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ED 515 Sociological Factors Affecting Education
Franklin, Anne


COURSE TITLE:  Sociological Factors Affecting Education




TITLE OF FACULTY MEMBERSenior Adjunct Professor







DATES OF THE TERM:  August 23 – October 15, 2004


CLASS SESSION TIME:  5:00 - 9:30





The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.



Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


COURSE DESCRIPTION:  The Park University Graduate Catalog describes ED 515 as a course designed to give students an opportunity to examine the changing sociological factors affecting education in the United States.  Problem solving approaches to these situations will be explored.


FACULTY’S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY:  The instructor for this class has a constructivist educational philosophy.  This course was designed to share pertinent information about sociological factors affecting education in the context of changing societal values and influences.  In order to carefully examine course content, the instructional climate will promote critical inquiry, self-reflection, and tolerance of differing viewpoints.


  • Each student will attend class on a regular and timely basis.
  • Each student will thoughtfully complete assignments on a timely basis.
  • Each student will develop a practical understanding of the sociological factors affecting education. 
  • Each student will develop an understanding of schools as social organizations.  (MoStep, 1.2.5.,
  • Each student will develop an understanding of the complex interactions between schools and society.  (MoStep, 1.2.5.,
  • Each student will keep a journal documenting personal reflections and insights about sociological factors affecting education.             
  • Each student will build, analyze, and synthesize a personal knowledge base about sociological factors affecting education.
  • Each student will critically think, read, speak, and write about sociological factors affecting education.
  • Each student will critically examine personal beliefs and assumptions about sociological factors affecting education.
  • Each student will critically analyze and evaluate different theoretical approaches to the sociology of education.  (MoStep 1.2.2.,, 1.2,6., 1.2.9.)
  • Each student will develop the capacity to critically recognize, examine, challenge, and transform existing social conditions through education.   (MoStep 1.2.1.,,
  • Each student will develop strategies for acting upon social factors affecting education through personal advocacy within their schools. 


  • Each student will develop, revise, or refine a personal working philosophy about sociological factors affecting education.




Liston, D.P. & Zeichner, K.M. (1996). Culture and teaching. Mahwah, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


Stevens, E., Wood, G.H., & Sheehan, J.J.  (2002).  Justice, ideology, education:  An introduction to the social foundations of education.  Boston:  McGraw Hill.


ACADEMIC HONESTY: “Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community.  Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.”


PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism—the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work—sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance.  Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.”


ATTENDANCE POLICY: Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences.  The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment.  Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.  In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”.  An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.  Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.  Reports of F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.


LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIALS: The instructor will not accept assignments late.  COURSE ASSESSMENT:  

Due to the compacted Fall I format, expectations will be highly rigorous.  Reading, critical reflection, formal and informal writing, class activities, and discussion are required.  Each student will be responsible for presenting and actively participating in class discussions and activities comparing individual approaches to the assigned projects and readings.  Attendance and participation are essential.  Projects, discussions, and class activities are designed to

  • organize the reading
  • highlight important points
  • present information in alternative modalities
  • provide additional information and hands-on-experience
  • clarify, analyze and interpret information
  • promote collaboration and sharing


It is important to read the assignments and to record your reactions to the reading in your journal before beginning work on other assignments or participating in class discussions.  The assigned readings will serve as resources for your presentations and synthesis and advocacy projects.  Read for information and the writer’s point of view.  It will become your responsibility to analyze and synthesize (NOT summarize!) the assigned reading in your journal before the class for which the reading is assigned.  Strive to overtly “make connections” between the two texts. 


In addition you will make an in-class presentation which is “linked” in some way to the assigned reading.  Creativity is encouraged!  You are also encouraged, but not required, to supplement your presentation and reading by researching original sources and additional resources. 



Your journal will become a running account of your developing views about sociological factors affecting education.  An informal writing style is appropriate and expected.


In this course journal writing is first intended as an advanced organizer.  It is important to record your reactions to the assigned reading in your journal before beginning other assignments.  Reflect, then record your thoughts and questions about the reading assignment before participating in class discussions.


Journals will also be used to house in-class writing, activities, projects, and reflections about in-class activities.  Your journal will become a tangible record of class participation.  Please feel free to make additional entries in your journal at any time to record insights, answered or unanswered questions, or personal issues.  Your journal is an appropriate context for dialogue between student and professor.  Confidentiality will be maintained by the professor.



Two formally written synthesis papers are assigned.  In the Random House dictionary synthesis is defined as "a complex whole, formed by combining."  Each of the synthesis papers should be three or more typed or word-processed, double-spaced pages plus references and a short abstract.  You should formally identify the source and location of each of the ideas you include in your synthesis using formal APA style.  The fifth edition of the APA manual is the most current.  Writing as a process, as taught in freshman English courses, will be a useful approach.  Expect to write multiple drafts!  Some class time and peer assistance will be used for editing.  Additional assistance is always available from the Academic Support Center.  You will email or copy your abstract and references for each member of our class.


The first synthesis should address and begin to synthesize information and issues presented in Parts One through Three of the Stevens, Wood, & Cheehan textbook and Cases One through Three from the Liston & Zeichner text.  The second synthesis should include Parts One through Six of Stevens, Wood, & Cheehan textbook and any chosen selections from the Liston & Zeichner text.


Each synthesis should conclude with your own opinions and/or recommendations.  Substantiate your conclusions with your choice of citings from the Stevens, Wood, & Cheehan and Liston & Zeichner textbooks or outside sources, which may affirm or contradict the information presented in the Stevens, Wood, & Cheehan and Liston & Zeichner texts.  Please feel free to use Internet resources.


Or alternatively, you may demonstrate your synthesis of the information through other means than the formally written synthesis papers.  Once again, creativity is encouraged!  For an alternative synthesis, submit your Proposal, describing your idea and how it may synthesize the information from the texts, to the instructor on the synthesis draft deadline after having your peers review and comment upon it.  You will still need to participate in the peer editing of your classmates’ formal writing during the draft classes.  Your proposal will be revised to become a short Abstract which describes your alternative synthesis and overtly describes the “links” to the texts.  Include the texts and any other outside sources in the References for your independent project proposal, cited in APA format.  You will email or copy your abstract and references for each member of our class and make a presentation if your synthesis is best if seen or heard!


Advocacy Project

Our texts provide examples of teachers working to address issues within their schools.  The advocacy project for this course invites you to identify an educational concern within your own work or life setting and to research that issue.  The purpose of the advocacy project is to explore conditions within your school or community that pose barriers to effective educational opportunities for an individual student, a group of students, families, teachers, etc., and to develop a plan of action to impact the situation.  This is a personal project, informal in style and does not need to be formally referenced.  However, in each instance, you should be able to identify the original source (authors, educators, philosophers, etc.) of influence over your ideas.  (See academic honesty section.)  You will include all findings regarding your project in your journal and will present your findings during our last class.




CLASSROOM RULES OF CONDUCT: Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  Students must recognize though that technology can also cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drive crash.  Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology.  Be sure to save copies of your work to disk, hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.


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 American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent 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:







August 24

Group Activity


Syllabus Overview

Sign up for presentations



August 31

Synthesis & Advocacy Project preparation

Stevens, Wood, & Cheehan, Part 1

Liston & Zeichner, Case #1



September 7

Synthesis & Advocacy Project preparation

Stevens, Wood, & Cheehan, Part 2


Liston & Zeichner, Case #2




September 14

1st Synthesis Draft Due for Peer Editing

Stevens, Wood, & Cheehan, Part 3


Liston & Zeichner, Case #3



September 21

Synthesis & Advocacy Project preparation

1st Synthesis Due

Stevens, Wood, & Cheehan, Part 4


Liston & Zeichner, Public Arguments (pages 55 - 82)


September 28

Synthesis & Advocacy Project preparation

Stevens, Wood, & Cheehan, Part 5


Liston & Zeichner, Final Argument & Suggestions (pages 84 – 96)

2nd Synthesis Draft Due for Peer Editing


October 5

Stevens, Wood, & Cheehan, Part 6


2nd Synthesis Due


October 12

Advocacy Presentations





GRADING PLAN:                            

                                                            Participation                          32%

A = 90 - 100%                                   Journals                                  12%

B = 80 - 89%                                     Text-linked Presentation      10%

C = 70 - 79%                                     First Synthesis                       12%

D = 60 - 69%                                     Second Synthesis                24%

F = Less than 60%                            Advocacy Project                  10%