Sociology | Education & Society
S312 | 3869 | Garnier
S312 Education & Society (3 CR)
3869 2:30-3:45 TR SB150
This course will focus on the relationship between American
institutions and its educational system. In order to
understand this relationship, we will examine other educational
systems, such as those of Japan and Europe.
Some people claim that Americans have access to the best system
in the world. Others disagree and point to the fact that
American students perform less well on international
achievement tests than students in other highly industrialized
countries. We will read Shopping Mall High School to
understand why American students perform as they do.
A substantial portion of the course will be devoted to the role
educational institutions play in transmitting inequality:
access to higher education, jobs, income and life style. We
will look inside schools to understand how schools transmit
inequality (or do not). We will pay particular attention to
tacking and the development of sub-cultures inside schools.
We will then study teachers as workers in a bureaucratic
setting and as members of a profession.
We will consider the relationship between the characteristics
of educational systems and economic growth, in the United
States and in other countries.
Lastly, we will discuss a number of attempts at reform:
vouchers, charter schools, and the reforms currently under way
Besides Shopping Mall High School, the reading will consist of
selected non-technical articles.
There will be a mid-term and a final. A paper dealing with a
topic of the student's choice will also be required.