Fanon Howell

Undergraduate Discipline


BA, Morehouse College. MA, New York University. PhD, The New School for Social Research. Postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis at Teachers College, Columbia University. Special interest in sociology of education, urban sociology, sociology of knowledge, and organizational sociology. Author of “Entropic Management: Restructuring District Office Culture in the New York City Department of Education"; co-author of “Max Weber Matters: Interweaving Past and Present.” Management experience with New York City Department of Education, Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services, and YMCA of Greater New York. SLC, 2013–2016; 2023–

Undergraduate Courses 2023-2024


Educational Technology: Sociological Perspectives

Open, Seminar—Spring

This seminar will explore education technology from a sociological lens and predominantly within K-12 schooling. We will investigate how technology affects norms of education—relationships, inequality, societal effects—while also understanding that individuals are constantly shaping and being shaped by this institution’s innovations. Artificial intelligence enables new forms of pedagogy, assessment, and interactions in schools. We will probe the implications of automation and the use of technology to mimic human perception and decision making in this field. Considerations include 1) how technology impacts the practices of districts and their schools; 2) the potential of technology to restructure bureaucratic hierarchy and present democratic management forms; and 3) the effects of education technology on various racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic groups.


Sociology of Education

Open, Seminar—Fall

This seminar introduces students to sociological theory, methods, and research on the topic of schooling in the United States and abroad. Using both classical and contemporary readings, we will examine the reciprocity between and among schools, individuals, and societies and traverse conversations on the purpose and promise of schooling in response to industrialization, urbanization, and globalization. Topics addressed include the influence of politics, policy, and economics on the field of education; inequality and the factors of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality; culture and youth behavior; schools’ organizational environment; and different techniques of reform in public schooling. Students are encouraged to explore particular facets of schooling for conference projects. Potential topics include book banning, principal accountability, community engagement, charter schools, vouchers, school-district governance, and teacher evaluation.