Many of the courses offered in the School of Education integrate critical examinations of social issues related to equity and diversity with the topic at hand. The following list is a small sample of courses offered. 

We invite you to explore our courses further in the School of Education section of the CU-Boulder Course Catalog. Some graduate students additionally choose to take coursework in the Ethnic Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and Sociology departments.

EDUC 2150: Education in Film

Professor: Elizabeth Dutro

When I teach the course, my primary goal is to provide an opportunity to view, discuss, critique, and analyze how important facets of education are represented (or misrepresented) in feature film. We consider the kinds of narratives that get constructed about education and how those stories fuel popular conceptions of and assumptions about students, teachers, and schools. As a key part of our analysis, we examine how issues of race, class, and gender are embedded in how films represent schools, those who work in and attend them, and the communities in which they are located. Films about teachers, students, and schools can prompt laughter, inspiration, anger, or tears. Sometimes a film resonates with our own memories and experiences of school, while other times the schools that appear on screen are familiar only from other media portrayals we have seen. No matter what they depict or how we respond, though, they always capture a construction of schooling that has consequences for how students, teachers, schools, and the idea of education are taken up in the popular imagination.

EDUC 3023: Teaching in American Schools

Professors: Rubén DonatoJanette KlingnerMichele Moses, Advanced PhD students

This course and its concomitant practicum enable prospective teachers to critically examine, as well as experience, the intricacies and complexity of teaching and learning in culturally and linguistically diverse American public schools. The objective is to link educational theory and research with the actual practices of teachers and the workings of schools.

EDUC 4112: Educational Psychology and Adolescent Development

Professor: Ben Kirshner

This course introduces undergraduate and post-baccalaureate teacher candidates to the foundations of adolescent development and educational psychology.  We focus on topics such as: identity development, adolescent resilience, cognitive development, social and cultural approaches to learning, diversity, out-of-school contexts, assessment, and motivation.  For each topic students learn about foundational, canonical theories as well as contemporary research from the standpoint of race, culture, and gender diversity. 

EDUC 4321: Integrated Reading and Writing in the Elementary Classroom

Professor: Elizabeth Dutro

The goal of the writing methods course is for pre-service teachers to leave having been introduced to key tools they will need to make the most optimistic picture of their future writing classroom a reality. The course delves into core instructional practices and dispositions involved in teaching writing effectively to all children in elementary classrooms. The class is taught at an elementary school serving high-poverty neighborhoods and CU students are involved with children, mentor teachers, and the process of planning, rehearsing, and enacting writing instruction throughout the semester. 

Through the writing methods course, Elizabeth, CU teacher education students, doctoral student collaborator(s), and the classroom teacher collectively engage in considerations of what teaching writing for social justice can look like in elementary grades.  For our purposes, teaching for social justice in elementary writing involves enacting a pedagogy of testimony and critical witness. We discuss what this entails. Together, we feel deeply, pull others’ stories close and connect them to our own. At the same time, we sharpen our tools of critical analysis, examining how our attitudes, language, teaching moves, and choice of materials intersect with institutional and societal structures to position children in consequential ways in relation to school literacies. We strive to make the invisible visible together, collaborating to sense the power of teaching and learning and how power operates in teaching and learning in classrooms. 

EDUC 5505: Educating Students with Learning and/or Behavioral Difficulties

Professor: Janette Klingner

This course provides an overview of learning disabilities and emotional/behavioral difficulties with special consideration given to culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional students. Students learn ways to meet the needs of diverse learners through inclusive, multi-tiered educational models. Educational characteristics, assessment strategies, and intervention techniques are emphasized.

EDUC 5525/5605: Research Issues in Bilingual Education/Bilingual Special Education

Professors: Leonard Baca and Janette Klingner

This course offers students the opportunity to examine, critique, and evaluate current and ongoing research in bilingual education and bilingual special education. Students gain an initial understanding of research design and methodology, become more informed consumers and participants in bilingual and bilingual special education research and evaluation activities, and apply their knowledge and skills in the development of a research proposal. 


EDUC 8014: Doctoral Seminar in Multicultural Education

Professors: Rubén DonatoJanette KlingnerMichele Moses

This course addresses the historical, sociological, political, cultural, philosophical and pedagogical foundations of multicultural education. Grounded in current theories, critiques, and research on multicultural education, the course aims to assist educational researchers to develop skills in scholarship, collaborative reflection, discussion, and fieldwork investigation of culturally and linguistically diverse communities.


EDUC 8348: Youth Development in Schools and Communities

Professor: Ben Kirshner

This course is for graduate students who are interested in adolescent development and/or who are planning to conduct research with adolescents.  The course begins by reviewing the central developmental tasks of adolescence, including: identity, forming a worldview, forming relationships, exercising agency, and overcoming adversity.  We then examine different contexts of development, such as schools, youth organizations, and work, and how they support (or don’t support) the accomplishment of developmental tasks.  The major assignment for the course is a research project developed in partnership with a local youth-serving agency.  The purpose will be for students to practice a “scholarship of engagement,” characterized by projects that help students learn more about a topic while also meeting the needs of research participants.


EDUC 8804: Doctoral Seminar in Literacy and Special Education

Professor: Janette Klingner

This course provides participants with broad exposure to reading viewed through two lenses – general and special education – with the aim of advancing their interest in and ability to contribute to the field. Topics include: foundational perspectives, scholars, and contributions to the field; developmental processes of reading; instructional and intervention strategies; influential contemporary policies and trends; and issues related to cultural and linguistic diversity.