Final Paper Topics

Spring 2001

Ed. St. 4111-001


Choose one of the following questions as the topic for your final paper. The paper should offer an argument, supported by material from the readings, lecture, and class discussions. A paper that is not well informed by the course materials will not be considered a passing final paper. (When quoting, indicate page numbers. Also cite your reference when paraphrasing. Be careful not to paraphrase too closely.) Be sure to take into account any important counter-arguments or counter-evidence introduced in the course. You are encouraged to work with other students in studying for the paper, but the actual paper should be distinctively your own work. The paper should be 7 to 10 pages long (standard 12-point font and 1-inch margins), typed, and double spaced.



1. Focusing on a particular category or cross-section of deficit and difference theories from the course (e.g., gender, sexuality, class, and/or race), explain what you see as both the strengths and limitations of each of the three pedagogical frameworks in that regard. For example, you might want to argue that the nurturance pedagogical framework is less inclined than the other two frameworks to buy into deficit assumptions about class and gender, while craft pedagogy has fewer strengths, and transmittal pedagogy is most problematic. Or vice versa). Explain the strengths and limitations of each framework, drawing on the relevant readings, lectures, and class discussions. Be sure to give examples of each of the pedagogical frameworks from the readings, as well as examples of difference and deficit theories. (In this question, you are welcome to bring in structural analyses, but you are not required to do so.)





2. Institutional analyses of teaching suggest (among other things) that teachers' decisions about pedagogy are tied in part to issues of social class and in part to anxiety about classroom control. Select two key institutional issues from the readings and discuss how usefully, in your view, each of the three pedagogical frameworks addresses these particular institutional questions. For example, how successful is each of the frameworks likely to be (and why) at addressing 1) the pattern of defensive teaching that McNeil describes and 2) the emphasis on social control that Violas, O'Hanlon, and others describe? (Be sure to give examples of each of the pedagogical frameworks from the readings, as well as examples of the institutional issues on which you focus.)





3. How would each of the three pedagogical frameworks support and/or interfere with your including culturally conscious fiction or non-fiction in your classroom? How might institutional factors support and/or hinder successful use of culturally conscious fiction or non-fiction in the classroom? (Specify the grade level. Also, be sure to use examples from the readings.)





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