COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADE WEIGHTINGS

Class Participation (20%)
Students are expected to attend class every week and participate actively in class discussion.  An active participant is one who has read or otherwise prepared the assignment for the week and contributes in a meaningful way to class discussion.   Students who expect to be absent in any given week should inform the instructor at least 24 hours in advance.  The instructor should also be informed about unanticipated and unavoidable absences as soon as possible after the fact.

Reaction Papers (30%)
Students will submit through Digital Drop Box a minimum of three papers about the books or articles assigned for the course.  Each paper should be three to five pages in length and must address all of the following three questions:

You may also want to comment on whether you found this argument convincing.  But if you take up this important issue, you must explain yourself.  Why did you find the argument either convincing or unconvincing.

These papers are due by 5:00 p.m. of the day on which the reading is scheduled to be discussed in class.

Research Questions and Sources: No historian approaches a subject as vast and complex as the past without having at least some ideas about what s/he wants to know.  Otherwise, s/he would not know where to begin or what to look for.  Research questions about the past are often influenced by the present because historians write for their contemporaries.  In other words,  research questions in history usually reflect contemporary values and concerns.   But historians may not always be able to learn what they want to know about the past.  This is because historians must rely largely on primary sources created not by themselves but others.  Diaries and letters are a good example.  But so are newspapers, governments documents, and institutional records.   In most cases historians can find answers only to those research questions for which there are existing sources.  But it is possible to create new sources; oral history memoirs are a case in point.  In recent years historians have also learned to use a broader array of existing primary sources.  They rely now on images and artifacts (e.g. photographs, tools, architecture) much more than they once did.

Arguments: Good historians make arguments.  They marshal evidence to support one or more generalizations.  The success or failure of their work will depend on how well they do this -- how well they turn their findings into an argument that their readers will find convincing.  Some historians make arguments that are quite explicit.  They state them up front and frequently revisit them.  Others are more subtle.  Their arguments must be inferred from the way in which these historians present their evidence.  Historical narratives are often like this.

Research Paper (50%)
Each doctoral student student in this class will write a short research paper.  Master's degree candidates may also write a research per or do the lesson plan assignment described below.  If you do a research paper, you should plan to make it be ten to fifteen pages in length.  This paper must be deal in some way with education in Philadelphia in the years between 1945 and 1980.  To write this paper you will need to develop one or more research questions, identify relevant primary sources, and develop an argument.  We will spend time in class on each of these tasks.  A Primary Source Starter Kit has been developed to give you some ideas.  Research assistance will be provided through the Urban Archives and the Social Science Data Library.

The Primary Source Tool Kit contains different kinds documents.  These include newspaper articles, policy reports, demographic data, and published memoirs by parents and teachers.  In your work with these and other primary sources, you should bear in mind the following questions:

You will be asked to report to the class on the progress of your research at two different times during the semester.  Use the Discussion Board button on our Blackboard Web site to find the place to post your report.  Please post your first report no later than noon on October 12, 2010.  Please post your second report no later than noon on the day you make your final report (either November 30 or December 7, 2010).

Final Research Paper Due Date:  December 13, 2010

Alternative Assignment for Master's Students (50%)

Master's degree candidates have the option of preparing a lesson plan for use in an elementary, secondary or college classroom.  This lesson plan should include the following elements:

You will be asked to report to the class on your lesson plan at two different times during the semester.  Use the Discussion Board button on our Blackboard Web site to find the place to post your report.  Please post your first report no later than noon on October 12, 2010.  Please post your second report no later than noon on the day you make your final report (either November 30 or December 7, 2010).

Final Lesson Plan Due Date:  December 13, 2010

Final Thoughts

The period you will be studying was an important one in Philadelphia history.  The city's people, economy, and government changed.  Even its appearance was transformed from what it had been for many decades.  Reformers had to contend with the power and pull of traditional ways.  They did not exempt the city's public schools from their critical gaze.   In the 1960s they had the advantage of working when the federal government became involved in educational reform in unprecedented ways.

There are general works on Philadelphia history in the electronic syllabus for UE 5565.  There is a bibliography of selected works on the history of education as well as two lists of works published during the period that will provide you with some clues about its educational policies and priorities.

Bibliographical Materials

Selected Works on Philadelphia History

Short Bibliography on the History of American Education in the Twentieth Century

Published Primary Sources: A Select List

Education Pamphlets in the Urban Archives: A Select List