Course Offerings List
This course provides a hands-on introduction to the methods and theories of linguistic anthropology, a sub-field devoted to the study of language and interaction in sociocultural and political processes. We will consider language as more than a neutral conduit for exchanging information or expressing ideas. Through readings and data gathering and analysis exercises, we will explore language as a resource and a factor that shapes and is shaped by our experiences, identities, relationships with and perception of the world and the people around us. Major themes include race, citizenship, gender, disability, and interpretation and power.
It can be remarkably easy to take the process of looking for granted. Each day, humans contend with an onslaught of visual information. Education primarily focuses on teaching people how to read, write, and deal with numbers. But what about learning how to look closely and critically at images, at the world around us, and at ourselves? In this transdisciplinary course, we will question common assumptions and our own about looking; interrogate the anatomy and physiology of vision; develop our looking muscles; practice visual problem-solving strategies; and together design new tools to help people engage with the visual world.
This course will analyze and evaluate through a psychological lens the psychosocial causes and consequences of significant current events that impact different Asian groups in the U.S., such as pandemic-spurred anti-Asian sentiment and educational policy (e.g., the debate over magnet schools moving to lottery systems rather than test based), as well as long-standing "everyday" experiences common to Asian Americans (e.g., navigating biculturalism, microaggressions and model minority stereotypes) that may impact identity and mental health.
This course is the second course in the introductory American Sign Language (ASL) course sequence. This course aims to improve conversation skills in ASL, review and refine knowledge of basic grammar, broaden vocabulary, develop ASL-English translation skills, and increase awareness of Deaf culture. Students will develop their ASL skills through in-class interactive activities, and out-of-class readings and exercises.
Dance/Theater Pedagogy Seminar explores the connection between engaged dance and elementary school literacy, mathematics and social studies while allowing students the opportunity to be civically engaged and contribute to the community. The course combines teaching dance and movement classes to public school students from underserved communities in the Princeton region, while collectively engaging in an in-depth exploration of Dance in Education with an emphasis on recent developments in the field. Fieldwork takes place weekly at designated out-of-class times.
New Schools surveys experiments in para- and counter-institutional higher education over the last century, from Black Mountain to Outer Coast to Deep Springs. Why do experimental schools arise, flourish, fossilize, fail? What are the epistemic, social, and political implications of departures from pedagogical norms? We approach these new schools as historians, critics, and teachers (and students); we study their records, try their methods, and we may well build our own. The seminar responds to the crisis of opportunity in higher education and to the perpetual call for new ways to teach and learn.
In this course we will study borders, literal and imagined, and those who contest and enforce them. From internal, invisible gang borders in Central America, to the externalization of the US border, to barriers to belonging, we will look at movements that challenge borders (migrant caravans, immigrants' rights activism, coyote networks) and the enforcers of borders (the regional migration regime, the asylum system, and non-state actors who police mobility.) Tying together migration, deportation, and resistance, this course asks: how are borders maintained? What does transgressing them mean for those in power and for those who do the crossing?
Cognitive neuroscience is a young and exciting field with many questions yet to be answered. This course surveys current knowledge about the neural basis of perception, cognition and action and will comprehensively cover topics such as high-level vision, attention, memory, language, decision making, as well as their typical and atypical development. Precepts will discuss the assigned research articles, pertaining to topics covered in class with an emphasis on developing critical reading skills of scientific literature.
Introduction to a mathematical description of how networks of neurons can represent information and compute with it. Course will survey computational modeling and data analysis methods for neuroscience. Example topics are short-term memory and decision-making, population coding, modeling behavioral and neural data, and reinforcement learning. Classes will be a mix of lectures from the professor, and presentations of research papers by the students. Two 90 minute lectures, one laboratory. Lectures in common between NEU 437/NEU 537.
This course provides a realistic introduction to how public policy is made in the United States. It examines how people and political institutions come together to create and implement public policy. The course combines cutting edge social science with cases, simulations, and role playing exercises to provide students with concrete skills and practical tools for actual policy making.
The scientific study of social behavior, with an emphasis on social interaction and group influence. Topics covered will include social perception, the formation of attitudes and prejudice, attraction, conformity and obedience, altruism and aggression, and group dynamics.
Principles of psychology relevant to the theory and practice of education. Through selected readings, discussion, and classroom observations, students study theories of development, learning, cognition (including literacy), and motivation, as well as individual and group differences in these areas; assessment; and the social psychology of the classroom. The course focuses on how learning by children and adolescents at the elementary, middle, and secondary school levels is influenced by their own characteristics and experiences and the various contexts in which they learn: family, school, community and culture.
The United States, the richest country on earth, has more poverty than any other advanced democracy. Why? Why does this land of plenty allow one in eight of its children to go without basic necessities, permit scores of its citizens to live and die on the streets, and authorize its corporations to pay poverty wages? Drawing on history, social-scientific research, and reporting, this seminar will attempt to unravel this question. Weekly, we will discuss a topic central to understanding the causes and consequences of, and solutions to, American poverty. We will take field trips, welcome guests, and collaborate on projects to abolish poverty.
This seminar focuses on the structural and institutional foundations of racial discrimination in the United States. It emphasizes the contributions of sociologists, some of whom will participate as invited guests. The course gives a historical overview followed by an investigation of key legislative actions and economic factors inhibiting racial equality. Subsequent topics include migration and immigration; urban development; and residential segregation. The end of the course reviews resistance movements and policies aimed at addressing systemic racism, including restorative justice and reparations.
This course will examine our individual and collective identities -- especially as they relate to sexuality, race, gender, and class. We will specifically focus on the social processes that produce these identities, how identities change over time, and the individual and collective anxieties that occur when identities become destabilized. This course will also focus on how power, privilege, and oppression intersect with our identities.
In 2022, the Supreme Court took up two cases on affirmative action in higher education admissions, and hence on the meaning of merit ---one involving Harvard, the other the University of North Carolina. Meanwhile, in 2021, Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel advised German Social Democratic chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz to use the anti-meritocratic campaign theme of respect that helped him get elected. What is meritocracy and where did it come from? Is it a good way to organize society? What does the future of meritocracy look like? This class will explore the myth and reality of meritocracy to answer these questions.
Twenty-first century economic sociology is flourishing as a new generation of scholars develops fresh theoretical approaches and makes startling empirical discoveries. In compressed form, this course provides an introduction to the field and its efforts to develop sociological explanations of economic phenomena. In particular, we focus on the place of cultural meanings and social ties in accounting for economic activity. After a general orientation to the field the course explores a wide range of economic activities, including household finances, credit and debt, migrant transactions, payment systems, and consumption.
Analyzes the historical construction of race as a concept in American society, how and why this concept was institutionalized publicly and privately in various arenas of U.S. public life at different historical junctures, and the progress that has been made in dismantling racialized institutions since the civil rights era.
For the last 60 years, the United States has been engaged in a near-constant effort to reform American schools. In this course, we will make sense of competing explanations of educational performance and evaluate the possibilities for and barriers to improving American public schools and for reducing educational disparities by family socioeconomic status, race, and gender. In doing so, we will grapple with the challenges that researchers and practitioners face in evaluating educational policies.
This segment of the JDP seminar covers theory and research on social stratification, the major subfield in sociology that focuses on inequality. Course begins by reviewing major theories, constructs, measures, and empirical work on inequality. Weeks two through six focus on institutions that are expected to produce (and reproduce) inequalities, including families, neighborhoods, schools, labor markets, and penal policy.
Course covers theory and research on social stratification, the major subfield in sociology that focuses on inequality. We begin by reviewing major theories, constructs, and empirical work on inequality. Weeks 2 -6 focus on institutions that mediate the transmission and reproduction of inequality, including families, schools, neighborhoods, labor markets, and the criminal justice system.
This course explores three questions in the economics of education: What are the economic returns to education? How do people's valuations of education relate to economists' measures of returns? how are individuals' choices and educational outcomes mediated by information? We pay special attention to higher education policy and to choice-based reforms in K-12 education. Do these reforms 'work?' If not, why not? Topics include signaling and human capital theories, valuation of school quality, charter/magnet schools, and informational and financial frictions in higher education.
A study of essential methods of learning and teaching, including learner characteristics and needs, organization and structure of educational institutions, development of curriculum and instructional goals, preparation of evaluation and assessment, and design of subject/level specific methodologies and classroom management techniques. Required course work includes 22 hours of site-based field experience and evening laboratory sessions. Students should have one morning of unscheduled time available each week to allow for school visits. The course is open to any student who has an interest in teaching.
TPP 403 is designed to complement TPP 404, Clinical Practice. The course is structured by four themes: The Learner and Learning, Content Knowledge: Planning Instruction and Assessment, Instructional Practice and Pedagogy, and Professional Responsibilities. Major course assignments address these themes through a focus on the research and practice of meeting the needs of exceptional learners. The course is designed to help students connect theory and practice, become self-reflective practitioners, use data from formative and summative assessments to inform instruction, and to prepare them for full-time student teaching.