Urban Education



urban education


This course introduces and surveys issues related to urban education. Urban education refers to schooling, teaching, and learning in cities. We explore the unique assets and challenges that exist in city schools. We investigate how people use the term “urban” to code for racial, socioeconomic, and other diversity. We contextualize our work with a community cultural wealth framework in order to see the assets that children and their communities bring to urban classrooms. The course begins with an overview of urban education and urban education policies. We examine the racial dynamics involved in education reform. Next, students hone in on the city of Memphis, as a case study that shows how issues of segregation, integration, and resegregation have played out across American cities. The class concludes with a close-up look at classroom issues in urban education such as language and dialect variation, immigration, discipline policies, and culturally sustaining teaching.

Author Biography

Laura Beth Kelly, Rhodes College

Laura Beth Kelly is an Assistant Professor of Educational Studies at Rhodes College. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher with experience teaching ESL, Spanish, and elementary school in public schools.