Each of us has a picture of what it means to be a teacher and a student. We’ve created those pictures based on our experiences as learners, and often with particular teachers in particular classrooms. However, what we experienced as students may or may not represent the realities of public schools now and in the future or the realities of the range of students with whom we will work.
We must challenge our current beliefs about schooling and “teaching” if we are to become effective advocates for all our students. Classrooms are becoming increasingly diverse including a wide range of ethnic origins, languages, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds. Further, a democratic society requires people to engage in creative problem-solving, utilize technological skills, collaborate effectively with co-workers, and actively seek information and resources. If public schools are to effectively prepare students for public life, teaching may be less about externally mandated initiatives, and more about the critical, reflective practice of each teacher.
“Can prospective teachers learn to be both educators and activists, to regard themselves as agents for change, and to regard reform as an integral part of the social, intellectual ethical and political activity of teaching?” This provocative question, posed more than a decade ago by Marilyn Cochran-Smith, nationally prominent professor of education at Boston University, provides the contextual framework for our student in MIT 2008-2010. Our exploration of educative practice in John Dewey’s terms, will be integrated with larger issues of social justice in our democracy.
This rigorous program will prepare teachers to engage in reflective practice, to advocate for social justice in the context of schools, and to be scholars and critical consumers of educational practice. It differentiates itself from other programs in the reading of original research and its social justice stance. It’s also a highly supportive environment where faculty and student colleagues work together to meet the demands of the program.
Welcome! We are looking forward to working together with you!