Philosophy of Education

November 2, 2004

Molloy College

Course: PHI 203: Philosophy of Education
Session: Fall 2000
Instructor: Dr. Michael S. Russo
Course Hours: Mon, 3:26 6:15
Location: Philosophy Department Seminar Room
Office: 1079 Hempstead Ave.
Mon/Wed: 12:15 3:15pm
Tues/Thurs: 3 5:30pm

I. Course Objectives

Since the time of Plato philosophers have been concerned with the best way to educate young men and women. Indeed, some of the greatest thinkers in the history of Western thought have developed provocative theories about the goals of education and the means to attain these goals within the classroom. The aim of this course is to examine some of these great theories of education in order to determine what they can tell us about the proper way to educate students today.

Because this is a service learning course, students will have the opportunity to put what they are learning in the classroom into practice by working one on one with at risk children from the Uniondale or Hempstead school districts.

II. Required Texts

  • John Dewey. Experience and Education.
  • Michael S. Russo. Philosophy of Education (On Line Collection of Readings).
  • Michael S. Russo. Creating a Service Learning Web Site: A Guide for Students.
  • Michael S. Russo. Research in Philosophy: A Guide for Students.
  • Charles Sykes. Dumbing Down Our Kids. New York: St. Martin’s, 1995.

III. Absences

As is stated in the college catalogue, “students are expected to attend classes, regularly and punctually.” Because your active participation in this class and during field work is so essential, only one unexcused absence will be permitted during the semester. After the first unexcused absence, your grade for this course will automatically be reduced by 3 points
for each subsequent absence.

Be advised that attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class. Students who arrive to class late are responsible for reminding the instructor to change the attendance record from absent (A) to late (L). Three lates will officially count as one absence in determining your grade for this class.

IV. Grading System

Your grade for this class will be based upon the following:

40 hours of Service Learning at an approved site
Service Learning Web Project 70%
Index Page (5%)
Service Learning Journal (15%)

Page of Annotated Links (10%)
Bibliography (10%)
Article/Book Reviews (10%)
Research Paper (20%)
Cumulative Final Exam 30%

A. Forty Hours of Service Learning

This course requires you to spend a minimum of forty hours mentoring at risk youth. Among the sites where you can perform this service are the following:

  • Percy Jackson Youth Center (Hempstead, NY)
  • Rising Star After School Program (Hempstead, NY)
  • California Ave. School/After School Program (Uniondale, NY)
  • Molloy Big Brothers/Sisters (Thursday Afternoons from 3:30 5:30pm only)

For more information about any of these programs, see Elizabeth Cazalet, Director of Service Learning, at the Center for Social and Ethical Concerns [1079 Hempstead Ave]. If there is another site where you would prefer to do your mentoring, please speak to me first.

B. Service Learning Web Project

The specific components of your service learning web project are explained in Creating a Service-Learning Web Site: A Guide for Students. See the course schedule for the dates in which each of
these components are due.

The topic of your web site should focus on a social problem facing children on Long Island or on a educational issue or concern confronting our schools. Resources will be handed out during the second week of class to help you identify an issue that is meaningful to you.

Unlike typical assignments, the work that you do on your web project will never have to be submitted to your instructor in hard copy. On the dates in which each component of the project is due, I will inspect your work on line and email you with my comments and a grade for your work.

One entire class period will be devoted to teaching the skills necessary to create a basic web site. Students who are interesting in creating a more visually interesting site are invited to attend one of the extra sessions that are available to learn more advance web design skills. See the course schedule for the specific dates that these extra sessions will be offered.

C. Final Exam

The final exam for this class will be cumulative. It will, in other words, include all of the material that has been discussed in class. The exam will include a combination of objective and essay questions.

V. Reading Assignments

This course has been prepared for you in a way best suited to maximize your understanding of the subject matter. I would readily acknowledge that reading philosophical texts can often be difficult for the novice. To assist you in this process, however, I have done three important things for you:

I have put several of my course notes on line to provide background information on some of the philosophers we will be studying.

I have put almost all of the texts that I am planning to use in this class on line in my own edited editions.

I added margin notes and questions for reflection to each of the on lines texts that you will be reading for this class.

It is extremely important for you to come to class each week having done the assigned readings and having made a diligent effort to answer all of the review questions. If you don’t do the readings prior to the class in which they are discussed, you

Course Schedule

9/11 Introduction to Course

9/18 The Crisis in American Education Sykes
Dumbing Down Our Kids (pp. I Look over Education 82) “Guidelines for service Learning”; print out copies of SL Contract and Time Sheet. The Crisis in American Education Sykes, Dumbing Down Our Kids (pp. 83 193)
Meet with coordinator to set up your service.

10/2 Platonic Idealism Plato

11/11 Submit S L Contract to Instructor; begin mentoring.

11/12 Platonic Idealism
Creating Your SL Web Site
Meet in Academic Computer Lab

11/13 Aristotelian Realism
Optional Web Design Class when: 3:30 5pm at 1079 Hempstead Ave

12/6 Roman Pragmatism – Quintilian
Annotated Links Page due
Optional Web Design Class when: 12 1:30pm at 1079 Hempstead Ave

12/11 Education in Medieval Europe Augustine
Bibliography due

12/13 Enlightenment Approaches to Locke; Kant, What is Enlightenment?
Book/Article Reviews due

12/15 Rousseau’s Naturalism Rousseau I / II

12/16 Rousseau’s Naturalism Rousseau III / IV

12/17 The Progressive Traditionalist Debate Ravitch, “Left Back”
Research Paper Due Hutchins, “Tradition”
Dewey, “Proposal”
Hutchins, “Grammar”
Dewey, “Higher Learning”

Optional Review Class when: 3:30 5pm at 1079 Hempstead Ave

Final Exam see exam schedule

School: Molloy College
Professor: Michael S. Russo
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