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The purpose of this assignment is for you to research, summarize and synthesize knowledge on a self-chosen topic that

The purpose of this assignment is for you to research, summarize and synthesize knowledge on a self-chosen topic that has meaning and potential impact for you and your academic/career path, and that is aligned with content from this course. This self-directed project allows you to investigate an issue that is prevalent in the public school system and a cause you can work to help improve. The specific topic will be determined by you, but the overall topic must be related to something covered in the course content. You may select a topic from the list below of topics covered in this course or from the list of Big Ideas or if you are interested in a topic not listed, contact me to discuss.

Skills that will be monitored and assessed, as a result of this project, include written and oral communication and critical thinking. Written communication will be showcased through the research summaries/synthesis. Critical thinking is required for the synthesis portion of this project.

List of topics that have been covered in the course:

· Schools defining and shaping American Life- the relationship between school organization and the Constitution

· The meaning and practice of democracy through the organization and mission of schools

· Control of schools (local community vs. state and federal government)

· Challenges of growing student enrollment

· Issues of nationhood and citizenship

· Public Schools as the battleground for issues related to racial, ethnic, religious, and gender differences

· Growth of immigrant populations–Americanization and assimilation

· Segregated vs. integrated education for African Americans, Native Americans,

· Latinos, and Asian Americans

· Student achievement

· Relationship between schools and organized religion- religious issues

· Forming the core of the American fabric the separation of religion and state

· Role of women in the development of teaching as a profession (pay, moral

· Example, the development of the system hierarchies)

· Teacher salaries

· School costs and expenditures

· School reform efforts and conflict surrounding innovation and experimentation

· Standardization of school structure (length of school year), pedagogy, curriculum, and materials.

· Charter School movement

List of Big Ideas:

Part I: The Common School

The Colonial Period and American Revolution
Jefferson’s Vision
Horace Mann
Protestantism vs. Catholicism
The Sarah Roberts Case
Catherine Beecher
Part II: As American as Public School

Child labor and Immigration
John Dewy and Progressive Education
The Gary Plan- Industrial Education
English-Only Curriculum
The Stanford-Binet Test
The Great Depression and World War II
Life Adjustment Education
The Cold War
Part III: Separate and Unequal

Brown vs. Board of Education
The Little Rock Nine
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Elementary and Secondary School Act
Mexican Americans- Crystal City, Texas
Bilingual Education
Women’s Civil Rights and Title IX
Students with Disabilities
Busing and White Flight
Part IV The Bottom Line

A Nation at Risk
Standards and High Stakes Testing
Alternative Schools
Home Schooling
The Education Industry
Charter Schools

Requirements for written research project:

You will be required to use four (4) research articles focused on your topic. You may use more but no less. Articles must be retrieved from the NJCU library databases. They MUST be peer reviewed and published in the last 20 years.

The synthesis chart will pull the ideas and information from your multiple sources into a coherent whole. Synthesizing requires the ability to digest information and present it in an organized fashion. A synthesis is NOT A REGURGITATION of your article summaries but a chart identifying the common themes that were prevalent in EACH article and supporting each theme with evidence from the articles.

Project Format Requirements (in PowerPoint)

· Title page slide

· Article slide pages: APA citation of each article, bulleted points (slides- 1 for each article),

· Synthesis chart slide

· Work cited page

– Example in file