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EDUC 390

Topics in Education Studies

Detailed study of theoretical and policy topics and issues related to education studies. May be repeated for credit with different topics. May not be taken pass/fail.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

Fall Semester information

Caitlin Howlett

390A: Tps:Ignorance and Imagination in Education

It is generally agreed upon that ignorance and imagination play central, albeit disparate, roles in education. On the one hand, ignorance is seen as an obstacle to be overcome in educative spaces, whereas, on the other hand, imagination is more ambiguous, sometimes something to cultivate, and, other times, something to move beyond, too. This course, however, will interrogate the relationship between these two aspects of education. We will begin the course by exploring epistemological ignorance, focusing on how ignorance operates actively in education to structure was is, is not, and even can be "known," and also to challenge the assumption that the so-called solution to ignorance is more knowledge. Here, we will spend time thinking critically about the nature of knowledge itself, wrestling with understanding how definitions of knowledge always have political implications, and then questioning what this means for education. In an effort to make space for new educational possibilities, we will spend the remainder of the semester exploring the importance of speculative and radical imagination in cultivating two aims of critical, social justice-oriented education: world-making and resistance. Each week, we will explore philosophical and theoretical texts, fiction, and speculative/science fiction, from across disciplines and mediums, to deepen our understanding of what solution imagination might itself provide to the seemingly ever-expanding dominance of ignorance in schools and in society.


Sahar Sattarzadeh

390B: Tps:Reimagining Resistance: An Educational Experiment

Renaming buildings, removing statues, teach-ins, boycotts, walk-outs, "street academies," digitized public syllabi, student protests, university reparations projects, and inviting scholars "from the margins" in conversation with popularized "Western" texts are only a sample of the revolutionary educational responses to injustices and inequities around the globe. Students will explore and engage with creative and innovative practices of past and contemporary events that interrogate meanings of education, resistance and resilience within diverse global educational contexts, especially within higher education. In this course, the DePauw University campus will also provide students an ideal laboratory space to experiment with how their "local" education can be used to advance justice and equity within and beyond the four walls of a classroom and globally.


Spring Semester information

Derek Ford

390A: Tps:Alternative Educational Spaces: Animals, Aesthetics, and Activism

This course looks not only at alternative educational spaces, but ways in which space itself is educative. Engaging with literature in education, geography, animal studies, and art, we'll examine the ways education happens in and through spaces such as oceans, mountains, cities, art exhibits, protests, and more. Throughout, we'll pay particular attention to the various ways these spaces are produced through human and nonhuman actors.


Ronald Porter

390B: Tps:Contested Humanity: Black Pedagogical Thought and Praxis

The question of what constitutes "the human" has been of pivotal import since the rise of European modernity. While what it means to be human has been claimed to be a universal concept, the human has in fact been defined in ways that have been both narrow and exclusionary, especially in regards to race. The purpose of this course is to understand how black educational thinkers have gone about the task of not only critiquing Eurocentric ideals of humanity, but also redefining what it means to be human. Our study is important for several reasons: it will allow us to see how historical and philosophical debates concerning the human have influenced educational theory and transformation, it allows us to think about how we go about educating persons based on race and/or cultural background, and also provide the opportunity to consider how we can go about reconciling simultaneous commitments to diversity and the assertion of universal principles of human rights. We will engage these topics through readings, lectures, discussions, presentations, service, documentaries, films, music, yoga, and dance!


Jamie Stockton

390C: Tps:Historical Perspectives on American Curriculum Reform

Examines the historical development of school curricula within American public education. Focuses upon major curriculum reform efforts in the United States and historical interpretations of these reform efforts through the examination of original documents and other interpretive sources.