Ed Studies Syllabi

Syllabi for all courses offered by the Educational Studies Program

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.
NOTE: Each student must reserve one three-hour block of time in their weekly schedule (anytime between 9am - 3pm weekdays) for a community learning placement in a neighborhood Hartford public school, to be arranged by the instructor during the first week of the course. Enrollment limited to 32.
Offered each semester.
Fall 2016 syllabus with Professor Jack Dougherty
Spring 2014 syllabus with Professor Rachel Leventhal-Weiner
Spring 2013 syllabus with Professor Andrea Dyrness
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 does the law seek to ensure the accommodation of the needs of individuals with learning disabilities? Students will critically analyze current research on disorders and examine special education case law and advocacy.
Prerequisite: Ed 200 or Psyc 295 or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 24.
Spring 2017 syllabus  with Visiting Professor Megan Mackey
Spring 2009 syllabus with Visiting Professor John Foshay
Educ 300 Education Reform: Past & 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-nineteenth 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: Ed 200 or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 24. 
Current syllabus with Professor Jack Dougherty

EDUC 303 Becoming Citizens
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? This course examines how citizenship is understood, experienced, and practiced by youth—young people ages 15-24—in diverse social contexts. Drawing on a body of qualitative research and the Trinity College context, this course will investigate these key questions: Are youth today civically disengaged and apathetic, as many critics say, or are they engaged in different ways? How do youth from different social backgrounds experience and develop citizenship differently? How does the experience of privilege or disadvantage affect young people’s civic engagement and identities? Do high school and college campuses provide supportive contexts for young people’s civic identity development? We will examine how “youth citizenship” is framed by educational institutions, the media, the private sector, and youth themselves, exploring such areas as youth activism, community service and service-learning, immigrant activism, and political participation, as distinct expressions of citizenship. Students will engage in an ethnographic research project that explores these questions on the Trinity campus.
Spring 2013 syllabus with Professor Andrea Dyrness
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, trhough 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. A prior course in Educational Studies or International Studies or Permission of Instructor.
Fall 2015  syllabus with Professor Andrea Dyrness

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 noncitizens) 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 also will include a community learning component involving a qualitative research project in a Hartford school or community organization. Prerequisite: Educ 200 or ANTH majors or INTS/LACS majors or HISP majors or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 20.
Spring 2015 syllabus with Professor Andrea Dyrness
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 twentieth 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: Ed 200 or Psyc 225 or the Cities Program or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 20.
Current syllabus with Professor Jack Dougherty 
Educ 309 Race, Class, and Educational Policy
How do competing theories explain educational inequality? How do different policies attempt to address it? Topics include economic and cultural capital, racial identity formation, desegregation, multiculturalism, detracking, school choice, school-family relationships, and affirmative action. Student groups will expand upon the readings by designing, conducting, and presenting research projects as part of the community-learning component for this seminar. Enrollment limited to 20.
Spring 2014 syllabus with Professor Rachel Leventhal-Weiner 
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.
Spring 2016 syllabus with Professor Robert Cotto

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.  Pre-requisite: Educ 200 or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 20.
Spring 2017 syllabus with Professor Angel Perez
Spring 2013 syllabus with Professor Rachel Leventhal-Weiner
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? This course is highly recommended for students who are preparing to attend or returning from study abroad programs, particularly the Trinity Global Learning Sites. Assignments will require students to draw upon personal reflections and research to contribute to the comparative framework. Enrollment limited to 30.
Fall 2015 syllabus with Professor Andrea Dyrness
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 -- anthropology¹s 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: A C- or better in Ed 200 or Anthropology 201 or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 20.
Fall 2010 syllabus with Professor Andrea Dyrness
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: Ed 200 or juniors/seniors from any major with permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 20.
Spring 2015 syllabus with Professor Robert Cotto
Educ 400 Senior Research Seminar
To fulfill the senior exercise requirement, students carry out an independent research project which 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. Ordinarily taken in the fall semester of the senior year, with the option of continuing as a one-credit senior thesis (Educ 497) in the spring semester. 
Current syllabus with Professor Jack Dougherty
Fall 2013 syllabus with Professor Rachel Leventhal-Weiner   
Educ 497 Senior Thesis
Open to senior majors in spring semester, who have received B+ or better in Ed 400, as a continuation of their independent research projects. By arrangement with professor.
First-Year Seminar - Borders and their Trespassers: (Im)migration, Human Rights, and Imagined Communities with Professors Andrea Dyrness and Anne Gebelein
This course will consider the border politics involved in the making of local and (trans) national communities. Using the U.S./Mexican border and the Trinity/ Hartford border as our two primary loci of inquiry, we will explore the rights and reception of those who cross borders: not only geopolitical, but also linguistic, racial, economic, and cultural ones. Examining immigration policy and admissions policy, law enforcement along the border, media representations of migrants and natives, and the stories of border crossers, we will attempt to understand the forces that expand and constrain membership rights in these intersecting communities. How are borders constructed and contested by groups on both sides of the border? How are rights of belonging and membership transformed by migrants and “trespassers”? Border politics will be considered from an anthropological perspective (Prof. Dyrness) and from a cultural studies perspective (Prof. Gebelein), allowing us to consider a wide variety of scholarly work in fiction and nonfiction, contemporary media, and border studies.
Fall 2007 syllabus
First-Year Seminar - Color & Money: Race and Social Class at Trinity and Beyond with Professor Jack Dougherty
Who gains -- and who loses -- from the admissions process at Trinity College and other elite institutions? How does the financial aid system distribute the costs of higher education among families of different means? Are these policies fair? Do they create meaningful social change -- or reproduce inequality for future generations? In this writing-intensive seminar, we will investigate white privilege, affirmative action, campus culture, and real ways that ordinary people are trying to make change. Students will participate in a role-playing simulation of elite college admissions decisions, debate the US Supreme Court rulings in the Michigan admissions cases, and develop qualitative, quantitative, and information literacy skills while conducting our own study of race and social class at Trinity. Given our controversial topic, students should be prepared not only to challenge other students’ views in seminar, but also to listen closely to alternative ideas, question their own assumptions, and get involved.
Current syllabus​ with Professor Jack Dougherty