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The major assignments for this course are listed below:

1. Daily Assignments: a daily list of what is due. Bulleted items are due at the start of class on the date immediately above the bullet list.

2. Introduce Yourself

3. Unit #1:Education and Identity

In our first unit, we will read a series of personal narratives about educational moments that shaped the lives of a range of individuals. These texts will serve as models of the kind of essay you will write for your first paper: a narrative about you that shows how a specific moment in your education shaped you into the person you are today, for better or for worse.

4. Unit #2: "The 'Banking' Concept of Education"

In this unit, we will read Paulo Freire's "The 'Banking' Concept of Education," a piece of pedagogical theory that discusses how certain teaching methods are designed to program students to not think in ways that could potentially upset the current social power structure. You will use his ideas as an interpretive lens/theory through which you can analyze a past educator and render a judgment on their effectiveness as a teacher. Many academic courses ask you to use someone's theory about a concept to analyze a text or a cultural practice: you have to use the beliefs and theories of someone else to build your interpretation. We will learn to document more complicated sources and continue to refine our abilities to read, annotate, analyze, and write about texts, as well as further develop our abilities to properly document our sources.

5. Unit 3: Defining Education

In this unit, we will each create our own term that identifies a group or behavior associated with education to help understand how schools impact the people they are supposed to serve. We will start by reading two essays in which the writers coin a term to describe a specific group or behavior related to education. By creating these terms and exploring the problems related to the group or behavior in education, they are inviting folks to understand the impact on people and to shift perceptions. After reading and discussing each essay, you will need to write an in-class essay (with a preprepared outline created by you) in which you coin your own term to describe a school-related group or behavior in order to explain a positive or negative aspect of education.

  • In-Class Essay Topic
  • Major readings: Limbo: Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams by Alfred Lubrano and Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen

6. Unit #4: Revamping Education

In our final unit, you have a choice: you can either identify and offer a solution to an educational problem, or you can identify a group, individual, or event in history that should be reexamined to avoid "herofication." You will need to use extensive academic research through our college's library system and our database collection to support your claims, and you will need to learn to find sources and evaluate what sources are worth including or rejecting as part of your project. Each of you will need to prepare an annotated bibliography that summarizes what your sources actually say, and you will give a two-minute presentation outlining your thesis about your topic for the class prior to writing the paper so that people can provide feedback that helps you shape the paper into a more focused argument.

7. Major Paper Rewrite Option: Students can opt to rewrite their first paper for an entirely new grade, but the changes need to be more than superficial.

8. Final Exam: There isn't a final exam in this course, so no worries.








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