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International & Transcultural Studies
Teachers College, Columbia University
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International & Transcultural Studies

Course Listing > Welcome

Course Listing

Department Courses:

Please check the Class Schedule or contact the department for specific course availability for each semester:

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 4010 Cultural and social bases of education
Analyses of basic anthropological concepts, with particular reference to the sociocultural context of education and the role of educational institutions in community, national, and regional development. Four-point enrollment requires attendance at film showings before or after class and at discussion sessions held at hours to be arranged.

ITSF 4011 Social context of education
The exploration of anthropological and social science concepts for the analysis of educational, cultural, and social institutions, organizations, and processes of different peoples of the world. Four-point enrollment requires attendance at film showings before or after class and additional discussion sessions held at hours to be arranged.

ITSF 4012 Cross-cultural studies of learning
Analyses of basic anthropological concepts, with particular reference to the influence of cultures and subcultures on the learning process, to education in multicultural classrooms, and to the relevance of psychological anthropology to educational issues. Four-point enrollment requires attendance at film showings before or after class and additional discussion sessions held at hours to be arranged.
Instructor(s): Charles Harrington

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.

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.

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 4016 Culture and society in Africa
A general survey of sub-Saharan Africa, using contributions from theoretical approaches to anthropological research in the area. Emphasis on socioeconomic, ideological and religious, educational, and political analysis of African communities.

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.

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 4026 Technology and culture
An exploration of the impact of technology broadly defined upon cultural evolution as currently discussed in anthropology and related disciplines. Special fee: $30. Also listed as MSTU 4028.

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(s): 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(s): Regina Cortina, Francisco Rivera-Batiz

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(s): Susan Russell, Mun Tsang

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(s): Regina Cortina, Gita Steiner-Khamsi

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(s): 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(s): Mary Mendenhall, Mun Tsang

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(s): 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(s): 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(s): 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(s): 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(s): 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 4900 Research independent study anthropology and education
Advanced students may register for intensive individual study of some aspect of their concentration. 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 5000 Methods of inquiry: Ethnography and participant observation
This course examines the methods of the social sciences as they relate to ethnography and participant observation. The course emphasizes the role of theory, characteristics of various research techniques, and the importance of integrated research design. The course provides opportunities to practice ethnographic research techniques, including developing a research question, designing a study, interviewing, conducting observations, and analyzing data.
Instructor(s): Charles Harrington, Leah Pope

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(s): Herve Varenne

ITSF 5003 Communication and culture
Introduction to major theories of human communication and culture as they relate and build on each other.
Instructor(s): 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(s): Gita Steiner-Khamsi

ITSF 5007 Race, class and schooling: Ethnographic approaches
This course examines the role of schooling in the formation of race and class structures across the Americas, including Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States.

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(s): Regina Cortina

ITSF 5012 Culture and society in the Caribbean
Detailed survey, utilizing contributions from theoretical approaches to anthropological research in the area. Emphasis on socioeconomics, community studies, and sociopolitical analyses.
Instructor(s): Lambros Comitas

ITSF 5013 Psychological anthropology
The concepts, theories, and methods of psychological anthropology. Cross-cultural studies of learning processes. Emphasis on recent work in the field, problems of cross-cultural methodology, and the study of socialization.
Instructor(s): Charles Harrington, Leah Pope

ITSF 5015 Political anthropology: Labor, race, and belief
This course considers the theories and concepts used by anthropologists and other social scientists in the analysis of political behavior and institutions. It emphasizes the comparative study of political systems, movements, and processes within the context of rural and urban situations.

ITSF 5016 Ethnography of education
Introduction to the ethno-graphic investigation of educative institutions (villages, neighborhoods, families, peer groups, schools, etc.) and to the policy issues it addresses.
Instructor(s): Herve Varenne

ITSF 5018 Drugs and Society
Utilizing theoretical and methodological perspectives from social and cultural anthropology, this course is designed to explore the contextual dimensions of illicit drug use as well as other drug-related issues. A comparative, cross-cultural approach will be utilized and case material drawn from traditional as well as modern settings.

ITSF 5020 Practicum in anthropological field techniques
For anthropologists and non-anthropologists contemplating independent, qualitative research, this course provides hands-on experience in techniques for generating, recording, and managing anthropological data in the field.
Instructor(s): Lambros Comitas

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 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.

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(s): Hope Leichter

ITSF 5430 Internship
Permission required. Supervised experiences in diverse settings designed to develop skills in research, development, planning, and evaluation.
Instructor(s): Thomas Bailey, Lambros Comitas, Charles Harrington, Hope Leichter, Francisco Rivera-Batiz, Maria Torres-Guzman, Mun Tsang, Herve Varenne

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(s): Regina Cortina

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(s): 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(s): Felisa Tibbitts

ITSF 5610 First-year colloquium in applied anthropology
Permission required. This is a year-long critical review of important works in anthropology and education and applied anthropology. During the spring semester, students present proposals for their summer fieldwork before the members of both programs. Required of, and open only to, first-year doctoral students. Meets concurrently with ITSF 5611 during the spring semester.
Instructor(s): Lambros Comitas, Herve Varenne

ITSF 5611 Second-year colloquium in anthropological method
Permission required. This is a year-long review of the methods of field research and data analysis in anthropology, with special reference to educational systems and processes. Network analysis, systematic observation, quantification procedures, participant observation, ethnographic interview, use of film and videotape, cross-cultural survey techniques, and testing and experimental design. During the spring semester, students report on their completed summer fieldwork before the members of both programs. Required of, and open only to, second-year doctoral students. Meets concurrently with ITSF 5610 during the spring semester.

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 6510 Education and cultural production
Seminar reviewing theoretical developments in culture theory as it focuses on education as the foundation of cultural production.
Instructor(s): Herve Varenne

ITSF 6511 Seminar in psychological anthropology
Permission required. Prerequisite: ITSF 5013. A research seminar focusing on current issues in psychological anthropology.
Instructor(s): Charles Harrington

ITSF 6520 Seminar in families and communities as educators
Permission required. A research seminar in the family and the community as educational systems.
Instructor(s): 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(s): 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(s): Regina Cortina

ITSF 6590 Doctoral seminar in international and transcultural studies
Permission required. Presentation of research in progress and examination of professional roles.
Instructor(s): Regina Cortina, Mun Tsang

ITSF 6900 Research independent study anthropology and education
Advanced students may register for intensive individual study of some aspect of their concentration. 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 6902 Studies in international and transcultural studies

Instructor(s): Thomas Bailey, Lambros Comitas, Charles Harrington, Hope Leichter, Francisco Rivera-Batiz, Gita Steiner-Khamsi, Maria Torres-Guzman, Mun Tsang

ITSF 6911 Workgroup in psychological anthropology
This workgroup meets every other week to discuss current issues in psychological anthropology. It also discusses and reviews current research and proposals for research of workgroup members, including faculty, alumni, and doctoral students concentrating in psychological anthropology.
Instructor(s): Charles Harrington

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(s): Thomas Bailey, Lambros Comitas, Charles Harrington, Hope Leichter, Francisco Rivera-Batiz, Gita Steiner-Khamsi, Maria Torres-Guzman, Mun Tsang