For a complete list of courses, check out the catalog.

101 - A History of Urban Schooling in the U.S.

In every major urban center across the United States, children and youth attend public schools managed by highly-bureaucratized administrative entities called 'school districts'. This course provides a historical survey of the evolution of U.S. urban schooling, tracing its development from earliest community-based, one-room schoolhouses to modern, major urban unified school districts. We explore the roles that industrialization & immigration have played in the urbanization of communities, and the ways in which schools have adapted in order to provide for the socialization of the urban worker. We examine shifts in the politics of public education, as it pertains to control over schools and schooling, and the various stakeholders involved. We conclude with a look at the evolving roles of the teacher, school counselor, and the administrator – as well as a glimpse into what the future holds for both traditional and alternative forms of public schooling in urban school communities across the U.S.

140 - Community Literacy

Occidental students work in the Academic Commons one-on-one with children from the community. While incorporating arts and integrating technology students will engage their child with a variety of language arts activities in order to reconnect their child with the joy of reading and writing for pleasure. Students will build on their child’s strengths, skills and interests by using culturally relevant pedagogy and critical literacy explorations. Students become part of a high-warmth, low-criticism community. Graded on a Credit/No Credit basis only. May be repeated for credit. Graded on a Credit/No Credit basis only. May be repeated for credit.
2 units

141 - Community Literacy With Middle School Students

Students work one-one with middle school students for extensive explorations in writing. Occidental students will collaborate and coach writing activities which will include narrative, expository and analytical prompts. This course focuses on authentic, engaging writing and integrates the arts, technology and critical literacy. Students work closely with the Critical Making Studio. This course is designed to deepen the critical and creative abilities of both groups of students, while connecting written explorations to the California Common Core Standards. Takes place on campus, in the Academic Commons Graded on a Credit/No Credit basis only. May be repeated for credit. Graded on a Credit/No Credit basis only. May be repeated for credit.
2 units

145 - Educational Innovations: Challenges and Effects

In this course, students will systematically examine the causes, challenges, and effects of several innovations in schools, such as charter schools, magnet schools, dual-immersion/bilingual programs, high- tech high schools, and online-high school programs. The course will help students develop a historical perspective of the schooling system and to understand how current and future innovations can impact educational processes. As part of the course, the students will have an opportunity to interact with invited speakers (CEOs from charter schools, school district superintendents and board members, as well as administrators who are Oxy graduates). Students will read research-based studies and articles focusing on the different educational innovations.

201 - Sociocultural Foundations of Education

In this introductory course, students study, as a community of learners, the historical, philosophical, political, sociological, economic and psychological foundations of U.S. education in the public school.  Using a variety of analytical lenses, students will critically engage with key texts to examine factors that influence power, control and the quality of schooling for urban communities. Throughout the semester, we will focus our analysis on the possibility and potential of achieving “socially-just” relationships in urban school communities through teacher practice, educational leadership and community-based activism.

205 - The Politics and Pedagogy of First and Second Language Acquisition

Analysis of the English language development of listening, speaking, reading, writing and thinking skills of elementary and secondary students in culturally and linguistically diverse public school classrooms. Includes the examination of theories and factors (both pedagogical and political) in first and second language development, universals and differences in language structure and use, and the transference of first and second language literacy skills. Includes instructional strategies for non-native English speakers (e.g., native language instruction, sheltered/SDAIE approaches, English language development) integrated into a multicultural curriculum with linguistically appropriate assessment methods, and content aligned with state standards.

207 - Conflict in Education

How are the American values of equity and opportunity evident in the history and structure of the nation's public school system? This course examines key U.S. Supreme Court decisions and the following areas of policy debate and conflict with particular emphasis on the Constitution: Bilingual education, funding/expenditures, immigrant education, desegregation, special education, affirmative action, and equal resources.

213 - Chicano Education

This course will cover the historical and current educational issues relating to the largest non-white population in the United States Latinos. The term "Chicano" is used in the political context to reflect the struggle for educational equality of all Latinos. The course emphasizes the social, political, and economic condition of Chicano students and the impact these conditions have on their educational success in the United States.

215 - Educating African America

This course critically examines the history of the education of Africans in the United States beginning at the Middle Passage, through Reconstruction and the post-bellum South, to contemporary post-industrial urban contexts. Emphasizing the sociohistorical and political-economic dimensions of schooling African Americans, the course explores the role of key factors in shaping the academic 'success' and 'failure' of Black students historically and in current K-16 contexts. Analysis of case law, policy, and practice will inform our understanding of African American experiences in schools nationally and locally. Further, we consider the implications these experiences hold for democratic participation and the overall life chances of African American citizens.

217 - Educational Policy

National reform efforts (e.g., Nation at Risk, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top) have permeated the educational establishment for decades, yet the achievement gap between rich and poor, and white - non-white students has shown no appreciable progress. This course will analyze current and past policies in education intended to improve the educational experience of all students and address this achievement gap. Students will receive an understanding of policy formation, the effect of applied research relative to educational policy and then select a reform policy (e.g., value-added teacher pay, class size, charter schools, etc.) to further investigate as a project field assignment.

219 - Educational Inequality

This course will analyze the educational infrastructure PK-16 pipeline to examine the nature of inequality. The following three areas will be examined: 1) theories of educational inequality, 2) research on inequality, and 3) policies of inequality. Students will gain a basic understanding of the theories of educational inequality as they relate to genetic, cultural, school and societal perspectives using critical theoretical lenses. Students will also examine the research addressing educational inequality paying attention to designs, methods and samples covered. And finally, students will analyze educational policies that either reproduce or eliminate inequalities.

281 - Introduction to Data Analysis & Interpretation

This class provides students with the ability to develop a conceptual and practical understanding of research and evaluation in education and the social sciences. Course topics include basic statistics, survey design, data analysis, article critique, and data interpretation. The course will allow students to  demonstrate a proficient knowledge of basic statistics (ranging from basic descriptive statistics to inferential statistics),research design, and analysis. Students will advance from being consumers of knowledge, to being critical when reading previous literature. Students will be introduced to the following concepts: Descriptive Statistics (including Cross-Tabulation), Correlation, Reliability and Validity, One and Two Sample Statistical Tests, ANOVAs, and Simple and Multiple Regression.

300 - Community Engagement in Education

This seminar will provide students with an opportunity to gain field experiences in an educational setting in urban Los Angeles. Students will select either a public school, a community-based organization, or a policy-making group as a site in which to develop a field-based research project. Regular meetings in seminar will guide students as they spend the semester in a carefully crafted and mutually agreed upon "internship/fieldwork" experience that will culminate in a semester-end project report that addresses an educational issue of import to the fieldwork site. Prerequisite: EDUC 201 and EDUC 207, or instructor permission. May be repeated for credit.
2 units

314 - Literacy and Language for Culturally Diverse Secondary Schools

Principles and techniques for creating teacher-student-text interactions, vocabulary development, comprehension, and study skills in all school subjects for all students (including English language learners) at the middle school, junior high, and senior high levels. Topics include diagnostic procedures, activating background schemata, English language development, different instructional models and constructivist-based instructional materials, skills development, standards-based and high-stakes assessment, reading for English language learners/speakers, and procedures for improving students' reading habits and interests. Prerequisites: Education 201 and, 205 (concurrent or permission of instructor).

315 - Critical Pedagogy in Secondary Urban Schools

In this course, the students will understand that unlike traditional perspectives of education that claim to be neutral and apolitical, critical pedagogy views all education theory as intimately linked to ideologies shaped by power, politics, history and culture. Given this view, schooling functions as a terrain of ongoing struggle over what will be accepted as legitimate knowledge and culture. In accordance with this notion, critical pedagogy must seriously address the concept of cultural politics both legitimizing and challenging cultural experiences that comprise the histories and social realities that in turn comprise the forms and boundaries that give meaning to student lives. This course will ask students to conduct 15 hours of fieldwork to analyze and evaluate the current state of urban education as well as see transformational models that are possible

320 - Critical Race Theory in Education

Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a historic movement among legal scholars of color in the U.S. that has enjoyed widespread application in a number of disciplines, including Education. This course introduces students to CRT through a close reading of the key writings that formed the movement. We will examine the application of CRT in education research, theory and practice contextualized in a variety of settings including schools, community-based organizations, and other relevant spaces. Specific attention will be paid to the CRT methodology of counter-storytelling and its utility in centering the experiential knowledge of people of color in education. Prerequisite: A 200-level course in Education, or instructor permission

350 - Freire, Fanon, & Freedom in Education

"How can the oppressed, as divided, unauthentic beings, participate in developing the pedagogy of their liberation?" This course focuses on Freire's theoretical, pedagogical, and practical contributions to contemporary movements in critical pedagogy, critical literacy, and educating for ‘social justice'. Beginning with Franz Fanon's influences on Freirean thinking about revolution and decolonization, we will analyze the construction of the ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed'. We pay particular attention to the role of the Hegelian dialectic as a driving philosophical method, as well as the significance of Freirean themes in understanding contemporary schooling, education, community activism, and vocation in general. Students will analyze, critique, and reflect upon their own framing philosophies for personal engagement with oppressed peoples and communities - towards the broader goal of defining an individual role in the development of a pedagogy of the oppressed that both negotiates and is informed by students' multiple identities. Prerequisite: A 200-level course in Education, or instructor permission.

397 - Independent Study in Education

Interested students must obtain Guidelines for Independent Study from the Department and complete the appropriate contract from the Registrar. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
2 or 4 units

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