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International and Comparative Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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International and Comparative Education

In the Department of International & Transcultural Studies

IED Professional Specializations > Family & Community Education

Family & Community Education

Liaison: Professor Hope Jensen Leichter

Teachers College continues its long history of groundbreaking work on Family and Community Education through the concentration in Family and Community Education in the ITS Department.  In this concentration a founding premise concerning educational configurations is central.  In all societies individuals learn from many others in their social networks, e.g. parents, siblings, grandparents, peers, clergy, as well as teachers and other professionals.  What is more, education takes place through many institutions, e.g. families, day-care centers, businesses, the media, museums, libraries, community agencies, religious institutions, as well as the schools.  Since the configurations of these educational networks and institutions are subject to change—sometimes drastic changes such as those associated with new technological enterprises—studies in Family and Community Education examine the changing linkages among educative institutions in the community.


Fundamental changes in education also stem from the extensive transnational migration and immigration taking place in many areas of the world today.  Given increasing geographic mobility, together with new forms of communication, an understanding of the connections between local and global cultures and the resources families and communities bring from one area to another is essential for educators and policy makers. Thus, another focus of the concentration is studies of family migration, immigration, and education. Courses examine basic processes of education within families, for example, the social construction of family memories, the mediation of television and other forms of technology by families, as well as the changing configurations of education in community settings, for example, linkages among museums, families and schools.  Frameworks for these courses are interdisciplinary, drawing upon concepts from the social sciences and the humanities.

Relevant Courses:

ITSF 4034: Dynamics of Family Interaction, Fall 2014

ITSF 4603: Human and Social Dimensions of Peace, Spring 2015

ITSF 5003: Communication and Culture, Spring 2015

ITSF 5023: The Family as Educator, Fall 2014  

ITSF 5026: Families, Television, and Other Media, Spring 2015

ITSF 5120: Education in Community Settings: Museums, Spring 2015

ITSF 6520: Families and Communities as Educators, Fall 2014; Spring 2015