The aim of the MEd program in Social and Cultural Foundations is to develop knowledge and clarify thinking about matters of value and value conflict in (and outside of) America schools.  In pursuit of this aim we explore the meaning of social values such as equality, opportunity, pluralism and community and how they have been pursued through education.  

An MEd student in Social and Cultural Foundations:

  • is able to identify and critically engage the public purposes of schooling
  • recognizes how the multiple and often competing purposes of schools in society show up in policy and practice
  • recognizes that schools are sites of social and historical struggle for many
  • is able to recognize what's at stake in an educational issue from more than one perspective
  • knows and understands how social values and public purposes are often in tension in education and with each other
  • does not expect to find easy resolutions of such tensions, but is inclined to wrestle with ways to balance or manage them in policy and practice
  • understands that he or she is implicated in ongoing struggles over education, equity and purposes of schools 

Examples of M.Ed. projects undertaken by our students in Social and Cultural Foundations:

  • Value Tensions in Inclusive Special Education
  • Parenting as a Political Project
  • Sex, Money, and Politics: An Analysis of United States Federal Funding for Sex Education
  • The Jackson Street Project: Reading and Writing ‘Place’ in Education
  • A Role for the Humanities in Undergraduate Chemistry Education
  • Two Interpretations of the University of Washington Mission Statement
  • School Exclusion and Why Seattle is not So Progressive
  • A Class All Their Own: Economic and Educational Independence of Free People of Color in Antebellum Louisiana
  • Filipino Student Activism at the University of Washington: Transforming the University as well as the Community
  • “Who Shall Educate the Mexican and Native Children”: The Decline of La Escuelita and the Center for the Study of Migrant and Indian Education in the Yakima Valley, WA, 1968-1974

Learn more about courses and program requirements»

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