Examination of the impact of race and ethnicity on the formation and implementation of policies such as desegregation, affirmative action, bilingual education, and choice.
Examination of the federal role in K-12 education policy over the course of the 20th century and its impact on states and districts.
A broad analysis of education using basic sociological concepts, including schools as organizations, socialization, stratification, and ethnic relations.
Analysis of urban schools and districts within the context of urban social and political systems.
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.
An examination of sociological research on the structure and operation of classrooms. Particular attention to the processes of stratification, socialization, legitimation, and social organization.
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.
An examination of sociological research on the structure and operation of schools. Particular attention to the processes of socialization, stratification, and legitimation as well as social organization and the sociology of school curriculum.
Introduction to concepts, theories, and research in the sociology of organizations and the related interdisciplinary field of organization studies, as they apply to schools and other organizational settings in education. Topics covered will include internal organizational dynamics, organizations and their environments, organizations as contexts for human identity and agency, and organizational learning and improvement.
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.
Permission required. Intensive readings and discussions of basic literature in sociology of education, with attention to common issues and research strategies.
This course covers four broad topics of interest to sociologists of education, as well as to other education practitioners, researchers, and policy makers: (1) how the occupations of teaching and leadership are socially organized within schools and school systems; (2) how the work of teaching and leadership in schools and school systems is affected by, and in turn affects, social forces in the larger social environment; (3) the social dynamics of diversity in teaching and leadership; and (4) the impact of teachers and leaders on school outcomes. The course will explore how the knowledge base about the sociology of teaching and leadership has evolved – how the research questions have changed over time, what the body of theory and empirical evidence looks like, including the methods used to study teaching and leadership, and what the cutting-edge knowledge frontiers are.
Relationship between research problem and study design, choice of population, sampling methods, instrument construction, interviewing, data processing, and analysis.
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.
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.
This course examines how racial discrimination in American education intersects with gender norms and stereotypes in ways that shape everyday school life, particularly how educational policies at the school, district, and federal level either perpetuate or transform these dynamic intersections. After exploring personal histories of race, gender, and schooling through memoir, the course begins with a theoretical and conceptual overview of race, gender, and sex, and the history of race and patriarchy in the U.S. context. Popular culture and discourse, as well as key issues and debates in the field are taken up thereafter, with a focus on race and gender equality/access in urban school settings, and gender dynamics in relation to racial bias, class privilege, and sexuality (e.g., LGBTQIA issues). The goal of the course is to reconsider what constitutes effective schooling for all students across social and cultural contexts.
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.
This class is an introduction to classical sociological theory. The epistemological foundations of sociological inquiry as well as its core concepts and methods will be examined. Problems and concepts to be covered will include alienation, class, legitimation, power, anomie, exploitation, culture, ideology, development, and individuation. The texts to be examined will be mainly from the three ‘founders’ of sociology: Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. In addition, theorists who worked within the classical sociological tradition and who have played a significant role in shaping contemporary social theory will also be studied; such theorists may include: Friedrich Engels, Marcel Mauss, George Simmel, Sigmund Freud, and Norbert Elias.
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.
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.
Students wishing to complete a master's integrative project instead of taking the master's exam will design a study, provide a relevant literature review of theory and research, collect and analyze data, and write a comprehensive report of their work.
A seminar for doctoral students to further their professional development and to prepare for doctoral research.
Permission required. Required of doctoral students in the semester following successful completion of certification examinations.
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.