Educational Studies

Program Vision and Goals

The Educational Studies Program at Rhodes College is committed to combining a liberal arts education with opportunities for our students to integrate classroom learning with practice in the complex, vibrant, and diverse urban settings of Memphis, TN. The goal of our program is to build upon this commitment to produce future leaders, teachers, researchers, and education policy makers who have hands-on experience in local public schools and have a firm commitment to social justice and anti-oppressive practices in educational spaces.

Program Mission

In collaboration with colleagues on campus and community partners and in keeping with Rhodes’ continuing commitment to academic excellence, the Educational Studies Program strives to:

Provide opportunities for students to engage in the study of education as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry and advocacy;

Prepare educators, advocates, and thought leaders to provide service and leadership in culturally diverse, economically challenged educational systems and communities;

Provide students with unique opportunities at a leading liberal arts college situated in the heart of a resource-rich urban setting.



Background Checks

Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA 49-5-5610) requires all students entering state approved educator preparation programs to submit the result of a criminal back check to the institution. In compliance with this requirement, Shelby County Schools (SCS) requires criminal background checks for Rhodes College students who are placed in their schools for clinical experiences and internships with P – 12 students. The results will be sent to a Rhodes College representative. For more information, contact the Director for Teacher Licensure and Fields Placements, Dr. Kathy Evans (

Educational Studies: Faculty and Staff


Natalie K. Person. 1994. Chair. B.A., University of Mississippi; M.S. and Ph.D., University of Memphis. (Cognitive psychology: learning technologies; educational psychology)

Assistant Professors

Zachary Casey. 2014. B.A.E. and M.A., Arizona State University; Ph.D., University of Minnesota. (Curriculum and Instruction, Multicultural Education, Critical Pedagogy, Teacher Education)

Laura Taylor. 2017. B.S. Cornell University; M.Ed. University of Saint Thomas; Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin. (Elementary Education, Urban Language and Literacies)

Laura Kelly. 2018. B.S. Freed-Hardeman University; M.Ed. Western Governors University; Ph.D. Arizona State University. (Elementary Literacy, Bilingual Education)

Program Committee

Charles McKinney, Associate Professor of History
Elizabeth Thomas, Associate Professor of Psychology, Director of Urban Studies

Additional Affiliated Faculty

Geoff Maddox, Assistant Professor of Psychology 
Marsha Walton, Professor of Psychology 
​Jeanne Wilson, Long-term Adjunct Faculty


Kathy D. Evans. 2016. Director of Teacher Licensure and Field Placements. B.A., Wheaton College (Norton, MA); M.S., Peabody College; Ph.D., Vanderbilt University. (Early childhood education, Child development, Curriculum, Developmental Psychology)

Judy Pierce. Administrative Assistant.

Licensure to Teach

Students can earn elementary (grades K - 5) or secondary licensure (grades 6 -12) within the Teaching and Learning track of the Educational Studies major. The licensure program prepares students to teach in either elementary schools or middle and/or high schools in one of twelve endorsement areas: American Government, English, History, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Spanish, French, German, Latin, Russia, and Chinese. The course of study for secondary licensure students is designed with guidance from faculty members in the discipline in which the student is being certified as well as with faculty in the Educational Studies Program. All secondary licensure candidates are required to double major in Educational Studies and their endorsement discipline. Elementary licensure does not require a double major. Students who are interested in teacher licensure should contact our Director of Teacher Licensure and Field Placements in the early stages of the academic planning process. All licensure information including applications to the Rhodes College Teacher Licensure Program can be found on the program's website.

Licensure to teach is a function of state governments. Institutions and agencies that offer licensure are approved by their respective state departments and boards of education. Tennessee licensure is transferable to all 50 states; some states may require additional exams or content. A guide to certification reciprocity is available through Certification Map. Students wishing to teach in other states are advised to review the licensure requirements on the appropriate state's department of education website.




Requirements for a Major in Educational Studies

A total of fifty-one (51) credits for students not seeking licensure;  a total of fifty-two (52) credits for elementary licensure students; a total of forty seven (47) credits for secondary licensure students. All licensure students will student teach in a post-baccalaureate ninth semester in which they will register for 12 credits. Courses designated with asterisks have field components and have additional course fees.

1. Core Requirements (7 courses)

    1. Foundations (both required)
      • Foundations of Education ED 201 (F8)
      • Educational Psychology PSY 222
    2. Human Behavior (one of the following)
      • Infant and Child Development PSY 229 (F11)
      • Adolescence PSY 230
      • Learning & Motivation PSYC 326
    3. Quantitative Skills (one of the following)
      • Psychological Statistics PSY 211 (F6)
      • Econ Stat ECON 290 (F6)
      • Probability Stat MATH 111 (F6)
    4. Philosophy, Ethics, Policy, & History (one of the following)
      • Philosophy of Education PHIL 270 (F11)
      • Ethics PHIL 301 (F1)
      • Urban Education Policy POLSCI 240
      • Some sections of ED 265
    5. Educational Equity and Disparities (one of the following)
      • Urban Education ED 220
      • African American Experience in U.S. Schools ED 225 (F9, F11)
      • Race, Class, Gender, & Sexuality ED 320 (F9)
      • Some sections of ED 265
    6. Education Senior Seminar 485


2. Community-integrative Education ED 360*/460* (three or four semesters) (3 or 4 credits total)

  • All students in Educational Studies are required to complete at least 1 credit of EDUC 360: Field Experience.  Each track has additional requirements, detailed below.
  • Teaching and Learning: Elementary students must complete 4 credits of EDUC 360 in Shelby County Schools; each of these field experiences (1 credit each) will have a different subject matter focus. Secondary students must complete 3 credits of EDUC 360 in Shelby County Schools. These three semesters will include (in any order) a semester each in a high school, middle school, and special education/special needs setting (any grades 6-12).
  • Community and Social Change: Students must complete 1 section of EDUC 360, Field Experience in Shelby County Schools (any grades K-12).  Students must complete 2 additional credits, of either EDUC 360 or EDUC 460.
  • Policy and Reform: Students must complete 1 section of EDUC 360, Field Experience in Shelby County Schools (any grades K-12).  Students must complete 2 additional credits, of either EDUC 360 or EDUC 460.
  • Students will have their first field placement in their first semester after declaring. The ED 460 course instructor will work with majors to ensure that the school/community placement complements each student’s course of study.
  • Students must adhere to all Shelby County School rules and protocols in their placements.​
  • EDUC 460 is an Educational Studies Internship, which can be taken for 1-4 credits.  Please contact Educational Studies Faculty and Staff for additional information about possible internships.

3. Three tracks (five courses/20 credits for students not seeking licensure; five courses/20 credits for students elementary licensure students; four courses/16 credits for secondary licensure students). All majors will choose one of three following tracks (1) Teaching and Learning; (2) Community and Social Change, (3) Policy and Reform.

Teaching and Learning - (licensure optional) - supports students interested in entering the teaching profession as teachers or administrators and those interested in seeking licensure. Licensure within this track is optional. Students who wish to teach at the secondary level must also major in the discipline in which they plan to teach. All licensure candidates will register for 12 credits and student teach in a ninth semester.

Required courses for those seeking elementary licensure (five courses, 20 credits)

1. Principles of Curriculum and Instruction ED 355*
2. Educational Technologies ED 300
3. Literacy & Reading in the Content Areas EDUC 310*
4. Elementary Literacies EDUC 370*
5. One additional course from electives


6. Clinical Practice: Student Teaching EDUC 499* (taken in 9th semester after graduation)

Required courses for those seeking secondary licensure (four courses, 16 credits)

1. Principles of Curriculum and Instruction ED 355*
2. How to Write: Academic Writing and the Pedagogies that Support It ENG 290 (F2i and F11)
3. Educational Technologies ED 300
4. Literacy & Reading in the Content Areas EDUC 310*


6. Clinical Practice: Student Teaching EDUC 499* (taken in 9th semester after graduation)


Community and Social Change - ­supports students who are interested in education outside of traditional educational settings. Prepares students who are interested in adult literacy and basic education, youth development, educational work in non-profits, museum education, artists-in-residence, community education, environmental educational, etc.

Policy and Reform - provides opportunities for interdisciplinary explorations of pressing social and educational issues on local, national, and international levels. Prepares students who are interested in issues of equity and diversity, civic education, feminist and critical education, and the media.

Elective courses for all three tracks (at least two 300-400 level courses)

    1. Gender and Society ANSO 231
    2. Gender Politics and Protests ANSO 233
    3. The Sociology of MLK in Practice: A Place-Based Study of King and the St. Augustine Civil Rights Movement ANSO 235 (F9, F11)
    4. Urban Social Problems ANSO 241
    5. Social Movements ANSO 243
    6. The Sociology of Community-Integrative Education ANSO 245 (F11, F2i)
    7. Gender and Environment ANSO 273
    8. Race and Ethnicity in American Society ANSO 331
    9. Intro to Social Research ANSO 351
    10. Black Feminist Thought ANSOC 365
    11. Hip-Hop & the Post-Soul South ANSOC 365
    12. Anthropology of Social Change ANSO 379
    13. Prejudice and the Human Condition ANSO 391
    14. Sociology of Violence and Peace Making ANSO 392
    15. Economics of Education ECON 265
    16. Topics in Education EDUC 265
    17. Directed Research in Education EDUC 451
    18. Study in African American Literature ENGL 264
    19. African American Literature ENGL 364
    20. Junior Seminar Critical Theory ENGL 385
    21. Introductory Seminars in History (when topics are relevant) HIST 105 (F2i, F3)
    22. Selected Topics in History (when topics are relevant) HIST 205 (F3)
    23. The United States in the Twentieth Century HIST 233 (F3)
    24. African American History HIST 242 (F3, F9)
    25. Civil Rights Movement HIST 243 (F3)
    26. History of Memphis HIST 248 (F3)
    27. Gender in the United States HIST 249
    28. Slavery in the United States HIST 342
    29. Civil Rights in Memphis HIST 345
    30. African American Activism HIST 447
    31. Government and Politics of Africa IS 251 (F9)
    32. International Human Rights IS 336
    33. Philosophy of Race PHIL 255
    34. Philosophy of Education PHIL 270 (F11)
    35. Introduction to Public Policy POLSC 205
    36. Urban Politics and Policy POLSC 206
    37. Race and Ethnic Politics POLSC 207
    38. Modern Ideologies POLSC 214
    39. Justice, Equality, and Liberty POLSC 218
    40. Black Political Thought POLSC 230
    41. Poverty and Public Policy POLSC 318
    42. Race, Housing and Urban Revitalization POLSC 319
    43. Healthcare Policy 320 POLSC 320
    44. Community Psychology PSY 250
    45. Gender and Sexualities PSY 280
    46. Social Issues in Ethical & Religious Perspective RS 232 (F1)
    47. Theologies of Liberation RS 259
    48. Health Equity Internship RS 460
    50. Intro to Urban Studies URBN 201 (F8, F11)
    51. Research Methods in Urban Studies URBN 220 (F8, F11)
    52. Urban Geography URBN 230 (F2i, F8)
    53. Introduction to Urban and Community Health URBN 240 (F8)
    54. Intercultural Knowledge & Competence URBN 250 (F9)
    55. Urban Field Research URBN 362

    Additional electives for Teaching & Learning track only:

    1. Environmental Issues in Southern Africa BIOL 212
    2. Collaborative Chemistry Communities CHEM 260 (2 credits)
    3. Language Acquisition and Pedagogy GRS/MLL 240
    4. Principles of Curriculum and Instruction EDUC 355
    5. How to Write: Academic Writing and the Pedagogies that Support it ENGL 290 (F2i and F11, 4 credits)
    6. Advanced Grammar ENGL 380
    7. Advanced Language and Civilization SPAN 301
    8. Spanish American Literature and Culture SPAN 306
    9. Children’s Literature: Page to Stage THEA 254

      Additional elective courses in Community and Social Change track only:
    10. Management of Organizations BUSCOM 361
    11. Global Politics IS 220 (F8)
    12. Comparative Ecopolitics IS 341 (F8)
    13. U.S. Politics POLSC 151 (F8, F2i some sections)
    14. Non-profits in the City URBN 340
    15. Urban Studies Internship (Crosstown Arts Section) URBN 460

      Additional electives for Policy & Reform track only:
    16. Management of Organizations BUSCOM 361
    17. Global Politics IS 220 (F8)
    18. Comparative Ecopolitics IS 341 (F8)
    19. U.S. Politics POLSC 151 (F8, F2i some sections)
    20. Philosophy of Law PHIL 216
    21. Politics of Migration IS 340

Requirements for a Minor in Educational Studies

The Minor in Educational Studies requires 24 credits:

1. Education 201 & 355.

2. Psychology 222.

3. Twelve credits selected from the following courses: Education 220, 225, 265, 300, 310, 320, 370; Education 360, 451, 460 (2 or 4 credits); Economics 295 (2 credits); Language Acquisition and Pedagogy GRS/MLL 240; Philosophy 255, 270; Political Science 240; Psychology 229, 230, 250, 326; Urban Studies 250.