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About the Curriculum for the Minor in Education

The education minor courses may be loosely grouped into topical areas, such as Educational Equity and Change; Educational Policy and Leadership; and Learning, Cognition, and Development. Selecting courses with general topical areas allows students to choose courses to pursue the student's individual interests. However, students are not required to do this. Education is highly interdisciplinary and studying across areas is highly recommended.

Students pursuing the minor in education complete their studies with a capstone course. It is offered in both the Fall and the Spring of each year. This course is to be taken in the last semester of studies for the minor. No more than one other course that will count for the minor may be taken in the semester a student enrolls in the capstone course. The capstone course has two purposes: 1. to discuss issues and ideas in education that will help the student be articulate in the educational debates of today and 2. to conduct an inquiry into a topic or project of interest to the student in the field of education, broadly defined. The project will culminate in a final paper and public presentation at Education Minor Inquiry Symposium held at the end of each semester during the Academic Year.

List of School of Education courses for the Minor in Education

Below is a list of courses offered by the School of Education that may count toward the Minor in Education.   These are the only School of Education courses that are approved to count toward the Education Minor.

Below is also a list of the College of Arts and Sciences courses that have been approved to count toward the minor in Education.

Note: Additional School of Education courses are being planned and will be added to the Minor’s list of courses as they are approved.

School of Education courses

EDUC 504: Learning in the Modern World (3) Prerequisite: None. Through committed involvement and careful thought, students will develop an understanding of current educational emphases and controversies, and what the research and scholarship in the fields of education and cognition can contribute to our understanding of these phenomena. By the end of the course, students will have created current, research-supported reports and video suitable for distribution to educators and others interested in fostering student learning.

EDUC 505: Leadership in Educational/Nonprofit Setting (3) Prerequisite: None. This course introduces students to a research-based, highly practical understanding of leadership frames/styles as well as that of a practicing educational/nonprofit leader. Students will learn strategies to address leadership styles to which they may be exposed in educational/ nonprofit organizations. Emphasizes continued student engagement with various leadership models and principles.

EDUC 506: Politics, Policymaking and America's Schools (3) Prerequisite: None. This course provides students with the opportunity to practice critical consumerism in the policy context. Through extensive case study and conversations with policy actors, students will learn the stages model of policy making and understand conflicting values that play out in policy decisions.

EDUC 508: Cultural Competence, Leadership and You (3) Prerequisite: None This course was developed to confront and address questions of global cultural competence and self-critique. Culturally competent leaders work to understand their own biases and patterns of discrimination.

EDUC 509: Helping Youth Thrive in K-12 Schools (3) Prerequisite: None Students will gain a critical lens on the deficit focus in education and have the disposition towards, scientific knowledge of, and opportunity to rehearse strengths-oriented approaches in education research, policy and practice. The course will bridge contemporary literature on positive psychology (e.g. hope, optimism), developmental assets, resiliency, cultural competence, flow, school readiness, school engagement/ connectedness in schools and positive youth development. These literatures include academic competence and learning, but have broader impact toward optimal development (e.g., college access, social development, wellness, extracurricular activities, career exploration and planning). Students will learn about K-12 school experiences, interviews and/or observations of strengths-based practice by school and related educational professionals. The course will include a self-awareness and examination of student’s own interests and life experiences in K-12 education, including assets and protective factors that were useful. The course will culminate in a project of a strengths-oriented research, policy or practice brief and/or potential career direction plan that centers on how they may impactimprove K-12 education.

EDUC 510: Mexican American/Chican@ Experience in Education (3) Prerequisite: None. This course examines the political, cultural, and historical dimensions of the Mexican American/Chican@ experience in education. We will explore various geopolitical sites of contestation, resistance, and immigration, including ongoing struggles in the southwestern U.S. and the new Latin@ diaspora. A critical exploration of K-12 schools, higher education, and various social initiatives intended to address inequities in education for Mexican Americans/Chican@s will also be a key focus of this class.

EDUC 511: The Politics of Reading (3) Prerequisite: None. This course will help students develop an understanding of how ideological and theoretical models of literacy have informed reading curriculum and instruction and how the political landscape of reading supports growth for some students and fosters inequities amongst others. Students will learn about major historical political events in reading (i.e. The Reading Wars, No Child Left Behind).

EDUC 521: Schools, Cultures, and Communities I: Youth (3) Prerequisite: None. Focus on youth in schools. This course considers the history and present lives of youth, primarily as teenagers/adolescents. It seeks recognition and understanding of the uniqueness of their lives.

EDUC 522: Schools, Cultures and Communities II: Schools (3) Prerequisite: None. Course focuses on schools and educational issues as they relate to practices and policies. Fulfills central ideas of the minor in education in consideration of the history and present conditions of schooling in a democratic society.

EDUC 525: Human Abilities and Learning Online (3) Prerequisite: None. Students become scientifically literate about human learning. Participants read, have online discussions, reflect on personal learning, and collaborate with others on design challenges in which they will apply ideas from the learning sciences to support design of a learning environment.

EDUC 526: Ethics and Education: From Global Problems to Classroom Dilemmas(3). Prerequisite: None. Among the topics examined are ethical implications of democratic schooling for a democratic society, educators as moral agents, and education as an institution with incumbent responsibilities. Students explore the explicit and implied ethics of education and schooling as they relate to policy makers, educators, and citizens concerned about social justice.

EDUC 527: Screen Education: Representations of Education in Popular Culture (3) Prerequisite: None. Explore and analyze how education has been represented in popular culture. By the term “education,” I am referring to teachers, students, principals, other educators, and the everyday processes of schooling, and by the phrase “popular culture,” I am referring to such media forms as “school films” (fictional films), school documentaries, television shows, music videos and song lyrics, animation, and other media forms (news coverage, television commercials, children’s programming and cartoons, etc.).

EDUC 390 (EDUC 528 pending approval): Exceptionality Across the Life Span (3) Prerequisite: None

EDUC 529: Education in American Society (3) Prerequisite: None. Explore history of American schools to inform students' understandings of contemporary schools. Examine policies, issues, and controversies through a chronological examination of schools and society.

EDUC 533: Social Justice in Education (3). Spring Only. Prerequisite: None. Initiates discussions of race and culture in schools by exploring history, identity and sociocultural issues in academic achievement. Examines social construction of communication within students' families, social groups and communities.

EDUC 697: Capstone Course (3) Prerequisite: Completion of three of the other courses to count towards the Minor in Education. The capstone course culminates classes in the minor. Students complete a project or research and integrate their academic major studies with the topics and issues examined in the education minor. The seminar format emphasizes reflection and collaboration as it extends inquiry about issues, aims, reform and policy in education.

The following College of Arts and Sciences courses have been approved to count toward the Minor in Education:

COMM 318: Cultural Diversity (3) Prerequisite: None. Introduction to basic paradigms of thinking about cultural difference, encouraging students to examine how these paradigms shape how we think, act, and imagine ourselves/others as members of diverse cultures.

ENGL 291: Children’s Picture Books: Texts and Illustrations (3) Prerequisite: None. An investigation of children's picture books within the context of illustrated texts in Britain and America.

GLBL 280: Intercultural Education in K-12 Classrooms (3) Prerequisite: None. In this service-learning course students investigate global education and intercultural communication while volunteering 30 hours in a kindergarten through grade 12 classroom or global education organization. Students draw on international and intercultural experiences and course content to create multimedia global education resources for kindergarten through grade 12 teachers and students.

HIST 367: North Carolina History since 1865 (3) Prerequisite: None. The history of North Carolina from the end of the Civil War to the present. Important topics include Reconstruction, agrarian protests, disfranchisement and segregation, industrialization and workers' experience, the civil rights movement, and 20th-century politics.

PLCY 530: Educational Problems and Policy Solutions (3) Prerequisite: None. A critical review of current debates and policy solutions in education. Topics analyzed through three of the most commonly used evaluative criteria in policy analysis: equity, efficiency, and effectiveness. Topics covered include equality of educational opportunity, racial segregation, the black-white test score gap, school choice, and the use of student and teacher incentives to promote increased performance. Lecture, case studies, discussion.

PSYC 250: Child Development (3) Prerequisite: PSYC 101. Study of the development of social and intellectual behavior in normal children and the processes that underlie this development. Emphasis is typically on theory and research.

PSYC 471: The Study of Adolescent Development Issues and Development (3) Prerequisites: PSYC 101, 210 and 250. The developmental period of adolescence is studied from a multidisciplinary perspective. The course will distinguish among early, middle and late adolescence and will cover several theoretical perspectives.

SOCI 130: Family and Society (3) Prerequisite: None. Comparative analysis of kinship systems and family relations. Courtship, marriage, and parent-child relations viewed within a life-cycle framework. Students may not receive credit for both this course and SOCI 425.

SOCI 423: Sociology of Education, Experiential Education (3) Prerequisite: None. An overview of theory and research on education and schooling, with an emphasis on inequalities in educational opportunities, education as a social institution, and the changing context of schools and schooling. Substantial field work for experiential education.

SOCI 425: Family and Society, Junior/Senior Section (3) Prerequisite: None. A special version of SOCI 130 (see above) for juniors, seniors, and beginning graduate students. Students may not receive credit for both this course and SOCI 130.

SOCI 426: Sociology of Education (3) Prerequisite: None. An overview of theory and research on education and schooling with an emphasis on inequalities in educational opportunities, education as a social institution, and the changing context of schools and schooling. Students may not receive credit for both SOCI 423 and SOCI 426.