The Division of Social Science and Comparative Education (SSCE) is concerned with issues of social, cultural, historical, and comparative/international contexts of education. The Division is multidisciplinary and brings various methodologies and vocabularies–discourse analysis, agency, representation and structure–as well as classical approaches to the study of education.

The faculty of the Division encompasses numerous perspectives and orientations including postmodernism, feminism, ethnic studies, critical theory, critical race theory, and cultural studies. The Division shares its commitment to theory with an equal commitment to empirical research, policy, and practice. That is, our concern with theory does not preclude but rather implies a concern with policy and practice as well, both in terms of formal education (e.g. classroom research), informal education (e.g. mass media research and representation) and nonformal education (e.g. participatory action research, popular education).

The Division has defined four areas of inquiry. These four areas of sub-specialization, are: 1) philosophical/historical studies in education, 2) cultural studies in education, 3) race and ethnic studies in education, and 4) comparative/international studies in education.

Academic preparation in the SSCE Division is designed to prepare students (a) to teach and conduct research in philosophical/historical, cultural, race, ethnic, gender, and comparative/international studies in education, (b) to act as specialists for U.S. and overseas programs, non-governmental agencies, and multilateral and bilateral technical assistance agencies, (c) to engage in philosophical, historical, critical theoretical, cross-cultural, comparative, and social science analysis of educational issues in the United States and in other areas of the world, (d) to provide resource assistance for institutions and programs concerned with cultural studies, media technology, critical pedagogy, and multicultural, ethnic and cross-cultural education.