Sociology of Education: Lecture II

A dinosaur
LecturerRyo UCHIDA, Associate Professor
DepartmentSchool of Education / Graduate School of Education and Human Development, 2012 Fall
Recommended for:School of Education 3rd year students and upwards (2週1回全15回)

Course Contents

In order to zero in on the attraction of sociology of education, this class will focus on following 3 points:

Firstly, it will focus on "academic discipline". This class will illustrate what the theory and mindsets of sociology and sociology of education are, present various examples, and compare them with education and psychology.

Secondly, it will focus on "research". In order for us to know society, research is indispensable. However, in this class, students will not seriously learn social survey techniques. In this class, students will gain fundamental methods of thinking about surveys (= knowing "the white") via learning about the reverse side and dangers of surveys (= knowing "the black"). This class is the place to train oneself in numeracy.

Thirdly, it will focus on "common sense". As members of society, anyone can easily speak about society. However, sociology will never be considered a scholarly discipline as long as it conforms to that narrative. To feel the greatest allure of sociology, we will critically think about "common sense" and arrive at an understanding of the structure of society.

This class will zone in on new worldviews of education and society by flexibly using the three focuses outlined above.

Key Features

A class is a kind of live show. Transmission of information is not one-way. I will throw a question at you and you will react to it, then I will further question your replies...

Each time, I will distribute outlines (two pages, A4 size) with questions on that class's subject. In class, I will raise questions while walking among the students, pick up your opinions, and draw out more detailed reactions with further questions. With interactive communication like this, class will be conducted like a live show.

At the end of each class, all students must hand in a reaction paper (Anonymous submission also possible). In the next class I will comment on some of the reaction papers so that students can understand the contents of the class more completely and to promote the establishment of knowledge. The class is purposefully designed so that over the 15 class meetings, the knowledge covered will be referred to multiple times. So that you may refer to previous class's contents at any time, I suggest that you prepare folders and file the outlines distributed in class in them.

Course Theme

To acquire points of view and methods of thinking about sociology of education as an academic discipline.

Course Aims

The aim of this class is for you to temporarily step back from "common sense" and "prejudices" about education by learning the theory and knowledge of sociology of education and social research and the fundamental methods of thinking about social surveys, so that you can attain an attitude in which you can coolly analyze from a scientific and broad viewpoint. This class hopes to zone in on a new worldview of education and society through a process of critical thinking that starts with you confronting your own opinions.

Course Requirements

You don't need to prepare before class, however, I want you to participate with motivation because a class is like a kind of live show.

Course Schedule

Class Title Lecture contents
1 What is "sociology of education"? I will briefly explain the characteristics of "sociology of education".
2 Sociokogy of the "subject" We will position the "subject" in education from the sociological point of view.
3 Words used in education We will relativize the words used in education, whereby you will learn how to perceive reality.
4 Science of education We will zone in on the possibilities and limitations in the methodology of sociology of education, the science of education.
5 Numeracy in education We will critically analyze the results of various surveys.
6 Sociology and social research We will illustrate the characteristics of sociological social surveys.
7 The significance of modern schooling (1) We will consider the meaning of competition and equality in the process of establishing modern schooling.
8 The significance of modern schooling (2) We will consider the mechanism by which social class is reproduced.
9 Educational accomplishments and social position We will think about the relationship between the social positions of students and educational accomplishment.
10 Theory of educational sociology (1) I will introduce theories of sociology of education concerning "educational accomplishments" and students' "academic careers".
11 Problems of students today We will grasp via data what the present problems of students are.
12 Interpreting students' problems In order to analyze students' problems, you will acquire the ability to analyze critically.
13 Theory of educational sociology (2) I will introduce theories of sociology of education concerning "deviation" and "social problems".
14 New challenges in educational sociology I will outline new challenges that educational sociology is struggling with.
15 Conclusion We will review the contents of previous classes.


100% of the grade will be based on the final examination.

Last updated

March 12, 2020