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Sociocultural Foundations of Education

Neumann University

CRSE Competencies 1, 2

Course Description

How can teachers understand and address social inequalities, especially along lines of race, skin color, ethnicity, gender identity, age, nationality, language, class, economic status, ability, level of education, sexual orientation, and religion? The purpose of this course is two-fold: to acquaint students with the current sociopolitical context of schools and to serve as a springboard for personal identity work requisite for the teaching profession. For prospective teachers to become effective practitioners and advocates for students, they need to understand how multiple forces influence their own experience and perspectives as well as schools and society. In this course students will examine their own cultural lens, reflect on their biases and on how their biases will impact their work in schools. Through examination of the sociological, historical, cultural, and political foundations of education broadly, students will also recognize biases that exist in the educational system and identify educational strategies and practices to remove institutional bias and inequities.

Course Syllabi


Why was this course your focus?

“I created a new course and for the time being I am using the title, “Sociocultural Foundations of Education.” While I want the CRSE Competencies integrated throughout our education programs, I believe a stand-alone course, to be taken early in the programs, will engage students in reflecting on their cultural identities, exploring racism and other institutionalized oppressions, and identifying antiracist educational strategies. By doing these things early in their teacher preparation program, students will be more likely to continue the work as they engage with the CRSE Competencies throughout the program. (I want this course to be part of our undergraduate dual certification program and hope that it will be a model for similar courses in all of our teacher preparation programs, including those at the MS and EdD levels.)”


These artifacts highlight essential resources used in the course, including a culturally responsive curriculum scorecard, important vocabulary terms, and a reflective assignment focused on students’ own cultural backgrounds.

Meet the Teacher Educator

Dr. Amy Hoyle

Professor and Dean of the School of Social Science, Humanities, and Education

Neumann University

Sociocultural Foundations of Education

Course Type



CRSE1 Cultural Lens

CRSE2 Bias

Content Area

Elementary, Special Education, Secondary, Early Childhood


Early-program, Undergraduate



CRSE focus