Program History and Mission

Cultural Studies in Education (CSE) is a critical, interdisciplinary program that draws broadly from anthropological, sociological, critical, and foundations studies of education. CSE was created in 2004 under the vision and collaboration of Doug Foley, Sofía Villenas and Angela Valenzuela with a commitment to studying the range of educational processes, broadly conceived, within, and outside schooling contexts. With a strong commitment to social justice, CSE continues to be dedicated to examining the sociopolitical and cultural contexts of public schooling, and of local, family, community, alternative, and/or trans/national settings as educational contexts.

In CSE graduate students engage critical cultural and social theories and study narrative, qualitative and ethnographic methods to research education from a broad perspective. CSE students encounter questions that deal with the sociocultural, philosophical and historical foundations of education, the politics of education, urban schooling, critical pedagogy, and globalization. The CSE vision is inclusive. We encourage students to explore interdisciplinary knowledge from multiple conceptual frameworks and to focus their work on special areas of interest in education, but that also engage the critical study of racial, ethnic, gender, class, and sexual orientation diversity in the U.S. and elsewhere. CSE is committed to honoring the his- and herstories, ways of knowing and ways of being of different social and cultural groups with the goal of re/imaging future trans/formative possibilities for public schooling and beyond.

The CSE PhD program is recommended for individuals with three to four years of public school teaching experience, preferably in urban contexts, in the U.S., or with several years of professional experience in education.