Philosophical and Cultural Foundations of Inclusive Education

January 26, 2001

Course Description:

EDUC 163/263 is an introduction to the philosophical, historical, cultural, and legal foundations of education within the context of a democratic, multicultural society. Within the area of philosophical foundations, students learn about curricular aims proposed by various philosophical traditions. There is an emphasis on progressive formulations that support the inclusion of students of all abilities and backgrounds within an inclusive milieu. In historical foundations students learn about the immigrant experience in the United States, the movement from segregated to integrated schools, and the history of special education, including society’s response to disability at different periods. In cultural foundations students examine the role that history, immigration, language, discrimination and stratification play in shaping identity and responses to schooling, including assimilation and accommodation. Within this strand students develop multicultural competencies and cross-cultural knowledge to work with diverse students. Within the legal foundations strand students study current legal and procedural safeguards and regulations pertaining to California public education (including individuals with disabilities). They also learn of the professional role of teachers, including the necessity of adhering to a professional code of codes, lifelong learning, and active membership in professional organizations.

Required texts:
Fischer, L., Schimmel, & Kelly, C. (1999). Teachers and the law. New York: Longman

Glazer, S. (Ed.) (1999). The Heart of Learning. P. Tarcher/Putnam.

Nieto, S. (1999, 3 rd ed.) Affirming Diversity. New York: Longman. Primis Case Studies, New York: Jeremy

Schedule of Course Topics

Sept. 13 Course Introduction

Sept. 20 Service Learning – Hm 100 with C. Henry
Heart of Learning, pp. 15-49*; pp. 85-95*

Sept. 27 Philosophical Foundations
Heart of Learning, pp. 97-129, pp. 203-215*

Oct 4 Philosophical Foundations
Heart of Learning, pp. 151-171*, p. 233-245* ;Teachers and the Law, pp. 199-212 ;Journals due for review

Oct 11 Exceptionality and Inclusion
Case Study: Donna Snyder*; Teachers and the Law, pp. 390-410

Oct 18 Racism, Discrimination and Teacher Expectations
Nieto, Chapter 3 (cases only*); Case Study: Maxine Korns*; Teachers and the Law, pp. 333-339, pp.,357-359

Oct 25 Structural and Organizational Issues in Schools
Nieto, Chapter 4 (*cases only); Case Study: Kate Sullivan*

Nov 1 Culture, Identity and Learning
Nieto, Chapter 5 (cases only*; Case Study: Marc Siegel*

Nov 8 Linguistic Diversity
Nieto, Chapter 6 (cases only*)

Nov 15 Student Presentations
Nieto, Chapters 10 and 11

Nov 22 Student Presentations

Nov 29 Teacher and Student Rights
Fieldnote synopsis due Teachers and the Law, pp. 147-165; bottom 191-193; bottom, 251-253; pp. 296-311; pp. 327-328

Dec 6 Teaching as a Profession
pp. 73-110; pp. 125-126 Case Study: Jane Matthews* Journals dues

Course Requirements and Evaluation

Attendance and Participation: (30 points) Students are expected to attend class each week having completed the assigned readings for the week. Participation in class and group discussions is part of the learning process of this course.

Journal Responses to Assigned Readings: (50 points) Students will keep a response journal to readings listed on the course schedule with an asterisk beside them In the responses students should reflect personally on the reading. This might include their emotional or intellectual responses to the reading, points made in the reading they agreed or disagreed with, how useful they believe the reading will be for them as a teacher, or they might make connections to other readings, class material or experiences in their own lives. The point is that no one can tell you what to write since your response to a reading will be unique to you. The instructor’s expectation is that you become personally engaged with the readings and respond thoughtfully, rather than superficially to each reading, from the standpoint of one who is learning to be a teacher. The length of responses will vary but, at a minimum, responses should be at least a few paragraphs in length. Students whose journals are both thoughtful and complete will receive full credit for this assignment.

Service Learning Synopsis: (50 points) Students will make 8 visits of one hour and 15 minutes each working either at Noah Homes, the Sudanese Literacy Project, or the Children’s Center. Students will report and reflect on their experiences in written fieldnotes and in class discussions when the topics of disability, immigration, language, and culture are being presented. The grade for service learning will be based on a four to six page written summary of the experience (see separate handout on service learning).

Research on an Immigration Group: (40 points) Students will work in groups to determine factors specific to a particular cultural group which impact the educational experience of children from that group in the United States.

Final Exam: (30 points) This is a test.

Grading Scale:
200-185 = A; 184-170 = B; 169-150 = C 149-120 = D;119- = F

Please note:
All readings are required, attendance is mandatory
Incompletes will be given only in case of medical emergency

Evaluating Service Learning in EDUC 163/263


Students are expected to turn in by
1. A fieldnote for each service learning visit (see below)
2. A summary/reflection paper (see below)
3. A completed service learning attendance sheet documenting dates and times of visits (See below)

The individual fieldnotes and the service learning attendance sheet are required for documentation but are not evaluated. Only the summary reflection paper will be evaluated. However, summary reflection papers lacking complete documentation will not be accepted.

1. Fieldnotes
Fieldnotes give students the opportunity to analyze and reflect upon service learning experiences and link them to material discussed in class. Because the details of experiences are rapidly forgotten, you should write up fieldnotes as soon as possible after leaving your placement, but never later than the following day. The more attention you give to fieldnotes the easier it will be to write your summary/reflection paper. Each fieldnote should be no longer than two pages in the following format:
Name: Date: Site:

General Site Observations: What did you notice today when you entered? What was the feeling in the room today and the general attitude of the children/residents? What activities were going on? This section should be brief.

Narrative: Describe highlights of your interactions with children/residents as accurately and vividly as you can. Report actual behaviors rather than evaluative judgements about the behaviors. For example, say, “Richard kept approaching the computer and putting his fingers on the keyboard during Jose’s turn” not, “‘Richard was rude and selfish today.” Rather than say, “”Sally was happy to see me”, describe what Sally actually did that led you to reach that conclusion. Describe the activities and conversations that you engaged in and any observations that struck you as significant. This should be the longest section of the fieldnote.

Reflection: Reflect on the meaning of what happened today. Discuss what you learned about the children/residents or raise questions you have about your interactions or observations. How does what you observed confirm or contradict what you already thought you knew? Feel free to engage in interpretation as it relates to your previous experiences, knowledge and ideas. How did you feel about what happened today? Finally, be sure to make connections between class readings and/or discussions and your site experience.
Turn in fieldnote on ____ to receive nongraded feedback

2. Summary/Reflection Paper

Carefully read through all your fieldnotes from the semester and then write a four to six page (double-spaced) paper synthesizing your experiences at your service learning site. Use the same format you used for individual fieldnotes (general site observations, narrative, reflections) however, consider each section to be relating to your experience as a whole rather than to any one visit. Since your space is limited choose the most significant aspects of your experiences to share in each area.

For this paper, unlike the individual fieldnote, the reflection section should be the longest. Be sure to give specific details to support any generalizations that you make. In your reflection section be sure to: (1) discuss the most significant things you learned; (2) discuss how, if at all, your attitudes or beliefs were changed by your experiences; (3) thoughtfully relate the experience to topics covered in class readings and/or discussions.

3. Service Learning Attendance Sheet

Students Name: _________________
Agency Name:__________________

Date: Time In Time Out Agency
Staff Initials


I certify that this is an accurate record of the dates and hours I worked this semester.

Student Signature:_______________________________________


School: University of San Diego
Professor: Steven Gelb, Ph.D.
  • update-img-new

    Get updates on what's new in the Campus Compact Network