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AMCS 462 - Politics Of Education

In this course politics is interpreted broadly to not only include formal policy-making processes, but any situation in which people have to solve a problem or come to a decision. The purpose of this course is to explore the process of (1) how ideologies and power dynamics influence educational policies and decisions; (2) how educational policies and decisions influence pedagogies-especially in the relationships among students, teachers, and knowledge; (3) how pedagogies translate into specific school programs and practices; (4) how these programs and practices impact student opportunities and outcomes; and (5) how student outcomes and opportunities influence ideologies and power dynamics. In doing so, this course considers a variety of key educational institutions and actors at the local, state, and federal levels. This course also considers politics across time, space, and individuals-noting how historical, geographical, cultural, social, psychological, political, and economic contexts can shape the politics of education. Additionally, as this course considers the relationship between politics and power, we explore how politics can manifest itself in ways that promote exclusion and subjugation or work towards the common good. Specifically, we explore stories that demonstrate how politics can influence the lived experiences of individuals from various class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and other identity groups. Finally, after carefully examining the research on inequalities and inefficiencies resulting from the current politics of education, we will transition from problem identification (i.e. "What went wrong?") to problem solution ("Where do we go from here?").
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Spring 2021, Fall 2019
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