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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Enrique C. Bonus
AES 345
Seattle Campus

Ethnographic Methods in School Communities

Examines social science and humanistic approaches to ethnography in school settings within American ethnic studies frameworks related to social identities, power, and resistance. Students learn ethnographic theories and methods, and conduct and present an original research project.

Class description

The purpose of this course is to explore education-related issues in American ethnic studies through the processes of ethnographic work. These issues include, but may not be limited to, the relationships between social categories and power, the social construction of identities, historical and contemporary structural discrimination and resistance, transnationalism and nationhood, and the politics of language use. While these issues are usually discussed in classroom settings, this course will encourage students to investigate these issues as they are practiced in school settings outside of our own classroom.

Student learning goals

1. Students will be able to identify and recognize various social science and humanistic approaches to performing ethnography in school settings; they will be able to comprehend these approaches in relationship to frameworks in American ethnic studies.

2. Students will be able to apply the approaches they learn by conducting an original ethnographic project; they will be able to plan, organize, and carry out a mini ethnography; they should also be able to evaluate the merits and challenges of conducting an ethnography.

3. Students will be able to think, discuss, and write critically about the powers and strengths of ethnographic work in school settings, including its challenges and limitations.

General method of instruction

Lectures, discussion, and field work.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Students are required to write an ethnographic project (25%) and present it to class (15%). They must also do a presentation on a selected reading (10%), write a short take-home paper (15%), write a short in-class paper (15%), participate in class discussions (10%), and submit at least 4 go-post entries (10%). Total is 100%.

Fulfillment of all requirements.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Enrique C. Bonus
Date: 10/11/2013