Professor Gretchen Lopez, Ph.D.
Cultural Foundations of Education, School of EducationCFE window image

This course examines theory, research, and practice important for intergroup relations in education, within the context of racial, ethnic, and class inequalities in broader U.S. society.

Past and ongoing court cases reviewing affirmative action and integration policies have focused attention on social science research that re-examines and supports the need for, and broader impact of, racial and ethnic diversity across levels of education. In this course, students will critically engage examples from this extensive body of research, including work on:

  • Racial, ethnic, and class inequalities in the U.S.; current patterns of re-segregation across educational settings, for educators as well as students; and consequences for educational access, opportunity, and outcomes
  • Contemporary forms of racism; associated ideologies and systems of power and privilege; multi-level processes of discrimination and stereotyping in education
  • Students’ interpretations and constructions of their educational experiences, including alienation, struggle, and resistance
  • Effects of intergroup contact for a broad range of outcomes including more positive intergroup attitudes and emotions, support for policies addressing inequality, and commitment to social change
  • Critical conditions for intergroup contact in educational settings, for academic as well as democratic outcomes
  • Impact of specific pedagogical practices and strategies, and related processes, including social justice education, multicultural education, feminist pedagogy, and intergroup dialogue

This course is generally scheduled for the spring semester of each academic year. The next offering is planned for Spring 2019.