EDUCATION 216: Education and Social Policy

An examination of education policy in recent decades as well as the social, political, and economic forces that have shaped those policies over the years. The course analyzes the different–and sometimes conflicting–goals, motivations, and outcomes of educational policies. Who designs educational policy and for whom? Whose interests are served and whose interests are unmet? The course uses a case study approach, discussing major topics of debate in American education, including equal educational opportunity, school desegregation, bilingual education, school choice, and education standards and testing.

EDUCATION 335: Urban Education

An intensive examination of urban education reform and urban schools. The course explores the impact of urban contexts on education such as poverty, race- and class-based segregation, linguistic barriers, immigration, and inequities in school quality. Through the study of foundational educational texts and cities such as Chicago, Boston, and Newark NJ, the course focuses on the economic, political, social, and cultural aspects of urban school reform, including the reproduction of inequality, school governance, parent involvement, the relationship between schools and communities, and teacher education.

EDUCATION: Diversity in Education

This course will introduce students to the complex, multifaceted issues shaping diversity in educational settings. Students will examine various theoretical approaches such as multiculturalism, culturally relevant pedagogy, inclusion, and critical pedagogy that shape and inform how educational institutions address diversity. The course will discuss diversity across multiple perspectives—race, class, culture, ethnicity, sexuality, and disability—promoting broad and expansive conceptions of diversity. Because a greater understanding of diversity often comes from personal experiences and relationships built across difference (e.g., race, class, ethnicity), this seminar will also require student participation in an urban educational setting through the partnership with a Cambridge-based educational organization. Through the shared field-based experience, students will forge connections between what they read and discuss in the seminar with what they see and experience in the field.