Course Outline for Schooling and Society (PED 3102 P)

University of Ottawa, Faculty of Education, Wednesday 1-4:30, Fall 2009, LMX 240

Instructor: Dr. Martin Barlosky
Office: #485, LMX
Mailbox: #53, 3rd Floor, LMX

Telephone: 613-562-5800 (ext. 4043)
Office Hours: To be arranged

Ž The Course
Schooling and Society (PED 3102)
The application of the educational foundation disciplines to the study of schooling and its social contexts; the roles of teachers in reproducing and challenging social inequalities; personal exploration of the social influences on identity.

Ž Objectives and Outcomes
This course is designed to examine the central practices, purposes, and problems of schooling as these relate to broader societal issues. Throughout the semester we will explore existing and emerging educational practices and seek to connect them to larger social, political, economic, and cultural realities in Canada and elsewhere. Through an encounter with diverse and at times provocative perspectives on schooling and societal issues, we will seek to understand the dilemmas and the possibilities associated with the practice of teaching, the advancement of learning, and the organization of compulsory schooling.

Through participation in the course students will:

1. inform and articulate their understanding of selected societal issues that shape the school experiences of students and those who would teach and administer them;

2. actively research and explore selected and formative professional, pedagogical, organizational, ethical/moral, gender, legal, economic, political, historical, and cultural issues that they can expect to encounter in their work as classroom teachers;

3. examine the tensions and the opportunities that can emerge when we attempt to give form to personal, social, and educational ideals in the places we call schools; and,

4. become knowledgeable in how to use internet wikis as a medium for interactive teaching and learning.

With the exception of instruction in how to use the PED 3102 P Wiki, this is not a course that deals with methods or technique. This course deals with the largely unspoken, often overlooked, and always provocative
Arealities@ that shape both schooling and society.

Ž The Learning Context
The course is divided into two primary sections:

Visions of Knowledge, Schooling, and Teaching B an invitation to begin with ourselves as we critically re-think the practice of teaching, the enterprise of schooling, and the >training= of those who would become teachers;

2. An examination of the following three major themes through individual and small group work and presentations described below in the course outline:

Schooling in a Democratic Society B an exploration of the relationship between schooling and democracy that includes the moral and ethical aspects of power exercised by both students and teachers as they interact with each other to shape teaching and learning (Schools and Democracy; Schooling as a Moral Enterprise);

Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Culture, and History B an examination of how sexual, societal, and cultural realities can shape classroom and school perception and practice, and how schools can both reproduce and challenge unexamined predispositions, social structures, and inequalities (Boys, Girls, and Bullies; Gender and Sexuality; Race, Ethnicity, Culture, and History); and,

Money, Markets, Measures, and the Future B an introduction to how social class, poverty, and wealth can affect educational opportunity and life choices; how market forces are changing teaching, redefining accountability, and introducing new demands for describing and measuring student achievement; and a fundamental re-thinking of pedagogy as love, humility, and commitment (Poverty, Class, and Wealth; Schooling and the Marketplace; Standards, Testing, and Accountability; Hope B Pedagogical Love, Humility, and Commitment) .

Although the class is relatively large, it will be conducted in a participatory manner. Therefore, openness to the views of others will be important as we engage and explore difficult issues in our examination of teaching, schooling, and society. Students are encouraged to draw on the many experiences that they bring to our class sessions as we encounter ideas presented in written material, case studies, and non-print materials (e.g., audio and visual). Our shared goal is to help each other better understand the actions, forces, and beliefs that drive practice and that promise improvement in school settings.

As a class, we will divide into "Small Working Groups" (SWGs). The primary purpose of the groups is to research a topic central to the course, and to prepare a PowerPoint Presentation and an Electronic Research Essay each to be posted on the PED 3102 P Wiki (see the section Group Assignments below). The SWGs also function as a continuing reference group within which students may clarify issues and questions that emerge from readings, research, discussions, and assignments.

Ž Required Readings and Writing Issues
Bound copies of the required readings for PED 3102P are available for purchase at Rytec
B Enviro Copies, 404 Dalhousie Street (613-241-2679). In addition to these bound readings, the Small Working Groups will be given a file of Ainitiating documents@ that are to be used in researching and developing their respective PowerPoint presentations and Electronic Research Essays.

In order to improve and develop their writing capabilities, students are encouraged to purchase and make use of The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White. The Elements of Style is among the best and most concise aids to writing in English. It is widely available at new

and used bookstores, and the Morisset Library has several lending copies (PE 1408 .S772). And, of course, The Elements of Style is available on-line at

Students who would like to receive individual help with writing problems or in preparing assignments are encouraged to contact the Academic Writing Help Centre, University of Ottawa ( The recommended style for written assignments, particularly for references, is that detailed in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, preferably the 5th edition (2001), which is available in the Morisset Library reference and reserve collections (BF 76.7 .P83 2001), in digest form on the internet (, and in most academic bookstores.

Ž Expectations
Through large and small group work, individual and group assignments and presentations, and discussions, students are expected to critically engage course material and to develop a working perspective on learning and teaching that takes into account the major educational and societal issues covered in the course. While the course reader and the SWG files of initiating documents present the primary readings for the course, students are responsible for supplementing these selectively with readings chosen independently from books, journals, and from popular, professional and scholarly periodicals and journals, particularly for the group assignments described below.

Written (i.e., typed or word processed or clearly handwritten) assignments should exhibit understanding of, critical reflection upon, and a distinctive approach to the issues addressed. The instructor
=s assessment of structural aspects of written assignments will play a significant part in the evaluation of student work. This means that written assignments must be logically arranged, grammatically sound, and free from spelling errors. Assignments should carefully develop and support, through citations of readings and non-print materials (e.g., video, visual, and audio sources), the points made and the positions taken. Similarly presentations should be coherent, well organized, and critically reflective encounters with the readings cited and the issues raised. In summary, the formal evaluation of written assignments and presentations will be based upon demonstration of:

1. knowledge and understanding of concepts;

2. analytical discernment, critical thinking, and clear expression;

3. integration of required and supplementary readings and related materials; and

4. the ability to organize and convey a focused and distinctive presentation of ideas and insights that meets the standards specified in the above paragraph.

Ž Requirements and Assignment

(( Participation
Attendance is mandatory and participation in discussion and class activities is essential. It is expected that we all will come to class prepared and ready to engage in individual and group learning situations. This means that we should all be conversant with ideas presented in readings, presentations, and non-print materials and ready to extend them thoughtfully through individual assignments, group work, and participation in class discussion. Helping to create an environment in which we can explore ideas and share insights freely will be a critical part of the learning we do together as a class.

The PED 3102 P Wiki
All students, both individually and as members of Small Working Groups (see below), are expected to utilize, contribute to, and to be attentive participants in the wiki established for our course. In our first class students will be introduced to the wiki and instructed how to register as a wiki participant.

Case Studies (see course reader)
There are a number of short case studies contained in our required readings. While we will only be able to discuss some of these in class, Small Working Groups are encouraged to make use of the case study appropriate to their topic in their PowerPoint Presentations and Electronic Research Essays. In making analytical use of the case studies group members should focus on: the problem presented; how the problem developed; significant aspects of the persons involved; the setting and situation; and, how the problem might be resolved.

O Individual Assignment #1: Beginning With Ourselves
10% of final grade; two to four paragraphs double-spaced, 12 point font (500 word maximum)
Our first reading is the transcription of the 2005 Kenyon College Commencement Address delivered on May 21st, 2005 by David Foster Wallace, who was a discerning writer and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.” This assignment calls upon you to read and to write with care and insightfulness.

In a short paper of no more than 500 words, respond to the following points:

1. Isolate what you feel are the key points that Wallace makes in his graduation address;

2. Underscore how and why the points you note apply particularly to those who would teach in today’s complex classrooms;

3. Explore how Wallace might help us to make the distinction between schooling and education.

In completing the assignment, be sure that you state Wallace’s points and arguments accurately and that you provide well reasoned and well stated arguments for your own position(s).

UDue Date: Wednesday, 16 September 2009

O Individual Assignment #2 B Ciao Professore!: Schooling, Society, and Teachers
25% of final grade; three to five pages, double-spaced, 12 point font (750 to 1250 words)
Ciao Professor! is a feature length film by the noted director Lina Wertmuller that we will view together in class. The film depicts the experiences of Professore Sperelli, an established elementary school teacher who finds that a computer error has led to his assignment to teach in a very unfamiliar and unexpected environment.

After we have viewed the film, you will be asked to respond to one of two options on an assignment sheet to be handed out in class. Each option invites you to compare and contrast the experiences of Professore Sperelli with the experiences of Paula, the first year teacher who is the subject of the case study by Andy Hargreaves & Noreen Jacka (
AInduction or Seduction? . . . Preparing to Teach@, see required readings), by focusing upon how each deals differently with the social, personal, and very human realities they meet in their respective schools and classrooms.
UDue Date: Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Group Assignments

In our second class, each student will become a member of one of nine Small Working Groups (SWGs), each of which will complete a PowerPoint Presentation and an Electronic Research Essay in accordance with the following list of groups and topics:

SWG # 1: Schools and Democracy

SWG # 6: Poverty, Class, and Wealth

SWG # 2: Schooling as a Moral Enterprise

SWG # 7: Schooling and the Marketplace

SWG # 3: Boys, Girls, and Bullies

SWG # 8: Standards, Testing, and Accountability

SWG # 4: Gender and Sexuality

SWG # 5: Race, Ethnicity, Culture, and History

SWG # 9: Hope
B Pedagogical Love, Humility, and Committment
Each of the following two collaborative or group assignments will be assigned a common mark that will be recorded for each group member.

(( SWG Assignment #1 B PowerPoint Presentation; 25% of final grade
Each of the Small Working Groups will be responsible for creating and presenting a PowerPoint presentation of the ideas central to the group’s initiating readings and indicating how they are developing these ideas for their Electronic Research Essay. A schedule for presentations will be distributed in class. Each presentation will be roughly twenty minutes in length. The primary purpose of the presentations is to convey imaginatively: 1. the main ideas in the group’s initiating readings; 2. the implications of these ideas for teaching, learning, students, schools, and society; and, 3. how the group is developing these ideas for their Electronic Research Essay. The central ideas in the readings cited should be presented critically in a focused and communicative manner.

The content of the presentation should consist of the following elements and no more than eight slides:

1. an electronic poster that visually represents the core ideas in the presentation (this should be the first slide);

2. a summary of the major ideas and/or positions presented in the initiating readings and a sense of why these issues/positions are important for the author, the community of educators, and for prospective teachers;

3. a critical analysis of the implications of the ideas/positions presented for learning and teaching in contemporary school settings; and,

4. how these ideas are being developed in the group’s Electronic Research Essay.

The presentations will be evaluated according to: content, critical reflection, organization (e.g., utilization of time, continuity, communicative effectiveness, style), and preparation. A narrative evaluation assessing the presentation and handout will be given to each working group usually in the session following the presentation. It is the group members’ responsibility to post the presentation on their page of the class wiki, thus making it a public document. As noted above, the grade assigned to the presentation will be the same for each group member.

(( SWG Assignment #2 – Electronic Research Essay (ERE); 40% of final grade
Each group will be collectively responsible for creating an Electronic Research Essay that purposefully develops the assigned topic area and that draws upon the core ideas presented in the initiating readings distributed to each group. Each ERE must be posted on the PED 3102 P Wiki by the due date noted below. The ERE will be, therefore, a public document electronically available via the internet. The content of the ERE should consist of the following elements:

1. an introduction that previews the content of the ERE and that provides a rationale (i.e., purpose) for the approach taken and for the specific themes included and developed;

2. a coherent, clear, concise, and creative development of specific themes that expand aspects of the topic and that are particularly pertinent to the community of educators and those concerned with contemporary educational realities;

3. the inclusion of at least three print and/or non-print sources in addition to the initiating readings;

4. acknowledgement of the sources drawn upon in the various ERE contents, preferably in A.P.A. format;

5. the inclusion of internet links, embeds, graphic elements (e.g. photographs, art works), and other visual content that support and visually expand the ideas examined and the issues raised; and,

6. a conclusion that revisits and gives unity to the themes addressed in the ERE and that explores the implications of how the ideas addressed might practically and pragmatically inform and enhance the learning relationships that exist among teachers, students, parents, and communities.

The ERE will be evaluated for both form and content and is expected to meet the criteria for written assignments listed above in the course outline. Each group will submit a self-audit which summarizes the contributions of each member. An evaluation assessing the ERE will be sent electronically to each SWG. As noted above, the grade assigned to the ERE will be the same for each group member.

UElectronic Research Essay posting due date: Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Ž Grading
Your final grade will be determined arithmetically by totalling the numerical marks derived by weighting the grade for each written assignment in accordance with the table immediately below. In accordance with the University of Ottawa Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Calendar: 2004-2006 Grading System, this total is then translated to a letter grade that is the final grade for the course.

Individual Assignment #1 10%
Individual Assignment #2 25%
PowerPoint Presentation 25%
Electronic Research Essay 40%

Example Calculation of Final Grade

Individual Assignment #1: 72 (B)
Since the assignment is weighted as 10% of the final grade, the 72 reduces to 7.2.

Individual Assignment #2: 77 (B+)
Since the assignment is weighted as 25% of the final grade, the 77 reduces to 19.25.

PowerPoint Presentation: 82 (A-)
Since the assignment is weighted as 25% of the final grade, the 82 reduces to 20.5.

Electronic Research Essay (SWG): 87 (A)
Since the assignment is weighted at 40% of the final grade, the 87 reduces to 34.8.

Final Grade
The final grade is derived by adding the weighted mark for participation and the weighted marks for each assignment, in this case: 7.2, 19.25, 20.5, and 34.8 for a total of 81.75 for the final course grade of 82 or a letter grade of A-.

Special Needs: Students with special learning needs are encouraged to speak with the instructor as soon as possible so that appropriate accommodations can be arranged.

Consultation: At his sole discretion, the instructor may choose to consult with any member of the faculty concerning a student=s development in the course.

Attendance: Presence in all class sessions, and in scheduled group meetings and conferences with the instructor is mandatory. Any student who is unable to attend a particular class or scheduled meeting must notify the instructor before the scheduled meeting time. In the case of absence, additional work may be assigned and evaluation for participation may be adversely affected.

Academic Fraud: Wrongful conduct in academic matters is a serious offense and can result in very serious consequences. Plagiarism is one type of academic fraud. A student found guilty of committing plagiarism will be subject to sanctions, which range from receiving a mark of AF@ for the work in question to being expelled from the University, and even the revocation of a degree, diploma, or certificate already awarded.

If students have any questions concerning what constitutes academic fraud or its consequences, they are advised to consult the University of Ottawa web page:
@. Students may also refer to the section entitled AAcademic Fraud@ in the Teacher Education Calendar, the Professional Development Programs Calendar, or the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Calendar. For useful guidelines to help you avoid plagiariam, please consult the University of Ottawa web page:

Time-Lines and Deadlines/Due-Dates: Because students must accomplish significant work in a limited time period, time-lines must be adhered to and deadlines/due-dates must be met. Missed deadlines/due-dates may result, at the sole discretion of the instructor, in significant consequences in terms of added assignments and/or in terms of evaluation/grading.

Writing Competency: Students are responsible for ensuring that their written assignments meet the standards outlined in this document. Because the instructor will not be able to offer extended assistance with remedial writing problems, students who encounter significant writing problems should make early and extensive use of the University of Ottawa=s Academic Writing Help Centre.

Ž Grades


An exemplary grade in a course or on an assignment is given for work that demonstrates a thorough knowledge of all relevant concepts and which is presented in a clear, coherent, and effective manner. The work is complete in content and communicates that content effectively.


An excellent grade in a course or on an assignment is given for work that demonstrates a thorough knowledge of relevant concepts. While the work is largely complete and clear, a minor aspect of the work which may pertain to content and/or communication is lacking.

Very Good

A very good grade in a course or on an assignment is given for work that demonstrates sound knowledge of relevant concepts. The work is informative and, for the most part, clearly presented. However, the work is incomplete as a substantive aspect of the material presented has been overlooked and/or is lacking in effective communication.


A good grade in a course or on an assignment is given for work that demonstrates adequate knowledge of relevant concepts. However, in addition to overlooking a substantive aspect of the material presented, there are substantial difficulties in effective communication.


A satisfactory grade in a course or on an assignment is given for work that demonstrates basic knowledge of relevant concepts. However, a substantive aspect of the materials presented has been overlooked. In addition, difficulties in effective communication result in a lack of clarity such that readers or listeners must struggle to understand what is said.


A pass grade in a course or on an assignment is given for work that demonstrates incomplete knowledge of relevant concepts. A substantive aspect of the materials presented has been overlooked. In addition, difficulties in communication are such that the meaning of what is said is only partially communicated to readers or listeners.

D+, D, E
Redeemable Failure

The category of redeemable failure demonstrates an unacceptable level of knowledge of concepts and a failure to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or the course. Those receiving a redeemable failure may complete a supplemental examination or an additional assignment in order to improve their grade.

Non-Redeemable Failure

A non-redeemable failure demonstrates a fundamentally unacceptable level of knowledge of concepts and a failure to satisfy the requirements of an assignment or course. No supplemental examination and/or assignments are offered.