The mission of the USC Rossier School of Education is to prepare leaders to achieve educational equity through practice, research and policy. We work to improve learning opportunities and outcomes in urban settings and to address disparities that affect historically marginalized groups. We teach our students to value and respect the cultural context of the communities in which they work and to interrogate the systems of power that shape policies and practices. Through innovative thinking and research, we strive to solve the most intractable educational problems.
Relation to the Rossier Missionâ¯
This course aligns with Rossierâs equity centered mission by supporting studentsâ understandings of historically created inequities, as they relate to framing problems of practice in organizational change and leadership. Injustice is so deeply rooted into our systems and social norms, that often the way we frame problems reinforces inequalities by limiting possible responses to the problems. If we frame problems with the same ways of thinking, knowing and acting that created inequity in the first place the âsolutionsâ that stem from these problems often keep inequitable structures firmly in place (even if we reshuffle the injustice and give it a new name). The class aims to equip students with tools (e.g., historical knowledge, personal reflective practices, theoretical frameworks, epistemological questions) to interrogate the systems of power that shape policies and practices. Through this analysis, students will be supported to frame their writing, research projects, and practice with ways of knowing and being that transform historically created inquiry and promote thriving of historically marginalized groups.Â
Course Descriptionâ¯Â Framing problems of practice to create more justice includes more than writing. This class sets the foundation for framing problems of practice to open possibilities of justice, by rooting into personal and community based practices that promote justice. We draw from the concept of emergence (Brown, 2017) in acknowledging we make up our systems. What we embody individually and within our relationships are the building blocks of our institutions. Therefore, we make space to learn about ourselves, each other, and how we can create a space for our collective growth toward equitable practice. From there, we position our practices within historical and future contexts. We explore epistemologies (i.e., conceptions of what it means to âknowâ) underlying (in)equitable systems. We center the questions: who is harmed, who benefits, and from whose perspectives do we ask/answer these questions. We break down specific examples of framing problems of practice in ways that open (rather than enclose) possibilities of justice within education, policing, nonprofits, for profits, medicine, and science fields. We will support you to draw parallels to your own practice through each example. Theory is introduced as a tool to expose systemic oppression as well as the resilience, joy, brilliance, and resistance of oppressed people. Each student will be asked to analyze a personal problem of practice through theoretical lenses provided in this class. Through this process students will develop academic literacy skills, including selecting sources, interpreting evidence, and presenting evidence to support assertations. These theoretical and academic literacy skills are essential in the program. In further classes, students will continue to develop and expand on these skills in assignments that are required in your coursework and as you write your dissertation.â¯â¯â¯
Please note: While this listing is posted within the Rossier school of education, the course is taught within a program that includes students across many sectors, including higher education, military, policing, non-profits, for profit business, medicine, science fields, social work, etc. We welcome applicants with expertise within and outside of education.Â
USC is an equal-opportunity educator and employer, proudly pluralistic and firmly committed to providing equal opportunity for outstanding persons of every race, gender, creed and background. The university particularly encourages members of underrepresented groups, veterans and individuals with disabilities to apply. USC will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. Further information is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
USC is the leading private research university in Los Angeles—a global center for arts, technology and international business. With more than 47,500 students, we are located primarily in Los Angeles but also in various US and global satellite locations. As the largest private employer in Los Angeles, responsible for $8 billion annually in economic activity in the region, we offer the opportunity to work in a dynamic and diverse environment, in careers that span a broad spectrum of talents and skills across a variety of academic and professional schools and administrative units. As a USC employee and member of the Trojan Family—the faculty, staff, students, and alumni who make USC a great place to work—you will enjoy excellent benefits, including a variety of well-being programs designed to help individuals achieve work-life balance.