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Edmund T. Gordon, Chair 210 W. 24th Street , Mailcode E3400, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4362

Louis Harrison

Professor Ph.D., 1997, Kinesiology, Louisiana State University

Professor of Curriculum and Instruction


AFR 372D • Sociocul Influences On Learn

30280 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm SZB 278
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Instructor: Louis Harrison

Course description and objectives

The purpose of this course is to explore and critically analyze the role of sociocultural factors in the learning process. We will consider the influence of race, gender, class, culture, and religion and how they influence and shape teaching and learning. Emphasis will be placed on the experiences of marginalized and underserved groups in the United States’ educational system. At the completion of this course students are expected to have a more comprehensive understanding of the potent influence sociocultural factors exert on teaching and learning. Students are also expected to develop and foundational knowledge from which to develop strategies for working with students from all backgrounds.

Course Texts


1) Ladson-Billings, G. (2009). The dreamkeepers: Successful teacher of African American children (2nd ed.) San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

2) Valenzuela, A. (1999). Subtractive Schooling: U.S.-Mexican Youth and the Politics of

Caring. State University of New York Press.

Other readings will be assigned as needed.

Instructional Format

Our daily class sessions will consist of lecture, class and small group discussions, and student presentations. Because this course focuses on reflection and critical thought, it is essential that the assigned readings are completed prior to the class meeting for which they are scheduled.

Requirements and grading

Participation: 15 %

This includes attendance, completion of assigned readings, and active engagement in class discussions and activities. Active engagement requires expressing your own thoughts and listening to those of others, engaging in respectful dialogue with classmates, and willingness to challenge and to be challenged by the important ideas in this course. Students may also be asked to take a leadership role in a particular class discussion, participate in role plays or dramatizations, and/or share their expertise in other ways.

Instructional Autobiography:

You will be required to share with the class your “life story” in a reflective and creative 5 minute presentation. You should include your personal/professional autobiography: Who are you? How did you get here? How are you raced, gendered, classed and how this influences who you

are? This project will form the foundational introductory exercise for the course and is intended to encourage the creation of a learning community willing to share their lived experiences and how those experiences inform present and future practice.

Assignments (Approx. 8-10): 20%

These will vary dependant on the specific needs of the students. Assignments will include (but are not limited to) summaries of research articles pertaining to the course content, reflections, observations, evaluations, and data collection for in-class group work. All written work must be typed, double spaced, and spell-checked. Late papers will be reduced by 25% for the first day and 50% the second day late.

Examination: 25%.

This examination will have a varied format (multiple choice, short answer, essay items) reflective of the covered course content.

Service Learning Field Work: 20%

Students are required to provide volunteer services to a community center, school, after school program, etc. with a racial/ethnic population that is different from their own (pre-approval required). Students must complete 20 hours of documented service. Monthly reports of field experiences are due on February 2, March 1, and April 5 . Reports consist of descriptions of activities and application of concepts learned in prior classes.

Final Project: 20%

Each student will self select a group (limit 4 per group), or work individually, to prepare a 10 minute multimedia presentation that integrates their knowledge of course content with their field experiences. This presentation will be presented to the class for evaluation on the final class dates.

Grading Scale:

93 - 100 = A 73 - 76 = C

90 - 92 = A- 70 - 72 = C-

87 - 89 = B+ 67 - 69 = D+

83 - 86 = B 63 - 66 = D

80 - 82 = B- 60 - 62 = D-

77 - 79 = C+ Below 60 = F

Your work is a statement of your ability and competence. Make sure it speaks well for you!

AFR 374D • African Americans In Sport

30430 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 930am-1100am SZB 104
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Course Overview: The purpose of this course is to examine the experiences of African- Americans in sport. Students will be introduced to the historical, sociological, economic, psychological, anatomical, and physiological aspects of sport unique to the African American. Also, students will consider the overall impact of sport on the African American community.

Course Goals: The intent of this course is to equip the student to:

• Engage in critical thought about racial issues in sport

• Look historically at the issue of racial participation in sport in the U.S.

• Understand the real physiological, anatomical, and psychological differences between African Americans and European Americans

• Explore the issues faced by African American student athletes

• Understand the impact of stereotypes and racial identity on sport participation

• Examine the unique issues faced by African American female athletes

• Explore the myths associated with career aspirations of African American athletes

AFR 374D • Sociocul Influences On Learn

30460 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm SZB 370
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The purpose of this course is to explore and become familiar with the vital role sociocultural factors play in the learning process. These factors, which are embedded both in historic ways of constructing what it means to be “normal,” and in institutional practices and social inequalities, fundamentally shape how individuals understand themselves, their place in the world, as well as others around them. In particular, this course will consider how issues related to race, class, gender, culture and sexuality operate in and exert an influence on the teaching and learning process. Focus will be placed on the experiences faced by student populations that have historically experienced challenges and marginalization in U.S. educational systems. It is expected that at the conclusion of the course, you will have a more comprehensive and complex understanding of the role sociocultural factors have played and continue to play in learning; as well as the perspectives necessary to embark on working effectively with children and youth from all backgrounds.

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