Educational Studies

Jennifer Jacoby, Co-chair

Jennifer Matos, Co-chair

Cheryl McGraw, Academic Department Coordinator

303 Reese Psychology and Education Building

Overview and Contact Information

The minor in educational studies provides students with an opportunity to conduct a cross-disciplinary exploration of an education-related topic. The multidisciplinary nature of the minor offers varied perspectives on contexts and historical moments that shape and define knowledge, behavior, structures, and policies both in and out of classrooms. Students planning to minor in educational studies must consult with a member of the program committee to discuss an area of interest and design a plan of study. A brief proposal and plan of study outlining the focus of the minor and the courses making up the minor must be approved by the program chair. The culminating experience of the minor is a 2-credit Educational Studies course requiring students to analyze and synthesize key ideas that have emerged from their focused study. Students will work with a faculty advisor as they write and present a capstone paper or project.

Please note: this minor in educational studies does not lead to teacher licensure. For information on the education minor leading to teacher licensure, please consult the Psychology and Education chapter, which provides detailed information on the course requirements and application procedures for teacher licensure programs.

See Also


This area of study is administered by the Educational Studies Committee:

Preston Smith II, Class of 1926 Professor of Politics

Lucas Wilson, Professor of Africana Studies and Economics

Bruce Arnold, Associate Professor of Classics

Jennifer Jacoby, Associate Professor of Psychology and Education; Director of First-Year Seminars, Teaching Fall Only

Lenore Reilly, Assistant Professor of Education; Senior Advisor to the President/Secretary of the College, On Leave 2021-2022

David Allen, Head Swimming and Diving Coach; Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Athletics

Sarah Frenette, Five College Coordinator of Teacher Licensure

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 18 credits:

EDUC-205Social Justice in Education4
Three courses at the 200 level or above focusing on a specific area of study 112
EDUST-290Capstone in Educational Studies2
Total Credits18

Additional Specifications

  • One Independent Study (EDUST-395) can be applied to the minimum minor requirements but cannot be substituted for EDUC-205 or EDUST-290.

Course Offerings

EDUST-203 Teaching Children Science: College Students in the Elementary Classroom

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course is designed for science students with interests in teaching and learning with children. It will focus on research, theory and practice pertinent to science education, linking scientific information gained in college classes to children's learning of scientific phenomena. Weekly class meetings (from 1-3 hours) will include laboratory and off-site field investigations. Each student will also become a 'Science Buddy' at a local elementary school, assisting children with hands-on science experiences for at least 1 hour each week.

Crosslisted as: BIOL-203
Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
R. Fink
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: One year of any college science (in any discipline), at least one lab course.

EDUST-221 Self-Awareness in Education

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Educators bring our whole selves when entering educational spaces. With us, we bring lived experiences and social identities as well as expectations, ideals, and emotional reactions to oppression (Adams et al., 2007). Whether implementing a curriculum or policy, this course will assist future educators and policy makers in exploring social identities within their intended roles in education. Frameworks and theories around oppression and liberation will be used for reflection and action related to racism, classism, gender, and adultism.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Matos
Notes: Weekly reflections and a final project required.

EDUST-250 Special Topics in Educational Studies

EDUST-290 Capstone in Educational Studies

Fall and Spring. Credits: 2

This two-credit independent study course, which is the culminating experience of the educational studies minor, requires analysis and synthesis of key ideas that emerged during focused study in the minor. Students will work with a faculty advisor of the Educational Studies Program Committee as they plan, write, and present a capstone paper.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
J. Jacoby, J. Matos
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: EDUC-205 and permission of instructor.

EDUST-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

EDUST-339 Seminar in Educational Studies

EDUST-339EP Seminar in Educational Studies: 'Educational Policy'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

In this course, students will explore educational policy including why policy-making and policies matter, what makes compelling evidence to various stakeholders, ways to identify levers for change, and the negotiation processes. We will consider local, state, federal policy, and international comparative cases. Students will analyze the ways in which policy, practice, and theory intersect or diverge, and why. Beyond course materials, students will choose a topic, draft and revise a written policy brief, as well as practice pitching policy through spoken word.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
B. Packard
Restrictions: This course is open to juniors and seniors
Advisory: One 200-level course in Educational Studies or relevant area recommended.

EDUST-351 Topics in Education

EDUST-351AD Topics in Education: 'Adult Literacy'

Fall. Credits: 4

In this seminar, we will explore a number of literacy issues as they relate to the ever-present challenge of adult illiteracy. We will examine the following topics as they relate to adults with low-literacy skills: vocabulary acquisition, reading comprehension, and writing abilities. This is a Community-Based Learning course, and students will spend time each week tutoring adults in local Adult Basic Education centers to gain first-hand insights into these issues.

Crosslisted as: PSYCH-349AD
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
K. Binder
Prereq: PSYCH-204.

EDUST-351SJ Topics in Education: 'Social Justice and Education'

Spring. Credits: 4

As U.S. racial group populations are on the rise, educational institutions need to prepare for racial diversity reflected in classrooms from elementary school to college. In this lab course, students will use qualitative research methods and social justice frameworks to code and analyze three distinct data sets, one collected from Puerto Rican parents in Holyoke; one from a college course on social justice; and one from pre-service teachers in public schools. Students will create posters to display their findings on the presence (or absence) of social justice in education at the end-of-semester event.

Crosslisted as: PSYCH-310SJ
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives; Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning, Speaking-Intensive
J. Matos
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: PSYCH-204 and EDUC-205 or a multicultural perspectives course that covers race and racism.
Notes: If there are openings in the second week of pre-registration, the course may open to junior majors.

EDUST-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.