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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Educational Theory and Policy (EDTHP)

EDTHP 115A (GS;US) Competing Rights: Issues in American Education (3) An examination of educational issues relevant to democratic citizenship; emphasis is on understanding the relationship among politics, schools, and society.

EDTHP 115A Competing Rights: Issues in American Education (3)
(GS;US)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

This course offers students a chance to practice solving skills necessary for active and responsible citizenship. Because the course requires students to engage in detailed analysis of contested issues, students will: acquire information about the history and governance of public schools; develop an understanding of ideologies underlying existing schools and proposed reforms; and, as a result, be better equipped to make informed choices as voters. Major topics include curriculum design; school accountability; education of minority populations; the conflict between students' rights and the need of a school to maintain order; and the teaching of values.

The course will require extensive reading, discussion (in-class and/or on-line), writing, and field research, to include such activities as interviewing teachers and politicians, or attending a school board meeting. Readings may include editorials, proposed legislation, court decisions, chapters from texts, essays and scholarly articles, and material from web sites of interested organizations (such as the National Education Association, the Christian Coalition, or the American Civil Liberties Union). After readings, analysis and discussion, students will prepare and defend a position on each issue, either individually or in groups, formally or informally, in speech or in writing. Students will be graded on their ability to support a particular stance with credible evidence, and on their ability to articulate the ideology underpinning a stance. Therefore, the ability to identify credibility of sources is inherent to success in the course.

In general, this course draws upon concepts and information from history, political science, economics and philosophy as well as from education. As a General Education course, it seeks to help students broaden their perspective on social issues; to offer them practice in informed decision-making; and to understand and accept the responsibilities of active citizenship. The course might be particularly useful to social science majors because it will reveal interdisciplinary connections, while it will also be useful to the wider student body as a form of civic education.


General Education: GS
Diversity: US
Bachelor of Arts: Social and Behavioral Science
Effective: Spring 2006

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.