Educational Studies M.Ed
The Educational Studies program offers graduate students in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education an option for academically rigorous interdisciplinary learning, pragmatically designed to suit their own individual gifts, backgrounds, and goals as educators. Distinctively grounded in arts, humanities, and social sciences, the Educational Studies program prepares students to interpret, criticize, and construct educational ideas and arguments. This preparation examines the history of educational thought, institutions, and policies in their cultural and philosophical contexts, all critically grounded in social justice, whether your community or education is locally or globally.
Educational Studies is the perfect space for students, practitioners, and community members interested in in-depth and transformative conversations on schools/schooling, contemporary issues affecting our communities, as well the history of intellectual thought. Our students are engaging in conversations about education’s problems and possibilities and our own roles in society. Similarly, some Educational Studies students are experienced and concerned professional educators who think both critically and imaginatively not just about methods and techniques, but also especially about the purposes, meanings, and values of their work. These educators are interested in understanding their own positionalities and in engaging in transformative work within their schools. While other Educational Studies are interested in careers in non-profit organizations or government agencies where knowledge supported by course work grounded in the history, sociology, and philosophy of education will best prepare them. In any of these cases, Educational Studies may be well suited to develop your own insights and capacities for intellectual and leadership in education and your local community. Faculty in OU’s Educational Studies program are also uniquely grounded in interdisciplinary fields such as Latina/o/x Studies, African American/Black Studies, Indigenous Studies, and Queer and Gender Studies. Our students benefit a great deal from engaging in scholarship and conversations within these traditions.
As the oldest field in the modern education profession, scholars in the Educational Studies tradition analyze, evaluate, and construct educational narratives, artifacts, archives, concepts, values, purposes, theories, policies, pedagogies, and curricula as well as experimental institutions of learning. The contemporary fields educational inquiry claims its sources and standards of evidence, conceptual frameworks, analytic techniques, evaluative tools, rules of critical engagement, and pedagogical protocols directly from the arts, humanities, cultural studies, and social sciences—rather than from the behavioral sciences that now frame other fields’ methods of educational research and standards of educational expertise. Such interpretive, critical, and normative inquiries on education may concern any age group or the whole human lifespan, any or all subjects, many aims, diverse cultural contexts, various institutional settings, and even different historical periods.
Most Educational Studies graduate students work professionally as teachers, professors, community educators, and educational administrators—and engage in scholarly self-examination of such work—while pursuing the M.Ed. and Ph.D. A monthly colloquium brings Educational Studies graduate students and faculty together informally for discussion of challenging issues and readings as a professional community of learning and inquiry led by students or invited speakers. Graduate students in Educational Studies practice statewide stewardship of the field and participate in professional development activities through the Oklahoma Educational Studies Association http://www.ou.edu/oesa/, for which they also provide democratic leadership. All are encouraged also to become professionally active as scholars in OESA’s national sponsor-organization, the American Educational Studies Association http://www.educationalstudies.org/, as well as in other relevant groups, such as the History of Education Society https://www.historyofeducation.org/, International Standing Conference on the History of Education (ISCHE) https://www.ische.org/, Philosophy of Education Society http://philosophyofeducation.org/, Association for Moral Education http://www.amenetwork.org/, Society of Philosophy & History of Education http://sopheconference.com/, International Society of Educational Biography http://www.isebio.org/, International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry http://www.icqi.org/, National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in Higher Education http://www.ncore.ou.edu/, and Gender and Education Association http://www.genderandeducation.com/.
More than just required courses, Educational Studies graduate programs at the University of Oklahoma offer a variety of learning experiences to compose a coherent, practical, and scholarly apprenticeship in the field, tailored to each student’s own special interests and talents. With extensive experience as teachers and leaders in schools, colleges, universities, and other public-service settings, Educational Studies faculty members mentor their graduate students as apprentice scholars developing personally meaningful and morally purposeful programs of original inquiry with topically diverse emphases in philosophy, history, and sociology of education.
For further information about the Educational Studies program and advising with regard to preparation of your application for admission, contact the program area coordinator for Educational Studies, Dr. Mirelsie Velazquez.