Education 101

Education 101: Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

Why do schools look the way they do? This is the important question answered by Education 101.

This course surveys the historical, philosophical, ideological, social, cultural, political, and economic foundations of American education and uses this information as a lens to analyze educational practices. Current issues affecting schools, teachers, students, families and communities are examined and discussed throughout the course. Discussion of student, teacher, and community diversities and identities will be integrated into the course.  

Students participate in a structured service learning experience in which they experience, observe, and reflect on issues related to schooling.

Goals for the course include students being able to: 

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the philosophical and historical foundations of American education and connect them to current practices affecting American schools and school children
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the social, cultural, political, and  economic foundations of American education and connect them to current practices affecting American schools and school children
  • Develop a personal philosophy of education
  • Examine the qualities effective schools and classroom practices
  • Investigate major issues impacting contemporary American education, as well as various reform initiatives that seek to affect public education
  • Understand schools as a part of the world, not apart from it
  • Examine educational issues within the context of local (Durham/NC) practices
  • Experience and practice service-learning as a pedagogy to deepen understanding of course content
  • Gain experience working with school-aged children in a tutoring relationship

Why is this a Service-Learning Class?

  • The service-learning component of the course is integral to its experience. In addition to being engaged in rigorous readings, class discussions, and lectures, students are challenged to apply their learning in a manner that provides tangible service to the community.
  • Students engage in a minimum of 20 hours of planned service activities during the semester. During the course of the semester, students will tutor in local school or after school settings as well as plan service-learning experiences with K-12 students. This provides the opportunity for experiencing and then reflecting on current teaching and learning practices as well as on educational issues facing society today.
  • Students will write reflections on how their tutoring experience relates to the course content and their learning experience. Ongoing reflection is an important value of this class and the education programs at Duke.

Various professors teach Education 101 at Duke. Regardless of instructor, students are given a thorough and memorable introduction to the complex world of education in this foundation course. 

For more information, contact Professor Amy Anderson.