Major Concentrations

Educational Studies majors select one of two interdisciplinary concentrations that align with their academic interests and career goals. Both pathways prepare students to work against inequity and enact social change.

Major Concentrations

Curriculum, Instruction & Equity Concentration

Students pursuing the Curriculum, Instruction & Equity concentration can gain a foundation in child and youth development and explore approaches to learning and instruction inside and outside K12 settings.

Throughout their coursework, students will engage with Educational Studies core themes and consider questions such as:

  • What are the historical and contemporary contexts for (in)equity in education, and how does knowledge of the history of learning and instruction impact current educational practices? 
  • How do diverse contexts of youth development including family, school, community, and culture, influence how children and youth frame their own identities? 
  • How do educators design and employ curriculum and instructional practices to promote equity and social justice?  
  • How can educators be instructional leaders and change agents who dismantle systems of marginalization and who work toward social change?

Educational Leadership, Policy & Social Justice Concentration

Students pursuing the Educational Leadership, Policy & Social Justice concentration focus on critical perspectives on education history and policy and explore the tensions between education and social justice. Students examine how systems of marginalization that impact communities contribute to and influence educational policy and impact social justice.

Throughout their coursework, students will engage with Educational Studies core themes and consider questions such as:

  • What are the historical and contemporary contexts for (in)equity in education and society more broadly?  
  • What are the ways education has been used to perpetuate and/or dismantle systems of inequity? 
  • How can educators nurture partnerships with families and communities to amplify community voice and advocate for social change?

Educational Studies Core Themes

All students in the Educational Studies Major are expected to complete coursework and a field experience that showcases their critical reflection and learning related to the five core themes in the undergraduate degree. 

Education & Equity

Investigation of historic and contemporary struggles over issues of equity in the United States education system and evaluation of positions of various stakeholders and identification of strategies which have been used to move towards equity in United States education. 

Theories of Learning, Culture, & Identity 

Consideration of influential theories of learning, from those based in psychology and child development, to those influenced by anthropology and social justice and ways that these learning theories have been applied to teaching or assessment practices and educational policies, both historically and in current educational contexts.

Teaching & Learning in a Multicultural Society

Understanding of how critical elements in our multicultural society contribute to students’ school experiences. Exploration of ways in which race and ethnicity intersect with other factors including class, gender, sexual orientation, language, disability, and citizenship to influence students’ school experiences and provide important insights for culturally relevant teaching. Also, examination of complex social, cultural, political and economic issues that impact the communities where students live and consider the ways in which those factors are implicated in systems of power and privilege that influence students’ educational opportunities. 

Research & Educational Knowledge

Focus on how we “know” what we “know,” the political implications of such knowing, the positionality of who conducts and writes about educational research, and how educational research is used publicly in the political arena.

Area of Personal Significance

Identification of area of growth meaningful to the student in their pursuit of life-long learning and/or professional expertise relating to educational studies. This area may be a deepening of knowledge from one of the above four program themes or another area (e.g., in the arts, technology, ethics, philosophy, psychology, sciences).