Wednesday, November 5, 2014

New Course on Urban Youth, Politics, and Schooling

In Spring 2015, the Educational Studies Program will offer a new undergraduate course: EDUC 352, City Life for City Kids.  The course will be taught by Professor Leslie Bloom, a former Fulbright Scholar and a faculty member in the College of Education's Educational Leadership Program.  The course will meet on Wednesdays, from 2:00 - 4:30 p.m., and is open to all Roosevelt University students.  The course registration number is 25442.

EDUC 352 will question the notion that the suburbs are the best places to raise children.  Embedded in this thinking is the stereotype that the suburbs offer more community, happiness, and moral groundings than cities.  In addition, the media reinforces negative images of city problems, confirming the idea that living in the suburbs fulfills “the American Dream.”  In EDUC 352, we will question these place-based stereotypes and media portrayals and explore what it means to grow up and live in an urban environment. We will examine access and opportunity in urban schools, cultural sites, and public events and what “neighborhood” means in everyday life. We will study how urban politics create and destroy accessibility and sustainability, and we will consider how diverse youth identities shape city life and are shaped by it. We will become familiar with youth organizers who are advocating for disenfranchised youth in Chicago.  Students will reflect on their own experiences growing up and consider their lives as Chicago students and future urban professionals.  

Professor Bloom has focused throughout her career on research and activism with low-income women and families, especially in urban settings.  The author of the book, Under the Sign of Hope: Feminist Methodology and Narrative Interpretation, Bloom was a 1996 Fulbright Scholar who studied feminist non-profit organizations in Mexico City while she was a professor at Iowa State University.  She recently published an article and was guest editor of a special issue of International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education on the “Global Perspectives of Poverty Research for Social Justice.”

EDUC 352 counts as an elective toward an Educational Studies minor or major.  For more information about the course, contact Professor Bloom at  For more information about the Educational Studies minor or major, contact Lilibeth Castillo at

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