This course gives students the opportunity to explore historical and contemporary issues in education. The course engages students in observations, interactions, and analyses of critical and contemporary educational issues. Students will investigate factors influencing the social and political contexts of educational settings in Georgia and the United States. Students will examine the teaching profession from multiple vantage points both within and outside school. Against this backdrop, students will reflect on and interpret the meaning of education and schooling in a diverse culture and examine the moral and ethical responsibilities of teaching in a democracy.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Students will investigate and describe contemporary schools and the interplay of school and society via selected social, historical, political, economic, philosophical, and cultural issues that influence those schools.
- Students will discover, explore, and describe current issues and trends in schools (e.g., bullying, curriculum mandates, vouchers, privatization, testing and evaluation, federal and state policy, reform initiatives, standards, and changes in curriculum) using disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields and the lenses of analysis, critique, and interpretation.
- Students will analyze their legal, ethical, and professional responsibilities as future teachers.
- Students will explore their core values and reflect on how their values influence their beliefs about “good” teaching and schooling in democratic contexts.
- Students will develop and refine a philosophy of teaching for contemporary schools by exploring who they are as a potential teacher (e.g., examining their own agendas and prejudices as they relate teaching and learning) and what dispositions they have for teaching diverse students in current Georgia and U.S. school contexts.
- Students will analyze the implications, benefits, and challenges concerning the use of technology in contemporary Georgia and U.S. classrooms.
Topics Addressed in the Course
- History of American Education
- Development and understanding of educational theories (as it relates to philosophies)
- Developing an educational/teaching philosophy
- Professionalism in Education
- Legal and Ethical Issues (important legal cases that have influenced education Brown v Bd of Education)
- What is a Teacher
- Different Types of School Choices and Challenges
- Financing and governance of America’s schools
- Curriculum, Standards, and Testing
- Student Life in School and Home
- Professional Organizations
- Comparison of American Education to other nations in terms of globalization
- Ethics Assignment
- Writing a philosophy
- Contemporary Issues Assignment