EDF 681 - Morehead State University

Class Syllabus: EDF 681: Advanced Seminar in Contemporary Educational Thought:
Critical Pedagogy
Fall 2013
Dept. of Elementary, Reading, & Special Education
Instructor: Dr. Wayne Willis
Office: Ginger Hall 503A
Phone: 783-2261
Email: [email protected]
Internet: Classwork will be done online, and you will be expected to logon everyday.
Purpose: To engage students in careful reflections upon the educational thought of radical
school critics from the left end of the political spectrum.
Introduction: As an advanced graduate seminar, this course would traditionally consist of
reading assigned articles and coming together for discussion. Such seminars generally do not
include tests, and grades are based upon a research paper. This Internet version will include
traditional seminar reading and writing activities, but discussion will take place online through
Students who enroll should have Internet access at more than one location, so that if one system
is down, they can participate from another site. Prerequisite technology competencies include
use of email, ability to browse the web, ability to use Blackboard class functions. Students who
have technical difficulties may contact the Blackboard Helpdesk at 1-866-590-9239. Student
contributions to discussions will be submitted through Blackboard discussion functions. Formal
papers will be submitted to the appropriate discussion board as Word readable attachments
(.doc). See page 4 of this document for more details on technology requirements.
For this semester, the seminar topic will be the critical pedagogy movement in educational
Freire, Paulo. Teachers As Cultural Workers: Letters to Those Who Dare Teach With New
Commentary by Peter McLaren, Joe L. Kincheloe, and Shirley Steinberg Expanded Edition.
Kincheloe, Joe L. Critical Pedagogy Primer.
Martin, Jane Roland. Education Reconfigured: Culture, Encounter, and Change.
1. WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS - Read weekly assignments, write responses to the readings, and
participate in online discussion. The student should make a minimum of four submissions per
assignment to the Blackboard discussion board.
A. The first will be at least 500 words in direct response to the readings.. Please include
in the first line of your submission “RESPONSE TO BOOK.”
B. The second series of responses will be at least 500 words in response to other
students’ writings. The idea here is NOT to submit a single 500-word response, but to
have an ongoing discussion with your classmates about the readings (at least three
submissions). The total of your contributions should be at least 500 words. (Your
instructor does count these.)
Both initial and followup responses will be due by 11:00 p.m. on the day designated on the
attached calendar.
2. BOOK REVIEW - Read a book on the supplemental reading list and write a 2000 - 3000
word response it. The response should identify the central themes of the book, evaluate the
author's arguments in light of your other readings this semester and experience of life, and
explain how they might be significant for teachers’ understandings of education. This should not
be a chapter by chapter summary, but a description, analysis, and evaluation of main arguments
and themes. This is a formal writing assignment that should reflect not only the student’s own
thinking but his/her very best writing and editing skills as well. The student will be sharing his
his/her paper with the class (as an attachment on the designated Blackboard forum) and should
write at a level appropriate to that audience. (No more than one student may use the same
book, therefore students should post their request to the appropriate discussion board as
soon as they decide.)
*Please note: This is not a class where students can work at their own pace. Work must be
submitted when due.
Point distribution:
Chapter Discussion Total
Book review
Grade Scale:
468 - 520
416 - 467
364 - 415
312- 363
320 points (20 points per weekly assignment)
200 points
Late Work:
All discussion assignments are due at 11:00 p.m. on the designated day. Two points will
be deducted for submissions afte 11:00 p.m. but within 24 hours. For submissions 24 –
48 hours late a 5 point deduction will be assessed. After that, no credit will be given.
For a book review submitted late, there will be a whole letter grade deduction for each
day it is late.
If, due to illness or emergency, a student cannot submit work by the due date and time,
he/she should notify the instructor ASAP, preferably ahead of time. For an excused delay,
an extended deadline will be assigned.
Books for Book Review Assignment
No more than one student may pick the same book. Put your request on the appropriate
Blackboard Discussion Board as soon as you decide – but no later than September 12th.
Abbs, Peter. Against the Flow: The Arts, Postmodern Culture and Education
Apple, Michael. Official Knowledge: Democratic Education in a Conservative Age
Bellah, Robert. Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life
Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement With Everyday Life
Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
Colby, Anne & William Damon. Some Do Care: Contemporary Lives of Moral Commitment
Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living
Gatto, John Taylor, A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling
Greene, Maxine. Releasing the Imagination
Greene, Maxine. Teaching as a Performing Art
Intrator, Sam M. Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J.
Kohn, Alfie. The Schools Our Children Deserve : Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and
"Tougher Standards"
Kushner, Harold. Living a Life That Matters: Resolving the Conflict Between Conscience and
Newman, Michael. Teaching Defiance: Stories and Strategies for Activist Educators. A Book
Written in Wartime
Noddings, Nel. The Challenge to Care in Schools
Noddings, Nel. Educating Moral People: A Caring Alternative to Character Education
Nel Noddings. Happiness and Education
Palmer, Parker J. A Hidden Wholeness : The Journey Toward an Undivided Life
Palmer, Parker J. Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
Seymour, Mike (Editor) Educating For Humanity: Rethinking the Purposes of Education
Thompson, C. Michael. The Congruent Life : Following the Inward Path to Fulfilling Work and
Inspired Leadership (Paperback)
Vanier, Jean. Happiness: A Guide to a Good Life, Aristotle for the New Century
Academic Honesty
Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism or helping others to commit these acts will not be tolerated.
Academic dishonesty will result in severe disciplinary action including, but not limited to, failure
of the student assessment item or course, and/ or dismissal from MSU. If you are not sure what
constitutes academic dishonesty, read the Eagle: Student Handbook or ask your instructor. An
example of plagiarism is copying information from the internet when appropriate credit is not
given. The policy is located at http://moreheadst.edu/units/studentlife/handbook/academicdishonesty.html
ADA Statement:
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): In compliance with the ADA, all students with a
documented disability are entitled to reasonable accommodations and services to support their
academic success and safety. Though a request for services may be made at any time, services are
best applied when they are requested at or before the start of the semester. To receive
accommodations and services the student should immediately contact the Disability Services
Coordinator in room 204-E, ADUC, 606-783-5188, www.moreheadstate.edu/disability/ .
Campus Safety Statement:
Emergency response information will be discussed in class. Candidates should familiarize
themselves with the nearest exit routes in the event evacuation becomes necessary and should
notify their instructors at the beginning of the semester if they have special needs or will require
assistance during an emergency evacuation. Candidates should familiarize themselves with
emergency response protocols at www.moreheadstate.edu/emergency.
Internet Learning Skills and Technology Requirements:
You are required to possess basic computer and internet skills and to have daily access to a
computer possessing specific technical requirements so that you can communicate with me,
access the Blackboard course site, and retrieve readings on electronic reserve. If you expect to
well in the course, you will also need the skills associated with successful online learning. These
skills include:
1. Technology Skills. You must have basic computer skills and be proficient in using word
processing software to create documents and manage files on a personal computer. You
must be proficient in sending emails, because you will be communicating with me. You
must be proficient in MSU Blackboard and using all features of the Blackboard 9.1
course platform, because your course announcements, syllabus, and assignments will be
posted there. We will spend much of our Monday on-line class meetings using
Blackboard Collaborate. You must become familiar with its use, and have a camera on
your computer. Finally, you must be proficient in accessing the MSU library's electronic
reserves and databases to retrieve articles in .pdf format using Adobe Acrobat Reader, if
your assignments require you to analyze and write about them.
2. Technology Requirements. You must have daily access to a personal computer that meets the
technology requirements for this course. You can get these requirements by contacting IT
at [email protected] . The MSU Distance Learning home page also has
student support for help with using Blackboard at
http://help.blackboard.com/student/index.htm. It is best to use Internet Explorer as your
3. Online Learning Skills. You should be a self-motivated and self-disciplined person who is
able to carefully read instructions, communicate through writing, take the initiative if
problems arise, commit as much time per week to this online course as you would in an
on-site course, accept analytical thinking as part of the learning process, and complete
your assignments on time.
Community Engagement: A Light to and from the Mountains
The Professional Education Unit at Morehead State University delivers rigorous, high quality
programs that prepare professionals informed by best national and international scholarship,
plus research, literature, and experiences specific to Appalachia – preparing professionals to
improve the schools, quality of life, and the communities in which they live and serve. This
statement is not only the strategic mission for the College, but it also incorporates the conceptual
framework that guides all our activities.
Conceptual Framework Outcomes:
The Unit and the faculty within individual programs assess the degree to which its graduates:
a. Master the content knowledge, professional and the twenty first century skills needed to
make an optimal contribution to “whole” student learning in educational settings
b. Are competent in the collection and use of data to inform decision- making and to
demonstrate accountability for student learning.
c. Demonstrate professional dispositions.
d. Are culturally competent and understand the regions from which they have come utilizing
knowledge and experiences to effectively “bridge the gaps” (economic, achievement, and
geographic) ensuring optimal learning for all students.
e. Engage in authentic field experiences in collaboration with committed school based
partners and are empowered to improve the quality of education throughout this region
and beyond.
Kentucky Teacher Standards: While an introductory course of this nature will contribute indirectly
to all of Kentucky’s Teacher Standards, it most heavily focuses on issues related to:
Standard #2 – The teacher designs and plans instruction.
Standard #3 – The teacher creates and maintains learning climate.
Standard #4 – The teacher implements and manages instruction.
Standard #8 – Collaborates with colleagues/parents/other.
EPSB Themes
Diversity: This course will explore the concept of diversity in relation to exceptional children,
gender, culture, race and socio-economic status.
Assessment: This course will introduce the idea of assessment and evaluation.
Literacy/Reading:This course will introduce the concept of literacy, examine various definitions
of literacy, and relate it to our liberal democratic republic.
Closing the Achievement Gap:This course will introduce the idea that there is an achievement
gap between various groups in America. This gap, its causes and possible solutions will be
examined from a historical perspective.
EDF 681 Fall 2013
Course Assignment Calendar
Reading Assignments
Freire pp. vii - 60
Freire pp. 61 - 110
Freire pp. 111 - 162
Freire pp. 163-177
Kincheloe: Preface, Ch. 1
Kincheloe: Ch. 2
Kincheloe: Ch. 3 - 4
Kincheloe: Ch. 5
Martin: Intro – Ch. 1
Martin: Ch. 2 - 3
Martin: Chs. 4
Martin: Ch. 5
Martin: Ch. 6
Martin: Ch. 7
Martin: Ch. 8
Martin: Ch. 9
Sept. 3
Nov. 4
Other Assignments
Book Selection Due Sept. 12
Book Review Due Dec. 6th**
*All assignments are due at 11:00 p.m. on the designated day. Two points will be deducted for
submissions afte 11:00 p.m. but within 24 hours. For submissions 24 – 48 hours late a 5
point deduction will be assessed. After that, no credit will be given.
**For a book review submitted late, there will be a whole letter grade deduction for each day it is