Dean of Multicultural Education and Inclusion, Associate Professor of Education Studies
Kristen Luschen, associate professor of education studies, received her B.A. and M.A. in Sociology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She received her doctorate in Cultural Foundations of Education and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Women's Studies from Syracuse University.
Her research and teaching explores how cultural conceptions of youth shape school culture and policy and the experiences of young people in them. Professor Luschen's research has examined how adult female educators working within the umbrella of pregnancy prevention services at an urban school district struggled to provide access to services and sexuality education for all young people in their district.
Her current research examines how local educators in small schools struggle to meet the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act. Professor Luschen and her students have created a documentary, The Cost of Accountability: Teaching under the No Child Left Behind Act, which explores the experiences of these educators. She teaches courses in sociology of education, qualitative and feminist methodology, gender studies, and cultural studies of education.
Students and their parents see the value of their life histories in the classroom and they become more engaged with projects that draw from cultural-familial knowledge. How are teachers drawing from these sources of knowledge? What are the struggles of integrating children's community/family histories into schools? Does the integration of pedagogies of the home/family histories necessarily disrupt educators' deficit thinking? What does the process of integrating one's silenced history into school mean for under-represented/marginalized/silenced children and their families? How do educators work in solidarity with families for the education of children? We will draw from social and cultural foundations of education literature that highlights epistemologies and pedagogies exploring the intersection of cultural-familial knowledge and educational environments. While delving into the literature that addresses critical family history and oral history as pedagogical tools, we will engage in telling, writing, and researching our own family histories, genealogies, or oral histories.
Why do some students think about college as the natural next step in their education, while others do not consider college as an available option? What are the various factors that influence college access and what types of resources and programming contribute to the inclusion and retention of first generation and underserved students in college and universities. This course will build upon the outreach efforts of the Critical Studies of Childhood, Youth and Learning program (CYL) by acquainting students interested in education studies, youth mentoring & leadership, and youth development with the research on college access and retention. Students will explore the history of higher education with regard to educational access as well as the significance of early college awareness for students from underserved communities. Enrolled students will be required to participate in a semester-long community-based, college awareness project.
Large numbers of students, particularly Latino, African American, and Native American students, disengage from school every year. Often this is in the form of "dropping out." However, there also is clear evidence that social policies as well school policies and practices work to push these students out of schools or exclude them all together. This course will examine the conditions of schooling that work to support students' formal and informal disengagement with school. We will explore what schools and their community partners can do to reengage students in schooling. We will explore research and current models of schooling that address the cultivation of a sense of belonging and community in schools. In particular, we will examine programs and schools that forefront community engagement, dialogue, racial justice, and student participation.
This course offers a critical introduction to ethnographic fieldwork, interviewing, and related methods. Special emphasis is given to the concept of reflexivity - the recognition that social scientists are participants in the worlds they study- and its epistemological and ethical implications for the practice of social research. We will balance learning about the methods of ethnographic inquiry with critical examination of the philosophical assumptions that inform them. We will pay particular attention to problems of interpretation and meaning, asking: how can we know and understand others lives in relation to our own? This integration of theory and practice will be achieved through reading, discussion, and most importantly students' own research projects. Prerequisite: Students should enroll with a viable ethnographic research proposal and ready to begin fieldwork by the third week.
Dean of Multicultural Education and Inclusion Associate Professor of Education Studies
Mail Code SS
Cole Science Center 107
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002