Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to permit Swarthmore College Educational Studies students to tutor or care for children in the community in person.
In an era of rapidly increasing racial, ethnic, social, and linguistic diversity and technological change, students in Educational Studies are supported to use research and theoretical frameworks from a range of disciplines to explore, extend, and question existing research, theory, and practice. Working together with faculty, they critically and creatively address issues of educational practice at multiple levels: the individual student and teacher, the school community, and the institution.
Faculty members support students to identify their own interests and develop a solid foundation of approaches that can be used for problem solving. Students learn how to employ qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodologies to think about educational research, policy, theory, and practice through the lens provided by anthropology, economics, ethnic studies, gender studies, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. Students are guided to develop an understanding of research and theory within the realities of practice and to use practice to reevaluate both research and theory.
Faculty members in the department conduct engaged scholarship; their research and practice are grounded in their partnerships with schools, practitioners, and communities, in suburban and urban settings that range from classrooms to community programs. Students often contribute as research assistants and collaborators. Some recent examples of faculty projects on which students have assisted include:
• tracking positive educational pathways for black boys [Joseph Nelson]
• identifying effective curricular support for bilingual and multilingual classrooms [Elaine Allard]
• developing coalitions across groups of students [Roseann Liu]
• evaluating the reciprocal teaching and learning of literacy and identity [Diane Anderson]
• understanding cultural differences in the identification of disability [Margie Linn]
• assessing motivation and learning in science inquiry workshops [Ann Renninger]
• promoting teacher leadership [Lisa Smulyan]
• supporting agency in students and teachers working for racial justice [Jennifer Bradley]
• clarifying components of the broad cultural-political context that informs educational processes [Edwin Mayorga]
Students hone their research skills in upper level courses, and, during the summer, they can apply for support to pursue further training through work on a professor’s project, or their own research interests. Experiences of this type provide students with a rich base from which to investigate their thesis questions as seniors at the College.
Students who pursue course work in Educational Studies develop richly informed perspectives on the role of education in society. They go on to become leaders in a wide-range of fields: discipline-based research in higher education (e.g., anthropology, English, linguistics, psychology, sociology, math education, science education, computer science); general education including teaching, school leadership and policy; community organization and development; clinical psychology, counseling, English as a second language, special education, social work; medicine; and law.