Your final paper should address one of the topics listed below. The paper must offer an argument, well supported by relevant material from the 1) assigned course readings since the midterm, 2) in-class videos, 3) in-class activities (e.g., the biography project, textbook deconstruction, and process drama), 4) lectures, and 5) analyses and arguments covered in your discussion section. A paper that is not appropriately informed by the relevant course materials will not be considered a passing final paper. Take into account any important counter-arguments or counter-evidence introduced in the course. Also be sure to make use of your instructor's comments on previous assignments to sharpen and polish your argument and writing in this paper.
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. When quoting, indicate page numbers. Also cite
your reference when paraphrasing. Be careful not to paraphrase too closely.
1. Choosing transmittal, nurturance, or craft pedagogy as your
framework, discuss its strengths and limitations with regard to how it
addresses cultural, power, language, and gender differences. Consider both
arguments and counter-arguments concerning these strengths and limitations
and include specific examples from lecture, discussion, course readings,
and class videos. Explain how you think that the limitations you describe
might best be addressed in democratic classrooms. (You may wish to specify
elementary, middle, high school, or college level teaching in your paper.)
2. As institutions, schools often attempt to address issues of conflict
and difference through generic, colorblind and genderblind rules or through
tightened forms of control. Focusing on the institutional analyses offered
in relevant articles and books from the course, discuss how schools' attempts
to institute conflict-free institutional settings may either accept or
problematize deficit assumptions about particular groups. Your paper should
include a discussion of deficit and difference theories, as well as the
ways in which "welcoming" approaches may inadvertently produce "unwelcoming"
3. Imagine that you are assigned to teach a novel, biography, non-fiction
book (e.g., about music, art, dance, or science), or textbook that you
consider to fall short of standards of cultural consciousness about a non-dominant
group. Choosing a particular children's or young adult fiction or non-fiction
book, biography, or textbook, explain how you as a teacher would address
this problematic text within each of the three pedagogical frameworks (transmittal,
nurturance, and craft). In your discussion, specify the grade level (or
general age category) and describe the concerns that you think that the
book (or some part of the book) raises. Explain which of the three pedagogical
frameworks you think would be most valuable for teaching students to think
critically about this aspect of the text, and why.