Most recent Syllabus

EDUC 488: Multicultural
Perspectives in Children
and Youth
Spring Semester, 2006
Dr. Jane Fowler Morse
Instructor: Jane Fowler Morse
Office: 221 C South Hall
E-Mail:[email protected]
Office Phone: 585 245 5381
Office Hours: MWF 11-12
and by appointment
COURSE LOCATION: South Hall 241, 5-7:30 PM, Jan 17-May 10, 2006
This course examines the impact of different backgrounds and life experiences on
children from multicultural life circumstances through the reading of memoirs and
novels of childhood and youth and the viewing of movies on the educational
experiences of children and youth.
Admission to the Graduate School of the Ella Cline Shear School or permission of
the instructor.
This course infuses the constructivist approach to teaching and learning in which teacher
candidates use their prior knowledge and social contexts to interact and develop relevant
knowledge, skills and dispositions to become teachers committed to improve the lives of students
through education. This course is consistent with the following Geneseo core values:
1. Geneseo mission to develop socially responsible citizens with skills and values
important to the pursuit of an enriched life and success in the world; and
2. The School of Education mission to prepare future teachers to be reflective, critical
thinkers, adept at problem solving, and committed to the development of communities of
inquiry to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn the skills necessary for a
productive life and responsible citizenship.
Consistent with SUNY policies, regulations of the New York State Department of Education,
NAEYC standards, and with the School of Education Conceptual Framework, this course will
provide candidates the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, and dispositions pertinent to
the specific learner outcomes listed below.
Specifically, this course prepares preservice and inservice teachers to be sensitive to differences in
children’s learning and children’s needs due to differences in their backgrounds, personal and
social histories, associations, ethnicities, and gender identification as well as differences from
other sources.
Ralph Ellison. 1980. Invisible Man NY: Vintage.
Toni Morrison. 1970. The Bluest Eye. NY: Penguin Plume edition.
Mark Methabane, 1986. Kaffir Boy. NY. Free Press. OR Mark Mathabane. 1989.
Kaffir Boy in America. NY: Scribners. (or both for ambitious readers)
Anne Frank. 1997. The Diary of Anne Frank: The Definitive Edition NY: Bantam
Books. OR Elie Wiesel. 1960. Night. NY, Bantam Books. (or both for ambitious
Marjane Satrapi, 2003, 2005. Persepolis and Persepolis 2. NY: Pantheon.
Khaled Hosseini. 2003. The Kite Runner. NY: Riverhead Books.
Mark Haddon. 2003. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time .NY:
Vintage Books.
Peter Balakian. 1997. The Black Dog of Fate. NY: Broadway Books.
Henry Giroux. 2003. The Abandoned Generation: Democracy beyond the Culture
of Fear. NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
“To Sir with Love”
“Stand and Deliver”
“Bowling for Columbine”
“Dangerous Minds”
Morse, “Reflections on Sept. 11” in Books, Sue, ed. Invisible Children in the
Society and its Schools (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2003)
Henry A. Giroux. (1997) “Rewriting the discourse of racial identity: Towards a
pedagogy and politics of whiteness,” Harvard Educational Review. Cambridge:
67:2 (Summer), 285-321. (full text available at Proquest).
Mark A. Hicks. (2005). “Lessons from rental cars: The struggle to create seeing
communities.” Educational Studies: A Journal oft the American Educational
Studies Association 38:2 (Oct.). 120-153. (available on eres)
Plus other articles to be announced.
1. Three papers (30%; 10% each)
2. Class participation (which requires attendance) (10%)
3. Article review and report (20%)
4. Seminar leader (5%)
5. Reflective Autobiography (20%)
6. Final class session (exam) (15%)
Grading scale is based on percentage of total points earned:
Scale of final letter grades:
65% and below.
(Note: Minimum passing grade for graduate students is B-, in this case 80%)
I calculate all grades by a spreadsheet, rounding up from .5 and down from .4 on
each assignment. To calculate final grades, I weight and add percentages and
assign letter grades according to the chart above. Please consult me immediately
after receiving each graded assignment if you wish to discuss the grade. I will not
change grades if you do not discuss them with me right away after receiving the
assignment back. I do not write many comments on finals, nor do I return them,
since my questions are very general and something like them must eventually
appear again sometime. You are cordially invited to stop by my office to see your
final during the early weeks of the semester following the semester you are
enrolled. Please note: your participation grade counts for a hefty 10%. You will
need to be present in class, speak up, and take part in group work to earn these
points. Pop quizzes, surveys, and small assignments (if I give any) will count
towards your participation grade.
I calculate your participation grade in three ways. Everyone starts with 100 points.
a. Attendance (you can’t participate if you are not in class). The first week’s
absence can be excused (if you notify me of the reason). The second
week’s absence drops your points to 90, each absence after that drops your
points by an additional five points. Absences for sports activities
accompanied by an explanatory letter from your coach will not count
against you. Doctor’s excuses are required for absences due to illness.
b. Participation. If you are prepared and participate in discussions, you lose
no points; if you participate only sometimes, you lose five points; if you
rarely participate, you lose ten points; if you never participate (but you are
present), you lose fifteen points.
c. Surveys, quizzes, (or other small assignments) will be included in the
calculation depending on the number of such assignments that we do.
Please note: participation grades have a subjective element. I will have to use my
judgment in such calculations, but I will be fair and use the same system for
everyone. Surveys will not be graded per se, only counted. In general, the surveys
will tell me two things. (1) Whether you have read the materials and (2) whether
you have understood main points. This will help me to focus in class on things
that were not clear to you, rather than things that were clear. Your responses will
not be graded per se, only counted. You will be notified when surveys are up or
when new handouts are in the outbox by e-mail. (I will not use surveys in EDUC
488 unless it seems that people need an incentive to finish the assignments.)
Since this is an upper division course, writers of plagiarized papers will fail the
course. All plagiarized papers will be reported to the Dean of Students. Be sure to
document all sources carefully. (The definition of plagiarism and a description of
the procedure to be followed in cases of plagiarism are to be found in the
Undergraduate Bulletin, page 396 ff.) I do follow up on suspected cases of
Prepare Readings or movies for the date on which they are listed below to
All papers due in my office by 5 PM on the due date
Table of readings, Movies, and Assignments:
Class discussion and activities
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Introduction to the course; Questionnaire,
“How privileged are we?
Discussions Invisible Man, Giroux
Assign seminar dates
Chapter 6
Discussion: “To Sir with Love.” Giroux,
Chapter 1
Discussion: The Bluest Eye
Paper one
Giroux, Chapter 5
Discussion: “Reflection on Sept. 11”
Seminar 1
(Morse); Kaffir Boy or Kaffir Boy in
Discussion: Persepolis 1
Seminar 2
Giroux, Chapter 3
Discussion: Persepolis 2,
Seminar 3
Giroux, Chapter 7
Discussion: “Stand and Deliver” Giroux,
Seminar 4
Chapter 2
Spring break March 13-17 No Classes
Discussion: Anne Frank (Diary) or Elie
Paper two
Wiesel (Night)
Discussion: Balakian, The Black Dog of
Seminar 5
Discussion: “Bowling for Columbine”
Seminar 6
Giroux, Chapter 4
Discussion: The Kite Runner
Seminar 7
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
Week 13
Week 14
Discussion: “Dangerous Minds;” Giroux
Discussion: The Curious incident of the
Dog in the Night, wrap up and review
Study Days
Required readings,
assignments and
Buy books
Paper three
Seminar 8
Autobiography due May
Week 15
6:45-9:45 PM (I will try to reschedule for
5 PM but may not be able to do so)
Final Exam (final class)
Planned activity (final
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK for Graduate Education
State University of New York—Geneseo, Shear School of Education:
All graduate programs in education at Geneseo will prepare candidates to become
accomplished educators who can:
1. Link content, curriculum development, assessment, and pedagogy with the
latest developments in the field; enhance the profession of education.
2. Link theory to practice.
3. Connect home, school, and community in the practice of education; to
develop, define, and strengthen the profession of education.
4. Pursue advocacy and issues in education.
5. Understand the theory and implement the practice of multicultural
6. Interpret and implement the results of research in education in various
fields, design and carry out action research in the classroom or other lab or
clinical settings, and/or design and carry out ethnographic research in local
7. Engage in and reflect on clinical practice.
[The entire Graduate Conceptual Framework is in my outbox for EDUC 488,
as well as in the School of Education outbox.]
Intended Learning Outcomes for EDUC 488 linked to assessments and
Graduate Conceptual Framework:
Through taking EDUC 488 students will:
1. Enhance the profession of education by understanding the impact of
multicultural background and experiences on children. (GCF 1)
Assessments: Papers, discussions, seminars
2. Connect home, school, and community in the practice of education. (GCF
3) Assessments: Papers, discussions, seminars
3. Formulate the need for advocacy issues in education linked to
multicultural background of children. (GFC 4) Assessments: Papers,
discussions, seminars
4. Understand the theory of multicultural education though investigating the
background of children and youth from many cultures. (Grad CF 5)
Assessments: Papers, discussions, seminars
5. Become a reflective practitioner of education. Assessments: Papers,
discussions, seminars, autobiography
Graduate Conceptual
(1) (b) Enhance the
profession of education
Learning Outcomes for
EDUC 488
(1) Enhance the
profession of education
by understanding the
Papers, discussions,
seminars; article review
(2) Link [identity
formation] theory to
practice [by thinking
about the theory and
educational implications
of multicultural
(3) (a) Connect home,
school, and community in
the practice of education;
b. develop, define, and
strengthen the profession
of education.
(4) Pursue advocacy and
issues in education.
(5) (a) Understand the
theory of multicultural
(6) Interpret and
implement the results of
research in
[multicultural] education
impact of multicultural
background and
experiences on children.
(GCF 1b)
(2) Become a reflective
practitioner of education.
Assessments: Papers,
discussions, seminars,
(3) Connect home,
school, and community
in the practice of
education. (GCF 3a)
Papers, discussions,
(4) Formulate the need
for advocacy issues in
education linked to
multicultural background
of children. (GFC 4)
(5) Understand the theory
of multicultural
education though
investigating the
background of children
and youth from many
cultures. (Grad CF 5)
(1) Enhance the
profession of education
by understanding the
impact of multicultural
background and
experiences on children.
(GCF 6)
Papers, discussions,
seminars, article review
Papers, discussions,
seminars, article review
Papers, discussions,
seminars, article review
Brief Description of Assessments:
(for a full description of all assignments, see outbox for EDUC 488, plus paper copies)
1. Three papers, each comparing two texts, chosen from the readings
covered in the designated period (the weeks preceding the due date and
following the previous due date). Papers will cover a comparison and
contrast of two works on the following issues: (1) identity formation (2)
the influence of the child’s multicultural surroundings on the child’s
education; and (3) the educational implications of the works in question.
Minimum: five sources, including the texts in question. (4-6 pages)
2. One article review. You will find an article related to the readings or
movies, write a review of the article, discussing the question of identity
formation in children and youth and its educational implications, and
presenting your findings to the class (4-6 pages)
One educational autobiography (7-9 pages)
Your will act as seminar discussion leader for one week’s class,
providing a set of discussion questions and a short bibliography of sources
for the work under discussion, and coming prepared to lead a discussion in
a group (perhaps with another leader, depending on enrollment).
Class discussion (attendance required)
Participation in the final exam activity
I will use the outbox to distribute copies of powerpoints, overheads, and handouts
of various kinds. Whenever I place something new in the outbox, I will notify the
class by e-mail. The outbox will be organized by weeks, corresponding to the
syllabus. All assignments and other documents will be in the outbox. Outboxes
may be accessed at, then select Education, then
select jfmorse, then select EDUC 488. E-res (electronic reserve) can be accessed
through the Geneseo home page, then select College Libraries, then select E-res
on the top left bar.
DISCLAIMER STATEMENT: for National Accreditation
The Ella Cline Shear School of Education is seeking national accreditation for its
programs through the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher
Education [NCATE]. Part of the accreditation process includes review of samples
of teacher candidates' course work by professional societies and the NCATE
Board of Examiners. Therefore, some parts of your course work may be selected
and used as an example to demonstrate that the learning outcomes are being
addressed and achieved in this course.
Please be advised that to ensure your privacy, names will be removed from the
selected work. If you do not wish to participate in this process, please state your
intent in writing by Friday of the first week of the semester
Students who have documented special needs or disabilities that may affect their
ability to access information and or material presented in this course are
encouraged to contact Tabitha Buggie-Hunt, Office of Disability Services at 2455112.
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