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The University of Winnipeg Faculty of Education

Educational Settings and the Sociology of Learning

EDUC-3400 (245) 3 Credit Hours
Summer 2015: July 3 - 29


Glenys MacLeod


Class Time: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Location: Room 1E06
Office Hours: by appointment
VW Date: Thursday, July 20 2015

Educational Settings and the Sociology of Learning

This course is an introduction to the study of learning utilizing sociological principles. Social factors affecting
teaching and learning will be examined. It will consider educational settings as learning environments,
examining such features as the social characteristics of students, schools and their surroundings, that have an
impact on school performance. Some attention is given to a consideration of the relationship between school
learning environments and educational reform.

Course Objectives:

To examine the relationship between education and society,

To discuss the role of education in Canada as seen through the lens of various social theories,

To explore the role of factors such as gender, ethnicity, class and disabilities in social reproduction, in
social capital, in teaching and learning, in the education system and in society.

To develop a critical perspective on classrooms and schools.

Suggested Text
Wotherspoon, Terry. (2009). The Sociology of Education in Canada. Third
Edition. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press Canada.

Reflection Assignments


Reflect or respond to a relevant issue or specific question form our class discussions. Criteria for these assignments will
be developed during our first class. Length: 1 - 1 typed, double spaced pages (approximately 300 words)

Educational Settings


Monday, July 13

Choose two educational settings. Provide a physical description of each setting. Discuss the learning objectives,
curriculum and teaching strategies present. Analyse the setting in relation to the social theories explored in class.
Compare the social factors that contribute to a learners success in each environment making reference to topics
discussed in the first four classes. Length: 3 typed, double spaced pages (750 words).

Inequality in Educational Settings Presentations 20%

Friday, July 24 and Monday, July 27

In this 1520 minute presentation individual students or student groups will discus a dimension of Educational
Inequality. The discussion will focus on the factors surrounding this type of inequality: the effect on individual student
learning, the impact on the classroom and school community, support for the learner and examples from the field.

Planning for Social Factors in Classroom Learning Environments


Wednesday, July 29

Create a series of lessons (minimum 5 lessons) in which you incorporate the major themes of the course. You will be
provided with a fictional class, school and community to guide your planning. Each lesson must include specific
curricular outcomes, teaching strategies, learning activities and an assessment plan. A discussion section must follow
each lesson and will include an analysis of equality of access, opportunity and achievement, evidence of differentiation,
links to the purpose of education, incorporation of employability skills, opportunities for the development of learning
behaviours, as well as an evaluation of the elements of social and cultural capital that may favor some students over
You will share a Project Proposal, a 2 or 3 minute summary of your ideas (What outcomes you have chosen? What
assessments are you considering? Which social factors will be the most difficult accommodate? How will you support
struggling learners? and How can we help?) on Wednesday, July 22.


A+ 96 - 100
B+ 83 - 87
C+ 69 - 76
D 50 - 59


92 - 95
77 - 82
60 - 68
49 or below

A 88 - 91

Final Grades: All final gr ades ar e tentative until appr oved by the Senate Committee on Academic Standar ds
which issues grades on behalf of the University of Winnipeg Senate.
If an assignment is lost or stolen, students are required to provide a copy of the original.
All written tasks must be typed, unless done in class as part of individual or group work, in which case work must be
easily legible. Formal papers must be within APA format, in keeping with the current edition.

University of Winnipeg Policies

Students with documented disabilities, temporary or chronic medical conditions requiring academic
accommodations for tests/exams (e.g., private space) or during lectures/laboratories (e.g., note-takers) are
encouraged to contact Accessibility Services (AS) at 204-786-9771 or to
discuss appropriate options. Specific information about AS is available on-line at
accessibility. All information about a students disability or medical condition remains confidential. http://
UWinnipeg promotes a scent-free environment. Please be respectful of the needs of classmates and the
instructor by avoiding the use of scented products while attending lectures. Exposure to perfumes and other
scented products (such as lotion) can trigger serious health reactions in persons with asthma, allergies,
migraines or chemical sensitivities
Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Academic Regulations and Policies found in the
University of Winnipeg Course Calendar, available online at Particular attention should be given to subsections 8
(Student Discipline), 9 (Senate Appeals), and 10 (Grade Appeals). Please note, in particular, the subsection of
Student Discipline pertaining to plagiarism which reads in part Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty
in which individuals present published or unpublished work (written, electronic or other) of another person or
persons, in its entirety or in part, as their own. While scholarship quite properly rests upon examining and
referring to the thoughts and writings of others, when excerpts are used in any work submitted for evaluation,
the sources must be acknowledged, using an accepted form for the discipline. (University of Winnipeg, 2014,
Section 8(a)i.) For a more comprehensive listing and discussion on acts of plagiarism and forms of misconduct
refer to the above mentioned sections of the online calendar.
Students who plan to conduct research interviews, focus groups, surveys, or any other method of collecting
data from any person, even a family member, must obtain the approval of the UHREB before commencing
data collection. Exceptions are research activities in class as a learning exercise. See
index/research-human-ethics.html for submission requirements and deadlines.
All students, faculty and staff have the right to participate, learn and work in an environment that is free of
harassment and discrimination. The UW Respectful Working and Learning Environment Policy may be found
online at
Students may not submit one paper for credit in two different courses without the consent of each instructor.
All final grades are tentative until approved by the Senate Committee on Academic Standards, which issues
grades on behalf of the University of Winnipeg Senate.
It is the students responsibility to retain a photocopy or computer disk copy of ALL assignments submitted
for grading; in the event of loss or theft, a duplicate copy is required.

Our Classroom Community

As described in the University of Winnipeg Academic Calendar The Bachelor of Education Program leads to
a professional degree. Accordingly, students are expected to attend, be punctual and participate in all classes.
These expectations acknowledge their importance for the teaching and learning process and the professional
responsibilities of teachers.

Success criteria for all assignments will include your ability to make connections to topics and activities from
our class time together. If it is necessary to be away from class please let me know via email
( before class so that we can make alternate arrangements.

Late Assignments: Students ar e expected to submit assignments on or befor e the assigned date. Late
assignments may be penalized up to one grade classification per week. In the event of extenuating
circumstances, a student may request an extension without penalty prior to the due date.

Cell Phones and Laptops: In or der to fully participate in the cour se, students ar e asked to tur n off cell
phones during class. The use of laptops in the classroom should be limited to course work only.

Tentative Topics and Timeline

Friday, July 3

Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Sociology of Education

Course Outline
Monday, July 6

The Sociological Analysis of Education

Wotherspoon Ch 1, pp. 116

Learning the Student Role; Kindergarten as Academic Boot Camp

Reflection #1 due Society is like, School is like...

Wednesday, July 8

Social Theories of Education

Wotherspoon Ch 2 pp. 21-53

What does it mean to be well-educated Alfie Kohn

Reflection #2 due Most Memorable Learning in School

Friday, July 10

Historical Dimensions of Canadian Education

Wotherspoon Ch 3 pp.55-77

Reflection #3 due A School for 2050

Monday, July 13

The Structure of Canadian Education System

Wotherspoon Ch 4 pp.78-108

Educational Settings Assignment due

Wednesday, July 15

Inequality in Educational Attainment

Safe School Survey

A New Face on Poverty

Friday, July 17

Social and Cultural Capital

Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital James S. Coleman

Merchants of Cool

Monday, July 20

The Process of Schooling

Wotherspoon Ch 5 pp.107-144

Is Parent Involvement on School Councils Working?

Reflection #4 due Socially Harmful, Socially Helpful

Wednesday, July 22

Schooling and Work

Wotherspoon Ch 7 pp.181-223

Social Factors in Classroom Learning Environments Proposals

Friday, July 24

Inequality in Educational Settings

A tale of two schools: The correlation between income and education in Toronto

Every Class in Every School EGALE
Monday, July 27

Group Presentations
Wednesday, July 29

Inequality in Educational Settings

Challenges and Reforms in Education

Social Factors in Classroom Learning Environments due.

This timeline for topics should be considered a guide only. Time constraints and other unforeseen factors may require
that some of the above topics be omitted or covered in less detail.
The Voluntary Withdrawal Date for this course is Thursday, July 20 2015. The Educational Settings Assignment,
worth 20% of your final grade as well as Reflection Assignments 1, 2, and 3 worth 15% of your final grade will be
marked and returned to you prior to this date.