Getting Started

Foundational Courses for Education Minors

The Education Department is unique at Gettysburg. While the department’s programs are focused on the typical qualities of a liberal education—such as in-depth examination of social issues and intellectual questions complemented by a wide breadth of options for pursuing those issues and exposure to unusual and often conflicting ways of thinking about them—our programs are also aimed at helping students prepare for professional work in the field of education, if such work is of interest to them. In other words, you get the best of both worlds in the Education Department: a deep, immersive experience in the liberal arts coupled with the opportunity to prepare for true professional work. We encourage students to begin their exploration of education in at least one introductory/foundational course, and to choose a “track” by the end of the sophomore year. Foundational coursework sets the stage for selecting an appropriate track and/or for deciding if the study of education is right for you. The two foundational courses offered in the department are:

  • Education 115: Exploration of multiple modes of education that illustrate inequality. Surveys how education affects citizens and communities and the accessibility of various educational systems. Using case studies to explore how education functions systematically and how various educational systems reflect and shape who we are, this course will investigate five models: urban, rural, private, cyber, and magnet. Focuses on research from various fields that details how the achievement gap continues to grow in urban schools, private institutions, and rural schools; specifically, how social class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and different identities both organize and are organized by educational environments and how these affect children, families, schools, and communities; and
  • Education 201: Educational Psychology, a course focused on the science of learning (and its implications for teachers), as well as the unique responsibilities of teachers in a diverse, multicultural society. Education 201 also provides an introduction to the “best practices” employed by effective teachers and offers students a first opportunity to explore teaching in a field-based setting.

These courses may be taken in any order, and both must be taken by students pursuing certification; students seeking a minor in Educational Studies need only take one. These courses should be taken before the end of the sophomore year, but need not be taken in the first semester (or even in the first year) at the College.