Educational Studies Core Themes

Educational Studies Major

Core Themes & Learning Goals

All students in the Educational Studies major are expected to enroll in coursework, complete their Applied Experience placement, and create a capstone portfolio that showcases their critical reflection and learning related to the five core themes in the degree.

Education & Equity

Investigation of historic and contemporary struggles over issues of equity in the United States education system and evaluation of positions of various stakeholders and identification of strategies which have been used to move towards equity in United States education.

Theories of Learning, Culture, and Identity

Consideration of influential theories of learning, from those based in psychology and child development, to those influenced by anthropology and social justice and ways that these learning theories have been applied to teaching or assessment practices and educational policies, both historically and in current educational contexts.

Teaching & Learning in a Multicultural Society

Understanding of how critical elements in our multicultural society contribute to students’ school experiences. Exploration of ways in which race and ethnicity intersect with other factors including class, gender, sexual orientation, language, disability, and citizenship to influence students’ school experiences and provide important insights for culturally relevant teaching. Also, examination of complex social, cultural, political and economic issues that impact the communities where students live and consider the ways in which those factors are implicated in systems of power and privilege that influence students’ educational opportunities.

Research & Educational Knowledge 

Focus on how we “know” what we “know," the political implications of such knowing, the positionality of who conducts and writes about educational research, and how educational research is used publicly in the political arena.

Area of Personal Significance

Identification of area of growth meaningful to the student in their pursuit of life-long learning and/or professional expertise relating to educational studies. This area may be a deepening of knowledge from one of the above four program themes or another area (e.g., in the arts, technology, ethics, philosophy, psychology, sciences.)