Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

This course will use tools from critical policy analysis and critical sociology to look at current and historical issues and trends in educational policy and practice. In Education Studies we emphasize that educational practices are global, diverse, and not confined to schools or schooling. This course has a similarly broad scope. We will work with specific educational issues (often of your choosing) to theorize, historicize, complicate and expand our understandings of those issues. We will explore tools for using media, theory, and policy analysis to deepen the questions we are asking about issues and trends and think critically about time, space, and identity. Education Studies also emphasizes the importance of humility, agency, and engagement in transformative, collaborative action. Toward these ends we will work on analyzing our own positionality in relation to the issues we explore, developing tools for collaboration with others, and will engage in some form (however small) of transformative action. May not be taken pass/fail.

Student Outcomes

This course has three overarching goals: 1) develop our capacities to identify and analyze issues and trend in educational policy and practice, 2) learn to identify and question dominant discourses about issues and trends and ask questions derived from sociology and critical policy analysis about space, time, identity, voice, and power, and 3) Learn strategies for taking action (broadly defined) to intervene in educational issues you care about and participate in transformative, collaborative change work. More specifically, by the end of this course, you should be able to: • Identify and critique various sources of information for learning about and following educational issues and trends • Have tools for reflecting on your own positionality in relation to issues & trends and the historic and present implication of that positionality. • Identify dominant discourses and critical questions about space, time, identity, authorship, and power and apply these to a specific educational article, source, discourse, or area of concern. • Become aware of and learn to engage/dialogue/listen thoughtfully and intentionally with issues of concern to classmates & others in your community with humility and a sense of your own agency and knowledge. • Design, implement, and reflect on an intervention into a specific area of educational concern in ways consistent with critical reflection and mindful of power, privilege, and diversity.