Schools, Culture, and Society

Uploaded by universityofiowa on 16.07.2012

What we have here is a group people trained in history of education, philosophy of education,
sociology of education, who are looking at issues in education really from these disciplinary
perspectives. And so our students at both the Masters and PhD level gain exposure to
that. They learn what kind of questions does a sociologist of education ask about education
and what does asking those questions tell us about education. One of the things that
I really appreciate about Schools, Culture, and Society is that we do not try to recreate
ourselves. And so that may seem like a given, but I think it's really unique in that we
really do allow our students to explore and research the areas of which they're really
interested in. We have students exploring different areas. We're very open to diversifying
your areas. We talk a lot about equity in education and, again, how students either
have been denied access or they've had access more so than other people. I think that's
what is really unique about us, you don't have to do exactly what we do, but we will
give you, we will show you, the tools of the sociologist, of the historian, of the philosopher,
of the person who wants to do comparative education. So, students are truly free to
explore. We know that there are discrepancies in education, and those discrepancies fall
in a number of different areas. And so, again, if you've ever wondered why schools work the
way they work, or don't work the way you feel they should work, you can explore that here.
Well, the relationship with students really develops over the time that they're here,
and that's a really neat thing to see them grow and to work with them, see what interests
develop. We don't expect people to know their dissertation topic if they start the PhD program
or coming in as Masters students, we expect that they want to learn and figure out what
their main interests are. Our classes tend to be small and so it's a really great opportunity
to develop relationships with students in class as well. We have various assistantships
within the departments that are available to students and there are teaching assistant
opportunities so there are various things and we work with students after admission
to try to line up something. Most of our students have funding one way or another. If we think
students stand a good chance, we put them up for fellowships at the university level.
And, again, that's not guaranteed, but we have had success in getting those fellowships
for students. We're not always looking, in Schools, Culture, and Society, for the bad,
you know. We want to know what works in schools and we understand that, you know, there are
testing movements, there are all kinds of movements that we have gone through in education,
but Schools, Culture, and Society, allows you to study those movements.