143 Grise Hall
|104 Grise Hall||Phone: (270) 745-2152|
|Department of Sociology||Email: Douglas.Smith@wku.edu|
|Western Kentucky University||Webpage: www.wku.edu/~Douglas.Smith/|
|1906 College Heights Blvd. #11057|
|Bowling Green, KY 42101-1057|
|Office Hours: By appointment.|
Rural schools formally and informally shape the boundaries of communities and the identity of community members. This course will investigate the interrelationships between rural communities and rural schools. Several recurring questions will be orienting our work for the semester. In what ways do schools shape (or reshape) the structure of communities? How do communities shape (or reshape) the structure of education? How does being "rural" affect the relationships among communities and their educational institutions? What are the challenges that confront the vitality of both rural schools and communities? How have these challenges changed over time, and what are the implications for educators, residents, and public policy makers? This seminar will provide a solid foundation for students interested and/or engaged in educational leadership, and/or research on the relationships between community and education across multiple contexts. The basis of the course is strongly interdisciplinary with material drawing from education, sociology and rural sociology, economics, anthropology, geography and demography. This course is designed as a graduate seminar in which students will take a major responsibility for guiding the class discussion.
This course is a reading-and-discussion course. Discussions will focus on primary source materials. Each student brings a wide variety of experiences, assumptions and theoretical starting-points and are encouraged to bring thoughtful comments to class and listen to those of others. Students are required to attend all class meetings and come to discussions having already read and thought about the texts.
Students are required to purchase Carr, Patrick J. and Maria J. Kefalas. 2009. Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What it Means for America. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. All other readings will be posted to Blackboard.
In compliance with university policy, students with disabilities who require
academic and/or auxiliary accommodations for this course must contact the Office
for Student Disability Services in Downing University Center, A-200.
The phone number is 270 745 5004.
Please DO NOT request accommodations directly from the professor (Dr. Smith) without a letter of accommodation from the Office for Student Disability Services.
Class attendance is mandatory.
Students should prepare a brief written response (1-2 pages typed, single-spaced) to the weekend's readings for three weekends (of the studentís choosing) out of the four. The written responses are due at the end of the class meeting in which the readings are discussed. Iíll return them the next weekend with brief comments.
I donít expect these responses to be fully developed essays, but rather my hope is that you will use them to consider the contributions the readings make in advancing our understandings of the relationships between rural schools and rural communities. What are the central issues raised in the various selections and how do they enhance our ability to examine organization and change of rural schools and communities? What are the broader theoretical and/or intellectual connections to readings in other weeks? Where are the points of convergence across the readings? How do the readings challenge each other? In which ways do they suggest areas for needed additional research? These are just suggestions for how you might approach the reading responses. Ultimately, Iím interested in your using these writing assignments to grapple with the content of the course, our discussions, and the connections to your own personal, professional, and academic interests.
Last, please identify at least one discussion question raised by the readings that you would like to see addressed during the class. We will use these questions as our guide for discussion each week.
Your final assignment is designed to tie the semesterís readings and discussions together through the development of an paper on a topic of interest to you that enables you to both synthesize the readings of the semester as well as focus on an area related to the topic of rural schools and communities that you find of particular interest or importance. The final paper may also take the form of a prospectus for a research proposal. A paper proposal (1 page) should be submitted to me at the beginning of class on October 30. I also recommend that you talk with me outside of class to discuss this assignment. Your paper should not exceed 20 double-spaced pages (charts, figures, tables and references not included). A hard copy of your final paper will be due Friday, December 17, 2010. Papers may be placed in my mailbox or emailed to me at Douglas.Smith@wku.edu..
During the last weekend, the student will be asked to perform a self-assessment of their participation in this course. This assessment will be due November 20, 2010.
NOTE: Dates and Course materials may be changed at the professor's discretion.
|Weekend I (Sept. 24-25): Defining the Scope
Weekend II (Oct. 15-16): Looking at Teaching and Learning Sociologically
Weekend III (Oct. 29-30): The Impact of other Sociological Contexts
Weekend IV (Nov. 19-20): Where do we go from here?
All students are expected to act with civility, personal integrity; respect other students' dignity, rights and property; and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their own efforts. An environment of academic integrity is requisite to respect for self and others and a civil community. Academic integrity includes a commitment to not engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty include cheating or copying, plagiarizing, submitting another persons' work as one's own, using Internet sources without citation, fabricating field data or citations, "ghosting" (taking or having another student take an exam), stealing examinations, tampering with the academic work of another student, facilitating other students' acts of academic dishonesty, etc. Students charged with a breach of academic integrity will receive due process and, if the charge is found valid, academic sanctions may range, depending on the severity of the offense, from F for the assignment to F for the course.
© 2010, Douglas Clayton Smith
Last Revised: 09/09/10.