Sociology of the College Classroom: Applying Sociological Theory at the Classroom Level

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Teaching Sociology's emphasis on the scholarship of teaching and learning has moved the field well beyond simple description of teaching methods. There is no doubt that the journal is more scholarly than in the past. Still, we do not take advantage of our rich theoretical disciplinary work. There is much to learn sociologically about the classroom and other sites of interaction between teachers and students. Our classrooms are social sites and our analysis of them can be of help to scholars both inside and outside the discipline. In this article, we propose a sensitizing concept, the sociology of the college classroom—the application of sociological theory and/or concepts to understand social phenomena that take place at the level of the classroom and other sites of faculty-student interaction. We situate the sociology of the college classroom as a subset of the scholarship of teaching and learning and the sociology of higher education. Sociology of the college classroom can be a place not only where research meets teaching, but it can also be a site where sociological theory meets pedagogical praxis. © 2009, American Sociological Association. All rights reserved.

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Teaching Sociology

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