Courses at Wellesley College

EDUCATION 216: Education and Social Policy
An examination of education policy in recent decades as well as the social, political, and economic forces that have shaped those policies over the years. The course analyzes the different–and sometimes conflicting–goals, motivations, and outcomes of educational policies. Who designs educational policy and for whom? Whose interests are served and whose interests are unmet? The course uses a case study approach, discussing major topics of debate in American education, including equal educational opportunity, school desegregation, bilingual education, school choice, and education standards and testing.

EDUCATION 334: Education, Immmigration, and Social Mobility
This seminar examines ways in which race, ethnicity, and social class shape immigrants’ educational and economic trajectories. We will read and analyze accounts of immigrants’ experiences in public schools, sample research on immigration and education, and critique conventional wisdom regarding immigrant success in American society. We will explore differences in the educational outcomes of older and newer immigrants and the look at the roles of schools and other community organizations in the lives of immigrant youth.

EDUCATION 335: Urban Education Seminar
An intensive examination of urban schools and education reform, with an emphasis on how the city life and community issues affect education. The seminar is grounded in a weekly urban field placement (provided by Professor Hong) that is focused on answering practical questions through action research. Through an exploration of theory, research, current issues, as well as your own field experience, we will discuss the wide range of perspectives and practices that shape the field of urban education. We explore questions such as:

  • How have urban schools been characterized in the public discourse?
  • How can the narratives of educators, youth, and families shape our understanding of urban education?
  • How is education connected to the broader social, political, and cultural contours of urban communities?
  • What solutions lie at the nexus of research and practice?

Education 117: Diversity in Education
This course will introduce students to the complex, multifaceted issues shaping diversity in educational settings. Students will examine various theoretical approaches such as multiculturalism, culturally relevant pedagogy, inclusion, and critical pedagogy that shape and inform how educational institutions address diversity. The course will discuss diversity across multiple perspectives—race, class, culture, ethnicity, sexuality, and disability—promoting broad and expansive conceptions of diversity. Because a greater understanding of diversity often comes from personal experiences and relationships built across difference (e.g., race, class, ethnicity), this seminar will also require student participation in an urban educational setting through the partnership with a Cambridge-based educational organization. Through the shared field-based experience, students will forge connections between what they read and discuss in the seminar with what they see and experience in the field.