Section 12 Course Description

Course Name: In Schools We Trust
Section 12
Instructor: Amy Maupin

Drawing on the title of Deborah Meier’s book, In Schools We Trust:  Creating Communities of Learning in an Era of Testing and Standardization, this section of FYRS will explore prominent issues, problems and controversies in American public schools.  How do national, state and local policies inform day-to-day instruction and curriculum?  Is testing wrong or inappropriate?  What role do standardized tests play in a students’ learning?  Are the teachers’ unions corrupt?  Do you think you were well prepared for the academic challenges of college?  Why or why not?  Why is there so much violence in schools, and do “zero-tolerance” policies work? Does competition help or hinder a student’s education? What role does corporate America play in our schools?  What does “closing the gap” mean, and to what extent does race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status affect student achievement, retention and/or attrition?  Or, do they affect those matters at all?  What’s the cultural perception of teaching as a vocation?  To what degree does that perception affect the recruitment of college students into the major?  Why has homeschooling grown in recent years?  What are the philosophies of education, and why do they matter?  How has the accountability movement changed the way teachers teach and students learn? What’s the hullabaloo about school lunches, taking away recess and incorporating meditation into the school day?  These questions and many more will serve as our topics of inquiry about schooling in the United States.