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School Board Group Project

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Due Date

Week 7 - Wed.

Requirements

  • Research driven problem-solving
  • Visits to the library
  • Annotated bibliography in MLA or APA format with at least eight sources per group
  • Organization plan for presentation (outline, notes, cue cards, etc.)
  • Signed permission agreement and scoring standard attached
  • Group presentation (10-12 minutes)
  • Complete group participation

Purpose

This project will allow us to think as a class about problems with the U. S. education system. We will develop a class research plan dedicated to solving a specific research problem and analyze our issue from different perspectives. The assignment will help you become familiar with the university's library resources and with academic research. The presentation will also give you experience working with your peers to collaborate, synthesize ideas, and present orally. It should challenge the class to rethink previous conceptions of education.

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Assignment Description

The Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that state-mandated racial segregation in public schools was illegal because it put students of color at an educational disadvantage. In spite of the court's ruling, though, segregation has persisted. Some major cities in the US never really attempted racial integration, and some cities that achieved a high level of integration have since lapsed into a state of segregation.

We'll take, as our case study, two imaginary high schools (Central High School and Suburban High School) from neighboring communities. Central High is over 70% African American and more than 26% Hispanic, leaving only a handful of students of any other ethnicity. Suburban High, on the other hand, is nearly 75% white. (For the exact numbers, go to English 1010: School Board Project )

An increasing number of parents and community members have noticed major inequities in the educational opportunities of students in the two schools. Suburban has substantially higher graduation and college placement rates than does Central, and the citizens of the city want to see Central improve dramatically. The governor of the state has proposed a plan to racially desegregate the schools.

Our class project is to decide whether or not to support the governor's plan. In order to make an informed decision as to the best course of action, we will split into smaller groups, each group researching one aspect of the desegregation issue. Each group will submit its findings and recommended decision in a ten-minute presentation. You will need to take a stand in your presentation, explaining that you either support or oppose integration and why. Each group will turn in an annotated bibliography consisting of at least eight research sources.

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Steps for Research and Presenting

Group Research Plan

  • Meet at the library with your group
  • Develop a research plan in which you identify information needs
  • Talk with a librarian about your research plan
  • Begin researching/finding sources for annotated bibliography
  • Bring a hard copy of your research plan to class

Note: Your research plan and research questions should be flexible. Regularly revisit and revise your questions, based on research findings.

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Personal Research Journal

In order to keep track of the sources you find as you conduct your research, keep a research journal. This journal should include all the citation information you'll need for your annotated bibliography as well as notes on how the sources help you answer your research questions.

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Annotated Bibliography

Once your group members have found useful sources that help to answer your research questions, you should compile your sources into an annotated bibliography. Each annotation should include the following:

  • The thesis or main point of the source either quoted or paraphrased.
  • A description of how that source helped your group answer its research questions.

All citations should use MLA or APA format. Each group should have at least eight sources.

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Group Presentation

In order to prepare for the presentation, group members need to discuss how their research sources fit together in either supporting or rejecting the plan to integrate schools. Each group should then decide whether or not they support the plan and why. Determine what information you will present to support your position, create an outline of your presentation, and turn in that outline in advance. Your instructor will provide feedback on your outline. You should then practice so that you can give a polished presentation, and prepare to answer questions from your classmates after you present. Each group presentation should be 10-12 minutes long, and should involve each group member equally.

School Board Group Project Grading Rubric

This assignment is worth 200 points.

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Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . factcouraud. (2007, May 22). School Board Group Project. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.usu.edu/English/introduction-to-writing-academic-prose/school-board-group-project.html. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License