Return to: Curry School of Graduate Education
Studies in Social Foundations focus on issues that reach beyond given roles and goals of education specialists and practitioners and delve into complex relationships between school and society, education and culture. In this context, schools are viewed as social organizations whose policies affect and are affected by social and intellectual currents both in the U.S. and abroad. Education, in turn, is broadly conceived and includes both schooling and non-schooling enterprises. Because Social Foundations offers a perspective on education in its larger dimensions, it functions as the “humanities of education”.
Degree offerings are aimed at providing students with conceptual tools essential for a full understanding of educational processes. Unlike most graduate programs in education, Social Foundations includes a range of academic disciplines. Its multidisciplinary approach affords insight into questions regarding the aims and consequences (intended or unintended) of any given educational activity or of education as a whole.
By exploring the broader questions regarding social and cultural context, graduates are equipped to perform valuable roles in education and in government. Because most graduates have varied backgrounds and familiarity with other educational and academic fields, they bring to their tasks an intellectual orientation that heightens their sensitivity to the social implications of educational decisions. Studies at the doctoral level can prepare individuals for positions in universities and colleges, policy-related positions in schools and school systems, work in educational research agencies, or other positions in professional education. Opportunities also exist for graduates to find employment in domestic and international governmental agencies. Those who complete their studies with a master’s degree are likely candidates for employment in secondary schools and community colleges.