2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Examining Education: A Journey Through the Personal to the Pedagogical


Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 quarters

Leslie Flemmer teacher education, critical pedagogy
Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies or careers in
teaching, social science research, and educational policy.

The current system of public education is under profound national debate. What is at the heart of those debates? What creates such political, social and cultural differences? What should the future of education look like? Should education continue to be a universal good (free and open to all), a personal commodity (private and exclusive), or a hybrid of reforms? What is the role of teachers and students in this dynamic tension? Finally, what role does identity formation among students and teachers have to do with any of this? One common denominator among U.S. citizens is our access to and experience with free and compulsory K-12 public education that serves the wealthiest citizens to the poorest among us. And yet, that very system that has served so many for so long is frequently attacked by politicians, business leaders, the media, and even individuals like you and me. At the heart of our nation’s debate about public education and “effective” teaching practices are the ideological differences about its purpose and intent.

In winter quarter, we will continue to ask questions: Who are our students? Why should they care about school? How do teachers create a culturally responsive, democratic learning community? What approaches do teachers take to create and implement student-centered curriculum and assessments? To answer these questions, we will build upon educational frameworks such as funds of knowledge, critical pedagogy, and constructivist teaching and include an examination of practical, historical inquiry-based methodology and curriculum. The first part of winter program will be designed to prepare students to research, teach and assess social studies content around inquiry-based approaches. Students will explore the State of Washington’s social science standards, the NCSS standards, and texts included Doing History: Investigating With Children In The Elementary And Middle Schools (Levstik & Barton; 2005) and A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (Takaki; 2008).

School field experience will continue winter quarter with site visits to local public schools. These classroom experiences will serve to help inform students’ thinking as they engage in the culminating project that will involve reading, research and participation in Problem Based Learning (PBL). Ultimately, this approach will contrast teacher-centered, top/down, high stakes testing and content standards with learning and knowledge construction that comes from purposeful, active student inquiry. 

Online Learning
No Required Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
November 30th, 2011 Description has been updated to reflect winter specific content.
July 8th, 2011 New offering has been added.