Social Sciences & Comparative Education

SSCE Sub-Specializations

The SSCE Division offers both the Masters and Ph.D. degree in the following sub-specializations.

The Comparative/International Education program trains students in various facets of comparative, international, and cross-cultural education studies. Its general aims are: First, to train specialists in comparative/international education. Second, to train specialists in the development of comparative/international education theories, as well as research in field settings. Third, to promote and foster understanding of how educational policies and programs impact social, political, and economic development. Fourth, to focus on issues of equity, social justice, education in global and domestic contexts. Fifth, to train students for leadership roles in government and non-government agencies, international, multilateral and bilateral institutions.

Structurally, the specialization follows the pattern of the general UCLA campus, in that its specialists operate within an area studies structure. That is, comparative education specialists give attention to specific geographic regions of the world, though their research is also of a broader nature.

Comparative education relies on a social science foundation. Its specialists are identified with the disciplines of sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, and history. Students are recruited from these backgrounds, though other fields, such as applied linguistics or the humanities, are relevant to the field.

Philosophical/Cultural Studies in Education

The program in Philosophical/Historical Studies in Education trains students in classical philosophy of education, the problems in contemporary philosophy of education, and more specialized topics in the philosophy of education such as aesthetic education, moral education, multicultural education, science and education, as well as the history and historiography of education.

The program seeks students interested in pursuing research into the role education played in the past in the good life and the good society as well as in normative questions concerning what education is and should be today. We are also interested in contemporary issues in education situated in historical and comparative context, such as the impact of postmodernism, feminism, multicultural, and critical race theories on education; the new methodologies emerging from these perspectives and the emerging technologies which suggest both perils and promises for a potentially progressive reconstruction of education.

Courses on Cultural Studies develop critical media pedagogies to promote critical media literacy. The program focuses on critical approaches to representations of gender, race, class, and sexual preference in education and culture; and the new literacies necessary to analyze critically and interpret media culture, cyber culture, and multimedia culture.

Race and Ethnic Studies in Education

The program in Race and Ethnic Studies in Education is an interdisciplinary program of educational research, practice, and policy that focuses on racial and ethnic minorities in the United States and abroad. The program explores the relationships between educational practices and structures (i.e.,the social and cultural context) and the production and reproduction of racial, ethnic, gender, and class inequalities and conflicts. The program recognizes that educational institutions are among the most significant arenas in which these topics can be explored.

The Race and Ethnic Studies in Education program focuses on such areas as:

1. Analyzing existing and developing theoretical frameworks to examine the educational experiences of racial and ethnic minorities;

2. Analyzing existing and developing methodologies for conducting educational research in racial and ethnic minority settings;

3. Examining the interaction between theory, methods, and practice in racial and ethnic minority educational settings;

4. Training for leadership in setting the educational research and policy agenda for racial and ethnic minorities.

Beginning Fall 2018, the SSCE Division will have two areas of sub-specialization,which will be: 1) comparative/ international studies in education, 2) race, ethnic and cultural studies in education.

Race, Ethnic and Cultural Studies in Education

The program in Race, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies in Education is an interdisciplinary program of educational research, practice, and policy that focuses on the role of race, ethnicity, and culture in the United States and abroad. The program has a particular emphasis on the relationship between educational practice and structure (i.e., social and cultural contexts) and the production and reproduction of inequality and conflict. The program is also interested in critical approaches to representations of gender, race, class, and sexuality in education and culture and the new literacies necessary to analyze critically and interpret media culture, cyber culture, and multimedia culture.

Courses in Race, Ethnic, and Cultural Studies in Education examine contemporary issues in education situated in historical and comparative contexts, such as the impact of postmodernism, feminism, and critical race theories on education. These conceptual approaches inform a critical approach to theory and methods that yield new insight into research, practice, and policy in educational settings.