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ED 629 Critical Reflections Seminar
Wilson, Catherine

Mission Statement: The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University is to provide leadership and directions to Park University's graduate and professional programs to assure that they are specialized, scholarly, innovative, and designed to educate students to be creative, independent, and lifelong learners within the context of a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.


ED 629 Critical Reflections Seminar  


U1P 2006 EDI


Wilson, Catherine


Associate Professo of Education, Retired/Adjunct




Class Days


Class Time

5:00 - 9:30 PM


15 hours in the program including ED516 and ED532.

Credit Hours


Roberts-Holmes, Guy.  (2005)  Doing Your Early Years Research Project : A Step by Step Guide.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Textbooks can be purchased though the Parkville Bookstore

Course Description:
One of two concluding courses in the Master of Education designed to complete the praxis model. This course is designed to focus on current issues in education and is the reflection part of the experience. Each participant will write a major paper and make a presentation of that paper.  The paper must be related to the emphasis area. Prerequisites: 15 hours in the program including ED 516 and ED 532.

  • a. elementary
  • b. middle
  • c. secondary
  • d. early childhood
  • e. adult education-upon approval of that concentration)

Educational Philosophy:
Developing as a teacher is a complex process that occurs most effectively in learning communities that provide rich opportunities for inquiry and reflection, and that cultivate a sense of curiosity, integrity, social justice, and professionalism.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. The student will demonstrate knowledge of current issues in education using research and writings. (1.2.1 -1.2.11)
  2. The student will utilize critical thinking including the ability to analyze, evaluate, and creatively find solutions to current issues in education. (1.2.1 -1.2.11)
  3. The student will utilize writing to demonstrate the ability to think critically and to propose supportable solutions to educational issues. (1.2.1 -1.2.11)
  4. The student will demonstrate the ability to intellectually present and discuss educational issues. (1.2.1 -1.2.11)
  5. The student will demonstrate an understanding of what it means to be a reflective educator. (1.2.1 -1.2.11)

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. demonstrate knowledge of current issues in education using research and writings.  (NAEYC Standard 5, Professional Tools 4, 5, 6)
  2. think critically, including analyzing, evaluating, and creatively finding solutions to current issues in education.  (NAEYC Standard 5, Professional Tools 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
  3. use writing to demonstrate the ability to think critically and to propose supportable solutions to educational issues.  (NAEYC Standard 5, Professional Tool 3)
  4. present and discuss educational issues. (NAEYC Standard 5, Professional Tool 3)
  5. ? demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of a reflective educator. (NAEYC Standard 5, Professional Tools 6, 9)
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
Participation - Student attendance and participation is essential to accomplish the outcomes of the course.  It is expected that students will provide constructive peer review of chapters and contribute to the classroom learning environment.

Proposal Outline – Identify your problem and briefly explain what procedures you plan to use to solve it. (About 1 page double space)

Formal Proposal (Chapters 1-3) - Each student will develop a proposal that describes the project.  It should include a definition of the problem, a review of literature and a corresponding methodology.
The proposal is the plan by which you will explain your project and determine how it will be evaluated.  The following format is provided for guidance as you develop the proposal for your project. (rubric to be developed in class)

I. Define the Problem
? State a well-defined problem.
? Identify possible solutions, again using current appropriate research.
? Identify your solution and why you decided on your particular approach.

II.  Review of Literature
? Include current and appropriate research in review.  
? Literature review should include multi-disciplinary perspectives when appropriate
? The project needs to be related to current best practice research.

III.  Methodology
? Action Research design should be sound and relevant
? Data collection techniques should be workable and design should include a triangulation of data sources.
? Hypothesis should be testable when included

Formal Proposal (100 pts.) Scale
90 - 100 – A
80 – 89 – B
70 – 79 – C
60 – 69 – D
0 – 59 – F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Work must be turned in on time to receive full credit.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Please reserve Wednesday evening for this class meeting, and arrange your day so that you are able to arrive at 5:00pm and remain until 9:30pm.  We will begin class promptly at 5:00pm, take breaks to keep our minds fresh and engaged, and plan for a variety of learning opportunities, including small group research work and large group conversations.  

Please turn off all cell phones and reserve breaks for phone calls.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
The following is a tentative weekly schedule of classroom activities.  Please note that the schedule may be modified to achieve to maximize learning opportunities.  If appropriate, individual meetings/ communications with students will held during weeks three through seven in lieu of one of the formal class meeting.
Week One (June 7)
? Get acquainted activities
? Brainstorm possible educational needs/problems
? Discussion of proposals and Chapter 1
? Action Research
? Submit proposals according to guidelines provided (Due June 14th)
Weeks Two & Three (June 14 and 21)
? Submit Chapter 1 for peer review (Due June 21st)
? Peer and instructor review of proposals and Chapter 1
? Suggestions provided
? Discussion of Chapter 2
Weeks Four & Five (June 28  and July 5)
? Submit Chapter 2 for peer review (July 5)
? Peer and instructor review of Chapter 2 with suggestions
? Discussion of Chapter 3
Week Six & Seven (July 12 and 19)
? Submit Chapter 3 for peer review (July 19)
? Reflective comments (what would you do differently if you had it to do over again?)
Week Eight (July 26)
? Final project due no later than July 24
? Discussion related to final project

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2005-2006 Graduate Catalog Page 20-22

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2005-2006 Graduate Catalog Page 20-22

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2005-2006 Graduate Catalog Page 23-24
Only one absence will be excused in the 8-week graduate sessions.  More than one absence, and late arrivals or departures will influence your final evaluation.  

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:5/19/2006 8:27:24 AM