Educational Studies


The minor in educational studies provides students with an opportunity to conduct a cross-disciplinary exploration of an education-related topic.

Program Overview

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. If you are planning to minor in educational studies, you 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. You 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.

Community Voices

Spotlight on Educational Studies students and alums

Courses and Requirements

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 18 credits:

EDUC-205Social Justice in Education4
or EDUC-220 Foundations of Multicultural Education
Three courses at the 200 level or above focusing on a specific area of study 112
EDUST-290Capstone in Educational Studies2
Total Credits18

Some possible areas of study include: Knowledge and the Humanities, National and International Perspectives on Education, Teaching and Learning, Sport Pedagogy, Social Justice, and Educational Policy.

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-215 Ideas and Ideals in Public Education

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Using an interdisciplinary framework, this course will examine the social, historical, legal, philosophical, economic, and political foundations of education in the United States. It is designed to engage students in an examination of the enduring questions, debates, and tensions that revolve around the institution of schooling in the U.S. Topics covered will include an examination of political ideologies that have informed past and current education reform movements, an historical perspective on access to education, and an analysis of trends in funding of public education, among others.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
L. Reilly

EDUST-250 Special Topics in Educational Studies

EDUST-250PH Special Topics in Educational Studies: 'introduction to Sport Pedagogy'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course is designed to introduce students to the many facets of sport pedagogy and coaching. Our focus is the strategies and styles of coaching youth sports. Topics include coaching philosophy, motor learning, anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, sport psychology and risk management/liability. Other topics include the benefits of playing sports, developing age-appropriate instruction and training, goal setting, effective feedback, special issues in coaching children, and coaches as role models for children. In a local school system, we will apply the concepts and theories learned, by developing and implementing lesson plans to introduce various athletic skills and sports.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
D. Allen

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

Spring. 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'

Not Scheduled for This Year. 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-351AE Topics in Education: 'Self-Awareness in Education'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Educators and policymakers 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). This course will assist future educators and policymakers in exploring social identities within their intended roles in education, whether implementing a curriculum or policy. Frameworks and theories around oppression and liberation will be used for reflection and action related to racism, classism, gender, and adultism. Students will examine contemporary issues in education on the local community and federal level, and submit a complete curriculum design or policy utilizing course-related social justice frameworks.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Matos
Restrictions: This course is open to juniors and seniors
Prereq: 8 credits in Education and/or Educational Studies, or 4 credits in Education and/or Educational Studies and 4 credits in Psychology.

EDUST-351CH Topics in Education: 'Childhood and Adolescence in the U.S. Today'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course will explore conceptualizations of childhood and adolescence in the United States today. Using both academic articles and media resources, the course will address topics such as: early education and school readiness; play and extracurricular involvement; college access and attendance; mental health, self-esteem, and social media; and youth activism. We will use developmental psychology as the lens for most of our readings and discussion, although the course will integrate concepts from sociology, history, and education. We will also examine the roles of relationships (e.g., family, teachers, and peers) and contexts (e.g., policy, schools, and culture) on youth experience.

Crosslisted as: PSYCH-337CH
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
K. O'Carroll
Prereq: PSYCH-200 or PSYCH-204.

EDUST-351LG Seminar in Developmental Psychology: 'Language and Literacy Development in Early Childhood'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course explores how home and school learning environments influence the development of language and literacy skills of children ages 3-8. It examines situations in which families and schools, although utilizing different languages, dialects, and ways of communicating, can work together to enhance children's language learning. Particular attention is given to children's development of academic language -- the written and spoken language needed to understand and create texts required for success in school.

Crosslisted as: PSYCH-339LG
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
J. Jacoby
Prereq: PSYCH-230, PSYCH-233, or PSYCH-241.
Advisory: Prior coursework in developmental psychology, educational psychology, or cognitive psychology required.

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
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning, Speaking-Intensive, Writing-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.

Contact Us

The Psychology & Education Department offers courses that cover developmental psychology, social psychology, personality & abnormal psychology, perception & cognition and bio bases of behavior. Options for teacher licensure in education are also offered.

Cheryl McGraw
  • Academic Department Coordinator

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