Justifications for K-12 education standards, goals, and curriculum Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1g05ff777

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  • In the contemporary U.S., the state, through the Legislative Assembly, the State Board of Education, and the Department of Education, sets policies for K-12 education. These include goals and standards that affect the kinds of influences local officials, parents, and students can have on various education programs, required and elective coursework, graduation requirements, and curriculum content. The state ought to be able to justify their education policies to citizens. I argue here for a pragmatist informed "minimalist approach" to justifying education policies. This approach has state officials (and subsequently local officials) use local, situated reasons for justifying their education standards, goals, and curriculum. I argue that if state officials utilize a minimalist approach to justify education policies, it will be easier for citizens to contest (or support) the state's policies because the language employed will better represent citizen's local, situated common experiences, and be contestable on those grounds. One consequence of this minimalist approach is that state officials could exclude justifications that are made by appealing to isolated, abstract conceptions. Isolated, abstract conceptions are, as pragmatists such as Rorty have argued, transcendental in nature and doomed to failure; fortunately, as the pragmatist defense of a minimalist approach shows, they are also unnecessary. Some implications of adopting a pragmatist-informed approach is that the state should give up terms and phrases that attempt to (i) construct a unifying theory for justification or for truth; (ii) construct and somehow universally justify a single best particular method for interpreting texts and analyzing scientific processes; and/or (iii) construct comprehensive and complete standards. Rather, state officials ought to identify local, situated reasons for particular policies. From these local appeals, state officials could construct a minimal set of education policies that leave room for local officials and teachers to have particular freedoms in constructing programs, projects, and curricula. I approach this argument through a critique of select education policies in Oregon, Texas, Arizona, and Tennessee. I argue that these policies, like many education policies and standards, lack adequate justifications. Those justifications that are provided are too vague and susceptible to interpretations that are not relevant to the particular purposes of the policies. For instance, certain policies have illegitimately led to the denial of funding for "Ethnic Studies" programs in Arizona, or allowed for irrelevant teacher and student criticisms of theories within the sciences to be explored and entertained as legitimate in Tennessee classrooms. My recommendations, if followed, would give state officials grounds for excluding the concerns of citizens that are not relevant to particular policies and provide a legitimate, justifiable basis for constructing state education policies.
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Sean Creighton (creights@onid.orst.edu) on 2013-04-09T19:34:56Z No. of bitstreams: 3 license_rdf: 21791 bytes, checksum: edec36a05ea144a7d0904ee6714c2151 (MD5) license_text: 0 bytes, checksum: d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e (MD5) CreightonSeanP2013.pdf: 238654 bytes, checksum: 9a53dc9abf0ecaaf1d53074cc86572a1 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Sean Creighton (creights@onid.orst.edu) on 2013-04-09T23:18:12Z No. of bitstreams: 3 license_rdf: 21791 bytes, checksum: edec36a05ea144a7d0904ee6714c2151 (MD5) license_text: 0 bytes, checksum: d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e (MD5) CreightonSeanP2013.pdf: 233637 bytes, checksum: 97d91eb6c0adc6df2c47ec3d5debb52f (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-04-10T14:47:02Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 3 license_rdf: 21791 bytes, checksum: edec36a05ea144a7d0904ee6714c2151 (MD5) license_text: 0 bytes, checksum: d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e (MD5) CreightonSeanP2013.pdf: 233637 bytes, checksum: 97d91eb6c0adc6df2c47ec3d5debb52f (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2013-04-11T15:29:23Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 3 license_rdf: 21791 bytes, checksum: edec36a05ea144a7d0904ee6714c2151 (MD5) license_text: 0 bytes, checksum: d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e (MD5) CreightonSeanP2013.pdf: 233637 bytes, checksum: 97d91eb6c0adc6df2c47ec3d5debb52f (MD5) Previous issue date: 2013-01-07
  • description.provenance : Rejected by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu), reason: Rejecting to add - Commencement 2013 to the bottom of the title page. Once revised, open the item that was rejected. Replace the attached file with the revised file and resubmit. Thanks, Julie on 2013-04-09T21:10:46Z (GMT)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Laura Wilson(laura.wilson@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-04-11T15:29:23Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 3 license_rdf: 21791 bytes, checksum: edec36a05ea144a7d0904ee6714c2151 (MD5) license_text: 0 bytes, checksum: d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e (MD5) CreightonSeanP2013.pdf: 233637 bytes, checksum: 97d91eb6c0adc6df2c47ec3d5debb52f (MD5)

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