ED629 Critical Reflections Seminar

for F1P 2009

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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.

School For Education Mission Statement
The School for Education at Park University, an institution committed to diversity and best practice, prepares educators to be effective school professionals, reflective change agents, and advocates for equity and excellence for all learners.

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.

School For Education Vision Statement
The School for Education at Park University is to be known as a leader in the preparation of educators who will address the needs, challenges, and possibilities of the 21st century.

Park University School for Education  Conceptual Framework


ED 629 Critical Reflections Seminar


F1P 2009 DL


Dennis, Kay S.


Assistant Professor of Education



Office Location


Office Hours

Tues.–Th. 4:00-7:00 p.m. ET and Fri.–Sat. 10:00-1:00 ET

Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

August 17 - Oct. 11, 2009

Class Days


Class Time



15 credit hours in the program including ED 516 and ED 532. (Adult education students are not required to have ED 532 but should have completed ED 554.)

Credit Hours



None required.
Recommended: APA 5th or 5th edition.

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.
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Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email helpdesk@parkonline.org or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the http://parkonline.org website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:

ED 629 is one of two concluding courses in the Master of Education program designed to complete the praxis model. This course focuses on current issues in education and provides the reflection portion of the experience. You will write a major paper and make a presentation of that paper. The paper must be related to the emphasis area. These areas include:

A.   General studies
B.   School law
C.   Multi-cultural
D.   Teaching at-risk students
E.   Early childhood
F.   Adult education

Educational Philosophy:
I believe that students achieve optimal success when they participate actively in a timely manner, consistently apply their best effort, and share the responsibility for their own learning. As an educator I will guide, facilitate and support your learning by:

1.      Creating an organized, positive, and interactive learning climate

2.      Focusing your attention on important aspects of the course

3.      Clarifying the expectations for your performance in class

4.      Encouraging reflection on your part

5.      Supporting, assessing and acknowledging your achievements.

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)

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
Quality Standards for Academic Writing at the Graduate Level

IMPORTANT: The research process involved in this course is writing intensive. It requires that you write at a graduate school level. As you follow these quality standards, you will improve your writing. A mini-paper is assigned for Week 1 in order to uncover problems with your writing; they will require prompt remediation on your part in order for you to succeed in this course. All subsequent assignments – as well as your discussion posts – require consistently high quality writing.

















The controlling idea not only is clear but also is particularly thoughtful or imaginative.


The text seems to the reader to be a full discussion. Makes use of material from supplied readings as well as ideas, experiences, or information originating in the writer. All material is integrated smoothly and supports the overall focus persuasively. The writer seems to be a thoughtful, critical reader of the material with a genuine personal "voice."      à

Easy to follow; the structure seems effortless because of smooth transitions and a convincing rhetorical pattern.



Reads exceptionally smoothly; the reader detects no errors in grammar, spelling, usage, punctuation, or APA style.





Focus is clear and sustained throughout; but perhaps not so original.

Incorporates source material appropriately in terms of content, and smoothly in terms of style. Personal ideas and experiences are added. The focus is clearly supported.

Employs clear paragraphing and a logical sequence of topics.


May contain an occasional problem in sentence structure or diction, but the reader is never seriously distracted.



Competent; the focus is clear but it seems commonplace or conventional.

Makes at least some use of the supplied readings and some other material to support its focus, though use may not always be relevant, and the sources not discussed critically.

Generally easy to follow, with reasonable paragraphing, though discussion may wander briefly.

Frequent mechanical problems distract reader temporarily, but one can always understand what the writer means.



Lacks focus.

Fails to provide coherent support for the general focus, makes no use of the sources, or makes frequent use of direct quotations (copying verbatim) without any introductory and concluding perspective, interpretation, application, etc. of this material.

Difficult to follow, either because the sequence of topics is not logical, because it is repetitive, or because the paragraphing is not helpful.

Demonstrates severe problems with sentence structure or word choice, such that the meaning is difficult or impossible to understand.

Discussion Participation Quality Standards

Key elements: Initiative, Expression, Relevance. As many as 4 points may be deducted for excessive writing errors.Weekly - 10 points.         
Grading Rubric for Research Proposal



Title Page




Table of Contents 


Area of Study 


Definition of Terms


Paradigm and Assumptions 




Current Literature 


Research Problem  


Research Questions/Hypothesis


Research Design (Sample, Measures, Data Collection Procedures, Pilot, Data Analysis Procedures, Timeline)


Limitations of the Study


Reference Page (Minimum 10 scholarly resources)


Additional Information: (Any Tables, Illustrations, Appendices are appropriate)


Excessive Mechanical Errors (spelling, punctuation, grammar, APA, etc.)


Daily deduction for late submission



Strengths of proposal:




Total Points










Weekly discussions

10 x 8 wks. =  80

Wed. & Sunday

Journal entries 

5 x 5 wks. = 25


Ideas paper


Wk. 1, Sunday

Working abstract


Wk. 2, Sunday

Ch. 1, first draft  


Wk. 3, Sunday

Ch. 2, first draft


Wk. 5, Sunday

Ch. 3, first draft


Wk. 6, Sunday



Wk. 8, Monday

Proctored Final


Wk. 8, Sunday



Grades due 10/13



Grading scale

460 – 500 points

92 - 100%


415 – 459 points

83 -   91%


350 – 414 points

70 -   82%


300 – 349 points

60 -   69%


    0 – 299 points

 0 -   59% 


Late Submission of Course Materials:
Due to the accelerated nature of this course, late assignments cannot be accepted except under extreme circumstances and with prior approval from the Instructor. If you have a true emergency such as a death or sudden illness, it is your responsibility to make contact as soon as possible (or have someone acting on your behalf do so). Vacation, travel for work, or other events are not considered emergencies. Exception: Internet access problems during a military deployment.   

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday at 11:59 p.m. MT. Monday of the Week 1 begins the term. Assignments scheduled for completion during a class week are to be completed and successfully submitted by the due date.  


1.  The Announcements tool in eCollege is an important way the Instructor will communicate information during the course. You are responsible for reading every Announcement, including the FAQs and the Home Page for each week in the course. If any changes in assignments or due dates occur, they will be posted in the Announcements.

2.  The Instructor’s Office page contains a welcome message and contact information about your Instructor. If you have a question on the weekly course content, please use the Instructor's Office, so that all students can benefit.

3.  If your question is personal, such as grades, or a personal problem, please contact your Instructor through email. Send the email using the Email tool within eCollege, but select only the Instructor from the list! IMPORTANT: Unidentifiable messages are deleted unread. When sending email, be sure to include your name and ED629 on the subject line.

4.  The Student Lounge enables students to communicate with one another on side issues of interest to them.

5.  Introductions are an important aspect of an online class. During the first week, please post an introduction of yourself. You can also post other messages to your fellow students on this page, but they may or may not see your post. 

6.  The Dropbox is the route used for submission of assignments. With few exceptions your Instructor does not accept assignments as emailed attachments. Use the Dropbox (located at top of screen, second tab from right) to submit your papers.

7.  The Netiquette section on the Help and Resources page offers some helpful information about participation in an online class. At times when we discuss controversial topics, not everyone may agree with one other. We must remember that while each of us has a right to our own opinion, we must respect the right to differ. If anyone in class makes a comment you are uncomfortable with, please deal with it in an adult manner.

8.  Contact me promptly if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions about the class. It is best to ask questions before an assignment is due, rather than after it has affected your performance and grade. I enjoy getting acquainted with students and the telephone often works best for concerns.

9. IMPORTANT: Academic writing is habitual. All text communications should be written in a professional style, free of slang and jargon. To receive the participation grade you desire, be sure to proofread your messages. The discussion threads are not editable. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Mini-paper. Researchers, including adult education professionals, need solid critical thinking and academic writing skills. The requisite writing skills differ substantially from technical writing, email, text messaging, and the typical spoken conversation. You may write extremely well at this point; if so, this paper can reassure you. However, in the interest of your success in this writing-intensive course, during Week 1 you are asked to demonstrate your present writing skills. You are to present a coherent picture of your ideas and demonstrate critical thinking about the broader implications of a specific issue in adult education. Clear thinking, attention to detail, and critical analysis are important. The assignment can reveal deficiencies in writing related to grammar, spelling, subject/verb agreement, punctuation, proofreading, use of correction citation style, and such. Students who receive feedback indicating shortcomings are advised to remediate such deficiencies promptly. Resources available include Park’s Writing Center at http://www.park.edu/support/. SmarThinking is available to graduate students only on a paying basis at this time. 

Class Participation. Graduate work is enriched by exchange of ideas through dialogue; in this course you will have numerous opportunities for dialogue with classmates and the Instructor. The purpose of the weekly discussions is to foster collaborative learning through a sharing of ideas, perspectives, and experiences that inform our interpretation of the course materials and content. You are expected to read all discussion posts. Each week please post your initial response by Wednesday. This post (2-3 paragraphs) must include at least 2 salient points from that week’s readings to support your comments. Paraphrase – do not quote verbatim. Include a brief citation of the source. Add at least 2 more posts to the discussion by the end of the week (Sunday midnight). If additional questions are posted by the Instructor during the course of the discussion you should respond to them as appropriate. 

Journal. During the term you will have reactions, ideas, and thoughts about the content we are discovering. You are asked to keep a journal of your thoughts as a means of tracking of how your thinking evolves during the course. You will make a journal entry during Weeks 1-5 on your reactions to the course content. Grading will not be related to citations or content, but to your overall entry and reflection on that week’s work. To submit, access the Dropbox and click on Journal. Submit each entry by Sunday midnight.

Idea Paper, Working Abstract, Chapter Drafts. As the term proceeds, you will isolate, describe, and add detail to an action research project to be conducted during ED 630. We move progressively to help you crystallize your thinking on a topic. You will notice that there are no examples of research proposals provided for you. As explained in the course, the reason behind this is that there are many diverse and “correct” ways to develop a proposal. You would gain little by attempting to model your study after another investigation that is completely different from yours. If you have scant experience with research, you would do well to reading extensively and expose yourself to various styles and formats and methods as used in action research. Also, you should take full advantage of the assistance provided by the Park University Reference Librarians.

Additional Requirements. Mandatory for successful completion of ED 629: Complete the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Extramural Research (OER) online tutorial, Protecting Human Research Participants. You will submit an IRB application ONLY if you intend to publish your action research project. Otherwise it is considered purely a class assignment and not a work necessitating Institutional Research Board sanction.

Proctored Final Examination. A final examination will be taken in a proctored environment during Week 8 at one of the Park University sites around the country or at an alternative location. For proctored examinations, a photo identification card is required at the time of the test. Guidelines for selecting an acceptable proctor can be found on the Park University Website. 

·    The student is responsible for making arrangements for a proctor. The deadline for this task is Friday of Week 4 of the term. Said proctor must be approved by the course instructor. 

·    Approval of proctors is made at the discretion of the instructor. 

·    A proctor request form will be made available during the first week of class.

·    Failure to take a final proctored exam will result in an automatic "F" grade for the course. 

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2009-2010 Graduate Catalog Page 31


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct.  Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2009-2010 Graduate Catalog Page 31-32

Plagiarism can result promptly in a failing grade for an assignment and the course.

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences for two successive weeks, without approved excuse, will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Executive Director for the Graduate School, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2009-2010 Graduate Catalog Page 35

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: http://www.park.edu/disability .


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Last Updated:8/9/2009 2:59:45 PM