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LBST 100/300: Introduction to Critical Education (Professor Ardon) [Fall 2021]

LBST 100 / 300 Research Assignment


Public schooling in the United States has experienced numerous transformations, from the localized instruction in small colonial villages mainly led by clergy and women, to a national educational institution defined by laws and policies. These transformations have shaped American public education in the backdrop of historical exclusion and systemic discrimination of many groups of people. Thus, addressing the underlying factors that give way to unequal or inequitable education requires that we understand the systemic and historical roots of these problems. In the first part of the course, we did just that, we studied the history of exclusion and deculturalization, and the paths towards greater equality achieved by the Civil Rights Movement. This socio-historical knowledge provides the tools to critically analyze current reform efforts and educational policies shaping American public education in the 21st century. The purpose of this essay is to conduct research and think critically and analytically about an issue, idea or problem related to quality, equality, and equity in American public education



  • Write a research essay that critically analyzes public education the United States and/or California.
  • Examine one issue in public education and its intersection with race, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship, culture or dis/ability to understand the impact in quality/equality/equity in education. Choose one critical education issue for the focus of your research. 
  • You may focus your research analysis on one social issue or one education policy in the past or the present.
  • Find, evaluate, and use 4-5 relevant peer-reviewed scholarly articles to support your argument. You may use other sources and a combination of course topics and/or course readings in addition to the required scholarly articles.
  • Use the Essay Grading Rubric to evaluate your essay’s writing, analysis, and formatting.