Educational Studies

Guided by the assumption that an understanding of educational values, policies, and practices is a legitimate and important part of liberal arts studies, Carleton offers a program of courses which, with the exception of student teaching, are open to all students. No major is offered; however, we do offer an interdisciplinary minor for those students who are especially interested in educational studies but not necessarily in public school teaching.

Students may also qualify for 5-12 teaching licensure in the State of Minnesota in communication arts, mathematics, earth and space science, life science, and social studies. 7-12 licensure is offered in chemistry and physics. K-12 licensure is offered in world languages (French, German, Spanish) and visual arts. Earning licensure requires: completion of an approved Carleton major; other subject area courses not required by the Carleton major and/or specific courses within the major; a specified program of educational studies courses (see the Teacher Education Handbook); and student teaching in the major field, usually in a "13th Term."

Students interested in pursuing teaching licensure should obtain a handbook from the department office and should consult with a member of the education faculty early in their sophomore year. There will be courses only offered at St. Olaf through the inter-registration process which are required for licensure. Students are encouraged to make formal application for admission to the teacher education program during the spring term of their sophomore year.

Carleton's licensure programs are approved by the Board of Teaching of the Minnesota Department of Education.

Educational Studies Minor

The Educational Studies Minor provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of education as an individual pursuit, an institutional venture, and a societal imperative. The minor aims to develop thoughtful, skillful and imaginative students of the psychology, social and cultural history, and politics of education. Students will pursue the study of education as a liberal art, one that both reveals the constraints of socialization and informs alternative visions of self and community. The minor is appropriate for students of all majors interested in the stewardship of education as a cornerstone of democracy.

Requirements for the Educational Studies Minor

All students will be required to take a minimum of seven courses: three core courses, three supporting courses and a senior seminar. Students interested in the minor are advised to begin their study during their sophomore year.

Core Courses:

Supporting Courses: Select one course from each of the three clusters; these courses must be from three different departments. The list below is not an exhaustive one. Please check the appropriate department pages for course descriptions and prerequisites and when courses are offered. We can neither control nor predict when courses from other departments are offered. If you have difficulty enrolling in a course for a particular cluster, please see the minor adviser to discuss other courses that might fulfill the requirement.

Cluster I Learning, Cognition and Development The purpose of this cluster is to provide additional perspective about how K-12 students develop physically, cognitively and socially. This cluster builds on the core course, Educational Psychology.

  • CCST 100 Growing up Cross-Culturally
  • CGSC 130 Revolutions in Mind: An Introduction to Cognitive Science (not offered in 2017-18)
  • CGSC 232 Cognitive Processes (not offered in 2017-18)
  • CGSC 236 Thinking, Reasoning, and Decision Making
  • CGSC 386 Adolescent Cognitive Development: Developing an Identity and Life Plans
  • EDUC 344 Teenage Wasteland: Adolescence and the American High School (not offered in 2017-18)
  • PSYC 210 Psychology of Learning
  • PSYC 232 Cognitive Processes (not offered in 2017-18)
  • PSYC 250 Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC 258 Social Cognition (not offered in 2017-18)
  • PSYC 366 Cognitive Neuroscience (not offered in 2017-18)
  • PSYC 398 Cognitive and Developmental Psychology

    Cluster II Social and Cultural Context of Schooling in a Diverse Society The purpose of this cluster is to provide an in-depth understanding of the broader historical, social and cultural context in which U.S. educational institutions are located. This cluster builds on the background knowledge provided by the core courses Introduction to Educational Studies and Multicultural Education.

    • AMST 115 Introduction to American Studies: Immigration and American Culture
    • EDUC 340 Race, Immigration, and Schools
    • HIST 122 U.S. Women's History to 1877
    • HIST 123 U.S. Women's History Since 1877
    • HIST 125 African American History I (not offered in 2017-18)
    • HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2017-18)
    • HIST 219 Is Obama Black?: American Mixed Race History (not offered in 2017-18)
    • HIST 224 Divercities: Exclusion and Inequality in Urban America (not offered in 2017-18)
    • HIST 228 Civil Rights and Black Power (not offered in 2017-18)
    • HIST 229 Working with Gender in U.S. History (not offered in 2017-18)
    • IDSC 203 Talking about Diversity
    • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
    • PSYC 384 Psychology of Prejudice (not offered in 2017-18)
    • RELG 140 Religion and American Culture (not offered in 2017-18)
    • SOAN 114 Modern Families: An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family
    • SOAN 218 Asians in the United States (not offered in 2017-18)
    • SOAN 226 Anthropology of Gender (not offered in 2017-18)
    • SOAN 227 Masculinities and Gender (not offered in 2017-18)
    • SOAN 259 Comparative Issues in Native North America (not offered in 2017-18)
    • SOAN 272 Race and Ethnicity in the United States (not offered in 2017-18)
    • SOAN 283 Immigration and Immigrants in Europe and the United States (not offered in 2017-18)
    • SOAN 350 Diversity and Democracy in America
    • WGST 110 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

      Cluster III Public Policy and Educational Reform The purpose of this cluster is to explore the public policy contexts, issues and questions that are most relevant to educational policy making and school reform. This cluster builds on the background knowledge provided by the core course Introduction to Educational Studies.

      • ECON 246 Economics of Welfare (not offered in 2017-18)
      • ECON 270 Economics of the Public Sector (not offered in 2017-18)
      • EDUC 100 Will This Be on the Test? Standardized Testing and American Education
      • EDUC 225 Issues in Urban Education (not offered in 2017-18)
      • EDUC 245 The History of American School Reform
      • EDUC 250 Fixing Schools: Politics and Policy in American Education
      • EDUC 260 The Politics of Teaching
      • EDUC 353 Schooling and Opportunity in American Society (not offered in 2017-18)
      • POSC 201 Lobbyists, Wonks and Social Media: Public Policy Making in Democracy (not offered in 2017-18)
      • POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States (not offered in 2017-18)
      • POSC 338 Politics of Inequality and Poverty*
      • SOAN 115 Inequality in American Society (not offered in 2017-18)

        Senior Seminar:

        Educational Studies Courses

        EDUC 100 Will This Be on the Test? Standardized Testing and American Education How and why have standardized tests become so central to our educational system? This seminar will explore the following topics, among others--the invention of standardized tests and the growth of the testing industry; psychometrics (the science of mental measurement); and the controversies surrounding the use of standardized tests, including charges that they are culturally biased and do not positively contribute to student learning. Our analyses will be informed by a close examination of authentic testing materials, ranging from intelligence tests to the SAT. 6 credits; AI, WR1, IDS; Fall; Jeff Snyder
        EDUC 110 Introduction to Educational Studies This course will focus on education as a multidisciplinary field of study. We will explore the meanings of education within individual lives and institutional contexts, learn to critically examine the assumptions that writers, psychologists, sociologists and philosophers bring to the study of education, and read texts from a variety of disciplines. What has "education" meant in the past? What does "education" mean in contemporary American society? What might "education" mean to people with differing circumstances and perspectives? And what should "education" mean in the future? Open only to first-and second-year students. 6 credits; SI, WR2, IDS; Fall, Winter, Spring; Anita P Chikkatur, Kathryn L Wegner
        EDUC 225 Issues in Urban Education This course is an introduction to urban education in the United States. Course readings and discussion will focus on various perspectives in the field in order to understand the key issues and debates confronting urban schools. We will examine historical, political, economic, and socio-cultural frameworks for understanding urban schools, students and teachers. Through course readings, field visits and class discussions, we explore the following: (1) student, teacher and researcher perspectives on urban education, (2) the broader sociopolitical urban context of K-12 schooling in cities, (3) teaching and learning in urban settings and (4) ideas about re-imagining urban education. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Not offered 2017-18
        EDUC 234 Educational Psychology Human development and learning theories are studied in relation to the teaching-learning process and the sociocultural contexts of schools. Three hours outside of class per week are devoted to observing learning activities in public school elementary and secondary classrooms and working with students. 6 credits; SI; Fall; Kasey E Michel
        EDUC 245 The History of American School Reform This course explores major issues in the history of school reform in the United States, with an emphasis on the twentieth century. Readings and discussions examine the role of education in American society, the various and often competing goals of school reformers, and the dynamics of educational change. With particular focus on the American high school, this course looks at why so much reform has produced so little change. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Spring; Jeff Snyder
        EDUC 250 Fixing Schools: Politics and Policy in American Education How can we fix American public schools? What is "broken" about our schools? How should they be repaired? And who should lead the fix? This course will examine the two leading contemporary educational reform movements: accountability and school choice. With an emphasis on the nature of the teaching profession and the work of foundations, this course will analyze the policy agendas of different reform groups, exploring the dynamic interactions among the many different stakeholders responsible for shaping American education. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Fall; Jeff Snyder
        EDUC 254 Teaching Exceptional Students This course considers the identification, planning, non-discriminatory testing and instruction of exceptional students. The course includes the topics: the needs and rights of exceptional students, speech/language impaired students, hearing impaired students, visually impaired students, physically impaired students, gifted and talented students, learning disabled students, and emotionally disturbed students. Prerequisite: Educational Studies 234. 3 credits; NE, IDS; Not offered 2017-18
        EDUC 260 The Politics of Teaching Teaching is a political act. Each decision a teacher makes has the power to reinforce or disrupt dominant social hierarchies. In this course, we will explore this premise to understand how teachers navigate power and politics in and out of their classrooms. Students will read educational research in critical pedagogy and critical policy studies, interact with guest speakers, and take field trips to meet teachers in their classrooms. Topics may include racial justice, climate change, and teachers’ unions. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Winter; Kathryn L Wegner
        EDUC 338 Multicultural Education This course focuses on the respect for human diversity, especially as these relate to various racial, cultural and economic groups, and to women. It includes lectures and discussions intended to aid students in relating to a wide variety of persons, cultures, and life styles. Prerequisite: 100 or 200-level Educational Studies course or instructor permission. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Spring; Anita P Chikkatur
        EDUC 340 Race, Immigration, and Schools This course explores the important role that public schools have played in the American national imagination as the way to socialize students about what it means to be American and to prepare them to participate as citizens in a democracy. Focusing on two periods of high rates of immigration into the United States (1890-1920 and 1965-present), the course examines how public schools have attempted to Americanize newly arrived immigrant children as well as to socialize racial minority children into the American mainstream. While most of the readings will focus on urban schools, the course will also consider the growing immigrant populations in rural schools through readings and applied ACE projects. Prerequisite: 100 or 200-level Educational Studies course or instructor permission. 6 credits; SI, IDS; Fall; Anita P Chikkatur
        EDUC 344 Teenage Wasteland: Adolescence and the American High School Is adolescence real or invented? How does the American high school affect the nature of American adolescence? How does adolescence affect the characteristics of middle and high schools? In addition to treating the concept historically, this interdisciplinary course focuses on psychological, sociological, and literary views of adolescence in and out of the classroom. We will also analyze how adolescence is represented in popular culture, including television, film, and music. Prerequisite: 100 or 200-level Educational Studies course. 6 credits; SI; Not offered 2017-18
        EDUC 353 Schooling and Opportunity in American Society This course is concerned with both the role of schools in society and the impact of society on schools. It deals with race, ethnicity, sex, social class and other factors which influence school achievement, and also examines the widespread assumption that the expansion of schooling can increase equality of opportunity in society. Prerequisite: 100 or 200-level Educational Studies course or instructor permission. 6 credits; SI, QRE, IDS; Not offered 2017-18
        EDUC 355 Student Teaching Fulltime teaching in middle and high school under supervision. Prerequisite: 13th term teacher licensure candidate, special methods in teaching area, and instructor permission. 6 credits; S/CR/NC; NE; Fall; Kathryn L Wegner
        EDUC 356 Student Teaching Fulltime teaching in middle and high school under supervision. Prerequisite: 13th term teacher licensure candidate, special methods in teaching area, and instructor permission. 6 credits; S/CR/NC; NE; Fall; Kathryn L Wegner
        EDUC 386 Pre-Student Teaching Practicum: Teaching Reading in the Content Areas This course is required for all students pursuing teacher licensure, regardless of content area. The course provides a theoretical and practical foundation for helping secondary teachers learn to provide specific instructional support for secondary readers. The course will cover instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. Theoretical instruction will be combined with a clinical tutoring experience. This course also prepares students for their student teaching placement by providing licensure candidates with an opportunity to work directly in schools and community organizations related to schools and to reflect on that experience in a classroom setting. Prerequisite: Senior Teacher Licensure Candidates. 6 credits; NE; Spring; Cathy T Oehmke
        EDUC 395 Senior Seminar This is a research and design seminar for educational studies concentrators. It focuses on a contemporary issue in American education. Recent seminars have been on educational reform and reformers, service learning, literacy leaders in education, education and the emotions, and personal essays about education. Some off campus work with public school students and teachers is an integral part of the seminar. Prerequisite: Educational Studies minor or instructor permission. 6 credits; NE; Spring; Jeff Snyder