SOC 273: Sociology of Education

This course will address the role of power, culture, race/ethnicity, gender, and class on the development of schools as a social institution and within school dynamics and pedagogy. We will cover the following topics: philosophical debates about pedagogy with readings from Dewey, Piaget, Skinner, Bruner, and Friere; the origins of schools as an institution; the organization of schools with readings about tracking, charter schools, private schools, and school vouchers; the influence of power and political movements on both the explicit and hidden curriculum; educational reforms such as progressive education, the back-to-basics movement, the whole-language movement, the standards movement, and high-stakes testing; and the influence of language, labeling, cultural capital, and social capital on student learning. We also will examine international differences in schools and schooling. This class will have a service-learning component where students will observe and tutor in two different schools: either a high- and low-income school or a traditional and a charter school.