Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning: Education and Culture Course
The Advanced Studies in Teaching and Learning Program places an emphasis on social justice throughout the program, but particularly in the course, Education and Culture (EDUC 606). In this course, teachers conduct a culture-based action research project in their educational setting. [The steps involved in the Cultural Inquiry Process, which helps teachers identify cultural processes influencing students and their classrooms, as well as many example studies from our program's teachers, are located at http://classweb.gmu.edu/cip.] This course and other courses in the ASTL Program encourage teachers to examine their assumptions and cultural biases as they reflect on classroom decisions that influence their educational practice. Through critical reflective practice interwoven throughout the program's course work, teachers can explore the issues of race and ethnicity, poverty and social status, gender, and students' special needs. As the issues come to the surface, teachers are able to better understand how they might become agents of change in their schools and school divisions.