…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 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm  Administration Building 49

ED253-51 | Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 am – 10:45 am O’Malley Center 211

Professor David Shutkin, Ph.D.

Office hours

Tuesday/Thursday 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm – 4 pm
And by appointment

Required Text

Spring, Joel (2018) American Education. 18th Edition. New York : Routledge.

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.

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.

*ED253 2010 Syllabus*