Spring 2012
Fully Enrolled

SOCS 624
Lives in School


02/11/2012 - 04/14/2012
Note: Special Schedule 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Public Affairs Center 421

Special Schedule: Saturday & Sunday, February 11-12; Saturday & Sunday, March 24-25; and Saturday, April 14.

What can we learn about education in the contemporary U.S. by looking closely at the stories people tell about their schooling? Do you believe that most people have had generally similar experiences in school in the U.S.? If not, why not? How would you describe the changes that education may have made in the life of your family between your parents' generation and your own, or that of your children? Are the identities that define you to yourself the same as the identities that have defined your careers in school? What meanings does school have to people in other cultures?

School is among the most powerful institutions in American culture, often reproducing inequalities of race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality, and more. At the same time, narrative accounts reveal that school can bring about great transformations in the lives of individuals, and can play a critical part in social change that affects significant groups of Americans. This seminar explores these contradictory realities through the lenses of autobiography and memoir, ethnography and social science research, journalism and documentary film and video. The readings will be framed by education studies as a field, and will focus on urban school reform as a specific set of circumstances that we investigate from different perspectives.

Enrollment limited to 18 students.

This course is not open to auditors.

Immersion courses are worth three units of credit and are academically as rigorous as a regular term course, only the class meetings are compressed into a very short time. Students interested in immersion courses should be aware that the syllabus usually requires that students prepare for up to a month prior to the first class meeting and complete assignments in the weeks following the course. Please click here for more information about immersion courses.

The deadline to withdraw and receive a tuition refund for this course is Friday, February 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm. Please visit our website for a complete list of registration and withdrawal dates for this session.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
SOCS 624

Nancy Barnes (B.A., New School College; Ph.D., The New School for Social Research) ) is visiting professor of American studies. She is a cultural anthropologist and works as an ethnographer in the "small schools" in NYC and on a number of professional development and school reform projects with high school and college teachers. Her most recent publication is a personal essay, "This Life that Is Ours Just Once to Live", forthcoming in Death and Choice, eds. Bauer and Maglin, Rutgers University Press, 2008.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
The New Kids; Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens,

Brooke Hauser, Free Press, 2011

Privilege: The Making of an Educational Elite at St. Paul's School, Shamus Rahman Kahn, Princeton, 2011

Black Ice, Lorene Cary, Vintage Books, 1992

Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness; Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons, Jane

Lazarre, Duke, 1996

Honky, Dalton Conley, Vintage, 2000

Classroom Conversations, eds. Alexandra Miletta and Maureen Miletta, The New Press, 2008

Reading Materials are available at BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 Broad Street, Middletown, 860-685-7323 Order your books online

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