Link to What's New This Week Syllabus for Undergraduate Section of Special Topics in Sociology 395-01: No Child Left Behind

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Syllabus of Undergraduate Section of
Special Topics in Sociology: No Child Left Behind

Soc. 395-01, Spring 2006

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: January 23, 2006
Latest Update: February 18, 2006

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Index of Site Topics Syllabus for Undergraduate Section of
Sociology 395-01: Special Topics in Sociology: No Child Left Behind
Instructor: Jeanne Curran, Ph.D., Esq.
Course: Soc. 395-01. Special Topics in Sociology: No child Left Behind.
Course Reference Number:Reference No: 22256
Academic Credit: 3 units
Scheduled Meeting Times: Wednesday, 1- 3:45 p.m.
Meeting Room: SAC 1362
Office: SBS B325 - Across the hall from our old office.
Telephone: No phone so far
. . . . . Jeanne's cell: 213-705-2100 - for quick answers only, not to report absences, please.
Office Hours:Tuesday, Thursday 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.; Wednesday 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Teaching Assistant and Community Adjunct: Patricia Acone, A.B.T.

Course Description:

No Child Left Behind is an Undergraduate Special Topics course that will be taught simultaneously in real time classes in SAC 1362 and over the Internet. I prefer that you be in class. However, I know that there are many time conflicts for all of us. For that reason, my lectures are available online, as are the self tests that will help you ascertain that you clearly understand the concepts and theories we discuss. Even if you are prevented by work or time conflict from being regularly present, I will appreciate your presence at least a few times during the semester in our office, once it's available, so that we have the benefit of at least some face-to-face time. Some of the time conflicts may be alleviated by coverage of the same material in the graduate section between 4:00 and 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, in SBS F121. You are welcome to attend then if that is more convenient.

No Child Left Behind will address the unstated assumptions of the dominant discourse as to why some children fail in school, the consequences of such failure, and the contingencies on which this failure is based. We will challenge the premises of standardized testing, answerability, accountability and the philosophical underpinnings of Theory X and Theory Y, one of which says people will work hard naturally, to satisfy their own curiosity, and the other of which says that people will work hard only if manipulated into such hard work, as by holding out the reward of a carrot or some M&M's.

We will explore the relationships among school failure, accountability of the various parties to the failure, and the resulting social and criminal justice issues that provide many of the contingencies that shape our everyday lives. Basic information will be provided on the Dear Habermas site, along with self tests that will guide you in choosing material for certification of learning (i.e., for grades) if you are formally enrolled in one of our departments.


Required: I have chosen not to require a text. That doesn't mean that I don't want you to read. I do. But we are going to approach this subject broadly. I want you to be able to choose your reading, and to read according to your own personal comfort level, so that prior barriers will not interfere with your present learning. All the readings I expect you to cover will be provided on the Dear Habermas site. Then, I ask that you choose your own reading, with both cost and time considerations that fit your particular circumstances.

Text Materials Accessible through Dear Habermas Site

If you want hardcopy of a section of the reading, use cut and paste to copy just the part you want. Instructions for Reasonable Hard Copy from Site.

Course Objectives:

  1. Objective: To master the concept of aesthetic process of answerability and its role in creating an atmosphere of morality and ethics in our institutions and world systems, particularly the educational system. Answerability.

    Outcome: Students will participate in class discussions on transform_dom, respecting the answerability of every member of that community, and the aesthetic process of collaborative creation. Academic Assessment. Four of student's dialog participations will ultimately be posted on learning records for a collaborative evaluation report on the class.

  2. Objective: To master the simple use of any computer that happens to be available. Our readings are on the Internet. Please be sure you know how to access them and to post to the discussions.

    Outcome: Students will be expected to access class materials on the Dear Habermas website and to post on transform-dom, our discussion forum.

  3. Objective: To explore in depth the contingencies that affect the interdependence of many groups in the No Child Left Behind program that is primarily characterized by standardized tesing..

    Outcomes: Students, in their submissions to our discussion group, will consider the framing of the facts they cite, the illocutionary discourse in which they must engage to hear one another in good faith, and the importance of such a forum to in-depth consideration of the social justice and criminal justice issues of education in both social learning and banked learning of facts we should all command. Students will have four submissions in which to demonstrate that they have mastered this objective.

  4. Objective: To explore the concept of Love 1A, as taught by Buscaglia, with an understanding of how he utilized the love he defined in the teaching of special education, and to explore how that concept can be understood in relation to the No Child Left Behind program.

    Outcome: Students will be expected to demonstrate either that they understand the role of love, in the sense of affirmation of answerability and good faith listening to the student's perspective in education or that they reject that particular objective for U.S. educational programs. This outcome can be demonstrated either in our discussions or as part of the submitted learning records for our evaluation report.

  5. Objective: To create some piece of visual sociology to be used for community activism, and to report that activity so that we can all share it. Cards, box sculptures, hand-made books, bookmarks, etc.

    Outcome: Participation in our Spring Semester Exhibition of Naked Space. Project exhibited may be done individually or in a group.

  6. Objective: To appreciate the nature and value of collaborative work in building community and supporting governance discourse.

    Outcome: Time and traffic constraints prevent the kind of community that once was possible on the average liberal arts college. Students will describe the contingencies that prevent such community in their local areas, and the ways of collaboration we have learned to overcome such contingencies. Students may do this as part of the collaborative evaluation report, incorporating the report by reference, or indivdually.

Academic Assessment: