2024-2025 Education and Society MA Certificate Courses

All courses are subject to change. 

TThe 2024-25 schedule is still being developed. Check back in July for more details.

Autumn 2024

EDSO 40315. Inequality in Urban Spaces

Instructor: Micere Keels
Term: Autumn
Mondays 1:30-4:20

The problems confronting urban schools are bound to the social, economic, and political conditions of the urban environments in which schools reside. Thus, this course will explore social, economic, and political issues, with an emphasis on issues of race and class as they have affected the distribution of equal educational opportunities in urban schools. We will focus on the ways in which family, school, and neighborhood characteristics intersect to shape the divergent outcomes of low- and middle-income children residing with any given neighborhood. Students will tackle an important issue affecting the residents and schools in one Chicago neighborhood. This course is part of the College Course Cluster: Urban Design.

 

EDSO 33006. Schooling and Social Inequality

Instructor: Lisa Rosen
Term: Autumn
Wednesdays, 3:00-5:50

How and why do educational outcomes and experiences vary across student populations? What role do schools play in a society’s system of stratification? How do schools both contribute to social mobility and to the reproduction of the prevailing social order? This course examines these questions through the lens of social and cultural theory, engaging current academic debates on the causes and consequences of social inequality in educational outcomes. We will engage these debates by studying foundational and emerging theories and examining empirical research on how social inequalities are reproduced or ameliorated through schools. Through close readings of historical, anthropological and sociological case studies of schooling in the U.S, students will develop an understanding of the structural forces and cultural processes that produce inequality in neighborhoods and schools, how they contribute to unequal opportunities, experiences, and achievement outcomes for students along lines of race/ethnicity, class, gender, and immigration status, and how students themselves navigate and interpret this unequal terrain. We will cover such topics as neighborhood and school segregation; peer culture; social networks; elite schooling; the interaction between home, society and educational institutions; and dynamics of assimilation for students from immigrant communities.

EDSO 60013. Workshop on Education

Format: Weekly Lecture
Term: Autumn
Thursdays, 12:30-1:50
MA Certificate students are required to enroll as auditors in this course for two quarters.

Human beings inhabit a very complex social world and our mind has structures that enable us to navigate this complexity. Where do these concerns come from? Are we blank slates that passively absorb cues from our environment? If not, what early competencies enable us to learn? How do these competencies interact with our culture? To answer these questions, this class will cover literature from infants, toddlers, children, and adults to give a rich picture of what changes and remains constant across development. We will cover topics such as children’s understanding of intentions, theory of mind, communication, ownership, morality, and inter-group attitudes.

 

MAPS 30128. Sociology of Education

Instructor: Marshall Jean
Term: Autumn
Tuesdays/Thursdays 3:30-4:50

This course examines the social organization of formal education – how schools are shaped by the social context in which they are situated, and how students’ experiences in turn shape our society. It focuses specifically on schools as the link between macrosociological phenomena (e.g. culture, political systems, segregation, inequality) and the microsociological interactions of individual students and educators. The focus will be on contemporary American education, although lessons from the past and abroad will inform our learning. Prior introductory coursework in sociology will be useful but is not required.

 

PSYC 32220. Understanding Inequality as a Psychologist

Instructor: Lin Bian
Term: Autumn
Thursdays, 9:30-12:20

Inequality within and across social groups has risen sharply in the past few decades. What are the early traces and psychological mechanisms of this pervasive phenomenon? In this seminar, we will discuss these questions from multiple angles, integrating developmental, social and cognitive psychology. Specifically, this course will cover topics in early social cognition, including social categorization, essentialism, structural reasoning, normative reasoning, stereotypes and prejudice, etc. Students will evaluate past studies throughout the course and propose original research at the end.

 

SOCI 30004. Statistical Methods of Research

Instructor: Steve Raudenbush
Term: Autumn
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-10:50

This course has two purposes. First, using nationally representative US surveys, we’ll examine the early emergence of educational inequality and its evolution during adolescence and adulthood. We’ll ask about the importance of social origins (parent social status, race/ethnicity, gender, and language) in predicting labor market outcomes. We’ll study the role that education and plays in shaping economic opportunity, beginning in early childhood. We’ll ask at what points interventions might effectively advance learning and reduce inequality.

Second, we’ll gain mastery over some important statistical methods required for answering these and related questions. Indeed, this course provides an introduction to quantitative methods and a foundation for other methods courses in the social sciences. We consider standard topics: graphical and tabular displays of univariate and bivariate distributions, an introduction to statistical inference, and commonly arising applications such as the t‐test, the two‐way contingency table, analysis of variance, and regression. However, all statistical ideas and methods are embedded in case studies including a national survey of adult labor force outcomes, a national survey of elementary school children, and a national survey that follows adolescents through secondary school into early adulthood. Thus, the course will consider all statistical choices and inferences in the context of the broader logic of inquiry with the aim of strengthening our understanding of that logic as well as of the statistical methods.

SSAD 68700. Adolescent Development in Context

Instructor: Ming-Te Wang
Term: Autumn
Tuesdays: 9:30-12:20

This course focuses on developmental pathways from middle childhood through adolescence within the context of school, family, community, and culture. Because human development is an applied field, we will be paying special attention to how sociocultural and historical influences affect academic, socioemotional, and identity development in the context of real-world challenges and opportunities faced by adolescents. In addition to learning about developmental and sociocultural theories, students will apply research to policy and practice by creating resources geared toward youth, parents, or those who work with youth. By the end of this course sequence, students should be able to:
1. Describe and apply key theories of middle childhood and adolescent development;
2. Identify developmental opportunities and challenges during middle childhood and adolescence;
3. Discuss the role of identity development in constructing or authoring one’s life story;
4. Reframe adolescent risk-taking as a form of creativity and individual expression;
5. Understand how relationships can influence positive youth development; and
6. Translate theory and research into developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive resources for youth, families, and those who work with youth.

 

Winter 2025

EDSO 33002. Schooling and Identity

Instructor: Lisa Rosen
Term: Winter
Wednesdays 11:30 – 2:20

This course examines the dynamic relations between schooling and identity. We will explore how schools both enable and constrain the identities available to students and the consequences of this for academic achievement. We will examine these relations from multiple disciplinary perspectives, applying psychological, anthropological, sociological, and critical theories to understanding how students not only construct identities for themselves within schools, but also negotiate the identities imposed on them by others. Topics will include the role of peer culture, adult expectations, school practices and enduring social structures in shaping processes of identity formation in students and how these processes influence school engagement and achievement. We will consider how these processes unfold at all levels of schooling, from preschool through college, and for students who navigate a range of social identities, from marginalized to privileged.

EDSO 60013. Workshop on Education

Format: Weekly Lecture
Term: Winter
Thursdays, 12:30-1:50
MA Certificate students are required to enroll as auditors in this course for two quarters.

Human beings inhabit a very complex social world and our mind has structures that enable us to navigate this complexity. Where do these concerns come from? Are we blank slates that passively absorb cues from our environment? If not, what early competencies enable us to learn? How do these competencies interact with our culture? To answer these questions, this class will cover literature from infants, toddlers, children, and adults to give a rich picture of what changes and remains constant across development. We will cover topics such as children’s understanding of intentions, theory of mind, communication, ownership, morality, and inter-group attitudes.

 

Spring 2025

EDSO 33011. Beyond the Culture Wars: Social Movements and the Politics of Education

Instructor: Lisa Rosen
Term: Spring
Wednesdays, 11:30-2:20

Passionate conflicts over school curriculum and educational policy are a recurring phenomenon in the history of US schooling. Why are schools such frequent sites of struggle and what is at stake in these conflicts? In this discussion-based seminar, we will consider schools as battlegrounds in the US “culture wars”: contests over competing visions of national identity, morality, social order, the fundamental purposes of public education, and the role of the state vis-à-vis the family. Drawing on case studies from history, anthropology, sociology and critical race and gender studies, we will examine both past and contemporary debates over school curriculum and school policy. Topics may include clashes over: the teaching of evolution, sex and sexuality education, busing/desegregation, prayer in schools, multiculturalism, the content of the literary canon, the teaching of reading, mathematics and history, and the closure of “underperforming” urban schools. Our inquiry will examine how social and political movements have used schools to advance or resist particular agendas and social projects.