EDUC 621: Social Justice and Diversity in Education

3 credit hours

This course focuses on issues of diversity, oppression and social justice. It is designed to prepare those working in the education and training fields to be knowledgeable of biases, based on race, ethnicity, culture, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, social and economic status, political ideology, disability and how these contribute to discrimination and oppression. Students will learn about diverse cultures, family structures, roles, immigration and assimilation experiences of marginalized groups. Students will also learn about the influence of dominant culture on these diverse and marginalized groups. Additionally, this course will examine the adaptive capabilities and strengths of these marginalized groups and how such capabilities and strengths can be used in effective educational settings. The course will assist educators and trainers in understanding the complex nature and dynamics of social oppression, diversity and social functioning. Students will explore their own personal values, beliefs, and behaviors that may limit their ability to effectively interact in educational settings with people of diverse backgrounds, in particular, disadvantaged and oppressed persons. Themes include justice, suffering, the role of government, poverty, and society’s response to them. Initiatives and responses of both secular and faith-based groups to injustices in the past (e.g. Civil Rights, abolitionism), will be examined.