Enrique G. Murillo, Jr., Ph.D.

College of Education


EELB 612 - Murillo


Course Overview: Through readings, small group and whole class discussions, lectures, writing assignments, observations, interviews, document analyses, group work, group projects, relevant videos, and guest speaker presentations, graduate students will come to understand major instructional, theoretical and political positions in planning and interpreting bilingual and bi-cultural educational contexts. Educational research findings, implications for curriculum development and teaching practices will be discussed, however, the social and cultural factors that inform the classroom will be emphasized. That is, in order to understand the school performance of language minority students, one must first appreciate the social, historical, political, and cultural themes and contexts in which school learning takes place. Not only will we discuss the major barriers to educational success, but also the cultural, personal, and linguistic strengths these learners are likely to bring with them to school.

Course Rationale: The school performance of language minority students has often been attributed to individual and minority cultural variables (i.e., second language proficiency, socioeconomic status, lack of motivation, diminished parental involvement, cultural inferiority, etc...). Although some of these attributes in combination with school and teacher variables (i.e., programs, teacher competency, monolingualism, student expectations, etc...) could interact in ways to influence student performance, the influence of social-legislative policy, social class, curriculum differentiation programs and the traditional ways of schooling minority children must be understood as contributing conditions that effect teaching and learning and ultimately school performance. By understanding how these broader sociological and cultural contexts influence public sentiment, educational policy and school practices, teachers will understand that school and classroom activities must go beyond basic literacy skills to consider the extended issues of social justice, equality and intellectual apartheid.

Relevant Professional Standards: See Attachment.

Course Goals and Learning Objectives: The goals and objectives of this course are grounded on the belief that teachers and students of education need to understand the greater social, political, historical, and cultural contexts beyond their individual classrooms or programs. By understanding these broader concepts, issues and perspectives, educators may able to “contextualize” their own experiences and those of their students. In short, learning is a socio-cultural process that takes place across multiple contexts.

1) To understand the relationship between society, culture and schools and their impact on Language Minority Students.

2) To understand how schools, as cultural institutions, mediate the socialization of cultural norms such as: language acquisition, academic and cognitive competence and cultural identity.

3) To understand the relationship between social structure, cultural norms and educational inequity.

Course Readings:
1) Valdés, Guadalupe (2001). Learning and Not Learning English: Latino Students in American Schools. New York and London: Teachers College Press.
2) Valenzuela, Angela (1999). Subtractive Schooling: U.S. Mexican Youth and the Politics of Caring. New York: State University of New York Press.
3) Valencia, Richard R., editor (2002). Chicano School Failure and Success: Past, Present, and Future (Second
Edition). London and New York: Routledge/Falmer.

Course Requirements:
1) Preparation / Attendance / In-Class Participation                                                                        – 10 points

2) Class Reading Summary / Facilitation / Presentation                                                                  – 15 points
            (summarize and facilitate a class reading for one session)

3) Book Review #1                                                                                                                             – 15 points
            (3 page paper due session 4, instructions attached)

4) Midterm
            Media Analysis                                                                                                                        – 20 points
            (critical analysis of 4 media items, due session 6, instructions attached)

5) Book Review #2                                                                                                                            – 15 points
            (3 page paper due session 8, instructions attached)

6) Course Evaluation (due session 9, form attached)                                                                       – 5 points

7) Final Project
            Community Asset Mapping                                                                                                   – 20 points
            (create a collage and map of your journey and experiences and present,
              with your team, to larger group, due session 10, instructions attached)
                                                                                                                                                          – 100 points

In all participation and assignments (whether in-class or out-of-class), I am looking for evidence of:
– understanding and application of facts, concepts, terms, and processes learned/read/discussed in class;
– demonstration of substantial knowledge and higher order thinking and analytic skills;
– critical reflexivity, i.e., “wrestling” with issues and topics;
– frequent and appropriate use of new and reconstituted knowledge learned in class;
– imaginative thinking and responses to challenges/problems/issues;
– “reading between the lines” and “digging” into underlying assumptions about knowledge production;
– clarity of expression and logical connection among ideas expressed;
– scholarly writing that reflects precise and concise thinking;
– no or few errors in grammar, syntax, and spelling; and
– where methodologically appropriate, general format and reference style consistent with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) and CSUSB College of Education.

The grade assignment, based on points, is as follows:
            A: 94 - 100          A-: 90 - 93          B+: 87 - 89         B: 83 - 86         B-: 80 - 82
          C+: 77 - 79            C: 73 - 76            C-: 70 - 72         D: 65 -69            F: 64 and below

Policies and Rules: I hope our time together can be not only painless and informative, but also fun and interesting. However I expect you to respect the following rules.
1) You must come to class prepared to discuss in detail the readings and topics assigned.
2) All written assignments must be typed with cover page, headings, double spaced, paginated and stapled.
3) Late papers / assignments will not be accepted, except by approval of the professor. Approval must be arranged ahead of time. You will lose 5 assignment grade-points per class session beyond the due date. Therefore, complete work as early as possible to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. Sometimes this means that shaky and on time is better than late and great.
3) If an emergency arises, it is your responsibility to advise me ASAP via voice or E-mail.
4) It is also your responsibility to sign in after every class meeting to receive credit for the attendance and participation component.
5) It is expected that chauvinist language (racist, sexist, etc...) be avoided.
6) Automatic failure will result from cheating, submitting work prepared by another, or plagiarism.
7) Remain respectful of others, no disruptive behavior.
8) There are no late final projects!!!
9) Be advised that the out-of-class-time requirements for this course are very heavy. As you read the syllabus, please pay close attention to these requirements. Make sure that your course load for this quarter and / or your job hours will permit you to devote the necessary time to be successful in this course.