Does education in the United States encourage social mobility or help to reproduce the socioeconomic hierarchy? What is the hidden curriculum—the ideas, values, and skills that students learn at school that are not in the textbook? Who determines what gets taught in school? How do schools in the US compare to school systems in other countries? What makes school reform so hard to do?
Questions like these drive this course. It offers students an introduction to the sociology of education by broadly exploring the role of education in American society. The course covers key sociological perspectives on education, including conflict theory, functionalism, and human and cultural capital. Other topics include schools and communities; the role of teachers, students, parents, mentors, and peers in educational inequalities (including tracking and measures of achievement), school violence, school reform, and knowledge production. We also look comparatively at education systems across the world.
Max Enrollment: 30
Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis
Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall