9. Area Seminars, Colloquia, and Electives

Following successful completion of the Core courses and the First Examination, students will enroll in Area Seminars specific to their Concentration and Option. The purpose of these seminars will be to promote discussion of critical contemporary research issues in Arts and Humanities Education; Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education, and Policy Studies in Education. Participation in the seminars will inform students of the state of the art in research in their specialized field of interest and help them to formulate significant topics for their own dissertation research. Further details of the content and credits for the Area Seminars will be provided in the full Proposal document and will be developed with the guidance of the Faculty Advisory Group (see section 8) for that specialist area.

Less formal than the Area Seminars, and available to students from the time of their arrival at the Graduate Center will be the Area Colloquia, whose principal function will be to introduce students to the CUNY faculty members who are active in research and professional work relevant to their interests and to the faculty's current research projects. In addition, the Colloquia will also promote dialogue with guests from other programs and institutions, and provide opportunities for discussions of and guidance to initial reading in the literature of the field, up-coming conferences, and other professional activities.

The doctoral program in Curriculum and Policy Studies in Urban Education will from time to time introduce elective courses of special significance for our students. We have determined that the first such elective, to be proposed as an integral part of the initial doctoral program, will be "Technology and Education: Critical Perspectives". This course will be required of all students in the MSTE Option of Curriculum Studies, and we expect that it will also be taken by many other students in the program. The course is described below.

Finally, there will be Dissertation Cluster Seminars, in which advanced research students will have opportunities to share the experiences and difficulties of their research work with one another and with members of the faculty, to articulate the relations and connections of their various projects and findings to one another's work, and to mutually support one another during the dissertation phase of their doctoral studies.


Program Elective (New Course):

Technology and Education: Critical Perspectives (3 credits)


In this course students will examine current curriculum and policy issues regarding the use of new information and communications technologies in education in their larger social, historical, and political contexts. Economic, legal, ethical, instructional, and institutional issues, as well as questions of the validation of knowledge sources, will be discussed and students will gain direct experience developing and participating in individual and group projects utilizing advanced communications and information technologies.


New information and communication technologies are creating both new opportunities and new dilemmas for educators concerned with curriculum and policy issues. This course will situate contemporary concerns about technology and education in their larger social and historical contexts, offering critical perspectives on such issues as economic pressures to adopt new technologies, the history of American technological optimism, technologies as media for social control, and the assessment of technological effectiveness in education. Beginning with views of the larger role of technology in urban social ecologies and the history of education, the course will aim to examine current curricular, legal, ethical, and political issues surrounding the adoption of multimedia and networked computer technologies in schools.

Educators need conceptual frameworks for examining such issues as resistance to the imposition of technological change in the workplace, possible gender bias in software and interface design, legal and ethical issues of uncensored access to information in schools, and teachers' and students' rights to publish their views on networks. We also need to critically examine the potential impact of non-linear, interactive, multimedia genres of expression, argumentation, and communication on the curriculum and on the culture of schools. New communications technologies integrated with learning may also radically change the institutional networks, and so the roles and relationships, among students, teachers, administrators, and the many potential mentors and knowledge providers outside traditional school structures.

In this course students will not only gain experience with analyzing curricular and policy issues involving the use of new educational technologies but will also participate in and develop individual and group projects using such technologies as computerized simulations and visualizations, multimedia authoring systems, intranet groupware and internet communication and resource design tools. Students will be expected to have already achieved basic levels of computer literacy independently or through non-credit workshops available in existing GSUC computer labs. The course will also aim to take advantage of the various research and development projects in educational and telecommunications technology at CUNY, including those at the Center for Media and Learning and at the Stanton-Heiskell Center for Telecommunications.

This course will be available to all students in the doctoral program in Curriculum and Policy Studies in Urban Education, and will be required for students electing the Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education option within Curriculum Studies.

A course outline and bibliography will be developed by the Faculty Advisory Group for Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education in consultation with other members of the faculty with relevant expertise.

Expected Enrollment: 10-15 students per year.