International and Transcultural Studies | Teachers College Columbia University

Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Skip to content

Department of International and Transcultural Studies

ITSF 4014 Urban situations and education

An introduction to the anthropological study of the sociocultural patterns of populations residing in urban settings, with emphasis on domestic, ethnic, class, and educational relationships.

Instructor(s): N. Limerick

Offered: Spring


ITSF 4025 Languages, society, and schools

This course studies the role that languages play in different societal contexts. It examines the language policies of different societies and looks at how these policies are enacted or not in different institutional contexts by diverse speakers. In doing so, the course pays attention to diverse language ideologies as well as to the relationship between language and identity. Languages and literacies in schools, especially educational language policy in multilingual contexts, receive special consideration.

Instructor(s): C. Benson

Offered: Fall


ITSF 4034 Dynamics of family interaction

An introduction to communication patterns inside families, with a special emphasis on both their complexity at the interpersonal level and their simplicity within the social structure of a community. Class time is dominated by cross-cultural data on family structure and videotape analyses of communication patterns within American families.

Instructor(s): J de Wolfe

Offered: Fall


ITSF 4060 Latinos in urban schools

Students will be introduced to theories and research explaining why Latinos in the United States are least likely of all major social groups to be enrolled in school and, as adults, are most likely to lack a high school diploma.  The course will explore the racial/ethnic differences that exist between and within recent immigrant groups, drawing especially on research that shows the diversity of cultural backgrounds within Latino subgroups.  Topics will include assimilation of new immigrants, educational achievement and persistence in school, language and schooling, the interplay of race and gender and class with educational attainment, and transnational communities.

Instructor(s): R. Cortina

Offered: Spring


ITSF 4094 Education Across the Americas

In this graduate seminar, students will be introduced to education and social issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. The seminar covers the time period from the consolidation of national systems of public education during the twentieth century to present-day.  Using theoretical perspectives drawn from development studies and comparative education, the course will include case studies of individual nations as well as thematic issues pertaining to the region as a whole.

Topics include social and political dimensions of education, ethnicity and indigenous education, academic achievement, women’s education and social change, teacher preparation, student movements, social movements and patterns of migration.  The seminar incorporates and analyzes the perspectives of different actors in education, including international organizations, civil society organizations, teachers and students.  The effects of projects financed by international organizations will be evaluated in terms of improved access, teacher training and intercultural understanding within the education systems of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Instructor(s): R Cortina

Offered: Fall


ITSF 5007 Race, class and schooling: Ethnographic approaches

This course examines the role of schooling in the formation of race and class structures across the Americas, including Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States.

Instructor(s): TBA


ITSF 5008 Gender, Education, and International Development

This seminar examines the field of international education development from the standpoint of feminist and gender studies.  We will read and discuss relevant studies in anthropology, economics, history, political science, and sociology, as well as interdisciplinary research in the fields of development studies and gender studies.  We will begin by considering the political and legal advances in women’s rights within the daily reality of people’s lives in developing countries through the multiple lenses of democratic theory, neoliberal policies and multiculturalism

Instructor(s): R. Cortina

Offered: Fall


ITSF 5043: Critical Theories on Latin American and Latino Education

In this graduate seminar, we will explore the application of critical theories to Latin American and Latino Studies to advance new perspectives and knowledge in comparative education. We will frame the discussion within relevant theories, such as Critical Thinking (Pensamiento Crítico), Dependency Theory, Internal Colonialism, Liberation Theory, and Indigenous Ways of Knowing. Among the issues to be discussed are the rights of Indigenous peoples to education and the preservation of cultural and linguistic diversity of people in the developing world in parallel with the struggles of Latinos in the United States to improve their educational opportunity at the high school and postsecondary levels.  Topics include the right to education, the nature of citizenship, intercultural and bilingual education, transnational networks in support of Indigenous movements, Indigenous resistance, and internal colonialism in the United States.  An overarching theme is national policies to improve access, teacher training, and intercultural understanding within education systems across the Americas.


ITSF 5090 Migration and education

This course examines the relationship between education and demographic change in international educational development. It focuses on historical and cultural changes in the areas of fertility, migration, mortality, and sustainable development.


ITSF 5123: School counseling for the bilingual/bicultural child and family