The Humanities of Education
In Social Foundations, we examine issues that reach beyond the given roles and goals of educational specialists and practitioners and delve into the complex interrelationships between school and society, education and culture. In this context, we view schools as social organizations whose policies affect and are affected by social and intellectual currents both in the U.S. and abroad. We take a broad view of education and include both schooling and non-schooling enterprises. Because Social Foundations offers a perspective on education in its larger dimensions, we function as the "humanities of education."
Unlike most graduate programs in education, Social Foundations makes use of a range of academic disciplines to better understand education. Its multi-disciplinary approach affords insight into questions regarding the aims and consequences (intended or unintended) of any given educational activity or of education taken as a whole. An interdepartmental area of emphasis is offered in Educational Policy Studies. This area is a joint endeavor of the Department of Leadership, Foundations & Policy, the Center for Higher Education, and Social Foundations of Education.
We offer the M.Ed. full-time in Charlottesville, or part-time at our Northern Virginia Center with a schedule convenient for working professionals.
The Master’s degree provides a broad understanding of the complexities and processes of today's education environment, while also providing the focused knowledge and skill development that are directly applied to helping students in the classroom. Training at the Master's level prepares individuals for teaching positions in K-12 education and community colleges, policy-related functions in schools and school systems, and employment in various governmental agencies.
Graduate training at the doctoral level prepares individuals for positions in universities and colleges, for policy-related functions in schools and school systems, for work in educational research agencies, or for other positions in professional education. Opportunities also exist for employment in various governmental agencies, both domestic and international.
Our history as a graduate program in Social Foundations goes back to 1970, but we are linked to a broader field of inquiry pioneered at Teachers College, Columbia University in the 1930's and now encompassing most major universities in the United States. Like John Dewey, George S. Counts, and Harold Rugg, we insist that educational activities must be evaluated in terms of their social as well as their pedagogical outcomes. Like our colleagues in Social Foundations across the country, we maintain that there is much more to education than schooling and that there is much more to schooling than the technology of educational practice.