This is a sample syllabus which is not identical to the syllabus being used in the the current semester.


Children of Divorce: Spring 2009    

Dr. Linda Nielsen                                                   T/Th  1:00 - 2:15                       Office: Tribble Hall B 211 
Professor of Education                                                                                  758- 5345  
In this course you will examine the ways in which divorce and remarriage affect children in our country today. Relying on recent research and national statistics, you will be discussing and writing about the issues, controversies and circumstances that affect children with divorced parents.
10 % -  Seminar Participation Make notes and come to class ready to discuss  these questions about each film and reading assignments: (1) What surprised or upset you and why?  (2) What are two controversial issues raised in the reading or in the film? (3) What is one argument in favor of and one against each issue?  

15 % - Oral Presentation  
 Each student will do a brief presentation on his or her assigned chapter. In your 6-8 minute presentation, you will answer these questions: (1) What were 4 or 5 of the most important points made in this chapter?  (2) What controversial issues were raised in this chapter?  (3) What information challenged your assumptions or surprised you? Grading checklist for this presentation is on page 6 of the syllabus. You will hand in your notes/outline to Dr. Nielsen. Do not read a paper to us. Use your notes to guide you as you talk.      

Three papers             ( 4 pages double spaced, references on 5th page, 1” margins all around, 12 point font) 
Instead of using tests to assess how well you understand and analyze the major concepts and controversies in the assigned reading, your knowledge and analytical abilities will be assessed through writing three  papers. These papers demonstrate how thoroughly you have grasped and analyzed the major  issues. The criteria for writing your papers are on page 3 of the syllabus. Use American Psychological Association (APA) format for your references 
(1)  Staple the grading checklist to your paper with the grade you have given yourself on each item.
(2) Staple your outline to the paper. The outline should be similar to the one on page 4 in terms of style and detail.  

Everyone is required to have a tutor at the Writing Center edit the first paper before handing it in. You must bring the checklist to your tutoring session. You are also required to see a tutor if your grade is lower than a B on any paper. Book appointments at least one week ahead  758-5768   The tutors send me reports.   
25%  First paper  
 Question: What type of living arrangement do you believe is best for most children after their parents divorce?
In answering this question you need to consider and weigh the many factors that influence what creates the best and the worst living arrangements for children. Base your arguments on what you have read in the assigned readings.  This is an opinion paper and does not have to be supported with research or references.        

25% Second paper     
Question: How “bad” is divorce in terms of its long term impact on teenage and adult children?
In answering this question, you will have to consider and weigh the many factors that influence the long term impact of divorce. This is a research paper where you must support your arguments by citing research from the assigned readings.     
25% Third paper  Re-write your second paper. Strengthen your paper by including five research articles from academic journals published after 2005.
Required Reading
Children of Divorce – Harvey & Fine (2007)
We’re still family: Grown children speak about divorce – Ahrons (2006)
Divorce: Causes and Consequence -  Stewart & Brentano ((2006)
Joint Custody: A Meta-analysis - article by Bauserman (2008)
Divorced Dads and Daughters chapter from Nielsen's newest book, Between Fathers & Daughters (2008)       

Internet homework assignment. After watching each of these commericals, write a 3-5 sentence reaction to it. divorced dad takes daughter to Hawaii single Dad cheerleading - absent father finds daughter divorced dad singing with his daughter (real father & daughter, true story) - Daddy Phone by Marty Raybun - Highway 20, divorced truck driver father - divorced father driving past his former home - "I don't call him daddy" Doug Supernew "Not going nowhere" by Babyface (written after his divorce)





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