2020-2021 Edition

Academic Catalog

Education Studies (EDST)

EDST101 Introduction to Education Studies

This seminar will provide a space for newly declared education studies majors and minors to come together to develop as a cohort through learning about each other's educational backgrounds and scholarly interests. In addition, students will come together as a learning community to learn more about the areas of research and pedagogy being implemented by the Wesleyan faculty in education studies and to build rapport with faculty members. The course content will cover the areas defined in the education studies major--including human development and learning; pedagogy; social, cultural, historical, and philosophical disciplines in education; transformative justice in education; methodologies in the study of education, including qualitative and quantitative; and the connection and tension between academic coursework and practical experiences in educational settings--and will introduce students to additional approaches and subfields.

Course components will include: (1) cohort-building activities to introduce the newly declared majors to each other and their educational backgrounds; (2) collaborative reading and discussion of work taking place at and being studied by Wesleyan faculty in ed studies; (3) creating a space to discuss and read further about talks by visiting speakers, colloquia, or other events in the College of Education Studies; (4) guest teaching by EDST and outside faculty; and (5) a reflection paper on the path they plan to pursue through the major/minor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 0.50
Gen Ed Area: SBS-EDST
Prereq: None

EDST110F Writing about Teaching: An Exploration of American Educational Ideals through Writing and Film (FYS)

This seminar explores conceptions of teaching and learning through examination of fictional, ethnographic, and documentary accounts of teachers and their work. We will examine the portrayal of teaching in literature, creative nonfiction, journalism, and scholarly field research, as well as in film. What do these forms of representation tell us about cultural perceptions of schooling, teaching, and learning in the 20th and 21st century? What can we learn from close analysis of the ways in which authors use words and images to portray teachers and students? Participants in this seminar will have the opportunity to reflect upon their own perceptions of teaching and learning, to ground those perceptions in a philosophy of education, and to explore the ways in which writing well about teaching, from many disciplinary perspectives, can impact the profession and our understanding of the enterprise of teaching and learning. Students will practice a variety of modes of writing (critical and analytical essays; personal essays; creative writing; brief ethnography and Lightfoot's social science "portraiture" method) and analysis of both writing and film, as well as visual thinking strategies and techniques for observing and documenting cultures of learning.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-EDST
Prereq: None

EDST114F Why You Can't Write (FYS)

Institutions of higher education have required first-year students to take writing courses for well over a century. In doing so, they have made it clear that educational and professional success are deeply tied to writing skills. But why is this? This class asks what it means to teach students how to write by probing seemingly stable concepts and practices like language and communication. We will discuss the history of writing studies in higher education before taking up debates over literacy, language standardization, education as imperialism and colonialism, theories of writing instruction, assignment design, and assessment practices. In addition to introducing students to the field of composition, rhetoric, and writing studies, so, too, will this course center the practice of writing. As such, students can expect to write, revise, and comment on classmates' writing regularly. Assignments will include a personal literacy narrative, response papers, weekly journals, and creative projects like assignment and rubric design.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: WRCT114F
Prereq: None

EDST140L Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

This course explores theories and teaching methods related to learning English as a second language (ESL). Students will critically examine current and past "best practices" for teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and the seminal theories they are based on. In addition, we will discuss the various needs of English language learners, including both children and adults, and students coming from a variety of social and cultural backgrounds. Students will be asked to apply what they've learned by creating their own lesson plans and activities, critiquing ESL textbooks, and giving teaching demonstrations. If you choose to work with a student (or tutor in an organization), you may be able to use this class to fulfill a Category 5 requirement in Education Studies.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: WRCT140L, ENGL143L
Prereq: None

EDST202 Pedagogy for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Tutors

This course offers an introduction to pedagogical techniques and theories for teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). The class is ideal for students considering a career in K-12 education, as the number of students whose first language is not English is rising in the U.S. every year. Students enrolled in this course will gain practical experience by committing to volunteering at Middletown public schools while taking this course and are encouraged to continue their service afterward. There is a volunteering commitment of 2 hours/week minimum during the semester.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 0.50
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: WRCT202
Prereq: None

EDST205 English Language Learners and US Language Policy

This course explores how explicit and implicit language policies in institutions of power affect businesses, schools, and the legal system. More specifically, the course investigates how language choices, translations, and the policies regarding both affect ESL programs in K-12 education, bilingual businesses, immigration policies, and the U.S. legal system. We will also discuss the recommendations of scholars for increasing multilingualism in business and education, improving education for English-language learners, and efforts to improve non-native English speakers' ability to navigate the legal system. The course is recommended for non-native speakers of English and anyone considering working with English-language learners such as teachers, tutors, NGO personnel, and legal or business professionals.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-WRCT
Identical With: WRCT205, AMST227
Prereq: None

EDST221 Decolonizing Education

Who determines what is true and worth knowing? How has the construction of knowledge and academic traditions from across the globe been impacted by such phenomena as (post)modernity, (neo)colonialism, and (neo)liberalism? Why do any of the questions above matter to your own personal history, beliefs, and identity? This course will provide a space for students to critically examine the history and development of the discourses that have shaped their educational experiences and their understanding of the purpose of education. The first half of the course will focus on texts and assignments that interrogate how some of our modern epistemological discourses were formed and maintained through the lens of postcolonial studies and critical educational studies.

The second half of the course will center on ways people have worked within these dominant modes of thought to resist hegemonic modern discourses that privilege logical positivism, quantification, objectivism, and Western European histories and ideologies above all else. This course will involve reflection essays on weekly readings, intergroup dialogue, and activities that will encourage students to examine their own connection to the theoretical concepts presented in class. The culminating project/final will be a scholarly personal narrative wherein students will synthesize both what they learned about themselves and the content that was presented during the course.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-EDST
Prereq: None

EDST223 Second Language Acquisition and Teaching

This course introduces students to the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and addresses the following questions: How do humans learn additional languages after they have acquired their first? Why is there such variability observed in the rates and outcomes of second language learning? Is it possible to attain native(-like) linguistic competence in another language?

We begin with the theories and applications of SLA, and then examine major pedagogical movements in Second Language Teaching in the U.S. Students will develop the ability to critically assess current methods, materials, and techniques for teaching various language skills and will produce their own pedagogical activities to be used in a classroom setting. Students of French and Spanish may also wish to enroll in RL&L 223L, a 0.5 credit service learning course in which students volunteer in the Middletown Public Schools.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: RL&L223
Prereq: None

EDST223L Second Language Pedagogy - Teaching Romance Languages

This course is intended for students who may be considering a career in education. Readings will introduce students to key concepts in second language acquisition and pedagogy. In this service-learning course, students are required to volunteer a minimum of two hours per week in the Middletown Public Schools, assisting French, Italian, and Spanish teachers in their world language classes. Students will write weekly journal entries reflecting on their classroom experience, and will learn to evaluate, adapt, and create pedagogical materials. By the end of the semester, they will have created a portfolio of activities that can be used in a foreign language classroom. Students must have completed at least FREN 215, ITAL 221, or SPAN 221 to be eligible for the class. It is recommended that students also be enrolled in an upper-level course in the department of RLL in the same semester.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: Cr/U
Credits: 0.50
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: RL&L223L
Prereq: None

EDST230 Schools in Society

What role have schools played in the evolution of American Society? What role could/should they play, going forward? This course takes a topical approach to these questions. We will explore the relationship between schools, democracy, and social progress; take a close look at race and racism in America's schools; learn how schools work in terms of policy, governance, and funding; and critically analyze the effects of many waves of educational "reform," including the current movement towards school privatization. While the focus is on the American school system, our perspective will be enlarged by comparison between this system and other approaches to education around the globe.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-EDST
Prereq: None

EDST232 Italy at School: Biography of a Nation

Soon after the unification of Italy (1861), the Coppino Law extended primary school to five years, making it free of charge and mandatory for its first three years (1877). Edmondo De Amicis would subsequently depict these reforms in his best-selling novel Cuore (1886), a text that introduced some enduring features of school narratives but also many stereotypes, thus attracting constant criticism and inspiring several parodies of its moralistic underpinnings. Ever since then school narratives have become a key component of Italian culture, creating a genre that has thrived especially in the last three decades, with a number of both fiction and nonfiction books published by teacher-writers who have reflected on their experience.

In this course we will study Italy from the perspective of these texts about school that often originated within school walls themselves. In so doing, we will reconstruct the history of a relatively young country, Italy, through the institution that, like no other, has been given the responsibility of "making Italians." At the same time we will question the image of Italian society that school narratives have, intentionally or not, contributed to portraying. In addition to reading Lucio Mastronardi's Il maestro di Vigevano (1962), we will focus on a wide range of materials, including novels, memoirs, poems, popular songs, films, and works of art that, even in the absence of a unanimously acclaimed "classic" of the genre, have shaped the Italian collective imaginary. Materials will be organized around five poles that have been quintessential to the debate on school in Italy across politics and culture: characters (teachers and students, obviously, but also colleagues, classmates, and families), labor and working conditions (including themes such as precarious work, class conflict, labor rights), gender and identity (questioning traditional gender roles and discussing integration of migrants at school), places and geographies (addressing topics from school design to teaching in prisons, as well as center-periphery integration and north-south divide), and actions (both those of teachers and of students, such as obtaining a certification vs. passing a test, disciplining students vs. questioning teachers' authority, resigning from job vs. cutting classes). The course will be conducted in Italian.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-RLAN
Identical With: ITAL232
Prereq: ITAL112

EDST301 Senior Seminar in Education Studies

The senior seminar will provide a space for seniors in the education studies major, as a learning community, to reflect on and deepen their knowledge and understanding in core areas of education studies. Students will be expected to bring in relevant material from their other courses; to learn and discuss new material; and to work collaboratively to develop a grounding in the study of education individually and as a group. The course content will cover the areas defined in the education studies major, including human development and learning; pedagogy; social, cultural, historical, and philosophical disciplines in education; transformative justice in education; methodologies in the study of education, including ethnography and quantitative approaches. Discussions will explore the connection and tension between academic coursework and practical experiences in educational settings, and introduce students to additional approaches and subfields.

Course components will include: (1) bridging across different students' distinct experiences in their classes relevant to each content area; (2) collaborative reading and discussion of new work beyond the scope of the existing EDST courses; (3) creating a space to discuss and read further about talks by visiting speakers, colloquia, or other events in the College of Education Studies; (4) guest teaching by EDST and outside faculty; and (5) an independent senior project (for thesis writers, this can serve as a scaffold to make progress on the thesis).
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: None
Prereq: None

EDST310 Practicum in Education Studies

This seminar is intended to help students develop the skills to learn from experience in educational settings, through rigorous reflection, analysis, scholarly inquiry into educational questions, and action/implementation of new ideas. It is designed for students with previous coursework in education, experience in educational settings, or both. Students will be placed in a variety of educational settings in the community and each student will craft an independent study, with ongoing guidance from the professor and from the group, related to their placement. Class sessions will be seminar-style with students sharing and workshopping their studies and their practice. There will be group readings on aspects of education studies including reflective practice, classroom ethnography/teacher research, and observational techniques, but students will also develop individualized reading lists according to the focus of their independent study. In addition to ongoing written work in the form of analytic journals and critical reading synopses, students will complete an individualized final paper or project integrating their research and experience over the semester, and give a final presentation.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-EDST
Prereq: None

EDST341G Case Studies in Educational Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship, innovation, and reform are a defining part of the fabric of K-12 education in the US and other places, presenting opportunities and risks. Each week we will be visited by one or more experts who have led or studied innovative or entrepreneurial projects in the education sector. Perspectives and cases to be discussed include the founding of schools and businesses, start-up ventures, social entrepreneurship and nonprofit organizations, educational law and policy, and innovation within public schools and districts. Students will learn from conversations with experts in the field about how to define problems in education, how different people have approached solutions to these problems, and lessons learned. The professor and students will work together to draw connections between the various case studies and to articulate larger principles.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-ALLB
Identical With: CSPL341G
Prereq: None

EDST350 Sociology of Knowledge

This course provides a survey of the sociology of knowledge, a subfield of sociology that investigates how social structures shape the production of knowledge and how knowledge, in turn, shapes society.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: A-F
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: SBS-SISP
Identical With: SISP350, SOC350
Prereq: None

EDST358 Fugitive Perspectives on Education and Civil Society

In 1946, the African American novelist Ann Petry imagined what a white schoolteacher might think about working with black students in Harlem, New York: "Working in this school was like being in a jungle. It was filled with the smell of the jungle, she thought: tainted food, rank, unwashed bodies." Petry had herself worked in Harlem schools. She also held credentials from well-heeled white schools in Connecticut. Despite her own academic success, she questioned the inherent value of schools that regarded black children as if they were untamed savages.

Challenging prevailing narratives of excellence and achievement, this course examines fugitive perspectives of black, Indigenous, LBGTQ, and poor folks who resisted compulsory schooling and avoided conscription into so-called civilized society. If, as historian Michael B. Katz has argued, US schools "are imperial institutions designed to civilize the natives; they exist to do something to poor children, especially, now, children who are black or brown," then why should any self-respecting black or brown child endure such schooling? What might so-called truants, illiterates, failures, burnouts, dropouts, and delinquents teach us about education and civil society?

The history of education, however, has largely been interpreted from a biased perspective--namely, those who have been successfully schooled. We will therefore search for contrary voices in fragments of oral culture, ranging from slave narratives to folktales and recorded music. Contemporary scholarship will inform our analysis. Interdisciplinary scholars such as James Scott, Eric Hobsbawm, Tera Hunter, Saidiya Hartman, Lisa Brooks, and Audra Simpson will illustrate how to read against the grain and unearth hidden transcripts from classic authors such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Carter G. Woodson, Anna Julia Cooper, and Gertrude Simmons Bonin.
Offering: Crosslisting
Grading: OPT
Credits: 1.00
Gen Ed Area: HA-CHUM
Identical With: CHUM358, AMST358
Prereq: None

EDST401 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

EDST402 Individual Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

EDST409 Senior Thesis Tutorial

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

EDST410 Senior Thesis Tutorial

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

EDST411 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

EDST412 Group Tutorial, Undergraduate

Topic to be arranged in consultation with the tutor.
Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

EDST419 Student Forum

Student-run group tutorial, sponsored by a faculty member and approved by the chair of a department or program.
Offering: Host
Grading: Cr/U

EDST465 Education in the Field, Undergraduate

Offering: Host
Grading: OPT

EDST466 Education In The Field

Offering: Host
Grading: OPT