EDST 110 Foundations in Education Studies

As the political debate unfolds about why or why not US schools should reopen during the covid-19 pandemic, what form they should take, we are once again addressing some of the central questions about the purpose of education, why it looks the way it does, how education policy gets made and how it might be changed in the future. All of these questions will be a focus of our class.

We are also engaging in this course at a time of unprecedented educational experimentation, as universities and schools worldwide have shifted online due to the covid-19 pandemic. How is the reality of distance learning shaping and changing education?

This course considers the key theories, research, social context and policies surrounding preK-12 and higher education. This course is a BROAD survey to give exposure to a range of ways of studying the entire discipline of Education Studies. It is NOT comprehensive of Education Studies overall, and every topic in this class could be an entire course in itself. Please dive deeply into topics in your literature review project and take more Ed Studies courses!

The course is also primarily focused on the United States, though international comparisons are made throughout. The course uses the framework of the sociology of education as the primary lens of analysis with a particular focus this year on how educational spaces are addressing the dual pandemics of covid-19 and racism. Throughout the course, we will pay attention to education research, policy and practice, with the goal of examining multiple angles and perspectives on a given issue.

EDST 240 Cities Suburbs and School Choice

This course looks at the changing dynamic between cities and suburbs and how schools have been central to this process.  Using historical and sociological sources, this course examines the government role in bankrolling the suburbs, desegregating schools, the rise of school choice through magnets and charters, and how the current desegregation of inner ring suburbs and urban gentrification are affecting the landscape of education reform.  Part of the course will focus on researching New Haven and its surrounding suburban school systems.  Through this course, students will develop the following research skills: 1) write, code and interpret field notes 2) evaluate data and the implications of policy 3) predict unexpected outcomes of seemingly neutral policies and 4) synthesize and create reports.  By the end of the course, students will have gained a strong understanding of how school choice, represented generally as a positive market option has huge consequences for where people live, the demographics of communities, where children go to school, and the reproduction of inequality.

EDST 282/PSLC Comparative International Education

Around the world, education is one of the central institutions of society, developing the next generation of citizens, workers and individuals. How do countries balance these competing priorities? In which ways do countries converge on policies, or develop novel approaches to education?

This course will examine why schools around the world look the way they do through studying 1) the colonial impact of education around the globe and the role of education in independence movements 2) the way in which education functions as a sorting mechanism 3) how schools function as central places to develop citizens, particularly in multi-ethnic communities like Singapore, and alongside minority and indigenous communities 4) how countries work to improve their education systems, with a focus on Singapore and Finland as a case studies of transformation 5) an examination of key policy debates in global education reform.

Through the course, students will learn the a) impact of colonialism on contemporary education systems, b) the competing tensions of the demands of citizen and worker and c) how a variety of educational policies are impacted around the world and their impact on diverse populations of students. They will have the opportunity to co-create knowledge on this topic by sharing their own expertise and consider how they might contribute now and in the future to educational change.

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