This course examines a number of critical debates in K-12 suburban and urban public education including how we train teachers, the impact of school choice, currently the dominant educational paradigm in most urban districts and its connection to desegregation initiatives, charter schools and gentrification. While sociologists who study education generally critique education in all its forms, in this course we will also examine what we can support and improve in education and how we might turn research into action.
This advanced research seminar, open to juniors and seniors, fulfills the sociology major capstone requirement. In developing a substantial and original research essay, we will also dive into the task of becoming better writers, examining in depth the writing of education scholars, policy makers and journalists. We will experiment with several forms of writing including a personal statement, education blogging and the final research paper. We will meet individually several times during the semester to discuss your writing.
Capstone Research Papers
- Jordan Fabien, The liberal arts college structure offers more for student-athletes who experience lower levels of academic achievement
- Nina Gerona, Sowing the Seeds for Sustainable, Long Lived School Gardens
- Lily Herman, Pulling Back the Invisibility Cloak: Redefining Who Is Underserved During the College Admissions Process
- Markeisha Hill, Discipline in American Public Schools: Minority Students and Alternative Discipline Practices
- Alix Liss, No White Child Left Behind: The Slow Move for Racial Integration in New York City Schools
- Chase Knowles, Don’t Forget the Trash: The Complexity of Whiteness in Education Policy
- Raheem Logan, The Illusion of Diversity: Gentrification and Its Impact on the Racial Composition of Harlem Elementary Schools
- Elena Rein, Separate but Special: Overrepresentation of minority students in special education in America’s most diverse city
- Yohei Okada, Institutional Causes of Ijime in Japan and its Policy Recommendations
- Kenny On, Rethinking Mentoring as an Interventionist Model: An Analysis of the Educational Impact of Mentoring Programs
- Fernando Pauret, Crafting the Ideal Public School Archetype For the Modern Age: A Comparison of No Excuses Schools and Essential Schools
- Ana Clare Smith, America’s Neglected Educators: The relationship between structural forces, negative reputations, and effectiveness in substitute teaching.
- Tabi Yoo, Exclusion of the “Model Minority”: How Unconscious, Micro-Level Racism is Used to Shut Out Asian American Applicants From the Nation’s Elite Universities
Sample Data Visualizations
Essays on School Choice
- KangWon Cho, Why School Choice Is a Big Lie: A Parent’s Perspective
- Nina Gerona, School Choice is Not the Right Choice
- Lily Herman, New Haven School Choice
- Markeisha Hill, New Haven School Choice
- Chase Knowles, Perceptions of School Choice
- Alix Liss, A Hartford Parent’s Perspective: Is Participating in School Choice really such a Choice?
- Raheem Logan, Experience of School Choice- Hartford North-end resident
- Yohei Okada, School Choice Fair – Perspective from Avon parent
- Kenny On, The Illusion of Choice
- Fernando Pauret, My Doubts Regarding School Choice
- Elena Rein, School Choice Post Sheff v. O’Neill
- Ana Clare Smith, School Choice and Regressive Competition
- Tabi Yoo, “The Façade of the RSCO School Choice Fair: The Harsh Reality Behind a System of Failed Promises”
About Mira Debs.
See an earlier 2012 version of this course, designed by Wesleyan students.