ED570 Critical Teach for Social Change

for F2P 2010

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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.

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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 570 Critical Teaching for Social Change


F2P 2010 DL


Marthann Schulte, PhD


Associate Professor of Education

Office Location




Semester Dates

Fall 2, 2010

Class Days


Class Time



ED 500, ED 538, ED 554

Credit Hours



Required Texts:

Title: Developing Critical Thinkers: Challenging Adults to Explore Alternative Ways of Thinking and Acting
Author: Stephen D. Brookfield
ISBN: 1-55542-356-6

Title: Empowering Education
Author: Ira Shor
ISBN: 0-226-75357-3


Title: Empowering Education

Author: Ira Shor

ISBN: 0-226-75357-3



****All other readings, articles, materials and videos will be available in the online course in the “Featured Authors and Current Events” section of each unit.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
****All other readings, articles, materials and videos will be available in the online course in the “Featured Authors and Current Events” section of each unit.

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.
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Course Description:
ED570 Critical Teaching for Social Change: This course evaluated the work of the most cited critical educators in the field of education (Gramsci,Freire, and Shor) and analyzes the challenges to, and resources for, empowering adult educators toward social change and transformative action. This course will also compare the work of these leading theorists and apply their principles toward adult education in a variety of contexts. Prerequisites: ED 500, ED 538, ED 554

Educational Philosophy:

Rethink how you think:

This course will be unlike most you’ve had in the past. Although there is certain value in gaining information and applying it in consistent assignment formats, the aim of this course will take on a larger perspective: to use new information to reframe how you see yourself and the world around you.

To be commensurate with graduate level work, it’s critical to have time to reflect upon and create new understanding from our highlighted topics in each unit – therefore, course information will be presented in 4 units (2 weeks each) in order to allow time for such reflection, deeper discussion, action, and knowledge construction toward larger, more meaningful and applicable projects. There is absolutely no “busywork” in this course – each assignment is tailored to apply theories and concepts directly into your life and professional practice. Hence, a greater level of depth and participation in each assignment is mandatory and expected.

The readings in this course are paramount – you can learn nothing new unless exposed to new ideas; therefore, it is critical to stay abreast on the readings and be prepared to participate fully as you reflect upon them, as you integrate your life experiences, and as we co-construct new meaning together this term.

I will use “inductive teaching” in this class (i.e. Instead of stating a theory, giving specific examples, and then inquiring with you – the learners - on your understanding….we will instead begin our learning process by asking your thoughts on a topic, creating additional questions and examples together as a class, and then finish with the theory to integrate our knowledge. We will be using adult learning theory and “mutual engagement” throughout the course that requires your active participation and contribution to the development of course material and peer understanding.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Examine and interpret the concepts of epistemology and critical teaching theories toward application in educational contexts for adult learners.
  2. Analyze assumptions underlying one's thoughts and actions, and facilitate others' examination through the development of strategies and critical questioning.
  3. Synthesize the work of key authors in the field of critical teaching for social change.
  4. Distinguish factors that produce conditions of empowerment, and the links that exist between knowledge and power.
  5. Appraise and critique current issues in society that impact an adult learner's ability to access or participate in lifelong learning.
  6. Develop and assess one's role as a change agent in adult education.

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Critical Incident Exercise During Unit 1 (weeks 1 and 2), you will review several video collections (approximately 2 hours of footage) related to individuals who experience a ‘perspective transformation’ in their lives. You will identify the 5 stages of critical thinking, and reflect upon the manner in which each person progresses through such phases. You will examine their espoused theories, their theories-in-use, and apply conceptual information to each real life scenario. You will then identify and examine a critical incident in your life that led to a perspective transformation and will describe your progression through the 5 phrases of critical thinking; also examining your underlying assumptions, espoused theories, theories-in-use, and application of concepts. (100 point value)

Agency Visit - During Unit 2 (weeks 3 and 4), you will visit an agency that provides education services to adults. Please schedule this visit early as the term goes very quickly. As part of your visit you will interview the director and determine:

  • What services the agency provides;
  • History. mission, and goals of the agency;
  • Who the learners are that take advantage of the services;
  • Challenges in directing the agency;
  • The source of funding;
  • Impact of legislation on the agency;
  • Challenges the learners face in meeting their goals;
  • Other information you find important.
  • Identification of active social change and transformation the agency is trying to address;
  • Develop recommendations which may help to better meet the mission and goals of the agency;
  • Citations from course content to support your recommendations.

NOTE: Select the agency you will visit and send your selection to your instructor by Sunday midnight of week 2 for approval (the agency may NOT be your current place of employment). 100 point value

Social Entrepreneur Project In Unit 3 (weeks 5 and 6) we will be exploring Social Change and Influence. This social entrepreneurial project is intended to make meaningful change and have meaningful, tangible results in the real world. Working individually or in self-selected small groups, you will identify one topic in need of education to promote social change (previous topics have included global warming, education for the incarcerated, educating on the genocide in Africa, promoting women’s equality, parent education, etc.). Each group, or individual, will complete an “entrepreneurial project & grant proposal” that describes how the project will impact the intended population, a cost effective approach for implementing programming, the program creation and implementation plan, how the funding will be used, and how success of the project would be assessed. The goal is to design a project that would cost less than $100 to implement. This is your opportunity to flex your creative muscles! Following the project, you will complete a reflection of your work and analysis of the values that led to the project creation and selection. 100 point value

Criteria Analysis & Simulation In unit four (weeks 7 and 8) of the course, we will conclude with a criteria analysis. The criteria analysis will consist of four decision scenarios in which you will need to make a value-based judgment/reflection and justify your rationale. In moving through the four part scenarios you will examine and explain why you believe these criteria are most critical to you, and how such knowledge of these criteria may impact your adult education practice in the future.100 point value

Question of the Week - Each week This is an on-line environment and as such your active participation is imperative. In each unit, we will discuss two questions: 1) one instructor-developed question, and 2) one learner-developed question. Since each unit contains two-weeks, the first week will be used to address the instructor-developed question, and to work collaboratively as a class to develop one question pertaining to information and insights you’d like to gain from that unit. Therefore, in week 1, you will respond to the instructor-developed question, and as a class, collaboratively create and develop the learner question to be addressed in week 2. In the second week of each unit, you will respond to (and engage with) the learner-developed question you created together as a class; offering ideas, insights, examples, and external weblinks to support the discussion. 80 point value (10 points per question each week)


Overview of Assignments:

A = 430 - 480 Points
B = 382 - 429 Points
C = 336 - 381 Points
F = 335 Points or Below

 Assignment Number of
Point Value 
 Critical Incident Exercise



 Agency Visit



 Social Entrepreneur Project



 Criteria Analysis Simulation



 Question of the Week



     Total Points  480

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Timeframe & Topic  Featured Readings
Learning Activities  
Due Dates
(All assignments due
by midnight CST of due date)
Unit One 

Week 1 &2
Understanding Epistemology & Critical Thinking
1, 2, 3


Brookfield, S.D. (1987).
Developing Critical Thinkers:
Challenging Adults to Explore
Alternative Ways of Thinking and Acting. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.
(Read Chapters 1-3)

Schon, D.A. (Summer, 1992).
The theory of inquiry: Dewey's l
egacy to education, Curriculum Inquiry,
Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 119-139.

Mezirow, J. (1997).
Transformative learning:
Theory to practice, New Directions
for Adult and Continuing Education (74),

Moseley, D., Elliott, J., Gregson, M.
& Higgins, S. (June, 2005).
Thinking skills frameworks for use in education and training,
British Educational Research Journal, Vol. 31, No. 3,
pp. 367-390. 

Post personal introduction
(Due Wed. Week 1)

View Current Event Video:“open source learning”
(Due Fri. Week 1)

Question of the week:
Wk 1: instructor developed
(Due Sun. Week 1)
Wk 2: Learner developed
(Due Sun. Week 2)

Critical incident exercise and video analysis
(Due Sun. Week 2)

Submit agency selection to instructor via email
(Due Sun. Week 2)

Unit Two

Week 3 & 4

Knowledge, Power, & Access to Higher Education
Objective(s): 4, 5 

Freire, P. (1985). Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
Continum: New York.
(Read Chapters 2-3)

Shor, I. (1992). Empowering Education. The University of Chicago Press:
Chicago and London.
(Read Chapters 1- 5)

A Global Perspective:
Moore, J. (Jan., 2005).
Is higher education ready for
transformative learning?,
The Journal of Transformative Education,
3 (1), pp. 76-91.  

View Current Event Video:
“The American Graduation Initiative”
(Due Fri Week 3)

Question of the week:
Wk 1: instructor developed
(Due Sun Week 3)
Wk 2: Learner developed
(Due Sun Week 4)

Agency Visit
(Due Sun Week 4)

Unit Three

Week 5 & 6

Social Change and Influence


Teaching for Transformation
by Patricia Cranton (Chapter 6)

Cervero, R. M.,Wilson, A.L. (2000).
Power in Practice: Adult Education
and the Struggle for Knowledge and Power in Society.
Jossey Bass: San Francisco.
(You select any ONE
chapter that is of most interest to you).

Video summary: Thomas Friedman’s
590 page book, “The World is Flat”,
discusses globalization and it’s
impact on education and our
world; highlighting issues is
power, influence, and change.
(1 ½ hour video)

View Current Event
Video: “How I’m trying to change the world”
(Due Friday Week 5)

Question of the Week

Wk 1: instructor developed
(Due Sunday Week 5)
Wk 2: Learner developed
(Due Sunday Week 6)

Social Entrepreneur Project
(Due Wed Week 8)


Unit Four

Week 7 & 8

Transformation and


Developing Critical Thinkers
by Stephen Brookfield
(Read Chapter 5-7)

Empowering Education
by Ira Shor
(Read Chapter 7, 8, 9) 

View Current Event Video:
“Writing a web for global good”
(Due Fri Week 7)

Question of the Week

Wk1: instructor developed
(Due Sun Week 7)
Wk 2: Learner developed
(Due Sun Week 8)

Criteria Analysis and Simulation
(Due Fri Week 8)


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 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Page 20


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 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Page 20

Attendance Policy:

Instructors 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 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Page 24

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 .

Additional Information:

Communications modes:

The Announcements tool in eCollege is an important way we communicate with you during the course. You are responsible for reading each of the Weekly Announcements, including the FAQ's and the Home Page for each week in the course. If there are any changes required in assignments or due dates, they will be posted in the Weekly Announcements.

There will be Weekly Discussions

See above for the specifics related to the Weekly Discussions.

The Instructor’s Office Page contains a welcome message and information about your instructor. You will also find contact information on this page and the preferred mode of communication with the instructor.

  • If your question is related to the weekly course content, you should bring up the question in the weekly discussions, so that all students will benefit from the reply from the instructor.
  • 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 only select the instructor from the list!

In the first week, you will post an introduction of yourself to the Introductions page. If you have general questions that are outside the scope of the weekly discussion topic, please post it here. You can also post other messages to your fellow students on this page. This is the preferred method for you to communicate with your fellow students.

Follow the procedures for submission of electronic assignments.

  • You will be required to submit them to the instructor via the Drop Box in eCollege. This will allow the instructor the ability to download the files and view the code for the entire project. Detailed instructions are found on the assignment directions. 

Agency Visit Grading Rubric

Critical Incident Rubric

Social Entrepreneur Project Rubric

Criteria Analysis Rubric


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Last Updated:10/1/2010 9:44:42 AM