The Politics of Learning
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students
Department: Social Sciences
Course Number: NPOL 3482
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Education
We are living through bleak times in American education. Teachers and public schools are blamed for complex social problems; standardization, high stakes testing and privatization initiatives dominate the debates. This seminar explores diverse educational projects that defy these pressures: urban school reform that includes social justice curricula, untracked classrooms, and inquiry learning; culturally distinctive school systems in the context of globalization, e.g. Burma, Japan, or Finland; college in prison in a time of mass incarceration; the pros and cons of digital learning. Learning and teaching are central activities in all of our lives, inside and outside of school. Students reflect on their own educational choices as they investigate possibilities in the world around them. One focus of the course is for students to discover – and write about -- the assumptions that inform their thinking about learning. How do you believe people learn best? What kinds of educational communities and practices would be ideal? Can you imagine meaningful work as educators? How is change in education related to social change? Illustrative readings include: Sylvia Ashton-Warner, Kathy Boudin, Amy Chua, Cathy Davidson, John Dewey, Paulo Freire, Deborah Meier, Mike Rose
Course Open to: Degree Students