One of teaching’s great rewards is the satisfaction of continual learning and constant reevaluation, as new challenges and opportunities arise. Today’s teachers study and interpret data in ways unknown a few years ago. It would be impossible—even with outstanding preparation—for any pre-service teacher to master all the concepts and principles to be encountered over the course of a career. A solid foundation in educational research is key to preparing for this new aspect of a teaching career.
In the School of Education, teacher candidates learn to evaluate their own knowledge and conduct independent research to develop deep conceptual understanding of emerging topics, from new pedagogical practices to advances in their content areas. Opportunities to conduct research are integrated across the curriculum. Courses are designed with research components, and faculty-mentored independent research projects are supported and encouraged. Students and faculty also conduct community-based research, providing valuable insights on educational and clinical programs for local school districts.
Our faculty—active scholars and researchers themselves—are enthusiastic mentors to student researchers. Their guidance ensures that our students graduate with the research skills teachers need to continually learn and innovate throughout their careers.
Our undergraduate students benefit from an outstanding teacher preparation curriculum, founded on a broad and enriching liberal learning experience as well as an in-depth academic major. They study schools, classrooms, and themselves as part of their preparation to become teachers. They also work alongside their professors, as collaborators in their scholarly research efforts—an advanced opportunity that some schools reserve for graduate students.
Many of our students also participate in MUSE, or Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience. Students spend eight weeks over the summer in residence on campus, conducting research or engaging in creative projects with their faculty mentors. Through MUSE, undergraduates contribute meaningful new knowledge to our profession, on topics ranging from the role of fathers in the education of children with disabilities to the successful development of paired-peer field placements among pre-service teachers.
Graduate study in the School of Education emphasizes depth of knowledge and the importance of drawing critical connections among theory, research, and practice. Our students embrace the ongoing need of educators to approach our profession in a spirit of inquiry. Thus, each of our graduate programs incorporates research, ensuring that all students develop the necessary skills for interpreting and applying research to their work as educators.
Graduate students frequently conduct their own scholarly research, often in collaboration with faculty mentors. Students often work in research partnerships with their professors, co-authoring articles that are published in academic journals and co-presenting research in scholarly conference sessions.