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Topics Outline and Course Schedule of Readings/Assignments


M July 2 Course Introductions:

- Autobiographical Paths in Education

- Sociology 101

Sadovnik, A. (2011). Theory and research in the sociology of education. In Sociology of Education: a critical reader, 2nd ed. (pp. 3-21). New York: Routledge.

In-Class Activity: Share your autobiographical path in education with a partner. Identify sociological contexts and explanations for your journey, as distinguished from and compared to intrinsic, personal explanations. Discuss Readings.

F 7/6 On-Line Readings Module 1: Sociological Thinking and Introduction to Action Research

* The School of Education has scheduled July 6 as the make-up day for Wednesday classes.

Craig, Dorothy V. (2009). Introduction to action research. In Action Research Essentials (pp. 1-28). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Review the following excerpts from Social Theory: the Multicultural and Classic Readings, 4th ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. By Charles Lemert (2009):


***My apologies for the technical error in scanning. You will need to rotate pages in Adobe Acrobat Reader to see the document correctly!

The following readings are in a single document :

Social theories and world conflict: 1919-1945 (pp. 191-201);

The golden moment: 1945-1963 (pp. 275-286);

Will the center hold? 1963-1979 (pp. 371-21).

RESEARCH PRAXIS JOURNAL #1 (DUE: Monday, 7/9, 8 a.m.):"Find a Focus."

To the extent possible at this stage, reflect on the following questions (p. 17, Craig) in developing an educational research topic to explore in this class (or beyond):

1. What do I want to find out about these specific students or this specific situation in education?2. What is important, and what do I want to improve in terms of meeting the needs of this special group of students, or area of education reform?3. What are the problems, issues, and concerns in this specific environment?4. What issues and concerns emerge and need to be addressed in order to improve the situation?

Submit 2-3 paragraphs by email to mdgrif@wm.edu. DUE: Monday, 7/9, 8 a.m.

M 7/9 Sociological Theories of Education (Classic)

Chapters from Sociology of Education: a critical reader, 2nd ed. (2011). Sandoval, A., ed.:

Durkheim, E. On Education and Society (pp. 22-36);

Collins, R. Functional and Conflict Theories of Educational Stratification (pp. 37-52);

Rist, R. On Understanding the Processes of Schooling: the contributions of labeling theory (pp. 71-82);

Bourdieu, P. The Forms of Capital (pp. 83-96).

In-Class Activity: Students will offer academic critiques of assigned sociological theories of education. Guidelines for developing critiques are provided on our class Wiki site.

W 7/11 On-Line Readings Module 2: Integrating Theory with Research Praxis

Chapters 2 and 3 from Craig, D.V. (2009):

The process begins. (pp. 29-54);

The literature review. (pp. 55-82).

Chapters 1 and 2 from Massey, D.S., Charles, C.Z., Lundy, G.F., and Fischer, M.J. (2003).The Source of the River: The Social Origins of Freshmen at America’s Selective Colleges and Universities. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

The puzzle of minority achievement (pp. 1-19);

Sample and methodology (pp. 20-45).


Design a simple concept map that corresponds to your research focus. Be prepared to share your topic/map in class on Monday (July 18th). Consult the Craig text, pp. 40-43. DUE: Monday, 7/16, 8 a.m.

M 7/16 Integrating Theory, Policy, and Practice

Chapters 4 and 5 from Craig, D.V. (2009):

Designing research questions (pp. 83-106);

Identifying datasets to inform inquiry (pp. 107-136).

Chapters from Sociology of Education: a critical reader, 2nd ed. (2011). Sandoval, A., ed.:

Rosenbaum, J. (2011). College-for-all: do students understand what college demands? (pp. 271-288).

Dougherty, K.J. and Kienzl, G.S. (2011). It’s not enough to get through the open door: inequalities by social background in transfer from community colleges to four-year colleges (pp. 289-312);

Attewell, P. and Lavin, D. (2011). Mass higher education and its critics (pp. 313-288).

In-Class Activity: Readings discussion; informal presentations on classmates’ varied sociological orientations to higher education/action research inquiry.

W 7/18 On-Line Readings Module 3: Education and Inequality, I

Chapter 3 and 4 from Massey, D.S., Charles, C.Z., Lundy, G.F., and Fischer, M.J. (2003):

Family Origins (pp. 46-69);

Neighborhood background (pp. 70-86).

Chapter from Sociology of Education: a critical reader, 2nd ed. (2011). Sandoval, A., ed.:

Rumberger, R.W. and Gandara, P. (2011). Seeking equity in the education of California’s english learners (pp. 425-440).

RESEARCH PRAXIS JOURNAL #3 (DUE: Monday, 7/23, 8 a.m.): "Organize the Literature."

Organize your initial research according to the Themes, Subthemes, and Convergence model shown in Figure 4.2, p. 100 of the Craig text. Include examples of online or library site resources that support or elaborate your scholarship further. Be prepared to share it with others in class on Monday. (NOTE: You will use this model to develop a Revised Topic Statement and organize your Annotated Bibliography.) DUE: Monday, 7/23, 8 a.m.

M 7/23 Education and Inequality, II

Chapter 6 in Craig, D. V. (2009). The action researcher’s tools (pp. 137-162).

Chapters in Massey, D.S., Charles, C.Z., Lundy, G.F., and Fischer, M.J. (2003):

Prior educational experience (pp. 87-108);

The social world of high school (pp. 109-132);

Racial identity and attitudes (pp. 133-154).

In-Class Activity: To Be Determined.

W 7/25 On-Line Readings Module 4: Education and Inequality III (Area Discussion)

Topic Statement & Annotated Bibliography DUE by Midnight

Chapter from Sociology of Education: a critical reader, 2nd ed. (2011). Sandoval, A., ed.:

Buchman, C. (2011). Gender Inequalities in the Transition to College (pp. 271-288).

Chapters 8, 9 and 10 from Massey, D.S., Charles, C.Z., Lundy, G.F., and Fischer, M.J. (2003):

Pathways to preparation (pp. 155-183);

Sink or swim: the first semester (pp. 184-196).

Lessons learned (pp. 197-208).

RESEARCH PRAXIS JOURNAL #4 (DUE Monday, 7/30, 8 a.m.): "Methods Mania."

Complete a hypothetical triangulation matrix (as shown in Exhibits 5.6 and 5.7, on pp. 124 and 125 of the Craig text) that explores different methodologies and types of data sources that could be used for your research. Due Monday, 7/30, 8 a.m.

M 7/30 Class Presentations and Discussion

Chapter 8 in Craig, D.V. (2009): The action research report (pp. 201-218).

In-Class Activity: Presentations and Discussion

W August 1 On-Line Readings Module 4: Post Digital Presentations on Wiki

(DUE: Wednesday, midnight)

RESEARCH PRAXIS JOURNAL #5 (DUE Friday, 5 p.m.): “Mixed Methods”

Refer to your updated triangulation matrix and write 1-3 paragraphs that consider and compare how data and methods choices will impact an estimated research schedule. Choose an action plan and explain your choice, in both scholarly and practical terms. Include as an APPENDIX in your Final Project Proosal. DUE: Friday, August 3rd, 5 p.m

Final Project Proposal Write-Up DUE by Friday August 3rd, 5 p.m.