Anthropology and Education

Welcome to the Anthropology program


Anthropology is positioned to answer some of the toughest questions of education and policy-making because of its emphasis on spending time with and learning from people. Our program highlights participatory ethnography: engaging in and observing human activities and conversing with people as a means of improving education and collaborating with local groups and organizations. We offer one of the only master's programs in Anthropology and Education in the world and we offer a unique outlook on how to understand and support diverse approaches to education in and outside the classroom.

Our two doctoral programs help student develop the complex theoretical and methodological issues involved in the application of anthropological knowledge and approaches to matters of policy concern in medicine, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, economic and community development, education, businesses and corporations, institutional programs, and ecological and environmental change.

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The masters program in Anthropology and Education is concerned with the cultural, social and linguistic dimensions of education. Our program offers insight to better understand inequalities, cultural differences, linguistic diversity, and the wealth of human life for educational purposes. We examine educational processes in schools and classrooms, in families, on street corners, in community centers, in churches, and in all other non-conventional education settings.

The Doctoral Programs are research degrees designed to help students develop the complex theoretical and methodological issues involved in the application of anthropological knowledge and approaches to matters of policy concern in medicine, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, economic and community development, education, businesses and corporations, institutional programs, ecological and environmental change, etc. The programs lead to a Columbia degree and capitalize on the strength of the university's faculty.

Two doctoral programs are offered and differ slightly in their focus and the career paths for which they prepare.

The program in Anthropology and Education emphasizes theories of education and their uses in the analysis and planning of educational efforts in and out of schools. An Ed.D. in Anthropology and Education is also available under special circumstances.

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Anthropology at Teachers College

Anthropology Blog

The Anthropology Programs at Teachers College, Columbia University

Melanie Dreher (PhD ’77) on the intersection of Nursing, Anthropology and Cannabis Research

Melanie Dreher is a nurse and anthropologist who has spent five decades bringing the fields together in her research on cannabis use in Jamaica. She has served as the dean of several nursing schools, while also teaching on faculty of programs ranging from public health to anthropology. Her research has been funded by March of […]

Uncategorizedanthropologyapplied researchcannabiscannabis researchcolumbiacomitasdeandreherethnographyfieldworkhealth sciencejamaicanursingResearchTeachers College

Julie Torres (MA ’12) on her research centering Puerto Rican activists and subsequent work as faculty at UCCS

Julie Torres is an Assistant Professor of Women’s and Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She is a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on issues related to Latinx studies, diaspora, social activism, transnationalism, and gender. She is currently working on a book manuscript, which ethnographically examines Puerto Rican women’s activism in Orlando, […]

Uncategorized#activism#anthropology#boricua#faculty#gradschool#interview#organizing#orlando#puertorico#research#socialscience

Kate Sanders (MA ’14) on her work with Professional Exchange Programs

Kate graduated from the Anthropology and Education program in 2014 with her master’s. She has devoted her career to international and intercultural education and exchanges. She currently works for Meridian International Center in Washington, DC as a Program Officer for their Professional Exchanges Division. Before we get into the interesting stuff you’re doing now, I […]

Uncategorized#anthroanded#anthropology#culturalexchange#gradschool#intercultural#mastersdegree#workforcemeridian international centerMIC

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