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Urban Studies - Spring 2017

Sociological Perspectives in Education

4 credits
Yontz, Brian
An examination of the foundations of education and teaching as conceived through a sociological perspective. The course develops theoretical and practical perspectives by considering different models for studying and analyzing social problems and by considering cases and disputes emerging from the daily practice of teaching.

More specifically, the course considers the social and institutional roles of parents, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders in public education. Issues of class, ethnicity, and gender will be examined as they afford legal and organizational power within the institutional structure. How institutions and individuals are responsive or resistant to change is examined as well as the pressing economic and social contexts, which make change imperative. Reading in the course will revolve around specific sociological studies relating to the profession of teaching and to such social issues as school violence, social mobility, and equal opportunity. The course will have a field experience and clinical component in which students will be matched with teachers and students at a Springfield City School. Through these experiences, students will have the opportunity to gather data and write brief case studies regarding specific social practices and responses.

Field experience of approximately 10 hours is required in grades 6 - 8. Students seeking licensure through the teacher education program are required to take either this course or Educ 104. Fulfills the General Education requirement for Social Institutions, Processes, and Behavior. No prerequisites. Every year.

HIST 130H 1W
African American History

4 Credits
Rosenberg, Scott
Prerequisite: None.
This course will investigate African-American history by focusing on slavery and the struggle for equality after emancipation. The first part of the course will examine the institution of slavery, however, greater emphasis will be placed on the lives that slaves made for themselves. We will ask questions such as “how much control did slaves have over their own lives,” and “how did they resist servitude?” The second half of the course will dedicate itself to the study of the struggle for equality. This class will move beyond the political struggle and will explore the role that culture and an emerging and evolving identity played in shaping the quest for equality. Assessment will focus on the student’s ability to express ideas in take-home essay exams, papers, and oral presentation. Grading will be based on discussions of a variety of readings, 3-4 papers and a take-home midterm and final.  

POLI 221S 01
State and Local Government

4 credits
Baker, Rob
The course focuses on important contemporary problems and trends affecting state and local politics, and the role of states and localities in the federal system. Using a comparative approach, attention is given to general intergovernmental, social, economic, and cultural influences that shape state and local politics in America. Additionally, a mock state legislature is conducted providing the student with a "hands-on" experience in one of the key political processes of state government. 10/16

POLI 234S 01
Black Politics

4 credits
Young, John
This course will introduce students to the nature of black politics and black political behavior.  The course will inquire into the political dimensions of black life in America and how Black Americans have interpreted and responded to the democratic experiment. Considerable attention will be given to how individuals, institutions, and protest movements have shaped black political consciousness and black political participation. Finally, the course will examine the relative impact of black protest politics versus black electoral politics in addressing black political demands. Evaluation will be based on three exams, several quizzes, class participation, and short, one page writing assignments. 10/16

SOCI 301 01
Women and Poverty
4 Credits
Rowell, Kathy
Prerequisite: None

This course will use the sociological approach to explore and analyze the feminization and racialization of poverty in the United States and the world. Specific attention will be given to understanding both the structural forces that continue to cause and exacerbate poverty and to the individual lived experiences of women in children living in poverty. The importance of public sociology as well as social activism will be explored as tools to reducing and solving poverty.


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