Examining the continuing evolution of education and the direct impact on the development of social responsibility, values, and our place as global citizens.
The focus of the course is to introduce students to global factors that impact education and to help students advocate for social justice. Being part of the Carolina Core, students taking this course will have a broader understanding of how social sciences, values, and ethics connect through education. In addition, the course offers an opportunity to engage in education curriculum that may inspire students to consider a career in education.
Propo9sal is approved on the basis that revisions are made.
While this course is a good candidate for the VSR designation, neither the course justification or the syllabus, in their present form, demonstrate that the course meets the requirements for the designation, as they are described in the Carolina Core Learning Outcomes rubric for VSR courses.
The following comments pertain to each of the three sections (A, B and C) under Group II, 3. of the Course Proposal.
The following comments pertain to the syllabus.
In Learning Outcomes (should be labelled as II.2, but the syllabus has two sections II.1), the outcome ‘recognize causes and consequences of inequality’ should be more explicitly flagged as an outcome pertaining to values and ethics. There is also a lack of clarity in ‘Examine the role education plays in developing values, ethics and social responsibility for self and society.’ Since this is the only learning outcome explicitly identified as pertaining to values and ethics, this makes it sounds as though the course focuses on how education provides moral training, making us more virtuous and ethical people. But, from the rest of the syllabus, it appears that the course is instead focused on how education plays a role in creating a pluralistic and just (fair or equal) society, which is not mentioned as a learning outcome. The listed VSR learning outcomes should fit better with the VSR course content.
The description of the Intersectionality Project (III, 2.) does not say enough about ethics and values or about how the assignment will lead to learning outcomes associated with ethics and values. Ethics and values are only mentioned in the second line of the assignment, where consideration of ethics and values appears to be tacked on as a final step. It would seem that consideration of ethics and values (i.e. of things like fairness, marginalization, pluralism, the quality of a student’s education) should instead be built into (rather than subsequent to) consideration of the broader context of education (the political landscape, arts, economy, etc.).
The following comments pertain to the syllabus.
I am returning this proposal upon the request of Nate Carnes, Chair of ITE Curriculum Committee. Please contact Nate for further information.
The committee is pleased to see that the VSR Learning Outcomes are now listed prominently on the syllabus and that they are a focus of the Intersectionality Assignment (in the Values and Ethics Inquire Paper). However, it is not clear from the syllabus how the course provides students with the material that they need to realize these learning outcomes. For instance, the Values and Ethics Inquiry Paper requires that the students consider a theory of justice, which would contribute to the third VSR Learning Outcome. But it is not clear from the syllabus how the class provides students with a theory of justice, as this is not listed as a topic for any of the readings or the course meetings. The same can be said for other value topics mentioned in the assignment, such as marginalization and pluralism.
These concerns could be alleviated with revision to Group II, 3 A-D of the course proposal, which is supposed to justify that the course realizes the VSR Learning Outcomes. These sections now list and explain assignments. These explanations appear to be addressed to students, as though they are written for students reading assignments on a syllabus. These sections should instead be addressed to the VSR Committee and should explain specifically how the course realizes the VSR Learning Outcomes. For instance, section A should say something like the following: “The course focuses on the following values. Students will be required to identify the source of these values by considering the following issues and questions.” The first three sections should consider each of the three VSR Learning Outcomes, while the fourth section (D) should explain how the assignments and course work will help students to realize the three learning outcomes. Section D should list each learning outcome and for each explain how the assignments and course work contribute to the outcome.
For reference, the first learning outcome is that the course identifies values (such as the value of access to education or pluralistic education) and generally how those values function (the origin of the values, how they are manifested, or their consequences). The second learning outcome is that the course considers the relationship between these values and notions of the self (identity) or wellbeing (of individuals or of society). For instance, the class might realize the second learning outcome by considering how a pluralistic education improves people’s quality of life. The third learning outcome is that the course provides a framework for ethical analysis, in other words, the the basis on which it (and students) will go about determining what is good or bad, right or wrong, just or unjust. Teaching students a theory of justice would realize the third learning outcome.