Course Details
SOCI 303 A   Sociology of Education Back to Results  


InstructorBenson, Janel E.
MeetsTR 955-1110, ALUMNI 108
Pre-Requisites(SOCI 201 or SOAN 204) or (SOCI 250 or SOAN 210)
RestrictionsNo 2018
DistributionSocial Science Requirement
Core AreaNone

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This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to current theory and research on the role of education in contemporary US society, focusing specifically on the structure, practices, content, and outcomes of schooling. Through course readings, discussions, and a semester-long research project on inequality in higher education, students learn how to use a sociological lens to critically examine education as a social institution. The course begins by examining different theoretical approaches for thinking about the function of education. Students use these approaches to consider what are schools, whom are they for, and why do individuals and society care about them. Next, the course turns to the organization and context of schooling. Here, students investigate how factors such as school climate, governance, tracking, year-around schooling, and neighborhood and family contexts shape student outcomes. Then the course turns to the question of education and inequality, and examines the factors that influence why some students seem to have better educational outcomes than others. Finally students investigate current educational reform and policy. Student research teams lead class discussions on excellence and equity in higher education drawing upon their semester-long research projects. No first-year students admitted. (Formerly SOAN 303.) Prerequisites: SOCI 201 (formerly SOAN 204) or SOCI 250 (formerly SOAN 210) or permission of instructor. (RI)