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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - EDA7215
Tracking Number - 5228

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Current Status: Approved by SCNS - 2016-06-01
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):
Comments: In review by OGS required for EdS in Ed Leadership. GC Apprd; To USF Sys 4/21/16; to SCNS after 4/28/16. Apprd eff 6/1/16

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2015-04-21
  2. Department: Educational Leadership
  3. College: ED
  4. Budget Account Number: 0-1716-000
  5. Contact Person: Dr. William Black
  6. Phone: 8139746097
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: EDA
  9. Number: 7215
  10. Full Title: Educational Politics and the Engagement of Communities
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: C - Class Lecture (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: N
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?: N
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Politics and Engagement
  19. Course Online?: C - Face-to-face (0% online)
  20. Percentage Online: 0
  21. Grading Option: -
  22. Prerequisites: None
  23. Corequisites: None
  24. Course Description: Students explore political frameworks and communication strategies in order to effectively engage multiple communities within and outside schools.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Needed for program/concentration/certificate change
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? The course will become one of the foundational required courses for the Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership. It is highly appropriate for education leaders in a high accountability environment where planning and decision making have often been done in a vacuum without significant awareness of the politics surrounding reform and accountability efforts and without engagement of both internal and external communities in change efforts. It is essential for school and district leaders to understand that through their daily work they need to work with multiple policies, coalitions, and stakeholders that represent competing needs, values, interests, and power resources than can support or hinder change.
  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? No
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) Ph.D. or Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Educational Administration and Policy, or related field.
  29. Objectives: 1. Students will understand Micro-Politics, managing destructive conflict, and embracing productive conflict. Students will develop an understanding of conflict and micro-political dynamics as experienced within school communities in order to engage multiple stakeholders. Students will explore:

    a. Values, ideology, and self-interest of parents, teachers, students, and the broader community

    b. How district leaders, school leaders, teachers, and students have multiple perspectives on reform initiatives and

    c. Why formal organizational directives may not align with lived organizational “realities”

    d. The inevitability of conflict and how to distinguish between latent and actionable concerns as well as productive and destructive cycles of conflict.

    e. Processes to engage conflict in a healthy, respectful, democratic, and energy efficient manner.

    f. When to pursue potential conflict as an advocate for ethically centered policies and approaches that pursue more socially just outcomes.

    2. Students will utilize communication strategies to engage in difficult and meaningful conversations with a variety of stakeholders. Students will better understand how to communicate effectively with various stakeholders and engage talk around students and communities from asset-based rather than deficit-oriented stances. Students will explore:

    a. Discourse, meaning-making, and communication strategies

    b. Their own views around difference

    c. How to communicate hopefully and realistically about challenges facing school communities

    d. How to become more aware of language and power dynamics in ways that recognize and revise stratifying language in order to maximize every student’s opportunity to learn

    e. Strategies to advocate for those students and community members with least power utilizing asset-based orientations

    f. Strategies for engagement with and advocacy for students, parents, and community members

    3. Students will understand social network theory and apply to engage multiple stakeholders effectively. Micro-Politics and Social Networks. Students will explore:

    a. How to make transparent the multiple ways individuals in a school are linked in interdependent and power-laden relationships

    b. Specific ways social networks provide various forms of opportunities and constraints that can both enable implementation as well as resistance to leadership initiatives

    c. Ways to apply social network analysis in order to improve the quality of leadership in the educational organization.

    d. Ways to recognize key nodes within and outside of the school and to then engage them productively in order to support student, staff, and organizational learning.

  30. Learning Outcomes: At the conclusion of the course, students should be able to:

    a. Better guide decision-making processes in their school communities.

    b. Understand that through their daily work in and around schools, as educational leaders, they will need to work with multiple policies, coalitions, and stakeholders that represent competing needs, values, interests, and power resources.

    c. Develop their ability to strategically plan and conduct inherently “political” work to: 1) develop critical awareness of language, 2) communicate skillfully with diverse stakeholders inside and outside of the school walls, 3) build relationships with teachers and students, 4) negotiate school-based social networks, 5) promote purposeful partnerships and coalitions, 6) mitigate potentially conflicting or damaging policies and procedures, and 7) productively engage interpersonal conflict.

  31. Major Topics: 1. Engagement of multiple school communities

    2. Leadership and conflict

    3. Micropolitics in school

    4. Language, communication, and power

    5. Effective strategic planning utilizing social network analysis

  32. Textbooks: Briscoe, F., Arriaza, G., Henze, R. (2009) The power of talk: How words change our lives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

    Daly, A. (Ed.). (2010). Social network theory and educational change. New York: Routledge.

    Lindle, J. (Ed.). (2014). Political contexts of educational leadership. New York: Routledge.

    Price, D. Jackson, D., Horne, M., Hannon, V., & Patton, A. (2012). The engaging school: A handbook for educational leaders. London: Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: Auerbach, S. (2010). Beyond coffee with the principal: Toward leadership for authentic school-family partnerships. Journal of School Leadership, 20(6), 728-757.

    Auerbach, S. (2009). Walking the walk: Portraits in leadership for family engagement in urban schools. The School Community Journal, 19(1), 9-31.

    Coburn, C. & Russell, J. (2008). District policy and teachers’ social networks. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 30(3), 203-235.

    Deal, T., Purington, T., & Waetjen, D.C. (2009). Making sense of social networks in schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

    Gallup Foundation (2014). The state of America’s Schools: The path to winning again in education. Washington, D.C.: Gallup Foundation.

    Ishimiro, A. (2013). From heroes to organizers: Principals and education organizing in urban school reform. Educational Administration Quarterly, 49(1), 3-51.

    Institute for Educational Leadership (2015). Breath joy and justice into school and community leadership: a leadership learning exchange approach. Washington, D.C.: Institute for Educational Leadership.

    Khalifa, M. (2012). A re-new-ed paradigm in successful urban school leadership: Principal as community leader. Educational Administration Quarterly, 48I(3), 424-467.

    Larson, C. L. & Ovando, C. (2001). Racial conflict in a divided community: An illustrative case study of socio-political conflict. In C. Larson & C. Ovando, The color of bureaucracy: The politics of equity in multicultural school communities (pp. 31-60). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

    Lunenburg, F.C. (2010). Forces for and resistance to organizational change. National Forum of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal, 27(4), 1-10.

    Miller, P., Scanlon, M., & Wills, N. (2014). Leadership on the social frontier: The role o the Principal in comprehensive school reform settings. Principal’s Research Review, 9(2), 1-6.

    Purkey, W., Schmidt, J., & Novak, J. (2010). From conflict to conciliation: How to defuse difficult situations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

    Penuel, W., Riel, M., Krause, A., Frank, K. (2009). Analyzing Teachers’ Professional Interactions in a school as a social capital: A social network approach. Teachers College Record, 111(1), 124-163.

    Sanders, M. (2014). Principal leadership for school, family, and community partnerships: The role of a systems approach to reform implementation. American Journal of Education, 120(2), 233-255.

    Shaw, P. (2002). Changing conversations in organizations: Change from a complexity perspective. New York, NY: Routledge.

    Uline, C., Tschannen-Moran, M., & Perez, L. (2003). Constructive conflict: How controversy can contribute to school improvement. Teachers College Record, 105 (5), 782-816.

    Weaver- Hightower, M. (2008). An ecology metaphor for educational policy analysis: A call to complexity. Educational Researcher, 37(3), 153-167.

    Vazquez-Helig, J (2012). At risk student averse: risk management and accountability. Journal of Educational Administration, 50, 562-585.

    Yorks, L. & Nicolaides, A. (2013). Toward an integral approach for evolving mindsets for generative learning and timely action in the midst of ambiguity. Teachers College Record, 115(8) 1-26

  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: Written and oral work should reflect integration of required readings and additional sources. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) is the style adopted by the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program. Written assignments are to conform to APA form and be edited and proofread for grammar, punctuation, and other writing conventions. Work that has not been edited will be returned without a grade.

    Students will complete:

    Action Research Electronic Poster Presentation (Individual): 25 points (25%)

    3 Reflective Essays (Individual): 45 points total, 15 points each (45%)

    Change Intervention and Engagement Plan (Group): 30 points (30%)

    Graduate courses at the University of South Florida use the following grading scale:

    99-100 (4.0) A+

    94-98 (4.0) A

    90-93 (3.67) A-

    87-89 (3.33) B+

    83-86 (3.0) B

    80-82 (2.67) B-

    77-79 (2.33) C+

    73-76 (2.0) C-

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: Action Research Electronic Poster Presentation (Individual): 25 points

    Students utilize course resources to conduct action research on: a significant conflict in their school (Conflict Case Study), or language used in schools in reference to students (Critical Discourse Analysis). Students will present findings of their action research project in an electronic poster format. For this project, no actual names should be used and pseudonyms should be used instead.

    A. Conflict Case Study Option:

    Students describe and analyze a real life conflict in school. It is preferable to select a case that reaches either the stage of confront or combat in the text, and that has implications for use of strategies for conciliation.

    B. Power of Talk Option:

    Throughout the course, students are expected to keep a reflective journal of what they hear is said about students by teachers and administrators. This is the one part of “data” that will be presented and analyzed using the Briscoe, Arriaza, & Henze text and other readings. Students may also choose to interview teachers individually or in a group and/or interview administrators. A third potential source of data is documents-policy documents, notes sent home to parents, notes to other teachers, etc.

    C. Social Network Analysis Option:

    Students analyze social networks in their current school. Fictional names should be used. The Social Network analysis text should be used. Observation, reflection, and interviews can be used to gather data. Visual representation of networks is expected. Formal organizational charts should be consulted, if available, in order to contrast with analysis of social networks.

    Reflective Essays (Individual): 45 points

    Students will complete 3 reflective essays, each worth 15 points. The instructor will provide prompts. You will choose one of the prompts and respond to it. This reflective essay provides a means for students to demonstrate understanding and application of course content. As a guide, the reflective essay narratives should be a minimum of 6 pages (12 point Times New Roman font, double space, 1 inch margins). The essays could include:

    • Discussions of specific concepts or arguments from the readings. Students must reference course readings and they should use the APA format to reference particular author(s) and/or quotes

    • Connection (or dissonance) of the course material with your practice and experience.

    • Discussion of areas that you agree or disagree with the authors.

    Change Intervention and Engagement Plan (30%)

    Successful change does not happen by accident. Much is known about the process of assessing change readiness, initiating, implementing, sustaining and evaluating change. The degree to which a school (or district) change initiative follows sound, research-based change practices varies greatly.

    Students will use what they have learned about leadership in the school to analyze what worked, what didn’t work, what interventions might be helpful in improving the change process, and what actions might be taken to implement the interventions. Working in groups, students will develop a detailed engagement plan, which includes means to engage students, staff, teachers, parents, community organizations, community business, and district personnel to advocate for the school and its goals.

  36. Attendance Policy: Course Attendance at First Class Meeting – Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation – Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: Attendance is expected at all class sessions. You should prepare carefully for each class by completing the necessary readings and assignments before class. Missing more than 30 minutes of a class constitutes an absence. I make no distinction between excused and unexcused absences. If students miss more than one class students must complete an alternative assignment to a level of quality acceptable to the instructor. Students who miss more than 2 classes will have their grade dropped for each class missed.

    Students are responsible for knowing and adhering to USF Policy 3.027 Academic Integrity of Students (see:

  38. Program This Course Supports: Ed.S. in Educational Leadership
  39. Course Concurrence Information: Doctoral programs in Educational Leadership, Career and Workforce Education, or Higher Education Administration

- if you have questions about any of these fields, please contact or