Course Descriptions

Course Catalog for EDUCATIONAL STUDIES
EDUC 200
Analyzing Schools
This course introduces the study of schooling within an interdisciplinary framework. Drawing upon sociology, we investigate the resources, structures, and social contexts which influence student opportunities and outcomes in the United States and other countries. Drawing upon psychology, we contrast theories of learning, both in the abstract and in practice. Drawing upon philosophy, we examine competing educational goals and their underlying assumptions regarding human nature, justice, and democracy. In addition, a community learning component, where students observe and participate in nearby K-12 classrooms for three hours per week, will be integrated with course readings and written assignments.
1.25 units, Lecture
EDUC 218
Special Education
How are children labeled (or mislabeled) as having learning and developmental disabilities, autism, or attention deficit disorder? How have definitions and diagnoses of learning disorders changed over time? How have standardized evaluations and assessments impacted those diagnoses? How does the law seek to ensure the accommodation of the needs of individuals with disabilities? Students will critically analyze research on psychology as it pertains to learners, examine special education case law and advocacy, and explore current issues in special education.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Educational Studies 200 or Psychology 295 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
EDUC 300
Education Reform: Past and Present
How do we explain the rise and decline of education reform movements? How do we evaluate their level of “success” from different sources of evidence? Drawing upon primary source materials and historical interpretations, this course examines a broad array of elementary, secondary, and higher education reform movements from the mid-19th century to the present, analyzing social, material, and ideological contexts. This intermediate-level seminar explores a topic common to all branches of educational studies from both theoretical and comparative perspectives.
Prerequisite: C- or better in EDUC200, or American Studies major or Public Policy and Law major.
1.00 units, Lecture
EDUC 303
Becoming Citizens: Youth Identity and Civic Action
How do young people from diverse social backgrounds develop a sense of themselves and their responsibility to others? How and why do some become committed to work for social change, while others do not? Do high school and college campuses provide supportive contexts for young people's civic identity and development? Drawing on a body of qualitative research and the Trinity College context, this course will investigate these questions, with the goal of understanding how citizenship is defined, developed and contested by youth and schools in dialogue with larger social forces. We will explore such areas as youth activism, service-learning, immigration status, policies, and immigrant activism, political identity and participation. Students will engage in an ethnographic research project that explores these questions on the Trinity campus.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Educational Studies 200 or Anthropology 101 (formerly 201), or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
EDUC 305
Immigrants and Education
How have schools played a role in the experiences of diverse immigrant communities in the United States? How have immigrants and their children encountered U.S. culture and policies through schools and, through the encounters, negotiated their own roles in U.S. culture and society. In this class, we will examine both historical and contemporary efforts by educational institutions to address linguistic, cultural and religious practices, race and academic opportunity in relation to a variety of immigrant communities. The course will include a community learning component in which students will conduct interviews with immigrants who have been involved in U.S. education institutions.
Prerequisite: C- or better in a prior course in Educational Studies or International Studies, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
EDUC 307
Latinos in Education: Local Realities, Transnational Perspectives
This course investigates the education of Latinos, the largest and fastest growing minority group in the United States. By examining both the domestic and transnational contexts, we explore these central questions: How do cultural constructions of Latinos (as immigrants and natives, citizens and non-citizens) shape educational policy and teaching practices? What views of citizenship and identity underlie school programs such as bilingual education, as well as Latino responses to them? This course fulfills the related field requirement for Hispanic studies majors. It will also include a community learning component involving a qualitative research project in a Hartford school or community organization.
Prerequisite: Educational Studies 200 or International Studies, Language and Culture Studies, Hispanic Studies, or Anthropology major, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Lecture
EDUC 308
Cities, Suburbs, and Schools
How did city dwellers’ dreams of better schooling, along with public policy decisions in housing and transportation, contribute to the rise of suburbia in the 20th century? How do city-suburban disparities affect teaching and learning in classrooms today? What promise do Sheff v O’Neill remedies for racial isolation, such as magnet schools at the Learning Corridor, hold for the future? Students will investigate these questions while developing their skills in oral history, ethnographic fieldwork, and geographical information system (GIS) software. Community learning experiences will be integrated with seminar readings and research projects.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Educational Studies 200 or participation in The Cities Program or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
EDUC 309
Race, Class, and Educational Policy
How do competing theories explain educational inequality? How do different policies attempt to address it? This class will consider the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the examination of educational inequality. Possible topics include economic and cultural capital, racial/gender/sexual identity formation, desegregation, multiculturalism, detracking, school choice, school-family relationships, and affirmative action. Student groups will expand upon the readings by proposing, implementing, and presenting their research analysis from a community learning project.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Educational Studies 200, or juniors / seniors with permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
EDUC 315
Higher Education in America
America has developed one of the largest and most diverse systems of higher education in the world, with curricula that range from the study of Greek, Latin, and antiquity to the decorating of cakes. Despite this diffuseness, American higher education enjoys an enviable global reputation and each year the number of students from around the world applying to colleges and universities in the United States far surpasses the number of American students seeking to matriculate abroad. This course will examine the forces that shaped the development of American higher education from its origins to the present, and then focus on several salient issues (such as diversity, student misbehavior, academic freedom, and athletics) that vex and enrich modern institutions. Students will be required to conduct a field research project that analyzes a current issue and compares how two or more institutions have reacted.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Educational Studies 200, or juniors / seniors with permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
EDUC 316
Education and Social Change Across the Globe
Through a comparative framework, this course examines the relationship between education and social change in various regions of the world. How do governments use schooling to produce certain kinds of citizens, and how do grassroots movements use education to resist these agendas? What role does education play in promoting democracy versus social and economic inequality? Students will conduct independent research on education in a country of their choice to contribute to the comparative framework.
Prerequisite: C- or better in a prior Educational Studies or International Studies Course.
1.00 units, Lecture
EDUC 320
Anthropology and Education
The anthropology of education has a rich history of investigating the links between culture, learning, and schooling. Anthropologists studying education have sought to illuminate learning and educational achievement as social processes and cultural products that cannot be understood apart from the socio-cultural contexts in which they occur. In this upper-level seminar, we will explore selected works in the anthropology of education, both classic and contemporary, in order to understand the unique contributions anthropology makes to the study of education, and in particular, the experience of minority groups in education. We will explore topics such as race, gender, and language in education and how they have been addressed by anthropologists. Students will have an opportunity to read critically a variety of detailed ethnographic and qualitative studies focusing on formal schooling and informal education in the United States and in other countries. Reviewing these studies, we will explore the central questions: What is a cultural analysis of schooling? What unique insights does ethnography (anthropology's signature method) offer into key educational problems? And finally, how can a cultural analysis of schooling inform efforts to create a more socially just educational system?
Prerequisite: C- or better in Educational Studies 200 or Anthropology 101 (formerly 201), or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
EDUC 350
Teaching and Learning
This seminar will explore theoretical, policy, and practical issues of teaching and learning. Who should teach in public schools, and what kind of preparation is necessary? What type of curriculum should be taught, and how do different interest groups shape that decision? How should we assess the quality of student learning? Finally, how do debates on all of these questions influence the nature of teachers’ work and classroom life? For the community learning component, students will design, teach, and evaluate curricular units in cooperation with neighborhood schools and after school programs.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Educational Studies 200, or juniors / seniors with permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
EDUC 399
Independent Study
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment.
1.00 units min / 2.00 units max, Independent Study
EDUC 400
Senior Research Seminar
To fulfill the senior exercise requirement, students carry out an independent research project that builds upon acquired skills and evolving interests. The weekly seminar provides a thematic focus as well as a continuous forum for both support and critical feedback from peers, in preparation for a public presentation of the student’s work at the end of the semester. Each year, the seminar will be organized around a broad theme in educational studies.
This seminar is open to senior Educational Studies majors only.
1.00 units, Seminar
EDUC 466
Teaching Assistantship
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
EDUC 491
Student Teaching
No Course Description Available.
1.00 units, Lecture
EDUC 497
Senior Thesis
May be taken in continuation of Educational Studies 400 Senior Seminar, if the student has completed a project with a grade of B+ or better. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and director are required for enrollment.
1.00 units, Independent Study