Education Studies

Forest Hall

Forest Hall, home of the Department of Education Studies

Why minor in Education Studies?

Education Studies is the exploration of areas related to education, and the Wabash Department of Education Studies offers a program that both prepares those headed toward a career in the classroom, and explores the big questions of educational philosophy, policy, history, and practice. Those questions, and their answers, lie at the heart of the liberal arts, engaging students in dialog related to human educational development and educational systems. Such flexibility is an attractive option for students in any major, allowing for critical thought on practical topics.

While the minor in education studies at Wabash does not include teacher certification, we maintain the commitment of the first Wabash faculty member Caleb Mills – the father of the Indiana public school system – to the preparation of teachers through a deep and wide-ranging liberal arts education. Alumni of our program become classroom teachers and school administrators through alternative licensure programs offered in many U.S. cities and states (see our Resources page for a partial list of programs Wabash alumni have entered after graduation). Education Studies faculty members are happy to discuss future career and graduate studies options with prospective and current students.

Combined with majors and minors in a variety of departments, the minor in education studies can lead to careers and community engagement opportunities in education policy, school teaching and administration, educational psychology, school counseling, museum education, health education, corporate training, sales, business management, non-profit management, youth services, social work, ministry, higher education, and a host of other fields.

Students interested in learning more are encouraged to speak with a member of the education studies faculty or take one of our courses that satisfies distribution requirements for a Wabash degree.

Requirements for the Minor

Educational Foundations2
Intro to Child & Adolescent Development
Philosophy of Education
Curriculum and Pedagogy1
Select one credit from the following:
Adolescent Literacy Development
Civic Literacy & Democracy
Diversity and Multicultural Education
Theory and Practice of Peer Tutoring
Electives2
Total Credits5

EDU-101 Intro to Child & Adolescent Development

The course examines child and adolescent development through the lens of education. Using a variety of course texts, students are introduced to theories of development and to the concept of diversity as it relates to child and adolescent development. Focusing on elements of development, including biological/physical, cognitive, social, identity, and language with some attention to moral - students engage in school and community-based field placements as they are introduced to qualitative data collection/analysis techniques. EDU 101 students compose a variety of reflective essays and analytical reports based on field work and course texts. Field Component: EDU 101 students are required to complete a total of 15 hours of field work spread across the semester in three school settings (elementary, middle, and high school) and/or community-based organizations (e.g., Boys & Girls Club). While the nature of the field work is largely observational and students do not have explicit teaching responsibilities, they are expected to be engaged in the life of the host classes or community organization, and to interact with hosts in ways that are helpful and foster understanding of child and adolescent development. Background checks are required by local school and community-based settings.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

EDU-201 Philosophy of Education

This class will examine foundational questions about education (e.g., What is the nature and purpose of education?) with a particular focus upon the role of public schools in a democratic society. We will read and watch texts drawn from philosophy, as well as from literature and history, as we consider the nature of teaching and learning at the classroom level and within the broader society. Issues addressed typically include: tensions between individual students' development and the needs of the broader society; the role of the educational system in a diverse and multicultural society; the nature and goals of classroom relationship (teacher/student and student/student); and approaches to educational reform. Level: Open to any student; required of all Education Studies minors. Offered fall and spring semesters.
Prerequisites: ENG-101, or waiver of Composition requirement
Credit: 1
Distribution: History/Philosophy/Religion

EDU-203 Adolescent Literacy Development

This course examines adolescent literacy development, defined as an ongoing process distinct from early literacy development and characterized by intellectual and social practices both in and out of school. Students will explore the various dimensions of adolescent literacy, including digital and interdisciplinary literacies as well as the social, cultural, and political domains that inform adolescents' identity development. Students will learn about how the literacy experiences for adolescents have dramatically expanded in recent years. To reflect this expansion, course texts will include classic and contemporary young adult literature, digital texts including blogs and gaming, as well as popular music and social media. Part of the course will be devoted to investigating the ways in which middle and high school pedagogical practices have kept pace with the changing landscape of adolescent literacy. Other topics guiding our discussions will include: the impact multiple literacies have on adolescent development and how those literacies are valued and devalued in schools. EDU-203 counts as curriculum and pedagogy credit for the minor in Education Studies, and is open to all students as an elective. No prerequisites.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1

EDU-230 Special Topics in Education

Since the content of this course varies from semester to semester, it may be repeated for credit upon the instructor's approval. The Course Descriptions document on the Registrar's webpage provides topics and descriptions of current offerings.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1

EDU-235 Studies in Rural Education

According to the Center for Public Education Approximately half the school districts in the United States are located in rural areas, yet urban and suburban schools attract most of the nation's attention both in terms of education policy and academic research. This course offers an introduction to rural education, focusing on the various historical, cultural, economic, social, and political factors that shape rural education in the U.S. Students will explore some of the most pressing issues facing rural schools: the ramifications of state and federal funding, the challenges of hiring and retaining teachers, the viability of popular reform initiatives (e.g., school consolidation, rural charter schools, and distance learning), underlying conditions of poverty, and curricular programming including career and college readiness. The course is open to all students.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5

EDU-240 Educational Policy & Evaluation

This course examines educational policy at the federal and state levels. We will explore the role of educational policy in guiding educational evaluation, with particular focus upon the use-and abuse-of statistical approaches to the evaluation of teaching and learning. After an introduction to the assumptions underlying qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods designs for educational research, the focus turns to the ways in which teaching and learning processes are understood and measured in public education. Standardized testing and common practices such as "quantitizing" qualitative data are examined for their assumptions and limitations in educational settings. The goal of the course is the development of quantitative skills and literacies needed for critical participation in public discussions and decision-making about these metrics as tools for diagnosis and reform in public education. In particular, students will be prepared to better evaluate political debate and news coverage related to the assessment of teaching and learning. Calculation of descriptive statistics commonly used in classroom assessments and in standardized educational measures, including those with normal and with skewed distributions, is taught using Excel. Substantial practice is devoted to representation and interpretation of quantitative data, using Excel's graphing and charting functions.
Prerequisites: FRT-101, or waiver of Freshman Tutorial requirement
Credit: 1
Distribution: Quantitative Literacy

EDU-250 Civic Literacy & Democracy

This course is designed for students interested in the role of public education in the development of the civic and historic literacy needed for effective multicultural democracy in our diverse and global world. As the founders of the U.S. system of public education knew, hot-button current events can become highly politicized in the absence of deeper knowledge and understanding of the conditions that have led to the present. However, as works such as The 1619 Project, James Loewen's Lies My Teacher Told Me, Howard Zinn's The People's History of the United States, and others have argued, much of the K-12 history and civics content vital to meaningful engagement with such issues has simply never been taught in U.S. classrooms; it is considered too "messy," or disruptive. In this class, we consider what kinds of social studies content would be required to meet the needs of responsible democratic citizenship and governance today. We inquire into selected current messy" topics and explore the underlying social and historic forces that have led to the present moment. Topics taught in a given year may vary, but will be be drawn from current and recent events. Recent topics have included #BlackLivesMattter; Indigenous treaty rights including pipeline protests such as the Standing Rock Water Protectors' encampment; removal/repurposing of Confederate monuments; immigrant rights and exclusion policies and practices; educational access and attainment in relation to systemic power; and social /political trends including populist and authoritarian/fascist movements in the present and in history.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1
Distribution: History/Philosophy/Religion

EDU-303 Diversity and Multicultural Education

This course introduces students to a sociological study of diversity in the U.S. system of public education, with particular attention to schools as sites of social conservation and reproduction. Readings, discussions, and written assignments explore the ways in which opportunity and (in)equality that exist in the wider society are reflected and perpetuated by typical approaches in U.S. schools. These explorations of challenges for schools are accompanied by an examination of multicultural and inclusive curricula and instructional practices. We consider the theoretical underpinnings of multicultural education as well as examples of curricula and practices designed to ameliorate education inequities. Meets the Diversity Requirement for the PPE major.
Prerequisites: FRT-101 (required); EDU-201 (recommended)
Credit: 1
Distribution: Behavioral Science

EDU-314 Theory and Practice of Peer Tutoring

This course introduces students to composition and rhetoric theories, to theories behind peer tutoring, to the confluences and conflicts between the different theories, and to the, at times, obscured foundations of the different theories. After critically reviewing multiple theoretic approaches, the course shifts to the practice of peer tutoring and reconciling reality with theory when they start observing or conducting sessions in the Writing Center. As the course progresses, the focus shifts to mentoring writing, describing and teaching composition methods, and using grammar options as rhetorical tools. The course is required for all Writing Center Consultants, but it is open to English Majors and Minors and students in Education Studies. Students taking the course to work in the Writing Center will start conducting sessions towards the middle of the semester.
Prerequisites: FRT-101 and FRC-101
Credit: 1
Distribution: Language Studies
Equated Courses: ENG-314

EDU-330 Studies in Urban Education

In this course students study issues related to urban education; in some years it may culminate with an immersion trip in May during the week between finals and graduation. In addition to considering the needs and challenges of urban communities and their schools, we will examine the growing use of alternative licensure programs such as Teach For America (TFA) to provide teachers for high-needs urban school districts across the country.
Prerequisites: EDU-101 and one additional credit in EDU
Credits: 0.5

EDU-370 Special Topics

This course is a seminar focused upon historical and/or philosophical topics in education and of considers global and comparative issues. The emphasis is upon shared exploration of the general background to the issue, typically accompanied by development of an independent research project connected to it. Because the content varies from year to year, this course may be repeated for credit with instructor permission. Level: Counts toward the elective requirement for the Education Studies minor. Refer to the Course Descriptions document on the Registrar's webpage for Topics and Descriptions of current offerings.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1

EDU-372 Colonial & Postcolonial Ed

This seminar in the history of education examines the ways in which colonial systems of education have been envisioned and implemented for the inculcation of colonizing values and perspectives among indigenous peoples. Readings and theoretical approaches include primary colonial accounts, and postcolonial, anti- colonial and decolonial analyses, memoirs, oral histories, and other primary and secondary sources. Regions and groups considered may include any of the following: European colonial activities in the Caribbean, Africa, and/or Asia, as well as internal colonization of indigenous peoples in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. After shared exploration of readings and other materials, students conduct independent research into the educational experiences of a country or region of their choice. This course counts as an elective for the Education Studies minor. Prior course in Education Studies or History above the 100 level required.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1

EDU-387 Independent Study

Individual research projects. The manner of study will be determined by the student in consultation with the instructor. Students must receive written approval of their project proposal from a department Chair before registering for the course.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1

EDU-388 Independent Study

Individual research projects. The manner of study will be determined by the student in consultation with the instructor. Students must receive written approval of their project proposal from a department Chair before registering for the course.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1

EDU-487 Independent Study

Individual research projects. The manner of study will be determined by the student in consultation with the instructor. Students must receive written approval of their project proposal from a department Chair before registering for the course.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1

EDU-488 Independent Study

Individual research projects. The manner of study will be determined by the student in consultation with the instructor. Students must receive written approval of their project proposal from a department Chair before registering for the course.
Prerequisites: none
Credits: 0.5-1

Education Studies Faculty

Michele Pittard

Deborah Seltzer-Kelly (chair)