Two students having a conversation

Objectives of the Department

Our faculty has elaborated our department mission in terms of specific objectives that fall into the following three categories:

  1. To provide a quality curriculum at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels that facilitates students’ development of:
    1. An understanding of the philosophical, historical, sociological, political, psychological and economic foundations of education.
    2. An understanding of the local, national and global contexts of education, including a focus on urban education.
    3. An understanding of schooling as a social, political and intellectual institution, with an eye to making schooling more democratic.
    4. An understanding of the methods, theoretical bases, purposes, possibilities, limitations and ethical dimensions of research and evaluation in education and related fields, and practical experience in applying this understanding.
    5. Creative thinking, as well as the ability and disposition to think critically and creatively.
    6. The ability and commitment to engage in a critical analysis of educational issues and the professional knowledge base of teachers, and to apply the results of that analysis to educational reconstruction.
    7. An attitude of care for and empathy with others and an awareness of and sense of responsibility for social problems.
    8. An understanding of the role of philosophy in the elementary and secondary curriculum, and in educational reconstruction.
    9. An understanding of childhood and youth from the perspectives of the disciplines other than education–e.g., history, philosophy, literature, art, anthropology, law–which promote reflection on educational theory and practice.
  2. To promote collaborative inquiry within the department, the College for Education and Engaged Learning, the University, the surrounding community and the global community, including:
    1. Ongoing inquiry into the educational implications of the search for an inclusive and just society.
    2. Forums through which schools and communities outside the university have access to departmental resources, e.g., faculty consulting, service learning activities, and student and faculty research.
    3. Analysis and critique of the practice of schooling from philosophical, historical, social, political, psychological and economic perspectives.
    4. Specific practices that instantiate the results of our inquiries, e.g., outreach programs, intra- and inter-department faculty collaborations, action research and team teaching.
    5. Analysis and critique of the extent to which educational systems and discourses promote critical and creative thinking.
    6. Analysis and critique of the role of technology in education from philosophical, historical, social, political, psychological and economic perspectives.
  3. To continually reconstruct department goals and functions by:
    1. Cultivating financial and other resources from the university and from external sources that will enable the department to fulfill its mission and goals.
    2. Seeking opportunities for professional growth in teaching, research, scholarship and service.
    3. Continually collecting information regarding social trends and movements in the foundations of education and reassessing the needs served by the department; and evaluating and reconstructing department goals, programs and procedures on an ongoing basis in light of that information.
    4. Further integrating technology into department programs, procedures and services.
    5. Continually assessing the relationship of our department programs to the goals of the college and university and to the programs of other departments.
    6. Providing avenues for student input into department goals, programs, procedures, offerings and services.
    7. Establishing a departmental environment for students, faculty and others that is safe, fair, open and inviting.