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Social Justice in Urban Education Concentration

Teaching in an urban setting requires a special set of skills to connect with and educate the disadvantaged students often found in inner-city schools. Through the Social Justice in Urban Education (SJUE) Concentration, you will gain the tools to work effectively in an urban classroom and make a difference in the lives of students.

Mission Statement

Drake University’s Social Justice in Urban Education (SJUE) program seeks to educate culturally responsive teachers to work effectively with all students in urban settings—particularly students of color, working-class students, immigrant students, and students from historically marginalized populations. Aligned with the School of Education’s commitment to academic reflection, collaborative learning, and social justice, the program seeks to help teachers critically examine urban contexts so that they may develop pedagogical knowledge and tools to help students in these settings succeed.

Program Outcomes

Students graduating from the SJUE program will:

  1. Analyze the historical, political, social, and cultural contexts of the notion of “urban.”
  2. Utilize “difference” as an educational asset in their pedagogical strategies for students of color, working-class students, immigrant students, and other historically marginalized populations.
  3. Utilize research and data for pedagogical improvement.
  4. Engage in collaborative learning.
  5. Engage in continuous self-reflection.
  6. Become culturally responsive educators who work in collaboration with students, parents, teachers, and local communities. 

Program Options

Undergraduate students can take the SJUE concentration within either the Elementary Education (K–6) or Secondary Education (7–12) degrees. At the graduate level, the concentration is a strand within the Master of Science in Education in Teacher Effectiveness and Professional Development (TEPD).

Note: A “Social Justice in Urban Education” concentration designation will appear on your official Drake University transcript.

The 15 credit-hour concentration features courses focused on a variety of issues related to teaching and working in urban schools and communities—such as culturally relevant instruction, literacy, immigration, language learning, youth, and culture

Program Courses

EDUC 164/264:  Perspectives on Race, Ethnicity, and Gender (required)
3 credit hours 

EDUC 183/283:  Social Context of Urban Schools (required)
3 credit hours

EDUC 184/284:  Applications for Teaching in Urban Schools (elective)
3 credit hours 

EDUC 186/286:  Youth, Culture, and Society (elective)
3 credit hours

EDUC 187/287:  Urban Education and Immigration (elective)
3 credit hours

EDUC 277:  Urban Trends in Literacy (elective - can be taken via petition during senior year)
3 credit hours

Education News
October 12, 2016
Kevin Lam, assistant professor of urban and diversity education at Drake University, has received a 2016 Critics’ Choice book award for his book titled Youth Gangs, Racism, and Schooling: Vietnamese American Youth in a Postcolonial Context.