Spring 2010 Course Description

Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Section Title: Education, Social Change, and Evolving Public Policy
Instructor(s): Lodis Rhodes
Course: P A 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
(previously Seminar in Topics in Public Policy)
Unique Number: 62450
Day & Time: Wednesdays, 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.212
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: Class counts, though we rarely admit it when talking about schools and schooling.

This course looks at schooling in historical context with an eye on its purported role as a social leveler. It assesses the narrow theoretical base — individual self-determinism coupled with the role of liberal democratic institutions — that accounts for our faith in the power of schooling. The course explores patterns and trends related to inequality — the ever-widening gap in income and wealth at home and abroad. It also suggests re-thinking the prevailing moral orthodoxy — investment in a public good — used to justify publicly subsidized schools. The new look leads to questions of how to re- design schooling at all levels—K-16— to be more consistent with our democratic ethic of inclusion, engaged participation, and capacity to solve real problems.

The course is appropriate for advanced graduate students with active, well-defined research interests in education policy. It may suit beginning graduate students interested in school reform and the broader issues of social inequality, race, and class.

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