Issues Debate – Signature Assignment

Purpose

The purpose of this assignment is for students to: 

• Identify current issues in the field of Early Childhood Education
• Identify the history and various key points regarding a current issue in the field 
• Take a stance on a current issue in Early Childhood Education and support this stance with research on best practices. 

Details

To prepare for taking a stance on this issues debate, you will be discussing topics and ethical dilemmas in several of the lesson discussion boards.  As you post and read the posts of others, you will have a chance to a) think about your stance and then b) formulate your arguments to support your stance.  

By participating in the weekly discussion board postings you will be able to select a topic that interests you to complete the Debate paper.  

Step 1: Select a topic for the Issues Debate

To prepare for the Issues Debate assignment:

• Review the discussion board posts in Lessons 2-6. Then select one the topics for your debate paper.   The topicscan include the following:  
o Should students be required to pass tests to be promoted?  
o Should schools allow social promotion?
o Should students attend full day kindergarten?  
o Should schools maintain a more academic focus or a more whole child focus?  
o What role should play have in Kindergarten classrooms?
o How far should schools go to accommodate diversity?  
o Should a policy of English only be adopted in all public schools?
o Who has the right to determine what happens in the classroom?  
o What role should the teacher / school play in addressing the childhood obesity epidemic?
o What role should early childhood educators have in raising professional expectations?  
o When should children be removed from the classroom/school for disruptive behavior?
o Should the government fund public preschools?
o What should be the role of early childhood educators in advocating for Early Childhood? 
o Who should be responsible for determining the types of lessons / lesson pacing that occur in the classroom?  

 Step 2: Research your selected topic (Lessons 3 and 4).

In order to take a stance on your topic, you will need to conduct some additional research.  To do this you will need to use 

a) The ASU library website and conduct a search within the library journals http://lib.asu.edu.  On the library webpage, I recommend using either academic Search Premier
b) Google scholar at http://scholar.google.com/ or through the library website

You should be able to find applicable articles to use to formulate your description and advocacy portions of this paper.  You should not have to pay for any articles, so please save your money!  Remember to try a variety of key words as you search for your articles!!! Try to use the most current research whenever possible. 

Step 3: Write an individual academic paper (Lessons 5 and 6). 

In this academic paper you will essentially be debating yourself.  You will be describing the issue you have selected, both sides of the debate and then take a stance on one side of the debate aligning with your own beliefs that are supported by the review research you conducted. 

The individual academic paper should include the following sections, conform to the page lengths specified, and address each of the items listed in the major sections. 

Introduction to the Issue (minimum one page in length)

Present a general overview of the topic. 

• Present the issue’s roots in historical philosophies of early childhood education.
• Discuss the importance for early childhood educators.
• Why has this topic become an “issue”?

 A. The Debate (minimum 3-5 pages in length)

Explain the debate. 

• Describe the argument and position on each side of the debate. 
• Explain the significance to contemporary society.
• Present the relevant viewpoints with 3-5 supporting statements.
• Provide citations within your text for each side of the debate using APA style.

 B. Advocacy for One Side of the Debate (minimum 2-3 pages in length)

Assume the position of a person advocating for that side of the debate and do the following: 

• Provide a rationale for this advocacy position.
• Substantiate your position with 3-5 facts and the “personal” thinking that resulted in your advocacy.
• Outline how you would implement this advocacy position into your practice as an early childhood educator.
• To support this stance, provide citations within your text using APA style. 

 This is an academic paper.  As such it needs to be a rigorous presentation of your ideas with research to support those ideas.  References need to be from reputable academic references such as peer-reviews journals and academic texts (no Wikipedia).  A limited number of non-academic websites may be used to illustrate the issue.

Points may be deducted from the total for not following traditional academic protocol for written content, spelling, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and word choice. Appropriate citations are expected throughout the paper and in APA format.  Provide a list of references at the end of your paper that cites your references.

Towards the end of the course, you will submit to your facilitator a copy of your individual academic paper. Your paper will be submitted through the online course link as well as to Tk20. This will be evaluated using the Individual Academic Paper rubric provided below. 

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