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

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

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.

EDST 310 Policies Shaping American Educ
An examination of the policies that have shaped and continue to shape American Education within the broader context of American educational reform movements. Particular policy(ies) of focus each semester will be selected by the instructor. The course might include an in-depth examination of a particular policy such as school funding. Or, it might examine several policies around a broader concept such as inclusion which could include desegregation, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Title IX, and policies related to English Language Learners. Prerequisites: 120 or 130, and 260 or Social Science Research Methods (AFST 200, AMST 202, ANTH 240, ANTH 241, EASN 310, ECON 228, LAWP 228, PMGT 228, POSC 239, PSYC 201, SOCI 240, SOCI 244, or WGST 250), or permission of instructor.

EDST 500 Educational Studies Ind Study

Spring 2017

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 320 Race and Education
An examination of the historical, sociological, political, and legal issues related to race and education in the United States. Particular issues of focus each semester will be selected by the instructor and might include theoretical perspectives on race in education, school segregation, representation of racial groups in curriculum, the roles and experiences of teachers of color, connections between policy initiatives and race, student achievement and college access, and the educational experiences of specific racial groups.Prerequisite: 260 or Social Science Research Methods (AFST 200, AMST 202, ANTH 240, ANTH 241, EASN 310, ECON 228, LAWP 228, PMGT 228, POSC 239, PSYC 201, SOCI 240, SOCI 244, or WGST 250), or permission of instructor.