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Programs in International and Comparative Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University
Course Listing > Welcome

Course Listing

Please check the Class Schedule or contact the center for specific course availability for each semester.

Program Courses:

  • ITSF 4005
    Education in emergencies and reconstruction

    This course provides students with a comprehensive introduction to the growing and increasingly complex field of education in emergencies, one which encompasses crises caused by natural disasters and armed conflict and which spans the relief-development spectrum.

  • ITSF 4013
    Literacy and development

    This course examines common assumptions about the relationship between literacy and cognitive and/or social, political and/or economic development.

    Instructor: Lesley Bartlett

  • ITSF 4014
    Urban situations and education

    An introduction to the anthropological study of the sociocultural patterns of populations residing in urban settings, with emphasis on domestic, ethnic, class, and educational relationships.

    Instructor: George Bond

  • ITSF 4015
    Introduction to computers, language, and literacy

    Sociocultural implications of computer use in education; viability of software use in the light of language learning theories; evaluation of electronic materials for use by bilingual, ESL, and native- and foreign-language learners. Materials fee: $20.

  • ITSF 4018
    Anthropology and Development in Africa

    This seminar considers issues and problems of development in sub-Saharan Africa. It examines specific development projects from different theoretical and empirical perspectives.

    Instructor: George Bond

  • ITSF 4025
    Languages, society, and schools

    This course studies the role that languages play in different societal contexts. It examines the language policies of different societies and looks at how these policies are enacted or not in different institutional contexts by diverse speakers. In doing so, the course pays attention to diverse language ideologies as well as to the relationship between language and identity. Languages and literacies in schools, especially educational language policy in multilingual contexts, receive special consideration.

  • ITSF 4034
    Dynamics of family interaction

    An introduction to communication patterns inside families, with a special emphasis on both their complexity at the interpersonal level and their simplicity within the social structure of a community. Class time is dominated by cross-cultural data on family structure and videotape analyses of communication patterns within American families.

    Instructor: Herve Varenne

  • ITSF 4054
    Education and strategic planning

    Educational planning within the context of national economic planning; the methods, assumptions, validity, and usefulness of the major approaches; examples mainly from the less developed countries.

  • ITSF 4060
    Latinos in Urban schools

    Students will be introduced to theories and research explaining why Latinos in the United States are least likely of all major social groups to be enrolled in school and, as adults, are most likely to lack a high school diploma. The course will explore the racial/ethnic differences that exist between and within recent immigrant groups, drawing especially on research that shows the diversity of cultural backgrounds within Latino subgroups. Topics will include assimilation of new immigrants, educational achievement and persistence in school, language and schooling, the interplay of race and gender and class with educational attainment, and transnational communities.

    Instructor: Lesley Bartlett

  • ITSF 4090
    Issues and institutions in international educational development

    This course explores theoretical approaches to the study of education in international development and uses these approaches to consider current topics and debates in the fields of international and comparative education. This course also introduces students to institutions involved with educational development in diverse global settings, such as the United Nations and the World Bank. This course is also offered at the doctoral level (ITSF 6581).

    Instructor: Susan Russell

  • ITSF 4091
    Comparative education

    Introduction to theories in comparative education, cross-national comparative analysis, educational indicator research, educational transfer and borrowing, and the relation between culture and education. This course is also offered at the doctoral level (ITSF 6580).

    Instructor: Regina Cortina

  • ITSF 4092
    Qualitative research and evaluation in international education

    The study of qualitative methodologies appropriate to various kinds of educational programs, issues, and problems in diverse research settings.

    Instructor: Gita Steiner-Khamsi

  • ITSF 4093
    International educational development: Curriculum and pedagogy

    This course explores the problems, issues, and approaches in the development of curricula, preparation of instructional materials, and training of educators internationally.

  • ITSF 4094
    Educational planning in international educational development

    The course explores educational planning and policy analysis in developing countries. A special focus is placed on aid effectiveness, aid modalities, and the aid architecture in countries where educational reforms are sometimes funded by multilateral organizations, development banks, and non-governmental organizations. Critical issues, such as global benchmarking, target setting, and monitoring by the World Bank, OECD, and other international organizations are examined. Students learn about current debates and controversies in international educational development and reflect on the impact of externally funded projects on educational planning and reform in developing countries.

    Instructor: Mary Mendenhall

  • ITSF 4096
    Strategic planning and organizational change in international and national educational settings

    The seminar uses theories and methods of social network analysis for examining regional and global policy networks. Besides reading and discussing sociological texts and policy studies literature, we will conduct collaborative empirical analyses of policy networks and policy entrepreneurs. Willingness to conduct empirical research (content and reference analyses) is a condition for participating in this seminar.

    Instructor: Gita Steiner-Khamsi

  • ITSF 4098
    Educational Development and Policies in China

    Historical and national development contexts of educational development in China. Key policy issues in education by level and across levels.

    Instructor: Mun Tsang

  • ITSF 4160
    Human rights education in Africa: Politics, policies, and pedagogies

    Students examine the historical conditions that give rise to human rights violations and the efforts to protect rights through policy and education. They explore different approaches to human rights education, apply them to case studies of specific African countries, and develop human rights education curricula.

    Instructor: Susan Russell

  • ITSF 4190
    Communicative practices: intercultural perspectives

    A topical course exploring language as situated social practice and focusing on communication within and across national boundaries. Domains examined include schooling, work, community, and the public arena. Both spoken and written modes are considered.

  • ITSF 4195
    Academic literacies

    This course is designed to help students develop the professional knowledge and skills necessary for effective communication through such genres as research projects, conference presentations, contributions to journals, grant proposals, and evaluation reports.

  • ITSF 4603
    Human and social dimensions of peace

    This course focuses on issues of human rights, global ethics, and various aspects of structural and cultural violence. Students are introduced to examples of nonviolent social movements and reflect on the process of peaceful transformation. Another course in human rights may be substituted for the concentration in peace education.

    Instructor: Felisa Tibbitts

  • ITSF 4611
    Education for global security

    Explores issues of peace and violence from various perspectives, among them global security culture and militarism. Emphasizes alternative security systems such as disarmament, international and gender justice, ecological and human security. Not offered every year.

  • ITSF 4613
    International perspectives on peace and human rights education

    This course provides a grounding in the theory, pedagogy, and practice of peace education. It draws from the international literature of the field as it has been developed over the past three decades, and reviews teaching practices relevant to various cultures and learning settings. Not offered every year.

    Instructor: Felisa Tibbitts

  • ITSF 4614
    International Organizations, Civil Society and Peace Education

    This course reviews and assesses the work of the world organization and how it facilitates the learning necessary to an integrated global society. The area of emphasis and problem of focus vary from semester to semester. Not offered every year.

  • ITSF 5001
    Ethnography and participant observation: fieldwork, analysis, reporting

    Permission required. ITSF 5000 or equivalent required. This course examines methods to analyze ethnographic and, more broadly, qualitative data. Students who enroll are expected to have already completed a significant amount of data. The course emphasizes the role of theory, different analytical traditions and techniques, and how to write up ethnographic data.

    Instructor: Lesley Bartlett

  • ITSF 5003
    Communication and culture

    Introduction to major theories of human communication and culture as they relate and build on each other.

    Instructor: Herve Varenne

  • ITSF 5006
    Comparative policy studies: overview

    The course is designed to help students to understand foundations and techniques of policy analysis underlying education sector strategies of low-income countries. Part 1 will review critical debates over the role of donors and aid recipients in development contexts and introduce students to tools and techniques for producing education sector strategies. Part 2 will provide an overview of theories of the policy process from an international comparative perspective and therefore also include theories of global education policy, “traveling reforms,” and transnational policy borrowing and lending. Part 3 will discuss trends in various sub-sectors that international agencies tend to frame as “best practices” and for which they provide technical assistance and external financial support.

    Instructor: Gita Steiner-Khamsi

  • ITSF 5008
    Gender, Education, and International Development

    This seminar examines the field of international education development from the standpoint of feminist and gender studies. We will read and discuss relevant studies in anthropology, economics, history, political science, and sociology, as well as interdisciplinary research in the fields of development studies and gender studies. We will begin by considering the political and legal advances in women’s rights within the daily reality of people’s lives in developing countries through the multiple lenses of democratic theory, neoliberal policies, and multiculturalism.

    Instructor: Regina Cortina

  • ITSF 5023
    The family as educator

    Permission required. Analysis of the family as educator and its interrelations with schools and other educational institutions. Emphasis on inquiry deriving from educational practice and behavioral science theory.

  • ITSF 5026
    The family and television

    Permission required. An analysis of the impact of television on the family's educative functions, with special attention to the process by which the family mediates television.

  • ITSF 5033
    African diasporic languages and education

    Explores language, literacy and educational development associated with speakers of African and Creole languages and African American English. It addresses theoretical and pedagogical concerns and their political consequences in these language communities.

  • ITSF 5040
    Mixed methods of disciplined inquiry

    Faculty. The course is designed to develop students' ability to critically consume and produce research in their specialized field within International and Comparative Education or other programs in the department, college and university. Students will be oriented to the epistemological and other assumptions and methodological practices of experimental, survey research, ethnographic, and historical approaches to disciplined inquiry. Students will be exposed to positivist, interpretive, and critical/feminist traditions or paradigms associated with these approaches as well as ethical dilemmas encountered in planning, conducting, reporting, and consuming research.

  • ITSF 5090
    Migration and education

    This course examines the relationship between education and demographic change in international educational development. It focuses on historical and cultural changes in the areas of fertility, migration, mortality, and sustainable development.

    Instructor: Lesley Bartlett

  • ITSF 5120
    Education in community settings: Museums

    Permission required. A review and an analysis of educational issues and opportunities in various community settings. Special fee: $5.

    Instructor: Hope Leichter

  • ITSF 5430

    Permission required. Supervised experiences in diverse settings designed to develop skills in research, development, planning, and evaluation.

    Instructor: Thomas Bailey

  • ITSF 5500
    Education Across the Americas

    In this seminar, students will be introduced to education and social issues in Latin America and the Caribbean since the consolidation of national systems of public education during the twentieth century. Using theoretical perspectives drawn from development studies, globalization and comparative education, the course will include case studies of individual nations as well as issues embracing the region as a whole. Topics will include social and political dimensions of education, ethnicity and academic achievement, women’s education and social change, teacher preparation, student movements and patterns of migration. Moreover, the effects of projects financed by international organizations will be evaluated in terms of improved access, teacher training and intercultural understanding within the education systems of Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Instructor: Lesley Bartlett

  • ITSF 5580
    Postcolonial studies of education

    Prerequisites or corequisites: ITSF 4090 and ITSF 4091. This course explores the impact of missionary, colonial education, and neo-colonial education on school reform both in dependent countries and in former colonial countries.

    Instructor: Gita Steiner-Khamsi

  • ITSF 5590
    Education and the development of nations

    Prerequisites: ITSF 4090/6580 or ITSF 4091/6581. This seminar explores the politics of education in international and transcultural contexts. Course topics include educational equity and quality as well as the role of international donors in transplanting particular "best practice" or reform packages from one national context to another.

    Instructor: Felisa Tibbitts

  • ITSF 6125
    Research issues in communicative practices

    A critical review of selected research directions and paradigms for the analysis of spoken and written communication.

  • ITSF 6200
    Field research outside the United States

    Permission required. Required of doctoral students when choice of doctoral research necessitates data generation in other countries. One year of field experience under supervision in approved geographical and institutional site. Students secure approval of department chair and principal advisor in advance and render periodic reports.

  • ITSF 6520
    Seminar in families and communities as educators

    Permission required. A research seminar in the family and the community as educational systems.

    Instructor: Hope Leichter

  • ITSF 6580
    Advanced seminar in international education I

    This course will focus on the history, methods and theories in the field of international and comparative education.

    Instructor: Regina Cortina

  • ITSF 6581
    Advanced seminar in international education II

    This course will focus on issues, institutions, and applications in the practice of international and comparative education.

    Instructor: Regina Cortina

  • ITSF 6590
    Doctoral seminar in international and transcultural studies

    Permission required. Presentation of research in progress and examination of professional roles.

    Instructor: Regina Cortina

  • ITSF 6902
    Studies in international and transcultural studies

    Instructor: Thomas Bailey

  • ITSF 6990
    Studies in international educational development

    In each of the areas within the department, advanced students may register for intensive individual study of some aspect of their specialization. Registration is only by permission of the instructor under whose guidance the work will be undertaken. Times for individual conferences will be arranged. Enrollment may be for 1 or more points each term, and registration is not limited to one or two terms.

  • ITSF 6991
    Studies in comparative education

    In each of the areas within the department, advanced students may register for intensive individual study of some aspect of their specialization. Registration is only by permission of the instructor under whose guidance the work will be undertaken. Times for individual conferences will be arranged. Enrollment may be for 1 or more points each term, and registration is not limited to one or two terms.

  • ITSF 7500
    Dissertation seminar in international and transcultural studies

    Permission required. Proposal writing. Required of doctoral students in the semester following successful completion of certification examinations.

  • ITSF 8900
    Dissertation advisement in international and transcultural studies

    Individual advisement on doctoral dissertations. Fee to equal 3 points at current tuition rate for each term. For requirements, see section in catalog on Continuous Registration for Ed.D./Ph.D. degrees.

    Instructor: Thomas Bailey