Concentration in Educational Foundations with a Socio-Culture Studies Focus


Students studying outside.

Program overview

Students in our Educational Foundations program will explore the socio-cultural and philosophical contexts of educational practice.

Why educational foundations at Western Michigan University?

Each student is encouraged to meet with a faculty advisor to design a program to study specific educational problems. Because educational issues tend to be complex, interdisciplinary inquiry is often a part of this concentration. The size of this program is controlled, providing students with a personally and professionally meaningful experience.

Program mission

  • Develop skills necessary for ongoing critical inquiry concerning ways that educational aims and practices reflect and emerge from taken-for-granted cultural assumptions as well as formal institutional and political policies.
  • Develop an understanding of the ways professional aims and practices are embedded in institutions and reflect their socio-historical contexts and cultural assumptions;
  • Increase awareness of historically pertinent and current issues related to schooling;
  • Develop an understanding of moral and political assumptions that affect schooling, and how these shape political relationships, particularly with regard to social justice and environmental sustainability;
  • Expand and refine academic discipline-based skills.


Core Courses (9 credits)

  • ED 6010 - Intro to Research in Educational Settings
  • ES 6330 - Education and Human Flourishing
  • ES 6340 - Culture and Politics of Educational Institutions

Program Concentration (12 credits)

Students can take a variety of courses in and outside the department related to their chosen concentration. Courses can include:

  • ES 6030 - Sociological and Philosophical Foundations
  • ES 6300 - History of US Education
  • ES 6730 - Class, Ethnicity, Gender in Education
  • ES 6750 - Multicultural Education
  • ED 6980 - Special Topics
  • ES 5850 - Social Justice and Community Organizing
  • ED 6280 - Curriculum Theory
  • ED 6020 - School Curriculum

Electives (6 credits)

  • Advisor approved graduate courses, normally from outside the department, which support a particular scholarly interest

Masters Thesis or Capstone (3-6 credits)

  • ED 7000 - Masters Thesis 
  • ED 6790 - Capstone Project


Applicants are asked to include some program-specific information, with a summary for these requirements found below:

Applicants are encouraged to bookmark this information for quick reference while working through the graduate application process.

Documents and Resources

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