TimeDaysLocationInstructorGERCreditOPUS Class NumberSyllabus (Tentative)
Tarbutton Hall 218
Kristin Gordon. HSC. 41090 TBA.

January 12, 2011- April 25, 2011

Crosslisted: EDS307-000.

Catalog Description: (Same as Educational Studies 307.) The modern school system as part of the functioning of modern communities in the United States. Attention to problems of interrelating school and community in the light of population change, social class differences, and shifting values.

Semester Details:

There are few institutions that shape the nature of social life as profoundly as systems of formal education.  While not all education takes place within a formal school setting, what occurs within, to, and as a result of the formal system of schooling plays a remarkable role in shaping social outcomes and attitudes.  We begin the course by examining several theoretical approaches utilized by sociologists to understand education.  We turn next to explore some of the individual and school level factors that produce variation in student and teacher outcomes.  Third, we study the intersection of structural and cultural aspects of education with individual agency.  Since issues of gender, race/ethnicity and social class are inseparable from the experience of education, special emphasis will be placed on these issues throughout this course.  We conclude by considering both the positive and negative influences of educational policy on the nature of American education.  In addition to discussing the empirical and theoretical literature in each of these areas, we also test and reflect on this knowledge as we engage with the local school system through organized service learning projects.  This opportunity to work with our area schools and community organizations will enhance your learning as well as give back to the schools from which we have learned so much.

Required Textbooks, Articles, and Resources

  1. Lareau, Annette. Home Advantage: Social Class and Parental Intervention in Elementary Education.
    ISBN: 9780742501454.
  2. Riordan, Cornelius H. Equality and Achievement: An Introduction to the Sociology of Education.
    ISBN: 9780130481771.
  3. Beattie, Irenee, Arum, Richard, & Ford, Karly. The Structure of Schooling: Readings in the Sociology of Education.
    ISBN: 9781412980395.
  4. Ravitch, Diane. The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education.
    ISBN: 9780465014910.


Assignment/ExamDetails% of Total Grade
service-learning journals
4 short essays
2 tests

The schedule of courses on O.P.U.S. is the official listing of courses, including days and times they meet and the General Education Requirements they satisfy. Students should use course descriptions as general guidelines. Course requirements, grading details, book lists, and syllabi are subject to change.