Faculty Profile

Sarah Bair

Associate Professor of Education (2004)

Contact Information


57 S College St


She is particularly interested in the history of American education and the lives and work of early twentieth century women educators. Her research has also examined how women's history and African American history have been treated in K-12 curriculum. In addition, professor Bair is interested in orphan education programs in Pennsylvania following the Civil War and in the history of the Scotland School for Veterans' Children.


  • B.A., Albright College, 1987
  • M.A., Shippensburg University, 1992
  • Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2001

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

EDST 130 History of American Education
An examination of the evolution in the purposes, structures, and methodologies of formal and informal education in the United States from the colonial period to the present with particular attention to how marginalized groups have been educated. The course situates educational history within the broader context of social, political, and economic developments in the U.S. and considers ways in which education has been used to meet societal goals.

EDUC 354 Iss/Trends in Teach Soc St
Permission of Instructor Required.

EDST 391 Educ & Am Civil Rights Mvmt
Part of the Race and Education Mosaic, but open to all students.This course examines education as a focal point of the American Civil Rights Movement and explores the wide-ranging implications of the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. The course begins with a brief analysis of the segregated public school system that existed in the first half of the twentieth century, a system sanctioned by the “separate but equal” doctrine upheld in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), and considers the factors that led to the Court’s eventual reversal. Drawing from legal documents, memoirs, case studies, documentary films, and coverage in the popular press, we will examine desegregation from multiple perspectives including those of black teachers, principals, students, parents, Civil Rights activists, political figures, and organizations such as the NAACP and the White Citizens’ Council. In addition to exploring the implications of desegregation for individual students such as the Little Rock Nine, we will consider issues of busing, school closings, teacher transfers, and white flight. Finally, we will consider the extent to which the goals of school integration and equity have been achieved in American society today.

Spring 2016

EDST 120 Contemp Iss in Amer Education
An examination of current policies, practices, and problems in the landscape of American education with particular attention to the perspectives of various stakeholders (e.g. teachers, students, families, community leaders, employers, and elected officials). U.S. diversity with respect to race, class, gender, language, and exceptionality is considered within a variety of educational contexts. The course also examines the ways in which educational issues and reform efforts intersect with social, economic, political, and cultural forces.

EDST 140 Educational Psychology
An examination of physical, cognitive, and psychological developmental theories and research as well as theories of learning. The course includes theoretical perspectives on: age-stage characteristics, exceptionality, achievement versus aptitude, as well as how developmental, sociocultural, and motivational factors influence student learning in classroom contexts.