Highlighted Courses

EDUC 490. Topics in Professional Education: Youth Development Programs

Faculty: Robert Jagers
Term: Fall 2014

Youth development programs refer to a wide range of out-of-school time initiatives intended not only to prevent problem behaviors, but to promote developmentally-appropriate competencies among adolescents. This course explores youth development programs for students’ of color, with a particular focus on theory, research and practices relevant to youth organizing approaches. Such approaches are social justice-oriented and solutions-focused; they tend to feature youth-led efforts to identify social origins of school and/or community problems, to mobilize stakeholders and to work collectively to address the problem.

In addition to reading the scholarly literature, the course fosters insights and skills through hands-on activities, such as, analysis of existing video and interview data from youth participatory action research (YPAR) projects, and working with school and community collaborators to plan, facilitate and evaluate youth organizing projects.

Please contact Rob Jagers (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) with questions.


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EDUC 547. Current Issues in Educational Studies: Investigating the Common Core

Faculty: Hyman Bass
Term: Spring 2014

This is a new course offering designed for master’s students across areas of specialization. Doctoral or advanced undergraduate students may also elect to enroll in the course.

The Common Core (State Standards Initiative) www.corestandards.org is the latest of several waves of proposed K-12 curriculum standards in the U. S.. The Common Core comprises two subject areas – mathematics and English language arts (ELA) and specifies a set of student learning goals in each subject area that would be common across states. Because constitutional authority for education is vested in states, this cross-state initiative represents an effort to break with typical U.S. practice. It is the subject of much public and professional discussion and debate.

This course will take up three basic questions related to the Common Core. First, we will investigate in detail the origins, content, and aims of the Common Core and compare it to past efforts to articulate standards and goals for student learning. We will also consider how these U.S. efforts compare with the specification of learning goals in other educational systems. Second, we will consider what “implementation” of the Common Core might mean and entail, including the professional training needed by teachers, the curriculum materials and tools as well as assessments that would manifest the goals inside of practice, and the political and societal challenges that would have to be managed. And third, the course will probe and analyze the political discourse and debates, investigating who is making what arguments and why, what the interactions are and why, and consider both the rhetoric and goals of the debates. Across all of these inquiries, we will examine similarities and differences between the mathematics and the ELA standards.

The unfolding of the Common Core is a complex process involving many agents, perspectives, domains of expertise, and domains of practice. Using diverse resources (research, records of teaching practice, public documents, etc.) students in the course will be asked to respond to various of the situations/predicaments presented in this process.
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EDUC 547. Current Issues in Educational Studies: Academic Writing for Graduate Students in Education

Faculty:
Term: Fall 2014

Instructor: Yu-Shiang Jou

The goals of this course are to help participants develop a better understanding of the functional features of academic writing in English as well as provide support and practice opportunities for graduate students in education to improve their own academic writing. With a focus on writing in contexts of educational research and practice, this course is designed as a workshop where students will analyze academic writing, learn about the features of writing in different genres, and work on related writing tasks. Topics to be addressed include an introduction to academic writing that discusses issues such as organization, style, and grammatical patterns. Then different genre-related organizational patterns will be explored, including writing definitions using general-specific/specific-general organization; writing about procedures and processes, using problem-solution structures; writing summaries, discussing issues such as plagiarism, paraphrasing, and citation practices; and crafting critiques, addressing issues such as use of evaluative language in writing reaction papers. We will also address issues related to data commentary, qualifications and presenting strength of claims. The course will meet for two hours per week; in addition, each student will be able to attend a tutoring session to get individual feedback for revision and editing three times during the semester. The class will be capped at 12 students.
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EDUC 607. Contemporary Approaches to Educational Assessment: EDUC 607-001 Contemporary Approaches to Educational Assessment

Faculty: Edward A. Silver
Term: Winter 2015

In our current age of accountability, developing an appreciation and understanding of the complexities of the design, evaluation and interpretation of educational assessment is paramount. In this graduate seminar we will draw on contemporary research papers, a range of existing tests, and multi-media resources to examine, understand, discuss and evaluate current theory, practice, and instruments associated with assessment systems used to evaluate learning.

The course has three goals: 1) to acquaint students with essential concepts in educational measurement such as reliability, validity, error, and bias; 2) to provoke inquiry into a number of important issues in the field including (a) assessment and accountability, (b) classroom-based assessment, especially formative assessment, (c) assessing students with special needs, (d) standards for educational assessment, (e) technology-based approaches to assessment, and (f) assessing teachers and teaching; and 3) to examine contemporary educational assessment practices in the Unites States with reference to the practices in other countries.

This course is designed as a fundamental graduate seminar on the principles, analysis, interpretation and appropriate use of educational measurement approaches and test design and it is not intended for individuals interested in a statistics-based methods course.

For questions, please contact Ed Silver at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
 


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EDUC 645. Education and Cultural Studies: Education and Cultural Studies

Faculty:
Term: Fall 2014

This course provides an introduction to the multi-disciplinary field of cultural studies and places special emphasis on teaching and learning in a multicultural society. We will specifically explore the social construction of race and its relevance to contemporary educational policies and reforms (e.g. immigration debates, desegregation controversies, school choice initiatives, etc.). We will do so by analyzing culturally relevant educational theories, scholarship, and multimedia that are anchored in critical perspectives. Course participants will have the opportunity to select their preferred topic or policy to investigate in their final assignment.

Camille can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you have any questions about the course.


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EDUC 737. Topics in Educational Studies: Youth Development Programs

Faculty: Robert Jagers
Term: Fall 2014

Youth development programs refer to a wide range of out-of-school time initiatives intended not only to prevent problem behaviors, but to promote developmentally-appropriate competencies among adolescents. This course explores youth development programs for students’ of color, with a particular focus on theory, research and practices relevant to youth organizing approaches. Such approaches are social justice-oriented and solutions-focused; they tend to feature youth-led efforts to identify social origins of school and/or community problems, to mobilize stakeholders and to work collectively to address the problem.

In addition to reading the scholarly literature, the course fosters insights and skills through hands-on activities, such as, analysis of existing video and interview data from youth participatory action research (YPAR) projects, and working with school and community collaborators to plan, facilitate and evaluate youth organizing projects.

Please contact Rob Jagers (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) with questions.


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EDUC 752. Organization Theory and Research in Education: Organization Theory and Research in Education

Faculty: Brian Rowan
Term: Fall 2014

Mondays, 1:00-4:00 p.m.

This is an introduction to organization theory and the contributions of organization theory to administrative practice in K-12 education. Students in the class will learn about the changing nature of organizations in modern society and about key theoretical perspectives on how organizations are designed and managed. These theoretical perspectives will then be applied to specific areas of inquiry in organizational studies, including the structure and management of core technologies, organization-environment relations, control systems and evaluation, the management of human resources, and processes of power and leadership in organizations and organizational fields. The relevance of organization theory to education policy and practice will be demonstrated by reference to a variety of case studies centered on proposed changes to organizational structures and processes in schools and school systems in the K-12 education system.
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EDUC 771. Topics in Higher and Postsecondary Education: Diversity, Merit and Higher Education

Faculty: Phillip J. Bowman
Term: Spring 2015

This graduate seminar focuses on critical debates about diversity, merit and higher education in the 21st century. Scholarly literatures from education, psychology, and other relevant social sciences will be critically reviewed to address related theoretical, methodological, empirical, practical, and policy issues. Topics highlight debates about traditional SAT/ACT-type tests and more comprehensive approaches to merit for a diversifying college student population (racial/ethnic/gender/class/cross-national/non-traditional, etc.). Students examine recent studies, interventions and policies by university-based, ETS, and ACT Inc. experts to address: (1) contested constructions of merit in higher education; (2) merit and opportunity issues in higher education; and (3) expanding merit indicators to guide comprehensive admission, retention, P-20 achievement gap, and STEM intervention strategies. In addition to higher education, this seminar is also relevant to graduate students in psychology, other social sciences and interdisciplinary fields interested in bridging theory-driven scholarship with leadership roles in policy, administration, or professional practice to promote student success in diversifying nations.

Students will engage in policy-relevant “diversity debates,” guided by critical reviews of recent literature on traditional merit criteria and “more holistic merit assessment” that also consider strengths-based factors. These debates engage controversies about the misuse of SAT/ACT-type assessments vs. the utility of “strengths-based” indicators of merit and/or predictors of college success. Controversy often intensifies with anti-affirmative action litigation, sharp enrollment declines for underrepresented students with “blocked opportunity” and enrollment increases for international students with superior admissions test scores. Despite controversies, a growing body of research suggests that strengths-based factors should be systematically included in “more comprehensive assessment” and may often be more powerful predictors of college success than SAT/ACT scores.

Guided by a translational research agenda, this seminar will also highlight related findings from an ongoing UM-based Diversity Research and Policy Program initiative. This NIH-funded project bridges theory-driven scholarship with policy-relevant research on exemplary interventions to promote higher education opportunity, talent development, STEM participation and national competitiveness. This multi-ethnic study can also help to clarify unique risks and strengths among White, African, Latino, and Asian ancestry students that differentiate intervention efficacy.

Please contact Dr. Bowman for more information.


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