The lectures were very dry and boring, but the reading was very interesting and you will learn a lot about Education in the United States. In spite of the boring presentation and too-long tests, I would recommend this class because the material is so important. The course will change (or at least make you think hard about) how you approach major issues.....and isn't that the point?
If you are passionate about sociology, education, or LIFE, do not take this course because Professor Morest will in no way understand or reflect any of these passions. While some of the books assigned were extremely interesting and the TA's were always helpful, Professor Morest is the most boring lecturer I have ever had. She drones on and on about inconsequential topics and rarely gives any sense of her own experience or investment in the topic at hand. While clearly a very nice woman, she does not yet understand testing situations (we were given a midterm that few people finished) or how to relate to students in a classroom. The reading is important to do for success in the class, but only take this is you are prepared to sleep through every class
This class is AWFUL. The syllabus is excellent and covers a wide range of theoretical perspectives. That said, I dreaded this class everytime. Morest mumbles, provides little insight into readings, allows students to make ignorant comments, and does not lead discussion very well.
Informative class. If you come in with an interest in education, you can learn a lot. Vanessa is an organized teacher and covers the readings exactly as they appear on the syllabus. The class is taught in a loose fashion in terms of discussion, however, which can often times be annoying. A few times students were forced to work in small groups during the lecture class, which was unnecessary and counterproductive. The readings are very interesting, and cover a variety of topics in education. Readings are covered during class, so if you don't do all of them it's not a big deal. Vanessa always makes herself available to discuss the material after class, which is helpful. Overall, a good course.
This is a pretty good class and not too demanding. tthe primary problem is how huge the class is and how the prof tries to run it as a discussion. still, when she lectures, the class is very informative, and you will learn a lot.
Weiss is a really nice guy, despite the 9am time slot, you (might) find yourself actually setting your alarm to go to this one. The class and subject matter was simple- leave it to sociologists to write an entire article on research of crowds in middle school -"from nerds to normals". Granted this is a private university and the majority of the students are from elite public schools and private schools and were confused by some of the seemingly basic concepts discussed ("students in public schools are TRACKED? and it's not their choice??"). But if you're one of the few who went to a run of the mill public school you'll have a much easier time. TA is a picky grader- this isn't an english course and she pays too much attention to grammar and structure of essays. Weiss has you buy 4 books and an overpriced coursepack, the books are somewhat useless.
Chris Weiss is great. He's new, he's fun, he's energetic. You are bound to laugh (sometimes at him) almost every class. Even at 9am, his class is good. the subject material is pretty interesting, and the work is mostly articles from a reader. If you aren't interested in education, take another class wtih him. you will not regret it. He is a wonderful guy and a good lecturer.