ERAM - Education Research and Methods

ERAM Class Schedule


ERAM 510   Uses and Abuses of Educational Research   credit: 4 Hours.

Aims at comprehensive research literacy by considering educational research in historical, philosophical, policy and political context. Through close reading and quantitative, qualitative, and humanistic studies, the discussion of interdisciplinary perspectives on the research process, students learn to engage intelligently with multiple modes of research and deal critically with policies claiming an evidentiary warrant. Specific topics include: the relationship between research, policy, and practice; the nature of theory and method, argument and evidence in the humanities and social sciences; the tensions between advocacy and research. Same as EPS 508. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

ERAM 515   Social Theories and Education   credit: 4 Hours.

Examines philosophical issues in social and political theory as they pertain to educational problems. The course includes topics such as autonomy, democratic education, educational reform, and social change. Same as EPS 516. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

ERAM 520   Researching Race in Education   credit: 4 Hours.

Focuses on the methods and methodology that education researchers engage to research educational equity as it relates to race, racism and racial equity in education. Drawing on the research methods literature in the social sciences, humanities and education, this course is appropriate for graduate students in education, sociology, anthropology, and others who have an interest in research methods, methodology and educational issues. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

ERAM 551   Philosophy and Educational Research   credit: 4 Hours.

Examines some crucial assumptions and concepts of contemporary research in education from the point of view both of the consumer and the practitioner of educational research. Topics include paradigm conflicts, causal attributions in social science, assessment, ethical problems in the conduct of research, and the assumptions of quantitative research. Same as EPS 515. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

ERAM 552   The Role of Theory in Educational Research   credit: 4 Hours.

All research is guided by theory. Theory provides a vocabulary, a set of laws or generalizations, a background literature, and a conceptual framework for any effort to plan, design, and execute a research study. There is no theory-free inquiry. This is true in the social sciences as well as the natural sciences. All research seeks to explain phenomena: a theory provides an explanation for those explanations. However, these theoretical assumptions are often implicit and unreflective. Researchers may think they have no theory, or have a theory that is so taken for granted that they don’t recognize it as an assumed theory. Much of educational research suffers from this lack of theoretical self-awareness. Like any other aspect of research, theories are falsifiable. They must stand the test of evidence – which may go against them. The goal of the class is not to identify the "right" or "best" theory, but to make the identification and selection of a theory more critical and reflective. Any major theory has insights, and each has limitations. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

ERAM 554   Postcolonial Theory and Methodology   credit: 4 Hours.

Since the 1990s, scholarship focusing on center-periphery relations has grown considerably. This scholarship is often identified with postcolonial theories of education and society. The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with this body of literature that addresses the way in which post-independent states are currently engaged in massive institutional transformations in light of globalization. Ultimately, we will explore the theoretical and methodological traditions foregrounded in postcolonial research and their implications for educational policy. Same as EPS 570. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

ERAM 555   Ethnographic Methods in Education   credit: 4 Hours.

Focuses on goals, nature, and methodological means of ethnographic research in educational settings broadly defined. Such research aims to describe and, moreover, to understand the ways of living of teachers, students, administrators, parents, and other participants in relevant social spaces. The class will be grounded in the disciplinary perspectives of cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural studies. We will have an ongoing discussion of how one conducts ethnographic research, and all members of the class will conduct their own mini-study. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

ERAM 556   Program Evaluation   credit: 4 Hours.

Examines models and methods of evaluating programs, processes, and products in broadly-defined organizations situated in various operational contexts (eg., education, business, government, NGO). Particular emphasis is given to topics of formative and summative evaluation, frameworks for program evaluation, quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, communicating and reporting evaluation findings, and the ethics and standards of evaluation practice. The underlying philosophy of the course is that evaluation can be the catalyst for organizational learning to facilitate intended changes, especially when initiated by those in training and organization development positions. Same as HRD 585. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

ERAM 557   Meaning Patterns: Semiotics and the Interpretation of Meanings in Education and the Social Sciences   credit: 4 Hours.

Addresses the ways in which knowledge is represented, with special reference to the knowledge representations of teachers and learners. Its interdisciplinary bases are functional linguistics, semiotics, philosophy, history of ideas, media/communication studies, and ontology in computer science. The focal point of the course is the five questions about meaning posed by Cope and Kalantzis in their transpositional grammar: "what is this about?" (reference); "who or what is doing this?" (agency); "what holds this together?" (structure); "how does this fit with its surroundings?" (context); and "what is this for?" (interest). Along these lines of inquiry, a transpositional grammar addresses language, image, embodied action, object and space. "Transposition" refers to the movement across these various forms of meaning, intensified in the era of pervasively multimodal, digitally-mediated communications. Applied to education, not only does this provide a valuable heuristic to reframe literacy teaching and learning (the original impulse for the development of this grammar). It also offers an integrated account of meaning-to-learn across all subject areas, including pedagogical content knowledge and learner knowledge representations. Conceived in the broader terms of social-scientific research methods, transpositional grammar is an attempt to overcome the narrowness and logocentrism of "the language turn" which dominated social sciences in the twentieth century. In a practical sense, semiotics of the kind explored in this course also provides tools for reading and interpreting multimodal texts and research data. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

ERAM 570   Seminar in the History of Education   credit: 4 Hours.

Intensive group study of a small number of selected problems to assist individual students to develop an understanding of and the ability to use the techniques of historical research in furthering such study; problems studied are selected in the light of the interests and previous training of the group of students enrolled. Same as EPS 503. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit. Prerequisite: Two courses in the history of education or consent of instructor.

ERAM 571   Traditions in Philosophy of Education   credit: 4 Hours.

Analyzes major trends and primary sources in philosophy of education, drawing mainly from the 20th century. Movements covered will include pragmatism, concept analysis, phenomenology, feminism, and Marxism/Critical theory. Same as EPS 510. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit. Prerequisite: An appropriate 300- and 400-level coursework in philosophy, philosophy of education, or consent of the instructor.

ERAM 572   Case Studies Professional Ethics and Education   credit: 4 Hours.

Examines issues in moral philosophy as they pertain to education. Topics include current theories of moral education, ethical problems in teaching, or topics of moral dispute in educational policy. Same as EPS 517. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

ERAM 573   Cultural Studies and Critical Interpretation   credit: 4 Hours.

Explores the history, applications and limitations of various theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of contemporary culture and popular media. Examines debates and issues within cultural studies and with other schools of thought. The impact of cultural studies across the disciplines. Same as EPS 575 and MDIA 575. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

ERAM 574   Education Law   credit: 4 Hours.

Examines the range of federal and state constitutional and statutory sources that apply to the constituents (pupils, parents, teachers, administrators, and board members) engaged in public schools. Emphasizes development of legal analytical skills. Same as EOL 547. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit.

ERAM 575   Action Research and Educational Leadership   credit: 4 Hours.

Encourages the development of an inquiry stance by enabling students to design action research projects grounded in authentic practice-based questions. The course examines action research as a vehicle for teacher and administrator growth and instructional reform. Practitioner inquiry is characterized by the careful documentation and systematic analysis of practice over time. In this class, students will ask critical questions about teaching and learning, curriculum, school management, student development, and educational change, while applying various methods of data collection and analysis, in the design of action research projects based within practitioners' school sites. This course introduces students to the foundations, purposes, and practices of action research and practitioner inquiry. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit. Prerequisite: EPOL 550. Advanced doctoral students.

ERAM 576   Discourse Analysis   credit: 4 Hours.

Students will gain an understanding of major theoretical and methodological approaches to doing discourse analysis in educational research (e.g., through analysis of face-to-face or online classroom talk and interaction, or published policy documents). Course assignments will provide students with opportunities to develop and apply tools for conducting research using discourse analytic methods. 4 graduate hours. No professional credit. Prerequisite: Successful completion of a minimum of one graduate-level introductory qualitative research methods course.