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Haverford College
Haverford College Course Catalog

Areas of Concentration / Programs: Education and Educational Studies, 2010-2011

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The field of education is about teaching people how to teach--and more. The Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program is built around four mutually-informing pursuits: teacher preparation; the interdisciplinary study of learning as a central human and cultural activity; the investigation of the politics of schooling; and students' growth as teachers, learners, researchers, and change agents.

Courses in the Education Program address students interested in: the theory, process, and reform of education in the United States; social justice, activism, and working within and against systems of social reproduction; future work as educators in schools, public or mental health, community, or other settings; examining and re-claiming their own learning and educational goals; and integrating field-based and academic learning.

Each education course includes a field component through which professors seek continuously to integrate theory and practice, asking students to bridge academic and experiential knowledge in the classroom and beyond it. Field placements in schools and other educational settings range from two hours per week in the introductory course to full-time student teaching in the certification program.

The bi-college Education Program offers several options. Students may:

  • Explore one or more aspects of education in areas of particular interest—such as urban schooling—by enrolling in single courses;
  • Pursue a minor in education leading to secondary teacher certification;
  • Pursue a minor in educational studies;
  • Complete the secondary teacher certification program in a fifth-year program after they graduate at a reduced cost;
  • Complete elementary certification through the Swarthmore and Eastern Colleges' elementary education certification program; and
  • Sub-matriculate (as juniors or seniors) into the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education's elementary or secondary education Master's program.

The secondary certification sequence and the minor are described below. Students interested in either of these options—or in pursuing elementary education at Swarthmore or sub-matriculating into the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education (not described here)—should meet with the program advisor as early as possible for advice on scheduling, preferably by the sophomore year.

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Faculty and Coordinators

Senior Lecturer Jody Cohen
Professor Alison Cook-Sather
Instructor Heather Curl
Instructor Debbie Flaks
Postdoctoral Fellow in Science Education Howard Glasser
Instructor Barbara Hall
Senior Lecturer and Director Alice Lesnick

Program Coordinator and advisor, Ann Brown

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(1) For Certification

The Bryn Mawr/Haverford Education Program is accredited by the state of Pennsylvania to prepare undergraduates for secondary certification (grades 7-12) in the following areas: biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, physics, social studies (as well as citizenship education and social science), and world languages, including Chinese, French, German, Latin, Russian and Spanish. Pursuit of certification in Chinese, German, Latin and Russian is subject to availability of student-teaching placements.

Students becoming certified in a foreign language have K-12 certification. Certain interdisciplinary majors and double majors (e.g., romance languages, comparative literature, East Asian studies) may also be eligible for certification provided they meet the Pennsylvania standards in one of the subject areas listed above.

To qualify for a teaching certificate, students must complete an academic major in the subject area in which they seek certification. (Within their major, students must select courses that help them meet or exceed the state standards for teachers in that subject area). Students must also complete a minor in education, completing the secondary certification track courses listed below:

  1. EDUC 200 (Critical Issues in Education).
  2. PSYC 203 (Educational Psychology).
  3. EDUC 210 (Special Education).
  4. Either EDUC 250 (Literacies and Education) or EDUC 260 (Multicultural Education).
  5. EDUC 301 (Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar).
  6. EDUC 302 (Practice Teaching Seminar) and EDUC 303 (Practice Teaching). These courses are taken concurrently and earn triple credit.

Furthermore, for social studies certification, as well as certification in the sciences, students must take courses outside their major to meet state standards.

Students preparing for certification must also take two English and two mathematics courses and must attain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher (state requirements). They must attain a GPA of 2.7 or higher in EDUC 200 (Critical Issues in Education) and in EDUC 301 (Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar) to practice-teach and must receive a grade of 2.7 or higher in EDUC 302 (Practice Teaching Seminar) to be recommended for certification. They must also be recommended by the director of the Education Program and the chair of their major department.

Critical Issues in Education should be taken by the end of the sophomore year if at all possible. The Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar is offered during the fall semester for seniors and must precede Practice Teaching.

Practice Teaching is undertaken for 12 weeks in a local school during the spring semester of the senior year. Note: Practice Teaching is a commitment to be at a school for five full school days each week for those 12 weeks.

(2) For the Minor in Educational Studies

The Bi-College minor in educational studies is an interdisciplinary exploration of the cultural, political, and interactional dimensions of teaching and learning and is designed for students with a broad range of education-related interests, such as plans for graduate study in education, pursuit of elementary or secondary certification after graduation or careers that require educational expertise. Many professions and pursuits—management and training positions, research, administration and policy work, and careers in social work, health and law—involve using an educator's skills and knowledge. Civic engagement, community development and work towards social justice also require knowledge of how people learn. Because students interested in these or other education-related pursuits major in different subject areas and have different aspirations, they are encouraged to design a minor appropriate both to their major area of study and to their anticipated futures.

All minors in educational studies must consult with the program advisor to design a coherent course of study that satisfies the requirements below:

  • EDUC 200 Critical Issues in Education.
  • Two required education courses (EDUC 210, 225, 260, 250, 266—see course descriptions below).
  • One education-related elective (see program adviser for options).
  • EDUC 310 Defining Educational Practice.
  • EDUC 311 Fieldwork Seminar.

The Portfolio

To synthesize their work in the minor or the certification program, students create a portfolio. The portfolio draws on the work students produce in their courses as well as in their other activities (volunteering, summer programs, community work, etc.); it serves as an ongoing forum through which students synthesize their studies. The portfolio is developed over the course of the student's college career and is completed in the Fieldwork Seminar (minor) or the Practice Teaching Seminar (certification).

Title II Reporting: Title II of the Higher Education Act (HEA) requires that a full teacher preparation report, including the institution's pass rate as well as the state's pass rate, be available to the public on request. Copies of the report may be requested from Ann Brown, program administrator and advisor, by e-mail at or phone at (610) 526-5376.

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200 Critical Issues in Education SO

Designed to be the first course for students interested in pursuing one of the options offered through the Education Program, this course is also open to students who are not yet certain about their career aspirations but are interested in educational issues. The course examines major issues in education in the United States within the conceptual framework of educational reform. The first phase of the course invites students to recognize and question prevailing assumptions, their own and those of the broader society, about authority, the political nature of knowledge, and the purposes of schooling that shape education in America. The second phase analyzes components of the teaching and learning process. The third phase seeks to engage students in imagining and enacting, through the completion of collaborative teaching projects, possibilities for reform and reinvention. Two hours a week of fieldwork are required. Enrollment is limited to 25 students with priority given to students pursuing certification or the minor in educational studies. Students who have taken Writing Program/EDUC 138A (Critical Issues in Education: Politics and Practices) should not enroll in this course, since the two courses are very similar in focus. Typically offered every Semester.

210 Perspectives on Special Education SO

This course is designed as a survey course. Its goal is to introduce students to a range of topics, challenges, dilemmas, and strategies in understanding and educating all learners--those considered typical learners as well as those considered "special" learners. The field of "Special Education" is vast; therefore, as the course progresses, students are encouraged to narrow their research and area of interest on a student or group of students who share similar challenges as learners. By the end of the course, students will understand more about: how students' learning profiles affect their learning in school from a functional perspective; how and why students' educational experience is affected by special education law; major issues in the field of special education; and a-typical learners, students with disabilities, and how to meet diverse student needs in a classroom. Two to three hours of fieldwork per week required. Enrollment limited to 25 with priority given to students enrolled in the Education Program. Priority given to those in the Teacher Cert Program or minoring/concentrating in Educ. Typically offered every Fall.

220 B Changing Pedagogies in Math and Science Education HU

This course examines perspectives related to teaching and learning math and science, including questioning why (if at all) it is important for people to learn these subjects, what is viewed as successful teaching and learning in these disciplines, and how people learn math and science. Students have a placement (2-3 hours/week) with a local teacher and will be expected to make connections between course concepts and these placement experiences. Priority is given to students enrolled in the Education Program.

225 B Empowering Learners: Theory and Practice of Extra-Classroom Teaching HU

This seminar explores how to engage in tutoring, mentoring and others types of learning support in ways that draw on and enrich students' strengths and goals. It also investigates the significance of structural, macro-level understanding and advocacy to the goal of becoming an empowering learner: one whose learning creates occasions for others' self-and/or group-empowerment. Field placements include campus roles as T.A., peer mentor, PLI leader; off-campus programs; and Bryn Mawr's Teaching and Learning Initiative. Fieldwork of 2-3 hours per week. Enrollment limited to 20 students. Priority is given to students enrolled in the Education Program.

240 Qualitative Research: Theories, Texts and Practices SO

This course–designed for students of education, psychology, and other social sciences–examines the nature and practice of qualitative research and the epistemological and ethical questions it both addresses and occasions. The purpose of the course is to prepare students as critical readers of qualitative research reports and as beginning writers of such research. Through the study of a series of linked topics in human development as it intersects with schooling, students will explore various qualitative literatures as they begin to practice as researchers. This is a Praxis course and 2-3 hours per week in a field placement are required.

250 Literacies and Education SO

A critical exploration of what counts as literacy, who decides, and what the implications are for teaching and learning. Students explore both their own and others' experiences of literacy through reading and writing about power, privilege, access and responsibility around issues of adult, ESL, cultural, multicultural, gendered, academic and critical literacies. Two-three hours per week of fieldwork. Priority given to students enrolled in the Education Program. Typically offered every Fall.

260 Multicultural Education SO

An investigation of the continually evolving theory and practice of multicultural education in the United States. This course explores and problematizes the history, politics, definitions, focuses, purposes, outcomes, and limitations of multicultural education as enacted in a range of school subjects and settings. Central topics may include: curriculum development, teacher training, language diversity, and public policy concerns. Students will also engage in researching and reinventing what is possible in education for, with, and about a diverse world. Two to three hours of fieldwork in a related setting per week required. Enrollment limited to 25. Priority given to students enrolled in the Education Program. Typically offered every Spring.

266 Schools in American Cities SO (Cross-listed as CITY B266 and SOCL B266)

Taught at Bryn Mawr. This course examines issues, challenges, and possibilities of urban education in contemporary America. We use as critical lenses issues of race, class and culture; urban learners, teachers and school systems; and restructuring and reform. While we look at urban education nationally over several decades, we use Philadelphia as a focal “case” that students investigate through documents and school placements. Enrollment is limited to 25 with priority given to students enrolled in the Education Program and to majors in Sociology and Growth and Structure of Cities. This is a Praxis I course (2-4 hours/week of fieldwork).

301 Curriculum and Pedagogy Seminar SO

Taught at Bryn Mawr. A consideration of theoretical and applied issues related to effective curriculum design, pedagogical approaches and related issues of teaching and learning. Fieldwork is required. Enrollment is limited to 15 with priority given first to students pursuing certification and second to seniors planning to teach. Typically offered every Fall.

302 Practice Teaching Seminar SO

Taught at Bryn Mawr. Drawing on participants' diverse student teaching placements, this seminar invites exploration and analysis of ideas, perspectives and approaches to teaching at the middle and secondary levels. Taken concurrently with Practice Teaching. Open only to students engaged in practice teaching. Typically offered every Spring.

303 Practice Teaching SO

Supervised teaching in secondary schools (12 weeks). Two units of credit are given for this course. Open only to students preparing for state certification. Typically offered every Spring.

310 Defining Educational Practice SO

Taught at Bryn Mawr. An interdisciplinary inquiry into the work of constructing professional identities and roles in education-related contexts. Three to five hours a week of fieldwork are required. Enrollment is limited to 20 with priority given to students pursuing the minor in educational studies. 3-5 hours per week of field work in an educational setting required. Priority given to students in the minor. Typically offered every Fall.

311 Field Work Seminar SO

Taught at Bryn Mawr. Drawing on the diverse contexts in which participants complete their fieldwork, this seminar invites exploration and analysis of ideas, perspectives and different ways of understanding his/her ongoing fieldwork and associated issues of educational practice, reform, and innovation. Five to eight hours of fieldwork are required per week. Enrollment is limited to 20. Open only to students completing the minor in educational studies. Typically offered every Spring.

360 Learning-Teaching a Foreign Language HU (Cross-listed in Spanish)

Prerequisite: A 200 level course, or consent of the instructor.

480 Independent Study SO



To complete the concentration, students take four courses through the education program: Education 200, an education elective, Education 310, and Education 311, which includes a field placement for approximately five hours per week. In addition to the courses within the education program, students take two courses in their major field of study. A unit of Independent Study within the major may be used to fulfill this requirement. Established AOCs in educational studies are offered in conjunction with the sociology, psychology, mathematics, physics, and chemistry departments. Students in other departments should consult with the education program coordinator and their major advisor about the possibility of an AOC in their department.


In the chemistry department a student is enrolled in two semesters of research in physical or organic chemistry (Chemistry 361 or 363), with primary emphasis on laboratory development for secondary school curricula. Importance is placed not only on the development of specific new experiments, but also on the process by which an instructor approaches the development of experiments, their testing, issues of safety, and finally the problem of keeping experiments current and of continuing interest not only to the students who perform them, but also to the instructors who direct them on a continuing basis. In addition, the student is a teaching assistant for the full year of general chemistry (Chemistry 100-101).


Students take the following courses:

  • Math 460 (teaching assistantship) in two different semesters, one half-credit each.
  • Math 480 (independent study), two half-credits, a project that combines senior research on a topic in mathematics with development of related courseware, teaching materials, and/or classroom modules. Details of the project must be approved jointly by the department chair as well as the chair of the AOC.


Students take the following courses:

  • Physics 459b Teaching Laboratory Physics (typically in the second semester of the junior year); and
  • Physics 460a Association in Teaching Basic Physics (typically in the first semester of the senior year).

All senior physics majors prepare and present to the department a talk and paper based on independent work. Education concentrators have the option of choosing a topic related to physics pedagogy for their research.


Students take two of the following courses:

  • Psychology B206 (Developmental Psychology)
  • Psychology B203 (Educational Psychology)
  • Psychology 238 (Psychology of Language)


Students take:

  • Sociology 235 (Class, Race, and Education)

and one of the following:

  • Sociology B258 (Sociology of Education) or
  • Sociology B266 (Schools in American Cities)

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