps the least understood institution in the United States; while most Americans spend 12 or more years attending school, the issues that define “effective” schools shift and change through time. From democracy and citizenship to equity and accountability, what are the issues and goals determining “effective” schools today? 


As citizens of this great democracy, as agents of the institution of education and as members of local school communities, teachers must make informed decisions about teaching methods and learning environments that affect the lives and futures of school children in the United States.

Writing Intensive Course (W)

In addition to teaching about the foundations of education, this course is designated as a writing intensive course. Time will be devoted during 
the semester to learning about the writing process and improving your writing skills. You will be exposed to a variety of writing experiences: 
different types of written assignments, peer editing, and multiple drafts of the same paper. The purpose of a writing intensive course is to 
enable you to carry into your upper division courses the discipline and habits of excellent written expression. Another purpose is to set high 
standards of written expression for education.

Course Themes and Topics:
  • A History of the Present: Schooling in these United States;
  • Learning Theories for the 21st Century;
  • Curriculum Studies: Justice, Power, Knowledge;
  • Inside Classroom Communities; and
  • Multiculturalism and Hybridity in School.

Goals of Education Studies

The interpretive perspective

  • Use historical, philosophical, and cultural concepts and theories developed within the humanities and the social sciences to:
  • Examine, understand, and explain education within different contexts; and 
  • Analyze the intent, meaning, and effects of educational institutions, including schools.

 The normative perspective

  • Examine and explain education in light of value orientations;
  • Understand normative and ethical behavior in educational development;
  • Recognize the presence of normative influences in educational thought and practice;
  • Probe the nature of assumptions about education and schooling;
  • Examine the relation of policy analysis to values and the extent to which educational policymaking reflects values; and 
  • Develop value positions regarding education on the basis of critical study and reflection.

The critical perspective

  • Employ normative interpretations to develop inquiry skills;
  • Question educational assumptions and arrangements;
  • Identify contradictions and inconsistencies among social and educational values, policies, and practices;
  • Employ democratic values to assess educational beliefs, policies, and practices in light of their origins, influences, and consequences;
  • Examine,understand, and explain educational proposals, arrangements, and practices;
  • Develop a disciplined sense of policy-oriented educational responsibility; and 
  • Develop an awareness of education and schooling in light of their complex relations to culture

Course Evaluation:

In each assignment, I am looking for evidence of thoughtful engagement and reflection on course readings, lectures,

workshops and discussions. I cannot stress enough the significance of giving credit where credit is due -- ALWAYS.


Grading Scale

A  : Outstanding scholarship. 4 quality points.

A- : 3.7 quality points.

B+ : 3.3 quality points.

B  : Superior work. 3 quality points.

B- : 2.7 quality points.

C+ : 2.3 quality points.

C  : Average. 2 quality points.

C- : 1.7 quality points.

D+ : 1.3 quality points.

D  : Lowest passing quality. 1 quality point.

F  : Failure. No quality points.

Attendance  Attendance at every class is required. In the event that you are unable to attend class for a substantive reason, please contact me

PRIOR to that class to arrange an excused absence. A pattern of unexcused absences will result in a pattern of reduced FINAL grades.

(One grade for each unexcused absence, i.e. from A to B)


Policies on Grading

All assignments are required. I encourage you to discuss your assignments and your grades with me while the course is in progress.


Late Assignments

Submitting assignments after the assigned due date will reduce the grade for that assignment by one letter (i.e. from A to B). However, prior to due dates alternative arrangements can be made for late submissions. A final grade of "I" (incomplete) may be awarded upon request and pending approval


Technology will be integrated throughout this course. To access the JCU digital information network, including library research databases, the WebMail server and the BlackBoard on-line learning environment, all students require a valid John Carroll University:

  1. Identification card;
  2. Username;
  3. network password.


Information Technology Services 

Information technology services HELP desk handles questions, problem reports, service requests, and inquiries from faculty, staff, and students regarding computer hardware and software, Internet connectivity, and related topics.

Call 397-3004 (Monday – Friday / 8:30-5:00 pm)

Walk-In help:  (Monday – Friday / 4:00 -5:00 pm/ fourth floor Rodman Hall)



Grade Book




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