Courses 2017-18

Courses in Education Studies are offered by Yale Faculty whose courses in Yale college are foundational or closely linked to education and by clinical faculty with leadership expertise in the field of education.

EDST 110a, Foundations in Education Studies  Mira Debs

Introduction to key issues and debates in the U.S. public education system. Focus on the nexus of education practice, policy, and research. Social, scientific, economic, and political forces that shape approaches to schooling and education reform. Theoretical and practical perspectives from practitioners, policymakers, and scholars.  

EDST 125a / CHLD 125a / PSYC 125a, Child Development  Nancy Close and Carla Horwitz

The reading of selected material with supervised participant-observer experience in infant programs, a day-care and kindergarten center, or a family day-care program. Regularly scheduled seminar discussions emphasize both theory and practice. An assumption of the course is that it is not possible to understand children—their behavior and development—without understanding their parents and the relationship between child and parents. The focus is on infancy as well as early childhood. Enrollment limited to juniors and seniors.  

EDST 127a or b / CHLD 127a or b / PSYC 127a or b, Theory and Practice of Early Childhood Education (Fall, Spring)Carla Horwitz

The course examines the development of curricula for young children as well as the current context of educational reform and debate.  Goals are to deepen insights and develop critical analysis of educational programs for young children in light of current research and developmental theory. Understanding of the ongoing processes of curriculum development; creating a responsive, inclusive environment; planning and assessment; appreciating cultural and linguistic diversity; working with families; conceptualizing the challenges of collaborating on a teaching team within the organization of the school; standards; and the ways in which the political context contributes to the practice of education will be a significant focus of the course. 

EDST 128b / CHLD 128b / PSYC 128b, Language, Literacy, and Play (Spring)Nancy Close and Carla Horwitz

There is a widespread consensus that play is an essential component of a developmentally appropriate early childhood curriculum. Research indicates that play enhances a child’s creativity, intellectual development and social emotional development. This course will demonstrate the complicated role that play has in the development of language and literacy skills. A major part of each topic presentation will be a discussion of the role that play has in the curriculum in enhancing each developmental area. Literacy skills include speaking, listening, and attending, reading and writing. Because learning to play, learning language and learning literacy skills are all part of the process of thinking and communication, the course will provide a view which attempts to demonstrate the integration of language, literacy and play in an early childhood education curriculum. 

EDST 140b / PSYC 140b, Developmental Psychology  Frank Keil

An introduction to research and theory on the development of perception, action, emotion, personality, language, and cognition from a cognitive science perspective. Focus on birth to adolescence in humans and other species. Prerequisite: PSYC 110

EDST 150a / PSYC 151a, Theory and Practice of Emotional Intelligence  Marc Brackett

Emotions serve important personal and social functions. Our verbal and nonverbal emotional expressions in our face, body, and voice convey critical information about our thoughts, intentions, and behaviors. Emotions also drive learning, decision making, relationships, mental health, creativity, and much of our overall effectiveness.

In Part 1 of this course, we will explore many questions about the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in everyday life, including: How do emotion and cognition interact? What is emotional intelligence and how is it measured? What function does emotional intelligence serve? Can emotional intelligence be taught? Does training in emotional intelligence have an impact on personal and social functioning or on academic and work performance? As a student in this class, you will have the opportunity to take a variety of assessments, including measures of emotional intelligence in order to gain greater self-awareness and build an action plan for developing your emotional intelligence. In Part 2 of our course, the focus is on the research, theory, educational practices, and federal/state policies that promote the social, emotional, and academic competence of preschool through high school students. We also will explore how a university like Yale might integrate emotional intelligence training for college students. 

EDST 160b / PSYC 150b, Social Psychology  John Bargh

Study of social cognition, attitudes and persuasion, group processes, intergroup processes, prosocial behavior, aggression, and conformity. Theories, methodology, and applications of social psychology. Prerequisite: PSYC 110

EDST 162/SOCY162/580: Introduction to Methods In Quantitative Sociology (Fall)             Lloyd Greiger

This course provides an introduction to analytical approaches in quantitative sociological research. The class will cover data description and graphical approaches to data analysis, elementary probability theory, the assumptions and properties of bivariate and multivariate linear regression, and regression diagnostics. The course is designed for first year graduate students and advanced undergraduates in Sociology. The material is presented using basic mathematics with the aim of promoting an intuitive understanding of the course material. The class is geared towards sociological thinking – all homework and class examples draw upon detailed application to real data and questions from the existing sociological literature. Students will also learn hands-on data analysis using Stata. The course covers basic building blocks of quantitative data analysis with the goal of training students to be informed consumers of quantitative sociological research. This course is also the starting point for students interested in using quantitative methods in their own research.           

EDST 177b / AFAM 198b / CGSC 277b / EP&E 494b / PHIL 177b, Propaganda, Ideology, and Democracy  Jason Stanley

This course is about propaganda and power. We will explore some of the ways in which groups keep themselves in power by exploiting images and language that feed into and strengthen pre-existing mythologies, mythologies that justify their higher status position. We will draw in large part on the work of theorists who have grappled with these issues in the US context, reflecting on US racial hierarchies. We will investigate how positively privileged groups construct stereotypes of less privileged groups that serve to justify the status quo. We discuss how schools, the authority and apparatus of science, and the media are enlisted in support of such stereotypes. Finally, we explore how negatively privileged groups have used social movements to undermine the stereotypes that are designed to subjugate them. Throughout, we return to the theme of the threat group hierarchies, and the mechanisms used to maintain them, pose to the possibility of liberal democracy.

EDST 191b / CHLD 126b, Clinical Child Development and Assessment of Young Children (Spring)  Nancy Close

Exposure to both conceptual material and clinical observations on the complexity of assessing young children and their families. Prerequisites: CHLD 125 or CHLD 128

EDST 201b / ECON 210b, Economics of Education (Spring) Joseph Altonji

The course will use basic economic reasoning and statistical analysis to examine key issues concerning education and education policy. The concepts of choice in the presence of limited information and resources, education production functions, incentive mechanisms, competition, and supply and demand will be used to study questions such as the effect of financial aid on college attendance, the determinants of test scores, merit pay for teachers, the performance of “Teach for America” teachers, the effectiveness of charter schools, and the value of an engineering degree in the labor market. The main topics include (1) the private and social return to high school, college, and graduate school, (2) the effects of school spending, class size, teacher quality, and peers on education outcomes, (3) the supply of teachers, (4) economic and racial disparities in educational attainment, (5) competition, school choice and school performance, and (6) the effects of tuition, financial aid, and information on college completion and on field of study. Policy options will receive emphasis. Prerequisites: ECON 108110, or 115. A prior course in statistics or econometrics is helpful but not required.

EDST 202a / CLCV 202a, Education and Learning in Antiquity (Fall)  Sarah Insley

Exploration of educational systems in antiquity, from ideals of education in the Athenian polis to the fusion of classical and Christian models of education in the later Roman Empire. Topics include pedagogical methods and texts, evolution of “school” as an institution, ancient theories of education, and the impact of ancient educational systems on society at large. Course readings combine recent scholarship on ancient education and primary sources in translation

EDST 210a, Theory and Practice in American Education (Fall) Richard Hersh

Roles played by primary, secondary, and higher education in American society. The idealized purposes, nature, and value of education compared to actual practice. The goals of education at all levels; the degree to which such goals are being achieved. Vocational vs. liberal education; the obligations and limits of formal education in helping students overcome social and economic inequities. Preference to Education Studies Scholars and to students who have completed EDST 110

EDST 225b, Child Care, Society, and Public Policy (Spring)  Janna Wagner and Jessica Sager

In the United States, children under the age of five spend their days in a variety of settings: with parents, with relatives, or in formal or informal paid care settings inside or outside the home. The decisions that we make as a society about where young children belong and how to regulate, pay for, and support these child care arrangements have a profound impact on the well-being of children, families, and the economy. What we decide, and how we make our decisions, is deeply linked with our ideas about gender, race, and poverty, and our vision of what “family” is supposed to be. In this course, we will explore some of those connections and preconceptions, and evaluate the ways in which our child care choices impact all of us, whether we have children of our own or not. Preference in enrollment will go to students who have taken EDST 110, with Education Studies Scholars receiving priority. 

EDST 230b, American Education and the Law (Spring) William Garfinkel

This seminar is about the law that governs elementary and secondary education. We will examine the rights and responsibilities of the various stakeholders in education, learn how the law evolved, and learn how to apply the law in situations arising in school districts throughout the country. The issues to be addressed include the nature and scope of students’, parents’, and teachers’ substantive and procedural rights; educational finance and education adequacy; and equal educational opportunity in a variety of contexts. We will have guests who will share their perspectives on issues in the course. Guests may include school district counsel, a special education administrator, and law students involved in educational reform litigation. Recommended preparation: EDST 110. Preference to Education Studies Scholars.  

EDST 237a / LING 217a / PSYC 317a, Language and Mind (Fall) Maria Piñango

The structure of linguistic knowledge and how it is used during communication. The principles that guide the acquisition of this system by children learning their first language and adults learning a second language. The processing of language in real-time. Language breakdown as a result of brain damage.

EDST 240b / SOCY 396b, Cities, Suburbs, and School Choice (Spring)  Mira Debs

This course looks at the changing dynamic between cities and suburbs and how schools have been central to this process.  Using historical and sociological sources, this course examines the government role in bankrolling the suburbs, desegregating schools, the rise of school choice through magnets and charters, and how the current desegregation of inner ring suburbs and urban gentrification are affecting the landscape of education reform.  Part of the course will focus on researching New Haven and its surrounding suburban school systems.  Through this course, students develop the following research skills: 1) write, code and interpret field notes 2) evaluate data and the implications of policy 3) predict unexpected outcomes of seemingly neutral policies and 4) synthesize and create reports.  By the end of the course, students gain an understanding of how school choice, represented generally as a positive market option has consequences for where people live, the demographics of communities, where children go to school, and the reproduction of inequality.

EDST 250b, Contemporary Challenges to Liberal Education  (Spring) Richard Hersh

The nature, purpose and value of a liberal education are widely debated in an America suffering from a fragile economy, high unemployment, and frustration with its education systems. The language employed ranges from lofty mission statements and promises in college recruitment materials to economists’ cost/benefit analyses asking, “what is the return on investment (ROI) of a liberal education?” Threading through the discussions are aspirational and practical notions of the purposes and value of a college education.

At the aspirational level, college is meant to be a transforming experience, liberating oneself from the shackles of parochial experience, unexamined ideas and values, and egocentric perspectives that narrowly circumscribe how we think and feel. On the practical side, especially in these difficult economic times, liberal education is thought to be a luxury taking away time and effort from the ultimate goals of skill mastery and the professional education necessary for an increasingly competitive workplace. “Higher” education in this view has as its primary purpose the securing of higher paying jobs. 

This seminar will 1) Explore the evolving nature and purpose of liberal learning 2) Examine how liberal education is threatened by contemporary challenges, and 3) Ask students to reflect upon their Yale experiences throughout the seminar and develop models for strengthening liberal education in America. 

EDST 260/SOC 260 Race, Ethnicity and Immigration (Fall)               Grace Kao

Exploration of sociological studies and theoretical and empirical analyses of race, ethnicity, and immigration, with focus on race relations and racial and ethnic differences in outcomes in contemporary U.S. society (post-1960s). Study of the patterns of educational and labor market outcomes, incarceration, and family formation of whites, blacks (African Americans), Hispanics, and Asian Americans in the United States, as well as immigration patterns and how they affect race and ethnic relations. 

EDST 271b / AFAM 469b / ECON 171b, Urban Inequalities and Educational Inequality  Gerald Jaynes

Analysis of contemporary policy problems related to academic under performance in lower income urban schools and the concomitant achievement gaps among various racial and ethnic groups in United States K-12 education. Historical review of opportunity inequalities and policy solutions proposed to ameliorate differences in achievement and job readiness. Students benefit from practical experience and interdisciplinary methods, including a lab component with time spent in a New Haven high school.  Prerequisites: Any course offered by Education Studies, or one course in history or any social science, either: Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology.  EDST 110 is preferred, although not required. 

EDST 290a, Leadership, Change, and Improvement in Education (Fall) Richard Lemons

Public education is the great imperative for America’s representative democracy and a mechanism through which individuals are developed into independent and productive citizens who can survive and thrive in our unique society and economy. Yet despite these noble aims, schools are among the most disparaged institutions in America. Politicians and pundits regularly attack schools, promising policy agendas that will reverse these negative trends. All the while, parents consistently rate the specific schools of their children positively and social scientists point to evidence demonstrating that many of the inequities that present in our schools originate elsewhere.

In this course, students will identify and analyze the most significant challenges faced by the U.S. educational system.  Students will draw upon research from a range of academic disciplines to understand how schools and districts operate and why certain educational challenges persist, sometimes over multiple generations of students.  In addition, students will study successful educational improvement efforts and understand the political and organizational strategies necessary to improve student experiences and outcomes at scale.  Students will also explore the leadership practices necessary to successfully implement and sustain such strategies.Preference given to Education Studies Scholars or others who have taken EDST 110.

EDST 355a / PSYC 355a, Clinical Psychology in the Community  Kristi Lockhart

Mental disorders as they are treated within a community setting. Students participate in a fieldwork placement, working either one-on-one or in groups with the psychiatrically disabled. Seminar meetings focus on such topics as the nature of severe mental disorders, the effects of deinstitutionalization, counseling skills, and social policy issues related to mental health. Prerequisite: PSYC 180 or permission of instructor.

EDST 377b / PSYC 477b, Psychopathology and the Family  Kristi Lockhart

This course will explore how the family influences the development and maintenance of both normal and abnormal behavior. Psychological, biological and socio­cultural factors within the family that contribute to variations in behavior will be discussed. The relationship between the family and such disorders as schizophrenia, depression, anorexia nervosa, and criminality will be examined from a developmental and family systems perspective. Special emphasis will be placed on early childhood experiences within the family and how these influence development. We will also study how recent changes in the family and society (e.g. day care, divorce, increased maternal employment, gay/lesbian families, use of the internet, delayed family life cycle, increased use of medication) have influenced family functioning. Family therapy approaches and techniques will be covered as well as familial factors that contribute to resilience. 

EDST 400, Advanced Topics in Education Studies (Fall)  Talya Bersin-Zemach

Preparation for a thesis-equivalent capstone project. Building community among each year’s cohort through reading seminal texts in Education Studies, while laying the foundation for spring capstone projects through discussion of education studies methodologies and practical research design. First course in the yearlong sequence, followed by EDST 410. Enrollment limited to senior Education Studies Scholars.

EDST 410, Senior Colloquium and Project (Spring) Mira Debs

The culmination of the Education Studies Undergraduate Scholars program. Students conduct a rigorous project on a topic of their choice in education research, policy, and/or practice.  Enrollment is limited to senior Education Studies Scholars. 

EDST 433/SOCY 633 Sociology of Education (Fall)             Grace Kao

This seminar introduces students to studies in the sociology of education. The class emphasizes studies in the United States and also focuses on studies of stratification by race, ethnicity, immigrant status, class, and gender. We also examine empirical studies of youth from early childhood to post-college, and we think more broadly about how longitudinal studies affect our understandings of how schools may help to provide more equal opportunities to students or whether they exacerbate inequality. Interested undergraduates may request to take this course by permission of instructor and completion of the blue form.

EDST 457b / EP&E 294b / GLBL 338b / PLSC 457b, Social Welfare and Nongovernmental Organizations  (Fall) Katharine Baldwin

In developing countries, the state often plays a limited role in social welfare provision. Instead, citizens depend on non-state actors - such as international NGOs, religious organizations and community associations - to deliver basic goods and services. This course analyzes the causes and the implications of this mode of social service provision. Students will read theoretical and empirical articles on this subject, will debate the merits of the scholarly work, and will conduct original research on a topic related to the themes of the class.

The course begins by examining the causes of the development of welfare states in Europe and North America and then asks why states outside of these regions have not developed similar institutions. The course then considerations the motivations of non-state actors for providing social welfare. Finally, the course considers the consequences of non-state actors’ involvement in social welfare provision. What are the economic, institutional and political effects of having non-state actors provide social services and public goods? 

This list of courses eligible for Education Studies elective credit will be reviewed annually by the program’s Director and Advisory Committee.  The Director, in consultation with the Advisory Committee or individual faculty advisors, may approve courses beyond those listed here that meet the objectives of the Education Studies program or the particular interests of a student.