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SOC 296X Sociology of Education

Course Description:This course provides students with a grounded knowledge base of the social as well as economic and political contexts in which North American schools exist. Making the familiar aspects of education strange, the course encourages analytic frameworks and critical perspectives on education in order to engage students in assessing educational beliefs, policies, and practices for democratic values. Drawing on concepts and theories from the social sciences, the functions of education including the role schools play in socialization, and the transmission and reproduction of culture are integrated throughout. The course encourages students to begin answering the following questions: What does it mean to be educated? What ought to be the ends of schooling? What is the role of education in the struggle for social justice? The course is grounded in visual literacy and methods of ethnography to study education and schooling. To that end, class activities include field projects that use cameras to capture the process of schooling in a contemporary society.


3 credits