Course Descriptions

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 205
Mapping Hartford
In this hands-on course, students will create digital maps about metropolitan Hartford, and travel to meet people and places whose stories they tell. You will gain valuable skills in data visualization and web design, learn about the history of the city and its suburbs, expand your comfort zone beyond campus, and taste delicious foods in different neighborhoods. All readings and class exercises are freely available on the instructor’s websites ( and Bring any laptop computer, but no prior mapping or computing experience is required.
0.50 units, Seminar
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
Sociology of Education
This course will apply a sociological perspective to the institution of education. It will examine the ways that formal schooling influences individuals and the ways that culture and social structures affect educational institutions. It will explore the manifest and latent functions of education in modern society; the role education plays in stratification and social mobility, and the dynamics of race, class, and gender in education.
PR: EDUC200, SOCL101 or permission of instructor
1.00 units, Seminar
EDUC 305
Immigrants and Education
This course examines the experience of immigrants in education in comparative perspective, focusing on questions of citizenship and belonging. How do schools respond to the challenges and opportunities of large-scale migration, cultural diversity, and inequality and attempt to produce national and/or global citizens? How do immigrants in schools negotiate and respond to global and national forces as they craft their own identities and forms of belonging? We will examine the experience of immigrant groups in the United States and in several countries in Europe, including France, Spain, the U.K., and Denmark. 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 Educational Studies 200, or majoring in International Studies, or permission of instructor
1.00 units, Seminar
EDUC 306
Cities, Colleges, and Innovation
Collaborative partnerships between cities and colleges are increasingly seen as key to fostering urban innovation, but they also raise important questions about inequality and exclusion. Specifically, who is served by contemporary “urban innovation” projects and discourse? What can we learn from the troubled history of higher education’s role in gentrification and exclusion? How can cities and universities work together to promote new ideas that foster innovation and inclusion? Students will investigate these questions through theoretical and methodological readings on urban transformation and campus-community partnerships (including Trinity College and others) and a team research project in Hartford. As this field of urban innovation continues to emerge, our work will contribute to broader discussions on the role of higher education in shaping urban futures.
Prerequisite: a grade of C- or better in any Educational Studies or Urban Studies course, or Permission of the Instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
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: C- or better in 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 permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
EDUC 310
Testing: From IQ to Common Core
Standardized testing is ubiquitous in education today. Across the globe, policymakers and the public use the results of standardized tests to draw conclusions about the educational progress of children, schools, and even entire countries. This course will examine the history, application, and mechanics of standardized testing in the United States and abroad in places such as China and Finland. Particular emphasis will be on the role of testing in educational reform efforts and movements in the city of Hartford.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Educational Studies 200 or 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 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 or 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