ED253 Spring 2021 Syllabus

…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 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm  (Synchronous Web/online)

Professor David Shutkin, Ph.D.

Office Hours (online)

M/W 3:30pm-4:30pm
T/R 2:00pm-4:00pm

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.

And by appointment

ED253 Outcomes, Goals, & Assessments Matrix

Department of Education & School Psychology learning outcomes:

I. Contexts

  • I-1. Understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, competing perspectives and the structure of the disciplines taught.
  • I-3. Plans instruction based on knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.
  • I-4. Creates a learning environment of respect and rapport.

IV. Person

  • IV-13. Reflects on professional practices.
  • IV-14. Fosters relationships with colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community.
  • IV-15. Grows and develops professionally.

Core Curriculum | Jesuit Heritage:

  1. Issues in Social Justice
  • a. Communicates understanding of and respect for differences between individuals and across cultures.
  • b. Understands the historical/structural conditions that have given rise to injustice
  • c. Recognizes an injustice and articulates the consequences of that injustice

Core Curriculum | Written Expression

Communicate skillfully in multiple forms of expression

  1. Articulate an argument (Select and develop a manageable topic, given audience, purpose, and length requirements; and develop and support an argument appropriate to context, audience, and purpose)
  2. Integrate sources (locate, engage with, and integrate textual sources)
  3. Document sources ethically (formulate citations and avoid plagiarism)
  4. Control surface features of writing (use language that generally conveys meaning to readers with clarity, although writing may include some errors.)

John Carroll Academic Learning Goals| John Carroll University graduates will be able to:

  • 2. Develop habits of critical analysis and aesthetic appreciation
  • 4. Communicate skillfully in multiple forms of expression
  • 5. Act competently in a global and diverse world
  • 6. Understand and promote social justice

Ohio Standards For The Teaching Profession

  • 1.1 Teachers display knowledge of how students learn and of the developmental characteristics of age groups.
  • 1.4 Teachers model respect for students’ diverse cultures, language skills and experiences.
  • 1.5 Teachers recognize characteristics of gifted students, students with disabilities and at-risk students in order to assist in appropriate identification, instruction and intervention.
  • 6.1 Teachers communicate clearly and effectively.
  • 6.3 Teachers collaborate effectively with other teachers, administrators and school and district staff.
  • 6.4 Teachers collaborate effectively with the local community and community agencies, when and where appropriate, to promote a positive environment for student learning.
  • 7.1 Teachers understand, uphold and follow professional ethics, policies and legal codes of professional conduct.
  • 7.3 Teachers are agents of change who seek opportunities to positively impact teaching quality, school improvements and student achievement.


For ED253, School and Society, there are four primary assignments including a final course Learning ExperiencesCurrent ConnectionsHistory of the Present timeline, and a Service Learning project.

All assignments are assessed using the university’s 4 point grading scale described in the second table below. Each assignment is weighted relative to the other assignments.  For example, a student earning a 4.0 on the WebLog, with a weighted value of 4 points, will receive 16 grade points.  Whereas, a student earning a 3.0 on the final Present essay, with a weighted value of 5 points, will receive 15 grade points. Your grade is determined by adding up all earned grade points and dividing that number by 17, the total number of weighted points available.

History of the Present | What could possibly be the significance of the study of educational foundations to teachers responsible for educating our nation’s students?  This semester, students in ED253 will produce a “history of the present” timeline based on their research of a pressing issue germane to the field of education studies.  A history of the present is less concerned with understanding the past than with developing a critical understanding of the present. A history of the present endeavors to achieve this understanding by disclosing the historical, economic, political and/or cultural circumstances through which a current issue has emerged and by identifying those circumstances upon which that issue still depends. Follow this link for more information.  Follow this link for more information.

Current Connections | Throughout the semester, we will engage in many small group discussions and essay writing. One of these regular discussions will focus on connections between current events in the field of education and the foundational topics and issues we are reading about and discussing in class. This project also entails writing brief essays to synthesize assigned reading with your selection of a recently published newspaper or magazine articles. Follow this link for more information.

Service Reflection & Analysis | ED253 includes mandatory service to the greater Cleveland community.  Throughout the semester, you will engage in some type of weekly educational service of your choosing.  The goal for the service learning experience is to synthesize your service experiences with our studies of foundational issues in the field of education. To realize this goal, in-class presentations are combined with an essay writing assignment.  Follow this link for more information.

Learning Experiences | Throughout the semester, we will engage in many small group discussions and a variety other types of learning experiences.  While I will lead many, so you will have opportunities to design and lead experiences as well. The ED253 class is divided into four (4) learning communities responsible for planning and engaging the whole class in three (3) learning experiences (~30 minutes) based on the assigned reading(s) for that week. Readings will be assigned from the selection of the eReadings. The Schedule for these learning experiences is available under the Learning Communities tab on the ED253 Course website.  Follow this link for more information.


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)

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.

AOutstanding scholarship. 4 quality points.
A-3.7 quality points.
B+3.3 quality points.
BSuperior work. 3 quality points.
B-2.7 quality points.
C+2.3 quality points.
CAverage. 2 quality points.
C-1.7 quality points.
D+1.3 quality points.
DLowest passing quality. 1 quality point.
FFailure. No quality points.

Syllabus Statement on Accessibility, Inclusion, Harassment and Bias

John Carroll University is committed to fostering an equitable and accessible learning and working environment, based upon open communication, mutual respect, and ethical values consistent with our Jesuit and Catholic tradition. We express this commitment in the following policies and procedures:

In accordance with federal law, if you have a documented disability you may request accommodations from Student Accessibility Services (SAS). For more information go to the accessibility page or you may contact the office directly at sas@jcu.edu or 216.397.4967. Please keep in mind that accommodations are not retroactive so it is best to register at the beginning of each semester.  Only accommodations approved by SAS will be recognized in the classroom.  Please contact SAS if you have further questions.

If you have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or misconduct based upon gender/sex/sexual orientation, and you share this with a faculty or staff member, that person must notify the Title IX Coordinator (TitleIX@jcu.edu or (216) 397-1559), who will discuss options with you. In most cases, communicating with the Title IX Coordinator does not automatically trigger a formal investigation. Members of the University community may communicate with the Title IX Coordinator in order to get more information and seek supportive measures without filing a formal complaint. 

For more information about your options and resources in a Title IX matter, please go to the Title IX page, where you can file an online report. An option to report anonymously is available. Members of the University community are encouraged to review the University’s Sexual Harassment & Interpersonal Violence Policy, as well as the Resolution Process & Grievance Process for Title IX Sexual Harassment.

If you have experienced bias or discrimination based on race, age, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, ethnic or national origin, disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or any factor protected by law, you are encouraged to report this via the Bias Reporting System

For more information about the University’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, please visit the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Division home page


Hinchey, P. and P. Konkol (2018). Getting to where we meant to be : working toward the educational world we imagine/d.Chapter 2: What Are Schools For, Anyway? Gorham, Maine : Myers Education Press. pp. 20-51.

Janak, E. 2019.  The Cultural and Social Foundations of Education. Chapter 4: Education in the Progressive Period (ca. 1890s–1920s). Switzerland: Palgrave Pivot. pp. 43-63.

Koretz, D. 2017. The testing charade: pretending to make schools better. Chapter 7, Test Prep. pp. 93-118. Chicago; London: The University of Chicago Press.

Freire, P. 1972. The banking concept of education. In A. S. Canestrari & B. A. Marlowe (Eds.), Education foundations: An anthology of critical readings (3rd ed., pp. 103-115). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Mallett, C. (2016). The School-to-Prison Pipeline: A Critical Review of the Punitive Paradigm Shift. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal33(1), 15–24.

Dewey, J. 1897. My pedagogic creed. In A. R. Sadovnik, P. W. Cookson Jr., S. F. Semel, & R. W. Coughlan (Eds.), Exploring education: An introduction to the foundations of education (5th ed., pp. 215-218). New York, NY: Routledge.

Stancil, W. 2018. The Radical Supreme Court Decision That America Forgot. The Atlantic. 29 May 2018. LC2

Meyer, E. 2007. “But I’m Not Gay”: What Straight Teachers Need to Know about Queer Theory. In N. Rodriquez & W. Pinar (Eds.), Queering Straight Teachers: Discourse and Identity in Education. (pp. 15-32). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Greene, K. & Anyon, J. 2010 Urban School Reform, Family Support, and Student Achievement, Reading & Writing Quarterly, 26:3, 223-236.

Blakely, J. 2017, 17 April. How School Choice Turns Education into a Commodity. The Atlantic. Retrieved: 28 December 2018.

Ladson-Billings, G. 1995. But that’s just good teaching! The case for culturally relevant pedagogy. In E. Blair & Y. Medina (Eds.), The social foundations reader: Critical essays on teaching, learning and leading in the 21st century (pp. 285-292). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Spring, Joel 2013. Deculturalization and the Struggle for Equality. Chapter 2: Native Americans: Deculturalization. Schooling, and Globalization. New York: McGraw Hill.pp. 21-40.

Greene, M. 1978. Wide-awakeness and the moral life. In A. R. Sadovnik, P. W. Cookson Jr., S. F. Semel, & R. W. Coughlan (Eds.), Exploring education: An introduction to the foundations of education (5th ed., pp. 218-224). New York, NY: Routledge.