ECS Course Descriptions

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Core or Basic Courses

Core or Basic courses offer philosophical, historical and sociocultural foundational content on education at the core of the degree programs offered in the Division.

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  • 514. EDUCATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES.  WAGNER OR GHAFFAR-KUCHER. REQUIRED FOR IEDP. PREREQUISITE(S): PRIOR GRADUATE WORK IN RELATED AREAS RECOMMENDED.  PERMIT REQUIRED.  This seminar will cover a number of topics in human development (e.g., fertility, health, sex-roles) and education (e.g., pre-school interventions, literacy campaigns, non-formal education, technology innovations) in developing countries that have received attention from researchers and policy planners, and in the work of international agencies such as UNICEF, UNESCO, World Bank and USAID.
  • 622. IEDP INTERNATIONAL FIELD EXPERIENCE/INTERNSHIP.  GHAFFAR-KUCHER. REQUIRED FOR MS IN IEDP.  RESTRICTED TO IEDP STUDENTS ONLY.  PERMIT REQUIRED.  Conceptual background on the role and utility of non-profit organizations in international educational development, combined with 6-8 weeks of field experience working in a developing country, or with an international organization that has programs in developing countries. Course involves course preparation for field experience, and requires multiple reports from the field.
  • 547. (ANTH547, FOLK527, URBS547) ANTHROPOLOGY AND EDUCATION.  STAFF. HALL OR POSECZNICK.  REQUIRED FOR MS IN ECS. PERMIT REQUIRED.  An introduction to the intent, approach, and contribution of anthropology to the study of socialization and schooling in cross-cultural perspective. Education is examined in traditional, colonial, and complex industrial societies.
  • 544. SCHOOL AND SOCIETY IN AMERICA.  STAFF.  PUCKETT OR BEN-PORATH.  REQUIRED FOR MS IN ECS AND TLL (CROSS DIVISIONAL).  PERMIT REQUIRED.  This course reviews the major empirical and theoretical research from the social history, and social theory on the development, organization and governance of American education, and the relationship between schooling and the principal institutions and social structures of American society.
  • 545. MASTER'S  SEMINAR in  EDUCATION, CULTURE, & SOCIETY.  POSECZNICK. RESTRICTED TO ECS  STUDENTS ONLY.  The master's paper is a 30-40 page research paper that is required for completion of the M.S.Ed. degree in Teaching, Learning and Leadership and in Education, Culture and Society. The paper will be either an original research project or an original synthesis of previous research and argumentation.  This course is set up to provide workshops and regular consultation and feedback on three drafts of the paper.
  • SM 695. PROSEMINAR IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT.  WAGNER. REQUIRED FOR MS IN IEDP. RESTRICTED TO IEDP STUDENTS ONLY. The IEDP Proseminar covers the broad arena of international educational development. The course is designed to provide an analytical perspective on applied research and policy as undertaken by UN, donor and non-profit agencies, with a focus on developing countries. Several invited specialists will participate in the course. This Proseminar is a required course for IEDP Masters students.
  • 727. EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SOCIETY.  BEN-PORATH. REQUIRED FOR PHD IN ECS. RESTRICTED TO DOCTORAL STUDENTS.  PERMIT REQUIRED. This course surveys basic issues in the philosophical and social foundations of education, addressing basic questions about the purpose of education, the appropriate treatment for children from different cultural and economic groups, and the relationship between rigor and relevance. Intended for incoming doctoral students.

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Methodology Courses

Methodology courses prepare students in both the practical and theoretical implications of collecting, interpreting, analyzing and presenting data on the human condition broadly (and education/learning in particular). Courses in ECS emphasize qualitative approaches, and are split into Basic and Advanced categories.

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Basic Methodology Courses

  • 682.002 QUALITATIVE MODES OF INQUIRY.  STRONG OR POSECZNICK OR STAFF. RECOMMENDED FOR MS IN ECS AND IEDP.  PERMIT REQUIRED. MASTER’S LEVEL.  This course surveys the field of qualitative research and focuses on foundational philosophies of and approaches to qualitative research. The course focuses on the stages of qualitative research including the development of researchable questions, research designs, conceptual frameworks, methodological stances, data collection and analysis and instrument design and implementation.
  • 682.001 QUALITATIVE MODES OF INQUIRY.  RAVITCH OR STAFF. RECOMMENDED FOR PHD IN ECS. PERMIT REQUIRED. RESTRICTED TO DOCTORAL STUDENTS. DOCTORAL LEVEL.  This course surveys the field of qualitative research and focuses on foundational philosophies of and approaches to qualitative research. The course focuses on the stages of qualitative research including the development of researchable questions, research designs, conceptual frameworks, methodological stances, data collection and analysis and instrument design and implementation.

Advanced Methodology Courses

  • 660. QUALITATIVE APPROACHES TO PROGRAM EVALUATION IN URBAN SCHOOLS.  STAFF.  PREREQUISITE(S): AN ETHNOGRAPHY COURSE IS RECOMMENDED. Students will gain a historical overview of qualitative evaluation and an understanding of the variety of approaches within the field. Students will learn about evaluation techniques, research design and data analysis through a real case example in K-12 public education. Students will prepare journal entries and propose a research design for evaluating a program using qualitative approaches.
  • 700. (ANTH707) CRAFT OF ETHNOGRAPHY.  HALL. PREREQUISITE(S): MUST HAVE COMPLETED EDUC 721 OR EQUIVALENT INTRODUCTORY QUALITATIVE METHODS COURSE. DOCTORAL LEVEL.
    This course is designed to follow after Ethnographic Research Methods (EDUC 721). In the introductory course, students learned how to use qualitative methods in conducting a brief field study. This advanced level course focuses on research design and specifically the craft of ethnographic research. Students will apply what they learn in the course in writing a proposal for a dissertation research project.
  • 703. ADVANCED QUALITATIVE AND CASE STUDY RESEARCH.  RAVITCH. PREREQUISITE(S): EDUC 682 QUALITATIVE MODES OF INQUIRY OR EQUIVALENT.  PERMIT REQUIRED.  This course explores epistemological and methodological choices and stances in qualitative research as well as advanced research methods including qualitative research design and concept mapping, sampling/participant selection, interviewing, coding and data analysis, instrument development and triangulation techniques.
  • 710. METHODS OF DISCOURSE ANALYSIS.  RYMES OR WORTHAMPREREQUISITE(S): EDUC 682 QUALITATIVE MODES OF INQUIRY OR EQUIVALENT.  PERMIT REQUIRED. This course is designed to follow after Qualitative Modes of Inquiry (EDUC 682), and as such it is suggested that students have some background in qualitative methods before enrolling. This course introduces several methodological approaches that have been developed to do discourse analysis. The course intends primarily to provide students with various methodological tools for studying naturally-occurring speech. Assignments include both reading and weekly data analysis exercises.
  • 721. (FOLK672, URBS672) ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH METHODS.  HALL OR  STRONGPREREQUISITE(S): EDUC 682 QUALITATIVE MODES OF INQUIRY OR EQUIVALENT.  PERMIT REQUIRED. This course is designed to follow after Qualitative Modes of Inquiry (EDUC 682) and as such it is suggested that students have some background in qualitative methods before enrolling. A course in ethnographic participant observational research; its substantive orientation, literature, and methods. Emphasis is on the interpretive study of social organization and culture in educational settings, formal and informal. Methods of data collection and analysis, critical review of examples of ethnographic research reports, and research design and proposal preparation are among the topics and activities included in this course.

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Content & Conceptualization Courses

Content & Conceptualization courses engage students in the settings, context, and processes associated with learning and education across social, cultural and historical processes.

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  • 509. LIBERALISM & MULTICULTURALISM: THEORY & POLICY.  BEN-PORATH.  This course is aimed at positioning education at the heart of the political-philosophical question of justice. The aim is to gain an understanding of the core issues we face when constructing policies to advance equity, choice, and access and other just causes.
  • 511. EQUALITY.  BEN-PORATH.  'All men (or all humans) are created equal': What does this statement mean? What are we all equal in? What should we be equal in? Do we have equal potential, equal dignity, equal worth? Must we have equal resources, equal opportunities, equal status? In this class we will consider philosophical and political approaches to the idea of equality. The education system's ability and commitment to respond to claims of equality will be discussed. Must we treat all children the same? Or each child differently? And if the latter, how does that constitute equality? Moreover, must we treat individuals or groups equally? Educational and philosophical answers to these questions will be the focus of this seminar.
  • 518. AUTHORITY, FREEDOM, & DISCIPLINARY POLICIES.  GOODMAN.  The course concentrates on the nature and justification of discipline. In particular, we focus on how discipline becomes the expression of twin but conflicting premises of education: that children should be encouraged to develop their critical intellectual capacities and autonomous decision-making -- read freedom; that these ends cannot be achieved without the direction and control of teachers -- read authority.  Students read classical works on freedom and authority (John Stuart Mill, Isaiah Berlin, Emile Durkheim, John Dewey, C.S.Lewis) as well as more contemporary ones. In class we look at video clips of different practices and discuss readings. Every student selects one type of disciplinary approach to study in detail, inclusive of on-site visits. The seminar paper covers the source and nature of the school's commitments, its theory of authority and freedom (implicit and explicit), illustrations of how commitments are expressed (including discipline practices), and the student's reflections.
  • 564. MORAL VALUES & THE SCHOOLS.  GOODMAN.  This course explores whether, and if so, how "values" should be taught in the schools by addressing the following questions: What is unique about the domain of values? Is there, or should there be, a corpus of shared personal and social values? What are the sources of values and how are they transmitted across generations? If schools teach values, how do they address the problems associated with specific codes? The problems of the absence of codes? The tensions between fidelity to personal beliefs and to values of compromise, tolerance and cultural pluralism?
  • 570. EDUCATION & THE AMERICAN CITY.  PUCKETT. Education and the American City centers on major trends and factors that have shaped cities and their preK-16 school systems since the Second World War, including racial discrimination, migration and immigration, suburbanization, deindustrialization, U.S. housing policy, social welfare policy, and urban renewal.
  • 595. POLITICS & EDUCATION. BEN-PORATH. In what ways is education a political act?The course explore key policy ideas in light of their justification and their consequences, for example: the pressure to compete internationally; the reasons to endorse or reject the ideas behind common core curriculum; education for citizenship; school choice; does education promote or impede social mobility?
  • 596. EARLY CHILDHOOD POLICIES AND PROGRAMS IN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXTS. NEUMAN. This course focuses on early childhood development research, policies and practices in low- and middle-income countries.  The first part of the course reviews the evidence for investing in young children from economic, health, and education perspectives.  The second part of the course discusses current issues related to designing, implementing and evaluating quality, contextually appropriate early childhood interventions. 
  • 597. POLICY PLANNING IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: THEORY & PRACTICE. NEUMAN. This course focuses on education policy in low an dmiddle-income countries.  The first part examines global policy frameworks and international institutions/actors that shape education reform efforts. The second part covers the contexts, processes and tools for national education policy planning.  The third part analyzes a series of current, cross national education policy issues. 
  • 598. INTERFAITH DIALOGUE AND ACTION. HALL AND KOCHER. This ABCS course explores religious pluralism and interfaith dialogue and action on college campuses.  It brings together students with diverse faith commitments (including atheism) to engage with and learn from one another in academic study, dialogue and service.
  • 611. EDUCATION, DEVELOPMENT, & GLOBALIZATION.  GHAFFAR-KUCHERThis course will explore contemporary issues in international education. The emphasis will be on exploring an emergent body of literature on contemporary processes of globalization in the field of education. The course has a double goal: 1) to provide theoretical frameworks and historical perspectives in order to develop an adequate understanding of 'globalization', and 2) to explore the relevance and impact of globalization as a framework for understanding educational processes in comparative and international contexts.
  • 602. YOUTH CULTURAL FORMATIONS.  STRONGThis course explores anthropological perspectives on peer-based youth cultures. It explores how educational institutions, media (fashion, music, magazines), and states shape youth cultures in cross-cultural contexts through social processes such as capitalism, nationalism, and increasing globalization. The course emphasizes ethnographies and histories which explore the relationship of these wider social processes to the lived realities of young people, situated in class, gender, national and race-specific contexts.
  • 638. THE AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL.  PUCKETT.  This course looks at the role, organization and development of the American high school throughout the twentieth century. The contemporary structure and function of the high school is a continuous focus for analysis and comparison.
  • 646. EXAMINING THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE: IMPLICATIONS OF HISTORY, POLICY AND RACE.  HARPER, J.  The term "school to prison pipeline" typically refers to a disturbing trend in which punitive policies have led to children being funneled out of schools and into the criminal justice system at an alarming rate.  This course (1) examines the historical context and policies that have contributed to the school to prison pipeline; (2) explores the workings of contemporary racism, in particular, colorblind racism and its relationship to education and corrections policies; and (3) discusses the outcomes of such policies and explores interventions for an alternative approach to such policies.
  • 664. PARTICIPATORY EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: THEORY AND PRACTICE.  RAVITCH.  Spring 2011 and Spring 2012. This course connects theories of development and concepts of globalization to international applied educational development research. Through a critical examination of approaches to international applied development research, the course examines real-world models of development research in order to examine questions regarding the nature of knowledge, post-colonial histories, researcher positionalities, and the relationships between concepts, theory, methodology, community, and identity. Course focuses on participatory methodologies as cross-sector strategy frameworks for sustainable, equitable, locally driven educational development efforts.
  • 673. CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY IN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXTS. GHAFFAR-KUCHER. PERMIT REQUIRED. This course explores the problems, issues and approaches to teacher preparation and the development of curricula and instructional materials, particularly (though not exclusively) in developing country contexts through a seminar styled class and a hands-on semester long project.
  • 806. NARRATING THE SELF.  RYMES. This seminar explores, in some linguistic detail, how narrators can partly construct their selves while telling autobiographical stories. The seminar addresses three questions: What is the structure of narrative discourse? How might we construct ourselves by telling stories about ourselves? If narrative is central to self-constructions, what is "the self"?

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Social Theory Courses

Although any course may touch on theory, courses in Social Theory emphasize the theoretical and conceptual frameworks used to make sense of the human condition broadly (and learning/education in particular).

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  • SM 503. (URBS546) GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP.  HALL.  This course examines the possibilities and limitations of conceiving of and realizing citizenship on a global scale. Readings, guest lecturers, and discussions will focus on dilemmas associated with addressing issues that transcend national boundaries. In particular, the course compares global/local dynamics that emerge across different types of improvement efforts focusing on distinctive institutions and social domains, including: educational development; human rights; humanitarian aid; free trade; micro-finance initiatives; and the global environmental movement. The course has two objectives: to explore research and theoretical work related to global citizenship, social engagement, and international development; and to discuss ethical and practical issues that emerge in the local contexts where development initiatives are implemented.
  • SM 524. PHILOSOPHICAL ASPECTS OF EDUCATION POLICY.  BEN-PORATH.  This course, which is unofficially titled 'Justice goes to School' explores the philosophical or normative foundations of educational policy decisions. School choice, standards-based reform, civic education, children's and parents' rights, school finance reform - how do different arguments for these policies view the role of schools in society? What are their concept of the person, and their view of the educated person? We will consider arguments for and against a variety of contemporary educational policies. Students are encouraged, if they are interested, to bring to class educational policy decisions that perplex or intrigue them.
  • 647. LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY OF EDUCATION. WORTHAM.  This course introduces theoretical insights and empirical approaches from contemporary linguistic anthropology and explores how these could be used to study topics of concern to educational researchers -- focusing on how discourse partly constitutes culture, identity and learning.
  • 576. (GSWS249, PHIL249) THE SOCIAL & POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION. DETLEFSEN, K. Is the purpose of education to allow individuals to better themselves by pursuing personal tastes and interests, or should education be primarily aimed at creating good citizens or good members of a group? Is there a way of reconciling these two aims? Assuming that adult relations with children are inherently paternalistic, is it possible for children to be educated for future autonomy to pursue major life goals free from such paternalistic control; and if so, how? How much, if any control over education can be allocated to the state, even when this conflicts with the educational goals parents have for their children? Such questions are especially relevant in multicultural or pluralistic societies in which some groups within a liberal state are non-liberal. Should a liberal democratic state intervene in education to ensure the development of children's personal autonomy, or must toleration of non-liberal groups prevail even at the expense of children's autonomy?
  • 706. (ANTH704, COML706, FOLK706, URBS706) CULTURE/POWER/SUBJECTIVITIES. HALL. PREREQUISITE(S): EDUC 547.  This doctoral level course will introduce students to a conceptual language and theoretical tools for analyzing and explaining the complex intersection of racialized, ethnic, gendered, sexual, and classed differences and asymmetrical social relations. The students will examine critically the interrelationships between culture, power, and subjectivity through a close reading of classical and contemporary social theory.  Emphasis will be given to assessing the power of various theories for conceptualizing and explaining mechanisms of social stratification as well as the basis of social order and processes of social change.

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Special Topics & Experimental Courses

Special Topics and Experimental (EDUC545) courses are those offered to highlight critical, timely topics relevant to the core mission of the Division, but not part of the standard offerings. On occasion such courses become part of the Division’s permanent offerings, and would be relocated to another category.

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  • SEMINAR IN VISUAL ETHNOGRAPHY, PARTS I AND II. WORTHAM. Fall 2014 and Spring 2015.
  • INTERFAITH DIALOGUE AND ACTION. HALL AND KOCHER. Spring 2013.  Spring 2015.
  • PRIVILEGE, INTELLIGENCE AND MERIT IN AMERICA: AN OPEN COURSE IN DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION AND DIALOGIC PEDAGOGY. POSECZNICK. Spring 2014. Spring 2015.
  • CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY IN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT.  GHAFFAR-KUCHER Spring 2012. Spring 2013.  Spring 2015.
  • POLICY PLANNING IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT: THEORY AND PRACTICE.  NEUMANSpring 2013. Spring 2014.  Spring 2015.
  • MOOC DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR. PUCKETT. Spring 2014.  Fall 2014.
  • POLITICS AND EDUCATION. BEN-PORATH. Fall 2013. Fall 2014.
  • INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION. MAOULIDI.  Fall 2014.
  • EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT IN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT.  NEUMANFall 2012. Fall 2013. Fall 2014.
  • CONTEXTUALIZING THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE: IMPLICATIONS OF HISTORY, RACE, POLITICS.  J. HARPER. Spring 2014. Summer 2014.
  • ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. OKETCH. Spring 2012.
  • POLICY PLANNING IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. OKETCH. Summer Session 2012. Education systems in developing countries are facing many challenges and trade-offs. These include issues of balancing rapid expansion to meet international universal access targets with quality; choosing the right emphasis as in between vocational and academic curriculum; meeting the needs of efficiency and equity; and using the right information and evidence to make the right decisions. The aim of this course is to discuss the planning processes and outcomes in developing countries. It will take the form of project and sectoral appraisal, bringing into focus, the interlinkages between multiple stakeholders, as in between governments and non-governmental organisations, communities and bi-lateral and multi-lateral players. Topics covered will range from methodologies and strategies for educational planning, project design and implementation, planning how best to spend scarce educational resources, corruption in the education sector, education in complex emergency situations, and impact evaluation methods relevant to educational planning.

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