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Educational Studies

Educational studies class Educational studies class

Department Overview

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.

educational studies

Students share their love in our Educational Materials Center.

Students from Ed Policy read to students from Powell Elementary

Students from Teaching Diverse Young Learners read to students from Powell Elementary

Photo by Kae Kalwaic

Students present at senior poster session

Students share their love in our Educational Materials Center.

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Jonathan Rosa ’03: 2018 Recipient - Charles A. Ferguson Award for Outstanding Scholarship

Jonathan Rosa '03 was recently on campus to present a lecture as part of the Searching for Sanctuary series.

Jonathan D. Rosa is Assistant Professor in the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and, by courtesy, Departments of Anthropology and Linguistics. His research combines sociocultural and linguistic anthropology to study the co-naturalization of language and race as a key feature of modern governance. Specifically, he analyzes the interplay between racial marginalization, linguistic stigmatization, and educational inequity. Dr. Rosa is author of the forthcoming book, Looking like a Language, Sounding like a Race: Raciolinguistic Ideologies and the Learning of Latinidad. In addition to his formal scholarly research, Dr. Rosa is an ongoing participant in public intellectual projects focused on race, education, language, youth, (im)migration, and U.S. Latinxs.

His work has appeared in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Educational Review, American Ethnologist, American Anthropologist, and the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, as well as media outlets such as MSNBC, NPR, CNN, and Univision.

Jonathan Rosa, class of 2003

Engaged Scholarship for the Public Good

Dr. Kevin Kumashiro was the keynote lecturer for this second symposium on Engaged Scholarship, opening on Thursday in the Scheuer Room. His topic was "Naming the Moment, Building the Movement: Five Lenses for Troubling Education, Democracy, and Social Justice Keynote." Friday began with a writing workshop, "Leveraging Scholarship for Public Impact by Writing for the Media," followed by a panel discussion, "Engaged Scholarship at Swarthmore and Beyond." The event was co-sponsored by the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility and the Department of Educational Studies.

Kevin Kumashiro

Stefanie Wong, New Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Ed Studies at Trinity College

The Educational Studies Program at Trinity College is pleased to announce that Jia-Hui Stefanie Wong has been selected as the newest tenure-track Assistant Professor, effective September 2019. Currently in a two-year visiting contract position at Trinity, Professor Wong stood out in the urban and global education faculty search, which attracted a very talented pool of over one hundred applicants.

Stefanie was a Political Science and Educational Studies special major who graduated from Swarthmore in 2007.

assistant professor Stephanie Wong

Elizabeth Flores '19 receives Klock/Shuchman Scholarship

Elizabeth Flores, an Educational Studies minor, has been chosen to receive the Barbara L. Klock '86 and Salem D. Shuchman '84 Scholarship, created in 2000. Awarded to a junior or senior who intends to enter the teaching profession, the recipient is chosen by the Financial Aid Office in consultation with the faculty of the educational studies program at Swarthmore. Elizabeth will do her student teaching in the Fall of 2019 in secondary Biology.

The Educational Studies department congratulates Elizabeth on a job well done.

AERA Conference Spring 2018

Presenting at the annual AERA Conference in New York are from far left - alumnae Sarah Cotcamp McGrew '07 and Claire Robbins 01, discussant Maria Rivera Malucci from Barnard, Joseph Nelson, Lisa Smulyan, Elaine Allard, Roseann Liu, Jennifer Bradley, and Edwin Mayorga, along with two current students, George Woodliff-Stanley '18 and Sonya Chen '18  (the latter co-presented with Joseph Nelson).

Faculty and presenters at the AERA conference Spriing 2018

Alumni Pathways

What do alums do with a Swarthmore Educational Studies background or degree? Read about seventeen Swarthmore alums and their careers after college. 

Student and Alumni Profiles

Ashley Hong '17: The American Education Research Association (AERA) undergraduate student education research workshop during the annual 2017 AERA conference in San Antonio, Texas was an amazing opportunity. It consisted of learning about graduate school from current doctoral candidates, networking with undergraduate peers entering the field, exposing myself to the work of junior and senior scholars, and exploring how to conduct precise, methodologically sound research. Because I majored in sociology, I was particularly excited to meet others in fields outside of educational studies – such as cognitive science and nonprofit development – whose work and research questions also revolve around education. For me, the workshop reaffirmed the necessity of education research, and how it can and should be used to impact perspectives and policy. The workshop also affirmed my interest in and commitment to education policy research. I am currently in a research assistant position focused on educational opportunities and support for vulnerable youth.