ED253 Home

…if we are to reconstruct our present so that it may yield better futures, we first need a grip on the materials out of which our present has been constructed in the past. –
Colin Koopman, 2013

Welcome to ED253 School & Society 

Foundations of education examined through historical, sociological, and philosophical perspectives to provide a comprehensive understanding of American education and related educational issues in a diverse society. (Pre-requisite for formal admission to teacher education).

ED253-1 | Tuesday/Thursday 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

This course is meeting in person

Classroom | OC211 

Professor David Shutkin, Ph.D.

Office Hours

  • Tuesdays / Thursdays | 10:00am-12:00pm,
  • Thursdays | 3:30pm-5:30pm
  • And by appointment

Course Website |  https://dshutkin253.education/

Required eReadings

Selected readings available on eReserve  pw=253edstudies

Course Learning Goals

  1. To develop an understanding of the historical and contemporary social and political contexts in which schooling occurs, including:
    • The complex relationships between school and society;
    • The philosophical and policy debates about the purposes and practices of education.
  2. To develop a socially, politically, and morally conscious stance towards schooling that enables students to act in their classrooms, schools, and communities, as informed advocates for democratic decision-making and just social relations.
  3. To develop the knowledge and skills to participate in national and international educational discourse regarding education policy.
  4. To develop a critical awareness of education and schooling vis-à-vis development and globalization.
  5. To develop a clearer understanding of, and commitment to, personal values related to the historical, social, and cultural contexts of schooling.
  6. To improve reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, all of which are essential for both a professional career as a teacher and effective advocacy for justice as a citizen.



All assignments are required. I encourage you to discuss your assignments and your grades with me while the course is in progress.

In each assignment, I am looking for evidence of thoughtful engagement and reflection on course readings, lectures, workshops and discussions. I invite you to carefully consult the assignment descriptions and assessment rubrics that I have developed to guide your work and to support your understanding of the expectations for each assignment.

Attendance | Attendance at every class is required. In the event that you are unable to attend class for a substantive reason, please contact me PRIOR to that class to arrange an excused absence. A pattern of unexcused absences will result in a pattern of reduced FINAL grades. (One grade for each unexcused absence, i.e. from A to B)

For the Fall 2021 semester, class will be in-person. Based on recent information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), if you are vaccinated and properly wearing a mask while in class it is improbable (though not impossible) that you will contract the COVID-19 virus.

Still, this is a pandemic and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) assessment of the situation could change. Until it does, everyone is expected to wear a mask and to meet in our classroom.

If you refuse to wear a mask properly, I will insist that you leave the classroom immediately.

Late Assignments | Submitting assignments after the assigned due date will reduce the grade for that assignment by one letter (i.e. from A to B). However, PRIOR to due dates alternative arrangements can be made for late submissions. A final grade of “I” (incomplete) may be awarded upon request and pending approval.

Academic Honesty | I cannot stress enough the significance of ALWAYS giving credit where credit is due.In all that you do, you are expected to cite any and all resources that you use in the construction of any and all work. Print sources as well as electronic media must be cited. Any work submitted for evaluation must either be original work or cited work. Plagiarism is absolutely unacceptable. The University’s policy regarding academic honesty as stated in the John Carroll University Undergraduate Bulletin will be adhered to.

Assessment Rubric | For each assignment, I have designed a unique assessment rubric. I invite you to visit the both the Assignment and Assessment drop down menus above and to consult each assignment and rubric. Additionally, from the Assessment menu, there is a link to the Educational Foundations Grade Sheet for your section. On this page, you will find your name with a password protected link to your assessment grade sheet where you can review the numerical grades you’ve earned for each assignment.

Grading System | Students are evaluated by their understanding of substantive information, insight regarding the synthesis and transformation of this information into knowledge, capacity to apply this knowledge to new situations, and the ability to communicate this knowledge.  I use the John Carroll University four (4) point grading scale.  In my interpretation of this scale, the number adjacent to the letter grade indicates the highest number possible for that letter grade.  For example, while a 3.7 is an A-, an assessment earning 3.7001 grade points and above is an A.

A Outstanding scholarship. 4 quality points.
A- 3.7 quality points.
B+ 3.3 quality points.
B Superior work. 3 quality points.
B- 2.7 quality points.
C+ 2.3 quality points.
C Average. 2 quality points.
C- 1.7 quality points.
D+ 1.3 quality points.
D Lowest passing quality. 1 quality point.
F Failure. No quality points.

ED253 Course Outcomes, Goals, & Assessments Matrix

Goals of Education Studies


  • Use historical, philosophical, and cultural concepts and theories developed within the humanities and the social sciences to:
  • Examine, understand, and explain education within different contexts; and
  • Analyze the intent, meaning, and effects of educational institutions, including schools.


  • Examine and explain education in light of value orientations;
  • Understand normative and ethical behavior in educational development;
  • Recognize the presence of normative influences in educational thought and practice;
  • Probe the nature of assumptions about education and schooling;
  • Examine the relation of policy analysis to values and the extent to which educational policymaking reflects values; and
  • Develop value positions regarding education on the basis of critical study and reflection.


  • Employ normative interpretations to develop inquiry skills;
  • Question educational assumptions and arrangements;
  • Identify contradictions and inconsistencies among social and educational values, policies, and practices;
  • Employ democratic values to assess educational beliefs, policies, and practices in light of their origins, influences, and consequences;
  • Examine,understand, and explain educational proposals, arrangements, and practices;
  • Develop a disciplined sense of policy-oriented educational responsibility; and
  • Develop an awareness of education and schooling in light of their complex relations to culture.