Department of Sociology

Toni Falbo

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education (Affiliated)
Toni Falbo


  • Phone: 512-471-8020
  • Office: RLP 2.622F, SZB 506Q
  • Campus Mail Code: G1800


See bio from Population Research Center.


EDP 382C • Families & Ed In Three Culs

10565 • Fall 2018
Meets M 12:00PM-3:00PM SZB 435

Families and Education in Three Cultures

Toni Falbo, Instructor

EDP 382C (Unique No. 10565)

ANS 391 (Unique No. 32419)

Brief Syllabus 

Meets 12-3pm, Mondays


Fall Semester, 2018

Instructor: Toni Falbo, Professor of Educational Psychology. The most reliable way of contacting Falbo is email: She has a phone in her office: (512) 471.0603. Falbo will be in her office (SZB 504B) after class. Students can also request appointments at other times, as needed.

Objective: To explore the intersection of families and education by comparing the cultural beliefs of families and the culture of schools within nations and across three dominant nations: China, Japan, and the U.S. 

Readings: There are two, required books:

            Chu, L. (2017). Little soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese school, and the global race to achieve. New York: Harper.

            Tobin, J. et al. (2009). Preschool in three cultures Revisited. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

In addition, we will be reading chapters from other books and scholarly articles about secondary and post-secondary education in China, Japan, and the U.S.

Weekly Assignments: We will be reading chapters from the Chu and Tobin books and from additional sources. Readings from other sources will be posted as files on our canvas site. Every week, students are expected to write answers to questions posted on canvas by noon on the day we are discussing that topic in class (in other words, before class). Each week students earn 5 points when they answer the questions and upload them onto canvas ON TIME. There are 12 readings, worth 5 points each, and so this accounts for 60% of each student’s grade.


Video Viewing: We have gained access to the videos produced by Tobin from his first and more recent books (revisited). We will watch these in class, but students may well want to view them outside of class, as well. See below.


Paper: Students will write a 15-page paper about the intersection between families and education, considering any level of education and any cultural or national group. The paper can focus on a single culture, or subculture, or take a comparative approach. The paper will be due at the end of the semester and will account for 20% of the course grade.

Student Presentation:  Students will select a reading and present its contents to the class. Each student will identify his or her own reading, or ask Dr. Falbo for suggestions. During presentations, students should explain why the content is important (which involves explaining the information contained in the literature reviewed), the hypotheses (if any), how the “data” were collected (including a description of participants and methods), and the conclusions. The presentation should take about 20 minutes. This presentation counts 20% of final grade. If the student chooses to make slides as part of the presentation (note that PPTs are not required), the students should not read out loud from the slides. The students need to talk to classmates as though trying to explain the content of the reading in conversational language.


Counseling and Mental Health Center, 24/7 HOTLINE: (512) 471-2255.

Students with Disabilities. The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students, at 512.471.6259 or 471.4641 TTY.

Policy on Academic Integrity

Students who violate University rules on academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and/or dismissal from the University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the University, policies on academic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. For further information, please visit the Student Conduct and Academic Integrity website


Religious Holy Days

Religious holy days sometimes conflict with class and examination schedules. Sections 51.911 and 51.925 of the Texas Education Code address absences by students and instructors for religious holy days.

Section 51.911 states that a student shall be excused from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student whose absence is excused under this subsection may not be penalized for that absence and shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence. University policy required students to notify each of their instructors as far in advance of the absence as possible so that arrangements can be made.

EVACUATIONS: Occupants of buildings on The University of Texas at Austin campus are required to evacuate buildings when an alarm is activated. Alarm activation or announcement requires exiting the building and assembling outside. Students should familiarize themselves with all exit doors of each classroom and building. Remember that the nearest exit door may not be the one you used when entering the building. Students requiring assistance in evacuation shall inform their instructor in writing during the first week of class. In the event of an evacuation, follow the instruction of faculty or class instructors. Do not re‐enter a building unless given instructions by the following: Austin Fire Department, The University of Texas at Austin Police Department, or Fire Prevention Services office.

Carrying of Handguns

Individuals who hold a license to carry are eligible to carry a concealed handgun on campus, including in most outdoor areas, buildings and spaces that are accessible to the public, and in classrooms.

It is the responsibility of concealed-carry license holders to carry their handguns on or about their person at all times while on campus. Open carry is NOT permitted, meaning that a license holder may not carry a partially or wholly visible handgun on campus premises or on any university driveway, street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other parking area.





September 10


No readings

September 17

“The System”

Chu (2017) 11-120

September 24


Chu (2017) 121-246

October 1

“Chinese Lessons”

Chu (2017) 247-322

October 8


Tobin et al (2009) 1-21

October 15


Tobin et al (2009) 22-94

October 22


Tobin et al (2009) 95-156

October 29

“United States”

Tobin et al (2009) 157-224

November 5

“Looking across time and culture”

Tobin et al (2009) 224-248

November 12

Secondary Schools: Japan

LeTendre 2000 + others

November 19

Secondary Schools: China

We search

November 26

Secondary Schools: US

We search

December 3

PostSecondary & HigherEd

We search

December 10

Paper Due





LeTendre, G.K. (2000). Learning to be adolescent. New Haven: Yale University Press. (Google book)



  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086