ED570 Critical Teach for Social Change

for S2P 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

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, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.

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 570 Critical Teach for Social Change


S2P 2012 DL


Dennis, Kay S.


Associate Professor of Education


Ed. D. in Adult Education from NC State University
M.S.N. in Nursing Management from East Carolina University
B.S.N. in Nurisng from the University of Kentucky

Office Location

Online -- kay.dennis@park.edu

Office Hours

Tuesday afternoon & Friday morning

Daytime Phone

Anytime during office hours (other times by arrangement): 252.241.9463



Semester Dates

Mar. 19 - May 13, 2012

Class Days


Class Time



ED 500, ED 538, ED 554

Credit Hours



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 

Additional Resources:
All other required resources will be provided through eCollege.

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 evaluates 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 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:

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:

·         Creating an organized, positive, and interactive learning climate

·         Focusing your attention on important aspects of the course

·         Clarifying performance expectations

·         Encouraging reflection

·         Assessing and acknowledging your achievements

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 Unit 1 (weeks 1-2). (100 points) You are to review several video collections (approximately 2 hours in length) related to persons who experience a ‘perspective transformation’ in their lives. Identify the 5 stages of critical thinking, and reflect upon the manner in which each person progresses through such phases. Examine their espoused theories and their theories-in-use, and apply conceptual information to each real life scenario. Then identify and examine a critical incident in your life that led to a perspective transformation and describe your progression through the 5 phrases of critical thinking. Also, examine your underlying assumptions, espoused theories, theories-in-use, and application of concepts. Use APA style formatting throughout. Due Sunday of week 2.

Critical Incident Exercise Rubric Checklist

  1. Demonstrate a clear understanding and provides the description of each individual in the featured videos (according to the indicators listed in the assignment)
  2. Integrate the readings, theories, and concepts covered in class
  3. Provide 3-6 citations and references from separate sources to support your ideas, perspectives, and interpretation. (using both internal and external resources)
  4. Describe your progression through the 5 phases of critical thinking based on an event in your life and the resulting transformation. Include a detailed description of the:

                     Phases of critical thinking

                     Underlying assumptions

                     Espoused theories


                     Perspective transformation



Number of

Point Value 


 Critical Incident Exercise




 Agency Visit




 Social Entrepreneur Project




 Criteria Analysis Simulation




 Question of the Week




 Total Points


Grading: 10-point scale

A = 432-480 points        B = 384-431 points      C = 336-383 points            D = 288-335 points

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late submissions of assignments are accepted for grading ONLY with advance permission of the instructor.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Timeframe & Topic 

Featured Readings

Learning Activities  
Due Dates
(All assignments are due
by midnight CST on 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 legacy 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), p.5-12.

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 Wednesday Week 1)

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

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

Critical incident exercise and video analysis
(Due Sunday Week 2)

Submit agency selection to instructor via email
(Due Sunday 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), p. 76-91.  

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

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

Agency Visit
(Due Sunday 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.
(One chapter – your choice).

Video summary: Thomas Friedman’s
590 page book, “The World is Flat”
discusses globalization and its
impact on education and our world; it highlights issues of power, influence, and change. (1½ 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 Wednesday 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 Friday Week 7)

Question of the Week

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

Criteria Analysis and Simulation
(Due Friday 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 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21


Plagiarism is 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 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21

Attendance Policy:

Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 25

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:

Information on assignments other than the Core Assessment:


Agency VisitUnit 2 (weeks 3-4). (100 points)  This activity is intended to demonstrate synthesis and analysis of course content as it applies to the practice of adult education. Visit an agency (other than your place of employment) that provides education services to adults. Select the agency and notify your instructor before the close of week 2. During your visit you will interview the director and determine:

1.      What services the agency provides

2.      History, mission, and goals of the agency

3.      Who the learners are that use the services

4.      Challenges in directing the agency

5.      Its source of funding

6.      Impact of legislation on the agency

7.      Challenges the learners face in meeting their goals

8.      Other information you find important.


  1. Identify the active social change and transformation the agency is trying to address

  3. Develop recommendations which may help to better meet the mission and goals of the agency

  5. Cite course content to support your recommendations.


Agency Visit Rubric Checklist

Visit Details

  1. Agency selected serves adult learners

  3. Interviewed an appropriate agency representative

  5. Described the services the agency provides

  7. Described the history, mission, and goals of the agency

  9. Defined the adult population who uses the services

  11. Identified the source of funding of the agency

  13. Identified the challenges in directing the agency

  15. Identified the impact of legislation on the agency

  17. Described the challenges facing target learners in meeting their personal goals


  1. Identified the active social change and transformation the agency is trying to address

  3. Developed a minimum of three recommendations to better meet the mission and goals of the agency

  5. Stated insights from reflecting on agency visit and interview


  1. Included at least three citations from course content/texts to support recommendations

  3. Described four significant new insights related to social change and transformative action in education as a result of the visit.


  1. Organized presentation effectively

Executive Summary (600 word limit)

While the entire paper provides depth, the executive summary will include your comprehensive, well written feedback that will be shared with the agency's director with whom you met.  Upon instructor review, you will share the executive summary with the director via email or a follow-up meeting. The summary, which should not exceed 600 words, should include the following components:

  • Statement of your appreciation to the director for meeting with you and sharing information

  • Your understanding of the agency's mission, role, and intended impact to educate adult learners

  • The strengths you found in the agency and your observations/suggestions that may help it continue to flourish and grow.

Social Entrepreneur ProjectUnit 3 (weeks 5-6).  (100 points)  We will explore Social Change and Influence. This project is intended to create meaningful change and lead to significant, tangible results in the real world. You are to 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 student will complete an “entrepreneurial project & grant proposal” that describes:

·         A cost effective approach for implementing programming

·         How the project will affect the intended population

·         The program creation and implementation plan

·         How the funding will be used

·         How success of the project if implemented would be assessed. 

The goal is to design a project that would cost less than $100.00. This is your opportunity to flex your creative muscles! After constructing the project, you are to write a reflection of your work to include an analysis of the values that led to this particular project.

Social Entrepreneur Project Rubric Checklist

1.      Project title

2.      Rationale for topic and project selection

3.      Statement of purpose and objectives

4.      Anticipated value added to society (anticipated social change and population affected)

5.      Description of resources needed (Examples: experts, colleagues, books, videos, software, etc.)

6.      A summary of methods and planning (what you plan to do and how you plan to do it)

7.      A detailed summary of strategies for utilizing the grant money (up to $100.00)

8.      Breakdown of activities and timeframes for accomplishing the project (which must be limited to 3 weeks for completion, conducted collaboratively by classmates)

9.      Specification of criteria for assessment of project success

10. Specification of indicators for judging whether these criteria have been met

Analysis & SimulationUnit 4 (weeks 7-8). (100 points) We will conclude with a criteria analysis consisting of four decision scenarios in which you are 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, and how knowledge of these criteria may affect your adult education practice in the future.  

Analysis & Simulation Rubric Checklist

Given the topic and nature of this course, for our concluding activity we have a method for outlining the progression of critical inquiry and what is expected from critical thinkers. While historically it has been challenging to identify or assess one’s critical thinking, the opportunity to create a synthesizing rubric emerged in the work of Randolph Smith (2002), who identified seven characteristics of critical thinkers. Critical thinkers:


1.      Are flexible, able to tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty

2.      Identify inherent biases and assumptions

3.      Maintain an air of skepticism

4.      Separate facts from opinions

5.      Do not oversimplify

6.      Use logical inference processes

7.      Examine available evidence before drawing conclusions





 Critical Thinker Characteristics


Examples of Evidence




Flexibility; tolerates ambiguity and uncertainty



·         Displays a willingness to question one’s own ideas, values, and beliefs.


·         Demonstrates openness to a new level of understanding through reflection.



Identifies inherent biases and assumptions



·         Shares one’s own biases and assumptions in the context of the learning topics



Maintains a healthy skepticism



·         Seeks to question the answers vs. answering the questions.


·         Integrates and considers multiple perspectives and ideas.



Separates facts from opinions



·         Cites specific information from reputable sources


·         Provides additional external resources (i.e. web links, videos, podcast, etc.) related to the material


·         Correctly cites all work using APA formatting.



Does not oversimplify



·         Avoids generalizations and instead focuses on specific values, ideas, and criteria that can be applicable in practice.



Utilizes logical inference processes



·         Draws logical conclusions from past experience, combining current knowledge and information to analyze how such criteria can inform practice.



Examines available evidence before drawing conclusions



·         Uses a holistic view that incorporates personal experience, research, individual perspective





100 Possible Points



To receive full credit on the assignment, you must display all seven characteristics in this activity.



Question of the Week.  In an online environment your active participation is essential. In each unit, we will discuss two questions: 1) one instructor-developed question, and 2) one learner-developed question. Since each unit spans two weeks, the first week will be used to address the instructor-developed question. You are to work together to develop one question pertaining to information and insights you would like to gain from that unit. Thus, in week 1 you will respond to the instructor-developed question, and as a class, formulate the learner-developed question we will explore in week 2. Similarly, 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 web links to support the discussion. (80 point value total; 10 points per question per week)



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Last Updated:3/7/2012 3:09:33 PM