Education Studies Minor

The Education Studies minor is designed to help students look critically at educational institutions, practices, and thinking in the United States and abroad—from the elementary to the university level. The majority of the courses required for the minor focus on the psychological and sociological dimensions of education. Courses from other parts of the university focus on the tools and skills for analyzing education and on broader contexts within the history and philosophy of knowledge. Another category of courses provides students with concrete teaching experience in a variety of instructional settings. The goal is to help students acquire a deeper understanding of education and its relationship to society.

The minor does not provide the course credentials for CT State Initial Educator Certification that are required for teaching positions in public schools. Visit Alternate Route to Certification for more information.

Supervising Faculty

Steven E. Stemler

Associate Professor of Psychology

Anna Shusterman

Associate Professor of Psychology

Admission to the Minor

Students are strongly urged to consult with one of the supervising faculty as they develop their plans for fulfilling the requirements.

Declare the minor through the Major/Minor/Certificate Declaration link via WesPortal>Academics>Major/Minor/Certificate Declaration. It is best to do this as early as possible so that you can receive e-mails and updates about the minor from the supervising faculty who will help you with academic planning. 

Minor Requirements

The Education studies minor is awarded to students who complete seven courses from an approved curriculum. Successful candidates must earn either a grade of B or better in each course or maintain a B+ or better average for the seven courses used for the minor. The courses must include at least one course in each of the following categories:

  1. Cognitive and psychological influences on learning and schooling
  2. Social and structural analyses of education
  3. Statistics
  4. Broader contexts
  5. In-school experience

The two additional courses should be chosen from those listed in categories 1 and/or 2.  The courses may be completed in any order consistent with their prerequisites.  NOTE: A list of currently offered courses can be found in WesMaps.  

The supervising faculty maintains a suggested course list below. Students may contact one of the minor’s supervising faculty to discuss other courses that might fulfill the requirements. 

The Category 5 in-school experience requirement does not need to be credit-bearing. If the experience is something other than one of the listed courses below, the experience must be fully documented and fully meet the Category 5 criteria. Contact one of the supervising faculty to discuss how to document fulfilling this category.

Category 1: Cognitive and psychological foundations of education (1+ credits)Minimum of 1
Research Methods in Cognitive Development and Education *
Cognitive Psychology *
Developmental Psychology *
Psychological Measurement
Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood *
Cognition, Learning, and Instruction in the Classroom
Psychology of Human Memory
Psychology of Reading
Advanced Research in Measurement *
Category 2: Social and structural analyses of education (1+ credits)Minimum of 1
Topics in Education, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: Transformative Practices in School Reforms
Topics in Education, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: Social Entreprenurship in Education
Entrepreneurship in Education: Past, Present, and Future
Topics in Education, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship: A Law and Policy Perspective
Topics in Education: Introduction to Educational Law, Policy, and Educational Reform
Case Studies in Educational Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Dance Teaching Workshop: The Embodied Practice of Knowing
Economics of Wealth and Poverty *
Schools in Society
Italy at School: Biography of a Nation
Educational Psychology
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching
Second Language Pedagogy - Teaching Romance Languages
Category 3: Statistics (1 credit)1
The field of education research is replete with quantitative data that can inform theory and practice. Furthermore, there is a push to make educational decisions “data-driven.” To participate in these central conversations, students need to have a grasp of basic statistical principles.
Quantitative Methods in Economics *
Econometrics *
Elementary Statistics
Statistics: An Activity-Based Approach
Applied Data Analysis
Category 4: Broader contexts (1 credit)1
To put the contemporary U.S. educational system into context, students should take a course that addresses how systems of knowledge are understood, constructed, transmitted, and changed. A broad theoretical course should sharpen students’ ideas about what is taught, why it is taught, and how it is taught in the current U.S. context.
Religion and the Social Construction of Race
Childhood in America
Mixed in America: Race, Religion, and Memoir
and Mixed in America: Race, Religion, and Memoir
Reading Difference
Popular Culture and Social Justice: An Introduction to American Studies
Race, Indigeneity, and Citizenship: Introduction to American Studies
Economics of Wealth and Poverty
and Economics of Wealth and Poverty
Introduction to African American Literature
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Introduction to Programming
Participatory Design: From Helping to Solidarity
The Economics of Developing Countries
Histories of Modern U.S. Gender and Sexuality
Social Movements
The Moral Basis of Politics
Political Economy of Developing Countries
Citizenship and Immigration
Virtue and Vice in History, Literature, and Philosophy
Introduction to History: Science in the Making: Thinking Historically About Science
European Intellectual History to the Renaissance
European Intellectual History since the Renaissance
The United States Since 1901
Exploration, Conquest, and Insurrection: The History of the Amazon 1542 to Present
Colonialism and Its Consequences in the Americas
Political Economy of Developing Countries
Latin American Politics
European Intellectual History to the Renaissance
Motivation and Reward
and Motivation and Reward
Classical Chinese Philosophy
Theory of Knowledge
Social Movements
Multilingual Aesthetics in Latin America
Philosophy of Science
Category 5: In-school experience40 hours
Students must complete one experience, equivalent to one Wesleyan credit, that is primarily focused on providing in-school or similar practical experience. The following three requirements MUST be met.
1. The total experience must be at least 40 hours (equivalent to 1 credit).
2. The student must spend at least 20 contact hours with students.
3. A reflection, preparation, discussion, or scholarly component is required.
There are a variety of ways that students can fulfill this requirement. Some ideas are listed below.
Seminar on Astronomical Pedagogy *
Informal Science Education for Elementary School Students I
and Informal Science Education for Elementary School Students II
Practicum in Education Studies
Sister Acts: Black Feminist/Womanist Theater of the African Diaspora
Teaching Music Lessons to Children in Local Schools
Current Research in Early Childhood
Statistics Education Practicum
Teaching Apprentice Tutorial
and Teaching Apprentice Tutorial
Teaching English as a Second Language
-Tutoring in a school setting for 10h per week for a semester or 5h per week for two semesters, designing a tutorial on education with a service learning component in a school, or developing an internship in a school. Students should register for CSPL 401/402 to complete the reflection requirement to receive .25 course credit, complete a .25 credit tutorial to reflect on or connect the experience to scholarly work, and/or write a reflective or scholarly paper for the Education Studies Minor supervising faculty.
-Completing one semester as a Teaching Apprentice for an introductory course (e.g., first year foreign language or gateway science or social science course; all three criteria are met if student contact reaches 2h/week and there is discussion, planning, and reflection with mentor faculty).
-Student teaching at the Bank St. School of Education (Urban Education Semester)
-Teaching in an intensive summer program (Breakthrough, Summerbridge, CTY) and providing a letter confirming completion from the program.