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Writing Across the Curriculum


Action research project: The School and Community as Collaborators for Change
Final Paper due December 8 th

For this assignment, you will research a topic of your choice that is relevant to urban education.   The topic should fall under one of the main themes that we will be exploring throughout the semester:   

  • Economics and Social Class
  • Experiences of Urban Students
  • Cultural/ethnic Pluralism and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
  • Difference and Inclusion
  • Standards and Standardized Testing
  • Urban School Reform
  • Language Issues

Due November 3 rd - Statement of the problem

1. Select a topic.   What are some of the concerns of your school/community?   What is a critical issue that needs attention or reform?   Who is concerned about this problem and what do they see as the issues involved? What do you already know or think about this issue?   Which articles that you have read this semester have influenced your thinking or sparked your interest? (Should be minimum 2 pages, double-spaced)

Due November 24 th- Exploration of the issues
What does the literature say about the problem?   How do people close to the situation see the problem?   How are these perspectives the same or different?  

2. Literature review:   Your final project should incorporate information from at least three scholarly sources relevant to your topic.
3. Gathering information from various “stakeholders”, people affected directly or indirectly by the issue.   Talk to people informally, and interview at least two people who have an interest in the issue.   These can be teachers, parents, students, administrators, or other community members.   How do they understand the problem?   What do they see as changed/improved?
This part of your paper should summarize the relevant points from the literature that you choose, and use your conversations and interviews to construct a narrative about what you learned from these sources.   (Should be minimum of 5 pages, double-spaced)

Due December 8 th - Final paper

4. Integrate your two prior submissions (revised) into a proposal for a program or policy or reform that attempts to improve the situation. Your proposal should be very detailed and include a connection between the school and the community
  • How are the interests of those affected by the problem served by your proposal?   How might students, parents, and educators become involved?
  • Describe the challenges or obstacles your proposal might face.   Why is it worth implementing in light of these challenges?
  • What are the implications of this project for your future work as an urban educator? (minimum 3 pages, double-spaced)

Extra credit: If extra credit is desired, your paper must include documentation of some “public action” that you took to implement your action plan (examples: submitted “Letter to the Editor,” a workshop given, speech made, presentation to colleagues, administrators, parents, or public officials, distribution of a pamphlet, etc.) Extra credit will be considered in the following ways: 1) absence make-up; 2) missing reading journal assignment; 3) grade enhancement for final paper.   Please indicate your choice on the final paper. Resources for using APA style:


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