Skip to navigation menu

Skip to main content

Anthropology
Teachers College, Columbia University
teachers college logo columbia univertsity logo

Anthropology

In the Department of International & Transcultural Studies

Areas of Emphasis > Ethnographic Methods for Education Analysis

Ethnographic Methods for Education Analysis

(Masters of Education)

Given the current concerns with the place of education in modern societies, and the recognition of the need to reform existing institutions in a systematic manner, pressing questions have been raised about alternative methods for analysis, evaluation and assessment.  The emphasis in the Ethnographic Methods for Educational Analysis addresses these questions in an original manner grounded in the long history of anthropology as a discipline dedicated to understanding human action in all its contexts.  Students are trained rigorously in the methods and techniques of ethnographic analysis, as well as the theoretical justification for the use of the methods for educational reform, planning, and implementation.

This two-year program builds on an apprenticeship model around a supervised research project planned and conducted over a two year period.  The first year focuses on courses foundational to anthropology intended to clarify what ethnography can contribute to educational policy, as well as its limitations.  It also focuses on courses introducing ethnographic methods and techniques. The first year culminates with a research proposal and summer ethnographic fieldwork. The second year develops what was started through courses and seminars that take the students through the analysis and writing of the research project they conducted at the end of their first year.  Two culminating reports are expected: a developed research report (@100 pages) and a publishable paper (@30 pages).

Suggested program of study includes:

  • 20 points in general anthropology
  • 20 points in research techniques and seminars
  • 20 points in courses related to specific issues in educational assessment (including courses in sociology, economics, international development, etc.)