Diane Hoffman headshot

Diane M. Hoffman

Associate Professor
Unit: School of Education and Human Development
Department: School of Education and Human Development
Office location and address
Bavaro Hall 211
417 Emmet St S
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Ph.D., Stanford University, 1986
M.A., Brown University, 1977
B.A., Brown University, 1976
I'm an anthropologist of education whose interests lie in constructions of personhood and identity, especially as these shape and are shaped by systems of cultural meaning and practice. The settings in which I've studied this theme are diverse:  ranging from elementary education in Japan, to immigrant experiences in Korea and the US, to discourses on contemporary parenting and childrearing in the US., to formations of educational practice among children and youth in Haiti.  All of these settings and contexts can be seen as arenas for the formation of culturally valued (as well as devalued) notions of personhood and identity.  Much of my work might be characterised as cultural critique--or, at least, leading to uncovering the hidden assumptions of meanings that guide people engaged in different--and sometimes difficult-- process of "educating" others. 
CU- Implementing Mindfulness in Haiti: An Exploratory Study on Using Mindfulness to Meet Educational and Mental Health Needs
Source: Mindfulness Connections
October 09, 2014 – October 08, 2015
EDLF 4995: Directed Research
Credits: 1–6
Directed Research under supervision of faculty member.
EDLF 5710: Ethnography and Education
Credits: 3
Seminar in the conceptual and methodological issues involved in the use of ethnographic methods in research in education. The course examines the roots of ethnographic inquiry in anthropology and considers notions of culture and cultural understanding and the politics/ethics of writing and representation in the education context.
EDLF 5711: Globalization, Childhood, and Culture
Credits: 3
Cultural contexts are powerful influences on child development and learning and have long been recognized as shaping the very notion of what a child is across time and place. This course considers contemporary sociological and anthropological efforts to rethink notions of child development, learning, parenting, risk, etc. to recognize both the impact of cultural differences and to recognize the cultural agency of children. Globalization has become a major influence on children and childhood as well and the course will also examine this phenomenon in the light of issues concerning culture and children's welfare. The course is designed to stimulate students' critical thinking about culture and its role in raising and educating children.
EDLF 5993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–6
Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
EDLF 7605: Anthropology of Education
Credits: 3
Anthropology's unique contribution to the study of human life centers around the concept of culture and the methodology of ethnography. In the course of the semester, we will examine the relationship between culture and education and the ways in which the study and understanding of education can be enhanced by attention to culture. Using cases drawn from studies of learning and schooling in cultures around the world as well as among minority cultures and societies in the United States , students will be challenged to begin to see education through cultural comparative frames of reference.
EDLF 7630: Education in Multicultural Societies: Global Perspectives
Credits: 3
What does it mean to educate in and for a multicultural society? This course offers a global comparative view of education in multicultural societies around the world. We will explore how different societies' experiences with multiculturalism have lead to a variety of challenges for educational systems globally. What are these challenges and what are some potentially promising approaches?
EDLF 7701: Seminar: Social Foundations of Education
Credits: 3
This is the capstone course in the Social Foundations Master of Education (M.Ed.) program. It is an education issue-based seminar emphasizing research, analysis and disputation on a range of topics central to scholarship in the Social Foundations academic discipline. The course requires intensive, supervised student engagement in developing and defending fact and theory-based arguments related to selected contemporary educational challenges.
EDLF 8998: Masters Research Internship
Credits: 1–12
Designed to give masters students experience conducting research in professional settings appropriate to their disciplines. Prerequisites: Permission of Advisor
EDLF 8999: Masters Thesis
Credits: 1–6
For master's research, taken under the supervision of a thesis director.
EDLF 9993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–12
Under close faculty guidance, students work on an area of interest not covered by the curriculum. A plan of study must be signed by the faculty sponsor and filed in the student's permanent file in the Office of Student Affairs. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
EDLF 9998: Doctoral Research Apprenticeship
Credits: 3–12
Designed to give doctoral students experience conducting research in professional settings appropriate to their disciplines. Prerequisites: Advisor Permission Required.
EDLF 9999: Doctoral Dissertation
Credits: 3–12
Doctoral Dissertation Research completed under the guidance of dissertation committee. 12 hours is required for graduation. Permission of instructor required.