Feb 20, 2024  
College Catalog 2011-2012 
College Catalog 2011-2012 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Studies

Full Time Faculty: Ruthanne Kurth-Schai (Chair), Tina Kruse

Part Time Faculty: Marceline DuBose, Brad Belbas

Steering Committee Karin Aguilar-San Juan (American Studies), Diana Shandy (Anthropology), Mark Davis (Biology), Ron Brisbois (Chemistry), Ruth Janisch Lake (Civic Engagement Office), Daylanne English (English), Christopher Wells (Environmental Studies), David Lanegran (Geography), Ray Rogers (Geology), Molly Olsen (Hispanic Studies), Yue-him Tam (History), Leola Johnson (Media and Cultural Studies), Michael Porter (Internship Office), David Bressoud (Mathematics), James Doyle (Physics), Paul Dosh (Political Science), Brooke Lea (Psychology), Terry Boychuk (Sociology), Beth Cleary (Theatre and Dance).

The Educational Studies Department, in collaboration with colleagues on campus and in the community, strives to fulfill a multifaceted mission focused on:

  • providing opportunities for students to engage in the study of education as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry and advocacy;
  • preparing teachers to provide social service and leadership in culturally diverse, economically challenged, urban public educational systems; and
  • developing both contributions within the context of Macalester’s continuing commitments to academic excellence, internationalism, cultural pluralism, and civic engagement.

As a selective liberal arts college in a resource-rich urban setting, Macalester offers distinctive opportunities to fulfill this mission. The Educational Studies Department coordinates major and minor programs in addition to courses and internships that contribute to liberal studies across the disciplines. Curricular offerings provide a vibrant and challenging environment for students to pursue a wide range of interests including both public school teaching and teaching in contexts that do not require state licensing (e.g., teaching abroad, private school positions, artists-in-residence, youth development and other outreach programs). Opportunities are also provided to pursue dimensions of educational studies addressing significant societal issues on local, national, and international levels (e.g., urban education, educational policy, multicultural and anti-bias education, environmental education, civic education, youth development, international education, and education-centered responses to social justice imperatives).

The curriculum offered by the Educational Studies Department is centered in four mutually supportive themes:

Social Advocacy: John Dewey once stated, “Education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform.” These words assume special significance at a time when there is widespread recognition that current social and educational policies and practices designed to fulfill the needs and aspirations of children and youth are in crisis. In response, the curriculum is designed to prepare teachers and concerned citizens who will provide social service, social vision, and social leadership—especially as these commitments advance the social, political, and educational welfare of children and youth.

Life Span Development: In order to address the needs and aspirations of young people, the education curriculum reflects current theory and research which articulates a developmental continuum of human learning, growth, change, crisis, and renewal. The study of human development is conducted in an inclusive and integrative manner, addressing patterns and processes across the domains of cognitive, affective, intuitive, social, physical, and moral growth, and throughout the age continuum from early childhood through young adulthood. Additionally, the interplay among developmental processes on personal, organizational and societal levels is addressed.

Cultural Pluralism: The curriculum further reflects commitment to the concept of human diversity as a resource to schools and society. It is assumed that both special challenges and unique opportunities are associated with individual variations in intellectual, emotional, and physical capabilities and factors related to gender, class, race, and cultural heritage. Students are expected to assess implications of their own cultural heritage, to grow in understanding and compassion as they explore the perspectives of others, and to act upon their evolving awareness in supportive and life-enhancing ways.

Civic Engagement: The curriculum is further designed to ensure ongoing opportunities for integration, application, innovation, and evaluation of educational theory and practice. In doing so, the curriculum promotes understanding of the dynamic and complex constellation of factors and relationships that contribute to the educational process. A developmental sequence of community-centered experience is integrated throughout education courses as relevant to each student’s academic preparation and education interests. Students are expected to make creative and substantive contributions to schools and community organizations, to public awareness and understanding, while developing both personally and academically.

General Distribution Requirement

EDUC 220 - Educational Psychology , EDUC 230EDUC 230 - Community Youth Development in Multicultural America , EDUC 280 - Re-envisioning Education and Democracy , EDUC 340 - Race, Culture, and Ethnicity in Education , EDUC 370 - Education and the Challenge of Globalization , EDUC 460 - Education and Social Change  and EDUC 480 - Urban Education in Theory, Policy, and Practice  count toward the general distribution requirement in social science. EDUC 260 - Philosophy of Education  counts toward the requirement in humanities.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and multiculturalism will be posted on the Registrar’s web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information regarding general distribution requirements and general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirement section of this catalog.

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships,and preceptorships. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum  section of the catalog.