See also my posts about teaching for pedagogical resources and personal reflections.

See also all courses offered by the Educational Studies Program at Trinity College.

My Course Syllabi

Educ 200: Analyzing Schools

This course introduces the study of schooling within an interdisciplinary framework. Drawing upon sociology, we investigate the resources, structures, and social contexts which influence student opportunities and outcomes in the United States and other countries. Drawing upon psychology, we contrast theories of learning, both in the abstract and in practice. Drawing upon philosophy, we examine competing educational goals and their underlying assumptions regarding human nature, justice, and democracy. In addition, a community learning component, where students observe and participate in nearby K-12 classrooms for three hours per week, will be integrated with course readings and written assignments. Each student must reserve one three-hour block of time in their weekly schedule (anytime between 9am – 3pm weekdays) for a community learning placement in a neighborhood Hartford public school, to be arranged by the instructor during the first week of the course. Enrollment limited to 29. See my Educ 200 syllabus, Fall 2016.

Orientation at ELAMS, 2016
School Placement Orientation at ELAMS, 2016

Educ 300: Education Reform, Past & Present

How do we explain the rise and decline of education reform movements? How do we evaluate their level of “success” from different sources of evidence? Drawing upon primary source materials and historical interpretations, this course examines a broad array of elementary, secondary, and higher education reform movements from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, analyzing social, material, and ideological contexts. This intermediate-level seminar explores a topic common to all branches of educational studies from both theoretical and comparative perspectives. Prerequisite: Ed 200 or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 24. See my current Educ 300 syllabus.

Teaching Race in Archives, 2019
Teaching Race in the Watkinson Archives, 2019

Educ 308: Cities, Suburbs, and Schools

How did city dwellers’ dreams of better schooling, along with public policy decisions in housing and transportation, contribute to the rise of suburbia in the twentieth century? How do city-suburban disparities affect teaching and learning in classrooms today? What promise do Sheff v O’Neill remedies for racial isolation, such as magnet schools at the Learning Corridor, hold for the future? Students will investigate these questions while developing their skills in oral history, ethnographic fieldwork, and geographical information system (GIS) software. Community learning experiences will be integrated with seminar readings and research projects. Prerequisite: Ed 200 or Psyc 225 or the Cities Program or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 20. See my current Educ 308 syllabus.

Riding Bus to Research, 2016
Riding the Bus to Research School Choice, 2016

Educ 350: Teaching and Learning

This seminar will explore theoretical, policy, and practical issues of teaching and learning. Who should teach in public schools, and what kind of preparation is necessary? What type of curriculum should be taught, and how do different interest groups shape that decision? How should we assess the quality of student learning? Finally, how do debates on all of these questions influence the nature of teachers’ work and classroom life? Note: For the community learning component, students will design and teach two hands-on science or math lessons at a nearby elementary school during our class time. Prerequisite: Ed 200 or permission of instructor (email a one-paragraph statement of interest to either instructor). Enrollment limited to 19. See my Educ 350 syllabus (with Prof Kyle Evans), Spring 2019.

Elaina Rollins Teaches, 2016
Elaina Rollins Teaches Creative Writing and Science, 2016

Educ 400 Senior Research Seminar

To fulfill the senior exercise requirement, students carry out an independent research project which builds upon acquired skills and evolving interests. The weekly seminar provides a thematic focus as well as a continuous forum for both support and critical feedback from peers, in preparation for a public presentation of the student’s work at the end of the semester. Each year, the seminar will be organized around a broad theme in educational studies. Ordinarily taken in the fall semester of the senior year, with the option of continuing as a one-credit senior thesis (Educ 497) in the spring semester. See my Educ 400 syllabus, Fall 2017.

Seminar with Guest Alumna, 2016
Senior Seminar with Guest Alumna Samantha Alcala, 2016

First-Year Seminar: Color and Money - Race and Social Class at Trinity and Beyond

Who gains—and who loses—in the admissions process at Trinity College and other elite institutions? Which racial diversity or financial aid policies might meet our desired goals? How do undergraduates experience racial and social class differences on campus? What can we learn from Trinity’s own history to recommend meaningful change? In this seminar, students will role-play a college admissions committee, conduct interviews for a campus research project, and enhance their research and writing skills. Given our controversial topic, participants should be prepared to listen to alternative viewpoints, challenge (and be challenged) on opinions and evidence, and get involved in making change. See my FYSM syllabus, Fall 2015.

FY Mentor Jasmine Gentry, 2015
First-Year Mentor Jasmine Gentry Leads Seminar, 2015

Data Visualization for All

Tell your story and show it with data. In this introductory data visualization course, you will learn how to design interactive charts and maps on the web, using easy-to-learn free tools: Google Sheets, Tableau Public, Highcharts, Leaflet, and GitHub. We’ll begin with easy-to-learn tools, then gradually work our way up to editing open-source code templates with GitHub. Together, we’ll follow step-by-step tutorials with video screencasts, and share our work for feedback on the web. Real-world examples are drawn from Trinity College students working with community organizations in the City of Hartford, Connecticut. This course is ideal for non-profit organizations, small business owners, local governments, journalists, academics, or anyone who wants to tell their story and show the data.