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.

Student Writing

 Capstone Research Papers

Sample Data Visualizations

Essays on School Choice

About Mira Debs.

See an earlier 2012 version of this course, designed by Wesleyan students.