Sociology of Education


There are few institutions that nearly all Americans pass through, and schools are one of them; around fifty million students are enrolled in preK-12 schooling in the United States. As such, schools are an institution deserving of rigorous scrutiny and careful interrogation. But in studying K- 12 schools, we are in fact attending to a multitude of things - competing visions of and purposes for schools, and disparate experiences of accessing and navigating education that are widely divergent along axes of inequality. In this course, which will be conducted as a discussion-based seminar, we will engage with texts examining the enterprise of education from varied vantage points, but always through a sociological lens. We'll discuss the varied purposes theorists and practitioners envision for schools, and the extent to which schools live up to those ideals. We'll talk at length about how schools are a microcosm of many of the inequalities we see in the broader society, looking at issues of race, class, gender, and place. By taking a sociological lens to studying education, we'll learn a language and facility for rooting discussion of issues in education in theoretical grounding and empirical evidence. In so doing, students will develop the capacity to more critically assess scholarly research and public discourses on education, as well as their own experiences. Prerequisite: Completion of any 1000, 2000, or 3000-level Education course, graduate standing, or permission of instructor. Enrollment note: All students are enrolled onto the waitlist. Priority is given to Department of Education majors, minors, and graduate students. Undergraduate students must enroll in Educ. 453B and graduate students must enroll in Educ. 5530
Course Attributes: EN S; BU Eth; BU BA; AS SSC; AS SD I; FA SSC; AR SSC; AS SC