Immigration, Education and the American Dream
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Division: Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Department: Education Studies
Course Number: LEDU 3024
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: Yes
Since the founding of the United States, schools have played a central role in socializing diverse children into American identities. Education has been used strategically with the goal of achieving the national motto, “e pluribus unum”—out of many, one. Immigrants from all over the world have flocked to the United States, believing that an American education is the key to their success, and if they work hard enough, they can rise through the ranks and “make it.” Yet this American Dream is rife with contradictions, and the disconnect that many immigrants find between these promised opportunities and their daily realities has led to significant disillusionment and disenfranchisement. This course will explore the ways in which the American school system decides who “belongs" in the United States, who is “American,” and what opportunities they deserve. We will also investigate cultural conflicts that continue to rage in schools, such as conflicts over religious expression, multicultural curriculum, and bilingual education. While this course will focus on the American experience, a few comparative examples from will be brought in to examine how other nations are addressing increasingly diverse student populations.
Open to Undergraduate students.