NYC Youth

ED 608 New York City’s Youth: A Historical Perspective

Note: This course is offered only in the Fall Semester

This course analyzes the history of youth in New York City within the broader context of 20th century urban history. New York city's neighborhoods and institutions serve as a lens to examine how educators, social activists, public intellectuals, artists, and elected officials framed, debated and attempted to address racial, economic and social inequalities, especially among its youth. The course examines the continuities and discontinuities in the solutions to inequality across key reform eras. By the end of the course, students develop the capacity to analyze, synthesize and compare historical reform movements in urban schooling and society. Working individually and collaboratively, students develop confidence in their abilities to frame, articulate, and present historical questions and arguments and to consider different viewpoints and perspectives.

ADE 201 Youth in the City

Note: This course is offered only in the Fall Semester (Undergraduate Only)

New York City’s neighborhoods and institutions serve as a lens through which to examine how educators, social activists, artists, and policy makers frame, debate and negotiate racial, economic and social inequalities among the city’s youth.  The course challenges the deficit model approach to addressing inequality and in doing so questions assumptions about the purposes of education within the context of an ongoing struggle for democratic rights and opportunities. Through an institutional study of a school and its neighborhood, students explore youth, family, and community assets, leadership and agency. Students analyze and synthesize evidence, take into account different viewpoints and perspectives, and apply their findings to professional practice.

ART 408 / 624 Art, Community, and Social Justice

Note: This course is offered only in the Spring Semester.

Art, Community and Social Change, is a hands-on exploration of urban art and design and their relationship to local communities. Through research and realization of a community-based project in Pratt’s “backyard”—Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Green, Clinton Hill or Bedford Stuyvesant—students will study and work with local community based organizations. Students will explore the following questions as they do their research and work on the community-based project: How do artists, designers, planners, architects and art educators shape and develop a sense of social responsibility at the community level? How do they become informed about and learn from the communities in which they work? How can art and design contribute to community-based efforts to address urban issues such as gentrification, foreclosure, community health, and access to healthy and affordable food?



This course explores how social reformers and activists addressed racial, economic and social inequalities beyond and between Pratt’s gates across the 20th century through field trips to historical sites, guest speakers and archival research. You will explore why, and how—those with power and those with little power—encouraged, or discouraged, community partnerships for equitable access to the benefits of education for politically and economically disenfranchised communities. The course does this through several disciplinary lenses including social and urban history, cultural landscape theory, and historic preservation.