Education and Empowerment: Understanding Culture and Qualitative Research

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Spring 2019
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

educational policy studies, qualitative research methods

Are educators challenged to meet the needs of diverse learners in the public schools? While scholars generate research to illuminate the lived experiences of marginalized students, why are such findings missing from educational policy, curriculum development, and teacher practice today?

As we strive to make connections between culture and schooling, we argue that the voices of diverse populations are necessary for a thorough analysis of the educational system. In order to pursue these essential questions, our program will interrogate how dominant theories of learning and knowledge are often legitimized without regard for race, class, culture, and gender. Cultural studies provides a framework to consider multiple perspectives specific to history, diaspora, language, and power. Through these perspectives, we will analyze diverse ways of knowing that inform new systems of educational policy and teacher praxis. This work will be useful for those students considering graduate school in educational policy, qualitative research, and teacher preparation.

We will practice qualitative methods to describe and analyze diverse perspectives through our weekly community service and field research. Student teams will conduct their own project and learn how to: 1) identify a research problem and question; 2) select qualitative research methods (i.e. participant observation, interviews, and counter-narratives) to answer their question and prepare a human subjects application; 3) complete a literature review; 4) collect, code, and analyze data; and, lastly; 5) write and present their research findings to targeted audiences.

Over the course of this program students will develop analytical skills to identify how cultural studies frameworks inform institutional practices. Program participants will meet with educators, advocates, and students to analyze the multiple perspectives at play in various sites of study, as well as in the classroom. In order to demonstrate their understanding of qualitative research, students will complete a formal paper or grant proposal, with recommendations to present to community stakeholders. Anticipated credit equivalencies include educational foundations, introduction to qualitative research, and college writing.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in: K-12 teacher education preparation, qualitative research, and educational policy.

Online learning:
  • Hybrid Online Learning - This offering delivers < 25% of its instruction online, rather than via face-to-face contact between you and your instructors.

$200 for entrance fees to historical and art museums and education workshops.

Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia