[Mathmajors] New Course -- EDUC 310 (fwd)
miller at math.washington.edu
Wed Feb 14 14:47:53 PST 2007
Education 310 Spring Quarter of 2007 will consist of a critical inquiry into a
deceptively simple question: why do some people do better than others in
We will approach this question from several perspectives. We have to unpack ?do
better,? for starters. What are the various meanings of ?do better?? What are
the various ways to measure doing ?better??
Moreover, doing ?better? implies difference. You get 100 on a test. I get 98 on
a test. There?s a difference in our performance, but probably not one we will
say really makes a difference. On the other hand, if we look at a series of
test scores and find that just about all of the lower-class economically poor
students score significantly lower than just about all of the higher-class
wealthy students, than we might say that that?s a difference that does make a
difference to us ? a difference that we find unacceptable. So we have to sort
out, for each of us, differences that are acceptable, and differences that are
not acceptable. Here we will focus on some of the major clumps of difference in
terms of gender; social class; race and ethnicity, disability,among others.
Next, we will examine some of the major kinds of explanations that have been
put forth by educators, sociologists, and other researchers in response to the
?why do some people do better than others in school?? question and the notion
of difference. Some of our readings will focus on perspectives of poverty and
the culture of poverty; others on culture and socialization; still others on
race and ethnicity and gender factors; still others on disabilities; still
others on expectations.
The second half of the course will focus on the ways various educators have
responded to the ?why do some people do better than others in school??
question. Guests as part of our critical inquiry will include two school
superintendents, a veteran high school teacher, and university faculty and
administrators who have worked closely with schools. There will be lots of
give-and-take during each of these several presentation/discussion sessions.
(*Note to advisers: the following paragraph is tentative -- I 'm working on the
logistics as we speak. If I can't get logistics worked out by Feb 16 I won't
have students do school visits. It's a complicated business.)
Each course participant will visit a local school. Visits won?t be solo. You?ll
be paired with one of the principal interns in the College of Education?s
Danforth Educational Leadership Program. Visits will take place during a week
in mid-May. We will develop in advance questions and topics to help us get a
sense of what to look for during the visit. Visits will constitute one of our
Grades will be based on short summary/reflection papers derived from the
readings plus a summary/synthesis paper reflecting on the whole.
Research Professor of Education
M213 Miller Hall Box 353600
College of Education
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
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