American Education – On Life Support?

Day of Week: Wednesday
Course Length: 10 weeks
Starting: 09/11/2024
Ending: 12/04/2024
Period of Day: Period 2 Zoom
Time: 11:30 - 1:00
Course Fee: $100

Course Description:

In this discussion course, we will read about and discuss the most important and controversial issues regarding the goals and content of education. We will primarily focus on primary and secondary education but will also touch on some issues related to preschool and college education. Among the issues we will discuss are:

  1. What worked well and less well during the Covid pandemic?
  2. What should it mean to educate students to participate in our democracy?
  3. What, if anything, should students be taught about morality and religion?
  4. What should be taught about sex and sexual orientation?
  5. How should schools address bullying and cyber-bullying?
  6. What is the effect of America’s vast economic and social inequality on educational outcomes?
  7. What should schools teach about the history of racism and discrimination in America?
  8. How should schools address the increasing diversity of their populations?
  9. Who controls and who should control our schools?
  10. How has high-stakes testing affected curriculum and outcomes?
  11. Who is going into teaching today, and why?
  12. How effective are charter schools, and how has their introduction affected public schools in the same cities and towns?

Although we have our own views on these issues, we will present the arguments on the major sides of each issue.

Weekly preparation time should be 1-2 hours.

Books and Other Resources:

American Education, 20th Edition, by Joel Spring, Routledge, 2022.

We will also send pdfs and links to articles on our topics.

Course Leader Bio(s)

Mary and Richard Mansfield

Richard and Mary have co-taught many courses at LLAIC. Both had careers in education. Mary held many educational positions in her career: elementary school teacher, reading teacher, educational consultant on reading instruction, textbook editor, college admissions representative, and consultant on college and special school placement. Richard’s first career was as a university professor of human development in a college of education. Later, as a consultant, some of his clients included educational institutions and firms. Both Richard and Mary have served on LLAIC’s Curriculum Committee since LLAIC’s start in 2014.