Education | Topical Explorations in Education
F500 | 25250 | Chafel

F500 Topical Explorations in Education
Reading, Writing, and Thinking about American Schooling:
History, Policy, and Issues
Spring 2007

Dr. Judith A. Chafel
3214 Education Building
Indiana University (Bloomington)

Meets on Friday from 10:00 to12:45 p.m. in Room 1006 Education

Course Description

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction has initiated this
course for graduate students whose first language is not English and
for native speakers of the English language who have been admitted
to various subject area specializations within the Department. The
course closely integrates process objectives with discipline-
specific content to pursue two main objectives: (1) to help students
acquire critical thinking and writing skills important for
successful graduate study; and (2) to acclimate international
students to the conventions and expectations of academic study in
the United States and to the US educational system.

To provide a context for students’ later study in the field of
curriculum and instruction, the content for this year’s course
focuses on “American Schooling: History, Policy, and Issues.” In our
survey of the US educational system, we shall overview the
establishment and evolution of the common (public) school. We shall
then examine the expanding federal role in education by reflecting
on the formation of policy that created Head Start, Title I,
inclusion, and legislation that mandated strict accountability for
schools (No Child Left Behind). Next, we shall consider issues at
the forefront of public discourse about public education (e.g.,
early intervention for children in poverty, “high-stakes testing,”
teacher accountability, and more). Through independent research,
students will have an opportunity to explore topics that reflect the
various subject area specializations represented in the course. A
field-based emphasis will make it possible for students to observe
course content first hand— that is, to integrate theory with
practice. We shall accomplish this goal by visiting two different
school settings.

For further information about the course, please contact Dr. Judith
Chafel at or 856-8136.