Fall 2022

Instructor: Andrea Dyrness

Course Description

This course explores the relationship between education and social change in different regions of the world, with a focus on the experience of marginalized groups (e.g., indigenous groups, street and working children, immigrants, women and girls). How do issues of equity, democracy, and justice play out in education around the world? Education is commonly assumed to be a vehicle for social transformation and democratization, but in many countries where education has expanded, poverty and social inequality persist.  How does education reproduce inequalities of race, class, gender, and language in different societies, and how might it challenge these inequalities?  Where do we glimpse the transformative potential of education? Viewing education in its broadest sense (both formal and informal), we will examine various educational efforts to address inequities in different regions of the world—inequities of gender, race/ethnicity, language and culture, and poverty—including efforts by the State to promote social reconstruction and democratization, and programs by popular and grassroots organizations to empower groups that have been neglected by the State. Assigned course readings are drawn from several regions across the globe, with a focus on Latin America as the region of the instructor’s specialization. Students will contribute to the course’s comparative framework by working in groups to examine a region of their choice.

Learning Goals

We will build on the following 4 primary learning goals throughout the term. Students will:

  • Understand the impact of colonialism on education in the Global South
  • Examine and assess educational efforts to address inequities in different regions of the world: including inequities of gender, race/ethnicity, language and culture, and poverty
  • Understand and compare the role of the state, international aid groups, philanthropy, and civil society in promoting education for marginalized groups
  • Examine the potential of education to promote peace, social reconstruction, and social justice