Chair: Betsy Brenner
The Department of Education is built around an active community of scholars—students, faculty, and staff—who are committed to the common goal of reshaping schooling so that all children in our diverse society will have the knowledge and abilities to become competent and productive citizens. Graduate students in the Department benefit from a wide range of faculty interests and research endeavors, and from opportunities to work closely with faculty to explore rigorously, through research and study, a chosen area of work.
The Education Department offers six different but complementary M.A. and Ph.D. emphases in the areas of research, development, and practice. An Ed.D. in educational leadership is being phased out.
The Department of Education is currently considering reorganization of its program and emphases. Admitted students will follow the program approved and in operation the quarter that they are admitted.
Child and Adolescent Development Emphasis
This emphasis educates students in the study of developmental change in the context of culture, family, school, community, and society. Cultural contexts of development, adult development, cross-cultural and cross-national comparative studies, and gender studies are primary foci of faculty research. Students receive training in basic and applied research that explores educational and mental health issues, including cultural processes, family studies, intervention research, and developmental research methods. The emphasis is committed to an ecological model that examines change within multiple settings (cultural groups, historical periods, neighborhoods, and activities) to find human universals as well as context specific differences in human development. Students will be grounded in theory and research on the major domains of study: cognitive, language, and social development.
The intellectual core of the emphasis represents a diverse array of theoretical perspectives on human development. However, students are also expected to look both beyond core requirements and outside of the Department of Education for additional training in research and theories that address their particular research interests.
Cultural Perspectives and Comparative Education Emphasis
The major purpose of this emphasis is to foster students’ understanding of how cultural processes influence learning, development, and education in both school and non-school settings. The emphasis offers a multidisciplinary perspective that brings anthropological, linguistic, psychological, and sociological theories to studies of cultural contexts of education. Areas of specific focus include studies of learning, development, and education in multilingual and multicultural populations, and in students from underrepresented groups, within national and/or international settings. Through research, teaching, and community service, the members of this emphasis seek to improve educational opportunities at a local and national level.
Educational Leadership and Organizations Emphasis
This emphasis prepares students who will fill teaching, administrative, research, academic, governmental, consultative, non-profit, or private-sector positions in local, regional, national, or international educational organizations. The emphasis stresses a balanced focus on disciplined-based theory in educational policy, organizations, leadership, and change and on practice in the design, conduct, and use of educational research. The curriculum emphasizes the theoretical, methodological, and practical knowledge that effective educational leaders need to become better scholars and/or appliers of new ideas and practices in their own organizational settings. At the same time, this curriculum thoroughly grounds that knowledge in understanding of the “real world” circumstances that shape modern educational policies, research, and practices. Graduates often fill teaching, administrative, or consultative positions in schooling (e.g., school district) or schooling-oriented (staff-development and training) settings.
Research Methodology Emphasis
This emphasis is intended to prepare students to be research methodologists who will be able to work successfully in universities, private research organizations, and government agencies. A goal of the Research Methodology emphasis is to provide students with a variety of perspectives on research methods.
The emphasis includes two basic courses of study: (1) Educational Statistics and Measurement and (2) Qualitative and Interpretive Research. Students in Educational Statistics and Measurement will learn to apply statistical analyses to educational data, including large-scale student achievement surveys, and will learn to apply psychometric theory to the development of educational and psychological measurement instruments and to the analysis of test data. Students in Qualitative and Interpretive Research will learn about such research approaches as interviewing techniques, ethnographic methods, discourse analysis, narrative analysis, and participant observation. Students who specialize in Qualitative and Interpretive Research must also be accepted into another emphasis offered in the program.
Special Education, Disabilities, and Risk Studies Emphasis
This emphasis is concerned with educating researchers and practitioners who will be knowledgeable, and further expand our knowledge, regarding the educational needs of students with disabilities or who are at educational risk. The philosophy is that researchers and practitioners need a contextualized view of students, within their school, home, and community, to understand their individual needs as well as the needs of the systems which are serving them. In this emphasis, students will obtain a multi-disciplinary perspective on children with special needs and their schools, families, and communities, through the combined efforts and knowledge of professionals from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. Graduate students will be grounded in theories of typical and atypical development.
Teaching and Learning Emphasis
This emphasis seeks to provide students with the knowledge and competencies neededto contribute to education in multiple ways. These roles include teaching, conducting research, and using teaching and learning theories and empirical findings to improve educational practices. Students in this emphasis learn to design and evaluate curricula, develop and research models of teacher education, research teaching methods, evaluate theories of human activity in teaching and learning settings, and attempt to understand educational reform issues from multiple perspectives. Students can further specialize in one of four areas: Language, Literacy, and Composition Studies; Mathematics Education; Science Education; and Teacher Education and Professional Development. Alternatively, students can plan their own areas of specialization in conjunction with their advisors. Through research, teaching, and community service, members of the Teaching and Learning Emphasis strive to improve educational opportunities at the local, state, and national levels.