Comparative Human Development

CHDV 20100. Human Development Research Designs in Social Sciences (=PSYC 21100)

Instructor: Varies, often taught by Guanglei Hong or Anna Mueller
Term: Winter

This course aims to expose students to a variety of examples of well-designed social research addressing questions of great interest and importance. One goal is clarify what it means to do “interesting” research. A second goal is to appreciate the features of good research design. A third goal is to examine the variety of research methodologies in the social sciences, including ethnography, clinical case interviewing, survey research, experimental studies of cognition and social behavior, behavior observations, longitudinal research, and model building. The general emphasis is on what might be called the aesthetics of well-designed research. 

CHDV 20774. Multilingualism in Mind & Social Interaction: Language, Self, & Thought in the Multilingual Context

Instructor: S. Numanbayraktaroglu
Term: Winter

This course provides an overview of theory and research on bilingualism. Through a critical examination of psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic approaches to bilingualism, we will aim to arrive at a comprehensive account of bilingual experience and its practical implications for education and mental health in a globalizing world. In the course, we will address the following topics: 1. Theoretical and methodological foundations of bilingualism and multilingualism. 2. Bilingual and multilingual society, super-diversity, and translanguaging. 3. The relationship between bilingualism and cognition, emotion, and self. 4. Code-switching and identity. 5. Implications of bilingualism for education. It is expected that, by the end of the course, you will develop a comprehensive understanding of bilingualism and multilingualism and apply this knowledge to your academic and professional context.


CHDV 21000. Cultural Psychology

Instructor: R. Shweder
Term: Winter

There is a substantial portion of the psychological nature of human beings that is neither homogeneous nor fixed across time and space. At the heart of the discipline of cultural psychology is the tenet of psychological pluralism, which states that the study of “normal” psychology is the study of multiple psychologies and not just the study of a single or uniform fundamental psychology for all peoples of the world. Research findings in cultural psychology thus raise provocative questions about the integrity and value of alternative forms of subjectivity across cultural groups. In this course we analyze the concept of “culture” and examine ethnic and cross-cultural variations in mental functioning with special attention to the cultural psychology of emotions, self, moral judgment, categorization, and reasoning.


CHDV 23100. Human Language and Interaction

Instructor: M. Tice
Term: Spring

Language may be learned by individuals, but we most often use it for communication between groups. How is it that we manage to transmit our internal thoughts to others’ minds? How is it that we can understand what others mean to express to us? Whether we are greeting a passerby, ordering a meal, or debating politics, there are a number of invisible processes that bring language to life in the space between individuals. This course investigates the social and cognitive processes that enable us to successfully communicate with others. The theories we cover are built on observations of adult language use and child development in multiple cultural settings, taking inspiration also from non-human animal communication. It is expected that, by the end of the course, students will be able to explain the limitations of language for communication and will be able to elaborate on a number of social and other cognitive processes that critically support communicative language use.


CHDV 23305. Critical Studies of Mental Health in Higher Education

Instructor: E. Raikhel
Term: Winter

This course draws on a range of perspectives from across the interpretive, critical, and humanistic social sciences to examine the issues of mental health, illness, and distress in higher education.


CHDV 23150. Methods in Child Development and Research

Instructor: M. Casillas
Term: Winter

This course engages with one current topic (the topic differs each year) from research on child social and/or language development. We will read and discuss a collection of research studies related to this topic to gain familiarity with its primary questions, theories, and methods. We will also, together as a class, conduct a replication of an experiment- or recording-based research study related to the topic. Students should be prepared to read and discuss scientific research articles and to do hands-on research activities. Students will complete the class with expertise on the topic of focus, including experience with its associated methods


CHDV 23010. Blooming Buzzing Confusion

Instructor: M. Casillas
Term: Winter

This course examines the social and cognitive mechanisms that drive language learning in the first few years of life. Nearly all children learn the language(s) of their community, despite the fact that human languages and caregiving practices offer immense diversity around the globe. What enables the learning system to adapt so robustly to the environment it finds itself in? We discuss the evidence for and against multiple factors that have been proposed to support language development across the world’s communities. We also critically examine how these ideas intersect with current deficit models of language learning. It is expected that, by the end of the course, students will grasp the basic mechanisms proposed to underlie early language learning.


CHDV 27255. Schools as Organizations: Theory, Methods, Practice

Instructor: Eos Trinidad
Term: Spring

This course integrates perspectives from organizational theory, sociology, and psychology to understand how schools function as complex social organizations. It draws on classic and contemporary studies to help students analyze, understand, and formulate responses to problems, dilemmas, and changes in schools. The course studies how school organizational structure, culture, network, and interventions impact educational practices and human development outcomes. While focused on K-12 education in the United States, the course will also discuss outside school improvement organizations, international education, and higher education—providing exciting applications of foundational school organizational principles. Finally, the course introduces methods for studying schools as organizations and discusses practical implications from these studies. At the end of the term, students will be able to explain concepts related to the organization of schools, design research studies to interrogate school organization, and assess practical solutions to school concerns.


CRES 27547. Race, Ethnicity, and American Public Schools.

Instructor: K. Gorski
Term: Spring

This seminar is designed to introduce students to recent trends in research about race and ethnicity in American public schools. Although there are no pre-requisites for enrollment, this is a reading-intensive course, and students will be asked to read one full book per week throughout the quarter (with the exception of weeks 1 and 10). In this discussion-based course, students will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of scholars’ theoretical and methodological approaches to exploring how race and/or ethnicity shape and are shaped by the institutions of schooling. We will focus primarily on texts published in the past two decades in order to develop an understanding of the current landscape of the literature. For their final paper, students will evaluate the conceptualization and evaluation of a theme, concept, or theory across at least four texts from the course.


Education and Society

GLST 25220. Globalization and Education

Instructor: E. Alothman
Term: Autumn

This course examines formal education systems from a global perspective. It aims to familiarize students with how international and national dynamics worldwide have shaped educational policies and practices over the past two hundred years. We will examine how states and supranational organizations have redefined the purpose and standards of schooling in the colonial, post-colonial, and neoliberal eras by drawing on empirical research from Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent. Weekly discussions will focus on central themes, including the global expansion of mass education, commercialization of education, and internationalization of higher education. At the end of the course, students will gain an in-depth understanding of the history of contemporary educational issues and their relation to the transnational processes of governance and stratification.

EDSO 23002. Schooling and Identity

Instructor: L. Rosen
Term: Winter

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 23011. Beyond the Culture Wars: Social Movements and the Politics of Education

Instructor: L. Rosen
Term: Spring

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.

EDSO 23005. Schooling and Social Inequality

Instructor: L. Rosen
Term: Autumn 

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 23007. Language, Culture, and Education

Instructor: L. Rosen

In this course, we will examine current theories and research about differential educational achievement in US schools, including: (1) theories that focus on the characteristics of people (e. g., their biological makeup, their psychological characteristics, their human nature, their essential qualities), (2) theories that focus on the characteristics of groups and settings, (e. g., ethnic group culture, school culture) and (3) theories that examine how cultural processes mediate political-economic constraints and human action. We will discuss the educational consequences of these positions, especially for low income and ethnic and linguistic minority students in the US.

EDSO 23008 Approaches to K-12 Teaching and Learning: Critical Issues in Urban Education (=CHDV 27822)

Instructor: A. Seeskin
Term: Winter

This class will explore contemporary approaches to K-12 teaching and learning, looking at how the theoretical foundations that ground each approach lead to different perspectives on the purpose of public education, what students should learn, and how teacher should teach. The class will put these approaches in conversation with one another, exploring areas of agreement and conflict. Students will learn to observe and analyze classroom instruction, and hear firsthand from local practitioners about how each approach manifests in schools.  For students interested in K-12 education, this class will provide a helpful survey of some of the current debates around teaching and learning in public education.  

EDSO 23010. Sociology of Education

Instructor: M. Jean
Term: Autumn

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. Topics to be considered: •Formation of schools – How students are sorted into schools, residential segregation and neighborhood schooling, school choice, selection of staffing and curricula •Organization of schools – School size, age grouping, tracking and ability grouping, informal organization and loose coupling, charter schools and novel organizational forms •Schools as agents of socialization – Development of social and cultural capital, school discipline, schools as sites of social engineering •Achievement gaps – Racial, socioeconomic, and gender disparities in academic outcomes, historical roots and contemporary causes, downstream consequences (non-educational social and economic outcomes)


EDSO 36069. Scientific Childhood

Instructor: Tar Arbel
Term: Autumn

The first half of the twentieth century was a period of intensified focus and progressive thinking regarding the rights, development, and well-being of children as interests of utmost importance to all society. This focus was marked, inter alia, by concerted efforts to apply the methods of modern science to the investigation of childhood, efforts that in turn forever changed the way we understand, raise, and educate children. This seminar will revisit the lives of children who had served as subjects of observation and experiment from the 1880s to the 1950s, and whose childhood experiences (their emotions, thoughts, and games; their family lives and institutional realities) had shaped the central dogmas of developmental psychology, as well as our ideas about normality. The course takes a biographical approach to the history of science, but rather than focus on the careers of scientists and doctors, delves into the stories of their objects of study, from the Bostonian first graders who answered G. Stanley Hall’s pioneering survey to the 44 “juvenile thieves” who had informed John Bowlby’s influential attachment theory.

Public Policy 

PBPL 28350. Education and Economic Development

Instructor: Anjali Adukia
Term: Winter

This course covers policy issues related to education in developing contexts. We will analyze education policies and reforms, review relevant research on each topic, and examine implications of the findings to policy and practice. Topics include understanding factors that influence educational decisions, provision of basic needs in schools, teacher pay and incentives, school choice, discrimination and inclusion in education, early childhood education, and education in emergency settings. We will often have guest speakers who are working in policy and practice share their on-the-ground experiences followed by a class-led discussion about related academic papers.

Prerequisite: A microeconomics course and a statistics course. This course is intended for third- and fourth-year students; first-year students not admitted; second-year students require instructor consent.


PSYC 20400. Cognitive Psychology

Instructor: Varies, often taught by M. Rosenberg or M. Berman

Viewing the brain globally as an information processing or computational system has revolutionized the study and understanding of intelligence. This course introduces the theory, methods, and empirical results that underlie this approach to psychology. Topics include categorization, attention, memory, knowledge, language, and thought.

PSYC 20500. Developmental Psychology (=CHDV 25900)

Instructor: Katherine O’Doherty

This is an introductory course in developmental psychology, with a focus on cognitive and social development in infancy through early childhood. Example topics include children’s early thinking about number, morality, and social relationships, as well as how early environments inform children’s social and cognitive development. Where appropriate, we make links to both philosophical inquiries into the nature of the human mind, and to practical inquiries concerning education and public policy.

PSYC 21116. The Development of Social Cognition

Instructor: Katherine Kinzler

Our species is notably social, with both positive and negative consequences: we thrive in groups, yet we often discriminate against those who are not like us. This course focuses on social cognitive development in childhood, with the goal of understanding the foundations of human nature in a social context. Topics include theories of mind, social learning, motivation and achievement, moral development, social categorization and the origins and development of our tendency to divide the world into “us” versus “them.”

PSYC 21690. Media and Psychology: Causes and Consequences of Media Use Across the Lifespan

Instructor: Katherine O’Doherty
Term: Winter

This course will examine the influence of media on individuals and groups from both a developmental and socio-cultural perspective. Topics will include young children’s academic and social-emotional skill learning from television, video and tablets; adolescents’ social media identities and experiences including cyber-bullying; media influences on adults’ health behaviors, aggression, prejudice, and more. Students will engage in both qualitative and quantitative research on media and psychology as part of this course.
PSYC 22580. Child Development in the Classroom

Instructor: Katherine O’Doherty

This discussion-based, advanced seminar is designed to investigate how preschool and elementary students think, act, and learn, as well as examine developmentally appropriate practices and culturally responsive teaching in the classroom. This course emphasizes the application of theory and research from the field of psychology to the realm of teaching and learning in contemporary classrooms. Course concepts will be grounded in empirical research and activities geared towards understanding the nuances and complexities of topics such as cognitive development (memory, attention, language), early assessment systems, standardized testing, “mindset”, “grit”, exercise/nutrition, emotion regulation, and more.

PSYC 23200. Introduction to Language Acquisition

Instructor: Susan Goldin-Meadow

This course addresses the major issues involved in first-language acquisition. We deal with the child’s production and perception of speech sounds (phonology), the acquisition of the lexicon (semantics), the comprehension and production of structured word combinations (syntax), and the ability to use language to communicate (pragmatics).

PSYC 23800. Introduction to Learning and Memory

Instructor: D. Gallo

This course examines basic questions in learning and memory. We discuss the historical separation and division of these two areas as well as the paradigmatic differences in studying learning and memory. We also discuss basic research methods for investigating learning and memory and survey established and recent research findings, as well as consider several different kinds of models and theories of learning and memory. Topics include skill acquisition, perceptual learning, statistical learning, working memory, implicit memory, semantic vs. episodic memory, and memory disorders.

PSYC 23820. Attention and Working Memory in the Mind and Brain

Instructor: E. Awh, E. Vogel 

This course will provide a broad overview of current work in psychology and neuroscience related to attention and working memory. We will discuss evidence for sharp capacity limits in an individual’s ability to actively monitor and maintain information in an “online” mental state. Readings will be primarily based on original source articles from peer-reviewed journals, with a focus on behavioral and neural approaches for measuring and understanding these basic cognitive processes.

School of Social Service Administration

SSAD 23412. Cultural Studies in Education

Instructor: Shantá Robinson

The course begins with an introduction to the history, development, and basic tenets of cultural studies. Throughout our work together, we will examine how social class, race/ethnicity, and gender are represented in literacy, language, and cultural theories and research that examine reproduction and resistance.Using cultural studies as the point of departure, this course explores the intersection of culture, power, and language (both oral and written) within schools and school systems. In accordance with the tenets of cultural studies, the course is guided by the presumption that culture (as it is realized through the functioning of schools and their agents and the experiences, knowledge, expressions, dispositions, and meaning-making of people of color, women, and low-income or working class individuals) is critical for understanding and intervening in the reproduction of social and economic inequality. In order to understand the reproduction of inequality we will examine theories and empirical investigations that explore how structures of domination and subordination are reproduced and social difference and inequality are reinscribed through the cultural practices that are reflected in schools. We will also analyze the extent to which the cultural practices and experiences of marginalized individuals simultaneously contribute to the process of reproduction and also affirm the emancipatory possibilities of resistance.

Master of Arts in Social Science

MAPS 30289. Intermediate Regression and Data Science

Instructor: Marshall Jean
Term: Winter

This course is designed to provide intermediate-level training in research methods that would pick up immediately after traditionally introductory-level classes that end with multiple regression. This course is designed to be a standalone package of training that will provide tools of immediate use in students’ own research or to make them more capable RAs in larger projects. I expect the course will provide the most utility to advanced BA and MA students that will not have time to complete many advanced, specialized courses. However, it would also serve as a useful bridge to more advanced statistical coursework. Students will also learn how to present findings in competent and accessible ways suitable for poster or conference presentations.