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Course Information

Instructor Info:Amy Jordan
Office Extension x5644
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
04:00 PM - 05:20 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 107
04:00 PM - 05:20 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 107

Struggles for equity in education have always been central to African-American strategies for advancement.  African-American ideas about how to make educational equity a reality, however, have varied greatly over time.  This course seeks to examine how various issues in African-American education have evolved throughout the twentieth Century.  The class will begin with the dynamic struggle of Boston’s African American community to desegregate public education during the pre-civil war decade.  We will cover other critical campaigns in the Reconstruction, Jim Crow and Civil Rights/Black Power eras.    

By exploring a range of critical perspectives on black educational history, students will begin to identify specific research questions.  This course will require students to become familiar with resource materials found in the library research databases and in the W.E. B. Dubois Special Collection located at UMASS.  You will also have several opportunities to develop your abilities to analyze primary documents in education during classroom discussions.  Reading materials will cover a wide range of areas of education, such as school building on the local level, desegregation, competing educational philosophies, Black Colleges and Universities, school boycotts, Black teachers and Civil Rights Movement and early childhood education. You will notice many gaps in the existing literature.  Much of the second half of the course will be devoted to exploring new areas of research for a final paper.

Class participation is critical to the success of this course.  You are required to complete the readings for each meeting and to develop three thematic questions for class discussions.  These weekly assignments require that you take some time to jot down questions as you read.  Developing your own critical questions will also allow you to gradually craft research questions that will hold your interest for the duration of the project.  Another important aspect of your classroom participation involves your engagement of the recommended readings.  You will be required to present one of the recommended readings to the class.  In preparation for the presentation, you will write a three page reading response that explores how the recommended reading informs your understanding of the topic for that week.