The USF Social Foundations of Education program draws upon a broad range of disciplines and fields to examine formal and informal education, namely history, sociology, philosophy, comparative and international education, policy, and cultural studies.

Our inquiry based interdisciplinary program provides humanities and social science perspectives on problems in education from the perspectives of marginalized groups with the goal of improving educational access and equitable outcomes for all.


The Social Foundations program applies the disciplinary perspectives of history and social sciences to address critical problems facing education and society with the goal of improving equity in educational access and outcomes. The program’s teaching and research mission focus on the complex relationship between education, culture, and society with the goal of exploring policies and practices from historical and contemporary perspectives that address structural inequality, and transforming educational institutions into sites for social justice.

Program Goals

  • To provide real-world, high impact educational experiences to prepare reflective scholars, critical practitioners, and global educational leaders in K-12 and higher educational settings who will be adaptable agents of change.  
  • Advancing high impact research that addresses historical and sociological roots of contemporary societal problems to promote educational equity and improve lives and communities.
  • To prepare scholars and professionals who understand the history of structural inequity and are positioned to challenge systematic racism and other structures of power impeding a sustainable and prosperous future.
  • To promote an inclusive community engaged service to local, regional, national, and global communities.

Courses Offered

  • Introduction to the Teaching Profession
  • Education, Diversity and Global Society
  • History of Education in the US
  • Schools and Society
  • Policy Development
  • Historical Foundations of American Education
  • Gender and the Educational Process
  • Issues in Multicultural Education
  • History of Higher Education in the US
  • Interviewing Theory & Practice
  • Foundations of Resistance and Protest in Education
  • Qualitative Research in Education I