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Sociology and Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Sociology and Education

In the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis

Course Listing > Welcome

Course Listing

Department Courses:

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

EDPS 4000 Education and public policy
Examination of the federal role in k-12 educational policy over the course of the 20th century and its impact on states and districts.

EDPS 4021 Sociology of education
A broad analysis of education using basic sociological concepts, including schools as organizations, socialization, stratification, and ethnic relations.

EDPS 4022 Sociology of urban education
Analysis of urban schools and districts within the context of urban social and political systems.

EDPS 4024 Social stratification and education
An examination of the link between education and social inequality in Western societies, questioning whether schools are a mechanism of social mobility, enabling poor and disadvantaged children to get ahead in life, or whether schools perpetuate the hardships faced by poor and minority populations. Topics include the importance of quantity and quality of schooling for adult success; the ways in which race/ethnicity, sex, and social class background structure students' educational experiences; the role of tracking and ability grouping within schools; and the link between schooling and the economy.

EDPS 4028 Sociology of the life course
Sociologists define the life course of individuals by when, and in what order, people assume key social roles, such as becoming an adult or moving from the workforce to retirement. This course looks at the sociology of the life course. Focusing on how historical and societal factors combine with the personal characteristics of individuals to produce unique life course patterns.

EDPS 4030 Sociology of Organizations

Introduction to concepts and theories in sociological research on organizations, covering internal organizational dynamics, organizations and environments, and organizations as contexts for human action, with a focus on organizations in education.

EDPS 4032 Gender, difference and curriculum
A study of the extent and causes of gender inequality in society and the ways in which schools work both to reduce and exacerbate inequality.

EDPS 4620 Introductory colloquium in sociology of education
Permission required. Intensive readings and discussions of basic literature in sociology of education, with attention to common issues and research strategies.

EDPS 4903 Research and independent study
Permission required.

EDPS 5020 Survey Research Methods

Relationship between research problem and study design, choice of population, sampling methods, instrument construction, interviewing, data processing, and analysis.

EDPS 5022 Sociology of educational systems

Analysis of local and national education systems through application of sociological perspectives and organization theory, with special attention to problems of equity, effectiveness, and the embeddedness of education systems in their larger contexts.

EDPS 5050 Sociology of knowledge

The sociology of knowledge analyzes the process by which "reality" becomes constructed within a social context.  With a focus on education and social welfare policies, this class will explore the "reality" of public policies with real material consequences and how this reality has been constructed around a set of assumptions defining the "problems" that need to be solved.  This course helps students step back from a focus on "implementing" educational reform and examine instead how such a reform movement became the focus.

EDPS 5057 Qualitative Methods for Education Policy and Social Research

This course is designed to assist students in conceptualizing and designing research projects – for Master’s Theses or Doctoral Dissertations – that examine, interrogate and evaluate public policies in the fields of education and social welfare through methodological approaches we commonly think of as qualitative. The curriculum emphasizes the benefits and limitations of qualitative methods for studying particular policy issues and programs with the goal of defining when a qualitative approach is most helpful. We will explore qualitative case studies as a research design as well as several different data collection methods employed by qualitative researchers, including interviews, observations, ethnography, and document analysis. The class also addresses what sort of research questions can best be answered through qualitative data collection and how qualitative researchers can frame their inquiry in a manner that speaks to public policy debates and issues. Furthermore, the course will require students to appreciate the significance and meaning of a more contextual approach to education policy analysis. This course, therefore, fulfills the qualitative research methods requirement for the Sociology and Education Program and other programs across the EPSA Department and College. 

EDPS 5620 Advanced colloquium in sociology of education
This course is designed to enhance student knowledge of social theory in sociological research. Particular attention is devoted to deductive models of explanation and their use in the construction of theory and its application as a basis for empirical inquiry.

EDPS 5646 Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs

An introduction to the evaluation of social and educational programs. Topics include evaluation to inform program conceptualization and design; measuring program implementation; impact assessment, including randomized experiments; cost-effectiveness analysis; and the social and political context of program evaluation.

EDPS 6021 Master's Essay in Sociology and Education

Students wishing to complete a master's essay or thesis instead of taking the master's exam will design a study, collect and analyze data and write an extensive paper.

EDPS 6525 Seminar in sociology of education
A seminar for doctoral students to further their professional development and to prepare for doctoral research.

EDPS 6903 Research and independent study
Permission required.

EDPS 6920 Studies in sociology and education
Studies in sociology and education

EDPS 7503 Dissertation seminar
Permission required. Required of doctoral students in the semester following successful completion of certification examinations.

EDPS 8903 Dissertation advisement
Individual advisement on doctoral dissertations. Fee to equal 3 points at current tuition rate for each term. For requirements, see section in catalog on Registration for Ed.D./Ph.D. degrees.