Courses 2018-19

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 107b / PHYS 107b / MB&B 107b, Being Human in STEM           Helen Caines, Andrew Miranker

A collaboratively-designed, project-oriented course that seeks to examine, understand, and disseminate how diversity of gender, race, religion, sexuality, economic circumstances, etc. shape the STEM experience at Yale and nationally, and that seeks to formulate and implement solutions to issues that are identified. Study of relevant peer-reviewed literature and popular-press articles. Implementation of a questionnaire and interviews of STEM participants at Yale. Creation of role-play scenarios for provoking discussions and raising awareness. Design and implementation of group interventions.

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 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 PlayNancy 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 135a / PHIL 130a, Philosophy of Education          Jason Stanley

An introduction to the philosophy of education. In this course, we read classical texts about the nature and purpose of education, focusing ultimately on the question of the normative shape and form of education in liberal democracy. What is the difference between education and indoctrination? What is the proper relation, in a liberal democracy, between civic education and vocational education? What shape or form should education take, if it is to achieve its goals? How, for example, is the liberal ideal of equality best realized in the form and structure of an educational system? Authors include Plato, Rousseau, Du Bois, Washington, Stanton, Dewey, Cooper, Woodson, and Freire.

EDST 139a / PSYC 139a / CGSC 139a, The Mental Lives of Babies and Animals          Karen Wynn

Interdisciplinary exploration of the cognitive, social, and emotional capacities of creatures lacking language and culture. The extent to which our complex psychology is unique to mature humans; the relative richness of a mental life without language or culture. Some attention to particular human populations such as children with autism and adults with language disorders.

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 144a / SOCY 144a / ER&M 211a / EVST 144a, Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration          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 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 162a / SOCY162a, Methods In Quantitative Sociology             Lloyd Greiger

Introduction to methods in quantitative sociological research. Topics include: data description; graphical approaches; elementary probability theory; bivariate and multivariate linear regression; regression diagnostics. Students use Stata for hands-on data analysis.          

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 180b / PSYC 180b, Abnormal Psychology           Jutta Joorman

The major forms of psychopathology that appear in childhood and adult life. Topics include the symptomatology of mental disorders; their etiology from psychological, biological, and sociocultural perspectives; and issues pertaining to diagnosis and treatment.

EDST 191b / CHLD 126b, Clinical Child Development and Assessment of Young Children  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 EducationJoseph 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  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 EducationRichard 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 215a / PLSC 373a, Equity and Innovation in International Education         Cassandra Walker Harvey

This course provides an introduction to the field of international education and a close look at how innovation can address some of the world’s most pressing education barriers. Through discussions, case studies, and guest speakers, students are exposed to how different education systems around the globe function; the roles and responsibilities different stakeholders play across these systems; and how innovation within existing systems and from outside groups can help overcome barriers to education. Topics include: research, policy, and practice of international education, including global standards of education, provision of education, and barriers to education; the field of social entrepreneurship and innovation, and how disruptive innovation can help or hinder education systems; what it means to provide a quality education system, who should provide it, and how we can achieve quality education for all children globally; and how to analyse, and develop innovative and system change solutions to education equity issues.

EDST 225b, Child Care, Society, and Public Policy   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 LawWilliam 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 233b, Children and Schools in Global Cinema            Dudley Andrew

Children have long been, and remain, the target of many films. They precipitated some of the earliest studies of the new medium and its regulation as well. But this seminar turns the tables on the premise that children have also been dangerous for the cinema. As subjects and actors in films, they have proven recalcitrant, unpredictable, combustible; in short, they have behaved as children often do. Insofar as cinema is an institution, children must be disciplined to ensure its smooth operation. And yet much of what is valuable in cinema involves the very unpredictability that is natural in children. This seminar operates as a dialogue between education and cinema across the living bodies of children. We give the cinema and children the first and last words in this dialogue, ‘education’ being asked to learn, not teach. We defamiliarize education by bringing into our classroom children and films foreign to the United States, including films from France, Africa, Iran, and East Asia.

EDST 235b, Education and the Culture Wars           Talya Zemach-Bersin

Examination of the historical development and politics of the “culture wars” with a focus on how battles over the “soul of America” have focused on the American education system. Conflict over “American values” issues like abortion, gay marriage, and religion are compounded by legal battles over federal funding and school choice. Study of interdisciplinary readings from law, politics, history, and cultural studies.

EDST 237a / LING 217a / PSYC 317a, Language and MindMaria 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 238a / PLSC 238a, Policy, Politics and Learning on the Education Beat         Jane Karr

Exploration of the national conversation around education issues, and how to write smartly about them. Classes delve into top stories of the last few years—diversity and desegregation, school choice and culture wars—and their impact on policy. Students learn to develop strong, marketable ideas while crafting features aimed at publication. Journalists on the K-12 beat are frequent guests.

EDST 240b / SOCY 396b, Cities, Suburbs, and School Choice  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 EducationRichard 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                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 EducationRichard 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 350b / CHLD 350b / PSYC 350b, Autism and Related Disorders          Fred Volkmar, James McPartland

Weekly seminar focusing on autism and related disorders of socialization. A series of lectures on topics in etiology, diagnosis and assessment, treatment and advocacy, and social neuroscience methods; topics cover infancy through adulthood. Supervised experience in the form of placement in a school, residence, or treatment setting for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Details about admission to the course are explained at the first course meeting. Prerequisite: an introductory psychology course.

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 400a, Advanced Topics in Education Studies         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 410b, Senior Colloquium and Project 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 417a / WGSS 417a / AMST 401a / ER&M 429a, Constructing Coeducation in the American Academy         Laura Wexler

In advance of the 2019-2020 university-wide celebration of coeducation at Yale College, and 150 years at the Yale Graduate School of Art, this course examines the history and philosophy of coeducation in American colleges and universities, with a special focus on Yale. We explore the many ways in which the meaning of the arrival of female undergraduates at Yale should be understood vis-a-vis other intersecting identity categories such as race, class, region, sexuality, occupation, and nation. We study the history of higher education in the United States; examine arguments for and against post-secondary education for women and co-education versus single-sex colleges; compare and contrast racialized initiatives including Freedman’s Bureau schools for former slaves, Native American boarding schools, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic Serving Institutions. We track changing patterns of inclusion and exclusion; inquire into the implications of landmark legislation such as Brown vs. Board of Education, and Title IX; and jointly develop a specific case history of Yale.  Aided by especially prepared archives in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and Sterling Memorial Library, students produce original research on important moments and figures.

EDST 471a, Independent Study          Mira Debs

Readings in educational topics, history, policy, or methodology; weekly tutorial and a substantial term essay.

MUSI 478b / MUSI 452b, Music, Service, and Society Sebastian Ruth

The role of musicians in public life, both on and off the concert stage. New ways in which institutions of music can participate in the formation of civil society and vibrant communities. The potential influence of music on the lives of people experiencing political or social oppression.  

Graduate Courses

SOCY 633, Sociology of Education             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.

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.