Educational Studies

The Educational Studies secondary field offers students an opportunity to examine education from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Education is an intentional intervention in human development. For as long as we know, human beings have been interested in how to shape children into adults who understand cultural values and can contribute to the needs of the community. In modern societies, education is seen as a prime lever for a number of key (and sometimes conflicting) goals, such as increasing national economic competitiveness, supporting upward mobility, improving public health, increasing civic engagement and achieving global understanding. In addition, defining features of contemporary life, such as the proliferation of digital technologies and global migration, have significant implications for education. As a result, questions about education are central to number of academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology, economics and government. The Education Studies Secondary leverages this multidisciplinary interest in education and allows students to create a coherent program of study from courses offered across the University.

Students pursuing the secondary field may explore a broad overview including course work related to individual learning, schools as organizations, the role of education in society and educational policy. Alternatively, students may choose to focus in depth on a particular aspect of education such as social stratification, literacy, childhood and adolescence, or policy. Students are encouraged to be in touch with the Director of the secondary field for help developing a plan of study.

REQUIREMENTS: 5 courses (20 credits)

  1. One foundational course, from an approved list of courses.
  2. Four additional courses related to education from an approved list of courses (or approved through petition).

    Three of the five courses must be offered by distinct academic units (departments or schools). A list of approved courses in education is available at Educational Studies secondary field website.
  3. A capstone project related to education. This can include:
    1. Writing a senior thesis on a topic related to education
    2. Taking a course on education that requires a significant research project
    3. Writing a research paper related to education while enrolled in a supervised reading and research course.
    4. Working in a laboratory or as a research assistant on a study related to education.
    5. Completing an extracurricular project that involves significant learning and reflection.

      The capstone project must be approved by the Director of the secondary field. It can be undertaken in one of the five courses satisfying requirements for the secondary field or in another course not counting toward the secondary field. The Director of the secondary field can help identify and arrange opportunities for the capstone project.

OTHER INFORMATION

Students will be encouraged to declare their interest in the Secondary Field in Educational Studies during their Junior year and may not declare after October 1 of their Senior year.

Due to FAS regulations, only one course may double count for a secondary field and concentration.

Although it is possible to fulfill the program requirements solely with FAS courses, most students will likely take one or two courses from professional schools. Consistent with the FAS regulations on cross-registration, students will be able to count no more than 2 courses (8 credits) towards the secondary field.

ADVISING RESOURCES AND EXPECTATIONS

For additional information and advice about the program and course selection, students may contact Professor Julie Reuben (julie_reuben@gse.harvard.edu). Additional information can be found on the Educational Studies secondary website (https://edsecondary.fas.harvard.edu/).