How Do We Break Down Responsibility for Education?

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This semester, we have been challenged to “work for the promotion of justice” and to consider the ways in which a quality education can help people become productive citizens who strive to make the world a better place for everyone. However, there are multiple conflicting arguments about HOW to accomplish this sort of quality education. In particular, we have encountered uncertainty about a very important question: What obligations do we have to make sure that a child is properly educated?

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We can all agree that each individual child is responsible to work hard, to seek assistance if needed, and to master academic material to the best of her or his ability. But children are not typically asked to design curricula, to develop appropriate learning materials, to determine whether one school (or teacher) is more effective than another, to pioneer more effective teaching methods, to assess education to see if it is working as planned, to meet children’s personal needs so they can focus on learning, or to find money to pay for educational programs. This paper asks you to determine which group or groups are obligated to provide access to education, shape and develop the curriculum and learning materials, evaluate teachers and programs to see if they are working, and support programs and students in whatever ways are needed.

The breakdown on p. 2 will walk you through the process of addressing these questions in a systematic way. Once you review the positions and examples provided by our expert sources and the sources you have collected through individual research, you should explain YOUR position on each group’s obligations in providing quality education for American children. You may use up to 5 of the readings assigned throughout the course, and you must provide at least 5 additional sources collected from research surrounding this topic.

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IMPORTANT DUE DATES

  1. Research Rational
    1. Rationale Paragraph due April 3rd 50 Points
    2. Class Articles Analysis due April 3rd 25 Points
    3. Individual Research Article Analysis due April 10th 25 Points
  2. Annotated Bibliography due April 17th
    1. Graded out of 50 Points on April 17th
    2. Graded out of 50 Points May 1st
  3. ROUGH DRAFT DUE FOR REVIEW: April 24th
    1. Hard Copy in class, and digital version uploaded to canvas.
  4. FINAL DRAFT DUE May 1st Hard Copy in class, and digital version uploaded to canvas.
    1. 200 Points
  5. Research Presentation due May 1st
    1. 100 Points

Structuring the Final Paper

SECTION #1: RATIONALE and INTRODUCTION

  • Your RATIONALE is one paragraph that will state the research problem (How should we as a society breakdown the responsibility for education?) and explains why this issue is important (touch upon the educational challenges our society faces) and provides the reader with context needed to truly understand what is to follow.
  • Your introduction will be one paragraph that provides more background information on educational challenges and a preview of what readers should expect from the rest of your paper. For EACH group discussed in Sections #2, #3, and #4, write a one-sentence summary that identifies the specific obligations that expert theorists and practitioners assign to that group. Then write a thesis statement that offers a brief preview of YOUR position on which obligations each group has for making sure that children receive a quality education, including your reasons for why this perspective is the right one. I suggest that you write this section LAST.
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SECTION TWO: The Argument for FAMILY Obligations (THREE paragraphs)

  • Use sources from our assigned material and your independent research that identify SPECIFIC obligations that families have in accessing, shaping, evaluating, or supporting the education of their children. For each source, explain what families are responsible for doing and why. Do your sources identify anything that families should NOT be responsible for? If so, why are families exempted from this set of obligations?

SECTION THREE: The Argument for SCHOOL Obligations (THREE paragraphs)

  • Use sources from our assigned material and your independent research that identify SPECIFIC responsibilities that schools (including teachers and principals) have in providing access to, shaping, evaluating, or supporting the education of children. For each source, explain what schools are responsible for doing and why. Do your sources identify anything that schools should NOT be responsible for? If so, why are schools exempted from this set of obligations?

SECTION FOUR: The Argument for COMMUNITY Obligations (THREE paragraphs)

  • Use sources from our assigned material and your independent research that identify SPECIFIC responsibilities that communities (including the government, businesses, and religious organizations) have in providing access to, shaping, evaluating, or supporting the education of children. For each source, explain what the community is responsible for doing and why. Do your sources identify anything that the community should NOT be responsible for? If so, why is the community exempted from this set of obligations?
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SECTION FIVE: Articulating YOUR Position (Five Paragraphs)

  • After carefully considering all the evidence, explain YOUR position on this issue. From your perspective, what SPECIFIC educational obligations should EACH GROUP (families; schools; communities) be held accountable for providing? Why do you feel the responsibility breaks down in this way? Which sources have influenced your position? Why? Give specific examples from your research to support your argument.

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