Sociology | Social Context of Schooling
S409 | 3653 | Eder

S409 Social Context of Schooling  Eder 1:00-2:15 TR 3653

In the first half of this course we will examine different social
contexts within and across classrooms as well as differences
across school environments.  We will begin by looking at the ways
in which teachers categorize students by ability level as well as
gender and racial stereotypes.  We will then focus more
extensively on the issue of academic tracking, exploring the pros
and cons of this controversial practice.  After that, we will
examine an alternative elementary school based on a democratic
model of learning.  This section will end by looking at a range
of alternative approaches being used in public schools today.

In the second half of the course we will broaden our focus to
look more closely at the contextual factors of gender and
ethnicity as well as at the social side of schooling.  We will
begin by examining informal gender stratification at the
elementary and middle school level.  Then we will consider
certain educational philosophies of African- Americans and Native
Americans.  We will finish by examining the social environment of
universities and colleges across the country.

There will be two in-class essay exams and one research project
required for this course.  The project can be an original
research project on some aspect of the class, a library research
paper, or a service-learning project.  Short presentations will
be made at the end of class.  Graduate students will be expected
to do a longer paper and give evidence of a more critical,
analytical, or integrative approach if doing a library research

There will be six books required for the course as well as a
limited amount of reading on reserve.  Some of the books we will
be reading are: Keeping Track by Oakes, Elementary Schooling for
Critical Democracy by Goodman, School Talk by Eder, et al., and
Smart Schools, Smart Kids by Fiske.