Education | Social Movements in Education: Schools as Sites for Social, Political and Cultural Contention
U212 | 34207 | Katie Bucher and Karen Ross
Day and Time: T, 5:30-8
Room: FQ 012B
Schools are often thought of as places where information about
specific subject areas is transmitted from teachers to students.
However, schools are also sites of social, political, and cultural
contention: in other words, arenas within which various groups work
for social change or stability. This course will examine schools as
sites of contention by focusing on the intersection of education and
social movements, with a particular emphasis on peace education,
environmental education, human rights education, feminist education,
and LGBT rights education.
Over the seven weeks during which this course meets, students will
work on addressing the following questions:
• How do we think about schools as sites for social,
political, and cultural contention?
• How do we identify the tension between social change and
stability in schools?
• In what ways does this tension play out? That is,
o WHO is involved in using schools as sites for contention?
o WHY do groups engage with social issues, and WHY are schools
often sites where these tensions play out?
o WHAT mechanisms do social movements use to promote their
values? HOW do they go about meeting their goals?
Through our joint reflection on these questions, course participants
will be encouraged to think about their own values and to ask
themselves: should students, teachers, administrators, parents, and
communities engage in these issues within the educational
framework? Would they feel comfortable engaging in these issues; as
a student, a teacher, an administrator, parent, or community
member? Reflecting on these questions will assist course
participants in refining their own philosophy on what schooling and
education mean in society.