Instructor: Patricia Gould Class Hours

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Urban Education 0855: Section 005

Urban Education 0855: Section 006

Education for Liberation

Instructor: Patricia Gould

Class Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 11:00-12:20 and 12:30-1:50

Location: Rhitter Annex 300


Office: RH 272

Office Hours: By appointment Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:00 am


Course Description
“Education for Liberation” is a General Education, “World Society” course for undergraduate students from all majors who are interested in learning about education, development, and cultural issues in the Non-Western world.   A variety of innovative approaches to investigating the Non-Western, post-colonial educational traditions are used to deepen students' understanding of education in Western (modern and postmodern) settings.  This knowledge becomes the foundation for examining the educational traditions of racial, ethnic, and culturally diverse groups in inner cities in the United States, in the context of the theory and practice of culturally-relevant education. Students will apply these multiple lenses for critically analyzing educational practices across different societies. The course is designed around a number of central questions that facilitate comparisons and critical thinking. The following essential course questions are used to guide our exploration of the themes and topics examined in the course:
Course Essential Questions

  1. In what ways are perceptions, definitions, and theories of poverty and development culturally situated and socially constructed?

  2. In what ways can schooling advance cultural imperialism and reproduce systems of inequality?

  3. What are the relationships between globalism, economic development, sustainability, poverty, and social justice in Western and non-Western societies?

  4. What are the links between economic opportunities and schooling experiences in Western and non-Western societies?

  5. How can non-Western educational traditions inform or improve urban education?

The concept of sustainable development, with a focus on the development of 'capacities for a desired life', serves as a bridge to an examination of the link between education and poverty.  The course focuses in particular on the connections between education and politics, cultural diversity, economics, and the existence and persistence of poverty for oppressed and marginalized groups in post-colonial countries as well as in the US. Exposure to a variety of readings and an array of oral, written, interactive and experiential exercises help expand the students' understanding and appreciation of the powerful role and culturally distinct purposes of education here and abroad.  

Required Texts

    • Isbister, J. (2006). Promises Not Kept: The Betrayal of Social Change in the Third World, Seventh Edition. Kumarian Press: Bloomfield, CT.

    • Reagan, T.G. (2004). Non-Western Educational Traditions, Third Edition. Erlbaum Associates: Mahwah, N.J.

    • Other readings and websites as assigned

Academic Expectations

  1. Be punctual.

  2. Be prepared.

  3. Be professional (no cell phones, ipods, or other non-academic materials in class).

  4. Be participatory.

  5. Be persistent.

  6. Be brave.

Operating Agreements

  1. Work continuously and consistently.

  2. Represent yourself as a professional and scholar.

  3. Respect all scholars and our diverse thoughts.

  4. Use appropriate, scholarly, accountable language.

Course Requirements

  1. Students will explore and evaluate schooling contexts from sociological and anthropological perspectives, through a variety of means:

    • examining the history and geography of world development patterns;

    • collecting information from multiple sources on particular educational enterprises or issues;

    • comparing and contrasting your own biographical experiences with wider currents in the history of Western schooling and with NonWestern educational traditions;

    • selecting and familiarizing yourself with a particular non-Western educational tradition;

    • effectively using lessons learned through readings and analysis, theoretical concepts, intercultural and personal experiences to express and support your ideas;

    • examining a multiplicity of educational purposes, traditions, and outcomes through student led discussions, oral presentations, course papers, class discussions, and assessments.

  1. Students will comfortably, effectively, and professionally engage in reflective discussion through various modes of communication, small group work, creative projects, and writing assignments.

General Education Requirements

Gen Ed courses are designed to enhance students’ intellectual, academic, and socio-cultural experiences through:

  • the refinement of  thinking, learning and communication skills;

  • the development of  skills in identifying, accessing and evaluating sources of

  • information;

  • the promotion of curiosity and life-long learning.

  • ethical reflection, civic engagement, and awareness of current issues;

  • collaborative learning and teamwork skills;

  • recognition of and appreciation for Temple’s urban and regional setting;

  • understanding of issues related to globalization; 

  • understanding issues related to sustainability; and

  • commitment to community-based learning (General Education website)

As a ‘World Society’ course students should be able to:


  • Understand the influences (e.g political, social, historical, cultural, artistic, literary, geographic, economic) on world societies or processes (e.g. globalization) linking world societies;

  • Access and analyze materials related to world societies and cultures;

  • Develop observations and conclusions about selected themes in world societies and cultures;

  • Construct interpretations using evidence and critical analysis; and

  • Communicate and defend interpretations (General Education website)

Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Cheating

Integrity is essential, and knowledge is too precious to steal. Everything each scholar turns in must be the scholar’s own work, even work done during cooperative learning. Plagiarism and cheating are not acceptable and will be disciplined to the fullest extent permitted by the University. The University’s policy on plagiarism and cheating requires that any student committing these offenses must receive an F grade for the course. Depending upon the nature of the offense, students may also be suspended or dismissed from the university. Note that we will not hesitate to prosecute instances of cheating, including the following:

  • handing in someone else’s written response as your own.

  • improperly citing the sources of information used in your papers.

  • handing in projects written in cooperation with others, unless their assistance is openly acknowledged and approved by instructor.

See the following website for tips on how to become a better writer and avoid plagiarism -

Class Attendance and Participation

Because of the interactive and reciprocal nature of learning, you are expected to attend every class and participate in discussions and activities. Students may miss one official class sessions without penalty. Absences beyond that number, unless absolutely necessary for reasons of illness or personal emergency; will result in a lowered course grade. A total of 2 or more unexcused absences will automatically result in a one-letter grade reduction for the course. A total of 5 or more unexcused absences will result in a grade of F. In the event of inclement weather, check Blackboard for an update about the status of this class.

Missed Examinations and Assignments

If you are going to miss your presentation or turn your paper in late it is your responsibility to contact the instructor before the absence. If you can’t contact her in person, feel free to use her e-mail address for this purpose. If it is impossible to contact your instructor before the absence, then do so as soon as possible afterwards. I will do everything I can to accommodate students whose absences are excused (health or family emergency) and include proper documentation. Written assignments will not be accepted late. Students who miss a presentation or assignment due to scheduling conflict, illness or mishap will be permitted, on presentation of suitable documentation of the reason for absence, to do alternative work or have an alternative examination. Otherwise, a zero credit grade will be assigned.

Disability Disclosure

Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss the specific situation as soon as possible. Disability Resources and Services at 215 204-1280 in 100 Ritter Annex will coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.

Students and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibility Policy Disclosure

Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The University has a policy on Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities (Policy #03.70.02) which can be accessed through the following link:


If any scholar needs assistance with this coursework at any point, it is imperative that you communicate your needs to your instructor. The best way to reach me is by email, and I will generally respond within 24 hours. It is important that all scholars know themselves as learners and act as advocates for themselves so the instructor can help each scholar achieve his and her ultimate success.

Evaluation of Performance in Course

Small Group Work, Participation, Attendance 15 %

Homework Assignments 15%

Creative Teach Back Oral Group Presentation 15%

Research Paper or Service Learning Reflection 15%

Midterm 20% Final 20 %

Cumulative, Summative Assessments:

Mid Term Exam (20%) and Final Exam (20%)

Both of these exams are cumulative from the beginning of the semester until the point the exam is given. The midterm and final exams contain both objective and open-ended questions. The midterm exam will be administered in class, while the final exam will be take-home. Final Exam will be due Friday December 6th by 5:30 pm.


Creative Teach Back Oral Presentation (15%)

To ensure the ability to communicate well about the subject matter, each scholar will facilitate and complete one oral group presentation. Each scholar must contribute to the discussion. Extra points are added for making textual references and using Accountable Language.

Practice, Professionalism, and Inquiry:

Homework Assignments (15%)

Small Group Work, Participation, and Attendance (15%)

Assigned readings need to be read before coming to class in order to maximize learning from the instructor’s lectures as well as student-led group presentations. True scholars will ask questions during lectures, and the participation component of the grade will be derived from those questions. Finally, attendance in this class is important and grades will suffer for the lack thereof.

Written Work:

Research Paper or Service Learning Portfolio(15%)

Scholars will be required to complete a 8-10 page research paper or Service Learning Journal to be turned in on the last day of class, December 3rd.

Grades will be earned according to the following system:

96-100 = A+*

93-95 = A

90-92 = A-

86-89 = B+

83-85 = B

80-82 = B-

76-79 = C+

73-75 = C

70-72 = C-

66-69 = D+

63-65 = D

60-62 = D-

59 and below = F

*Not available at Temple as a final grade

Creative Teach Back’ Oral Presentation and Project

You will choose your small group of 3-5 people.  Your group will be assigned a chapter from Reagan’s Non-Western Educational Traditions (NWET) and Isbister’s Promises Not Kept (PNK).  The goal of this project is to creatively present the high points from your assigned chapter that appeals to the three (3) predominate learning styles of students: visual, auditory, kinesthetic (learning through application/"doing" or being physically engaged in the concept.)  You will design a creative "student-teach back" presentation which requires the following components:
1) a Power Point and/or visual/audio-visual component that offers a strong visual display of the information
2) an engaging dialogue, game, activity, debate, skit, song/rap, etc. that enhances learning, recall, and overall understanding and applicability of the highlighted concepts/material in your chapter presentation
3) a 1 page Program, Playbill, or Itinerary that delineates the order and flow of the  presentation - tell us who will do what when and for how long. The itinerary needs to be handed in before the presentation begins.
Creative Teach back presentations are expected to take up approximately 30 minutes.  Each small group will be given a specific class period to present. 

Final Service Learning Reflection or Research Paper
Choice One: Service Learning Project: Due December 3rd , For those of you who prefer experiential learning activities the KIPP school, E.D.U, and Philadelphia Urban Creators provides opportunities that are tied to the curriculum in this course. The course instructor and the community-based organization will be expecting you to work 10 hours. One of the important byproducts of this commitment will be a Service Learning Portfolio. It will serve as a record of the ‘journey’ you will be undertaking. This portfolio includes series of journal entries documenting the hours worked, the goals of the organization as well as your personal reflections. The reflection portion is essential: in order to get the most out of your experience, you need to process the experience and forge plans.
KIPP Philadelphia, is a free, open-enrollment public charter school that serves 320 fifth to eighth graders. KPCS is an academically-intensive college-preparatory program that seeks to prepare each of its students to climb the mountain to college. KIPP serves all kinds of children, regardless of previous academic record. Contact information will be available during the second week of class.
E.D.U, and Diamond College Access Program: These are both Temple University Programs that will help place you in a variety of areas for Service Learning. Contact information will be available the second week of class.
Philadelphia Urban Creators, youth-led organization at Temple University that works with various high schools throughout North-Central Philadelphia that is working to educate, energize empower and unite young people thorough community organizing, service learning, urban farming and artistic expression so that they can foster healthy relationships with Philadelphia communities to develop them sustainably and equitably form the ground up. Contact Alex Epstein for more information.

Choice Two: Research Paper: Due December 3rd , You are required to write an individual research paper taken from any of the ideas we have studied or discussed in class. You must answer the key question that undergirds this course: How can knowing, applying, critiquing or assessing Non-Western educational traditions enhance our understanding, pedagogy or related educational goals of urban schools in the US?  How can serving in one’s community help us connect education and poverty here and/or abroad? Consider the value of Reagan’s Non-Western educational ideas, and how the concepts can be applied to improve or address educational issues, e.g., multicultural education, educational policy, poverty/economics and education, urban educational reform, in America.   Your individual research paper must be in an appropriate citation format, i.e., APA or MLA.  It must be 8-10 pages double-spaced, 12 point font size.  Include title and pagination. It must be accompanied by an annotated bibliography with at least 5 strong sources.

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