The Education Studies major allows students to investigate the compelling and demanding world of education and the unique relationship between education, politics, and society in both historical and contemporary contexts, domestic and international. What defines an educated person? What does education have to do with power? How do the place and purpose of education vary across the globe? How do race and ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, religion, citizenship status, and (dis)ability inform the way education is conceived and experienced?
The program is grounded in the view that the study of education as a cultural process is crucial to understanding a wide range of social phenomena, such as state and identity formation, citizenship, human rights, economic and political transformation, violence and war, media, globalization, immigration, and social movements. The courses in the major engage with these topics and take up notions of teaching and learning in a range of sites including schools, international development programs, the workplace, community organizations, government agencies, families, and neighborhoods. Designed to stretch interdisciplinary boundaries, the program invites students to explore education from a variety of theoretical and empirical perspectives—anthropological, sociological, historical, psychological, and political—and to examine the interplay between broader social processes and local and international conditions. The curriculum places emphasis on the cultivation of analytical abilities enabling students to investigate emergent issues in education, develop a critical global sensibility, and promote justice and equality through passionate and reflexive social action.
Students majoring in Education Studies are central to the civic engagement mission of Eugene Lang College. The college is located in New York City, one of the nation's largest and most dynamic and historic public school districts and one of the world's most demographically diverse cities. By participating in internship programs through the Institute for Urban Education and a variety of civic engagement courses, students can work directly with schools, community-based organizations, prisons, nutrition and literacy campaigns, museums, and unionization efforts. Combined with an ongoing interdisciplinary lecture series that brings together national scholars and thought leaders, these offerings enable students to engage in civic life and social activism and to explore the nexus of theory and practice. Students also have the opportunity to participate in study abroad programs that turn a critical eye toward transnational contexts and to explore how education becomes linked with technologies of imperialism and development.
Upon graduation, students who complete the major in Education Studies are well positioned to pursue careers in public service; to enter programs certifying them to teach in public schools; to undertake graduate study in fields such as international relations and education, urban education, policy and reform, sociology, anthropology, social work, and public health; and to work in nontraditional educational, cultural, and nonprofit institutions and community and youth development organizations.
Education Studies also offers two vibrant civic engagement programs: Lang in Cambodia (Facebook page here) and Healthclass2.0.