A commitment to excellence in teaching
We believe that there is no more valuable calling than the work of education. We seek to “awaken the teacher within,” thereby equipping new educators with the skills and knowledge to shape their classrooms and workplaces into environments that foster lifelong learning in their own students. Those who are best prepared to meet the challenge of education are well grounded in their content field, passionate about their learning, and courageous in their response to this calling.
Awakening the teacher within
Every person has unique strengths, needs, and viewpoints, so every educator is unique in those ways as well. Through foundational identity work, substantial responsibility in the classroom or workplace, and an environment of encouragement and support, we help our students find who they truly are as educators. By the end of your 11 months with us, you will have begun the process of awakening the teacher within yourself, which will sustain you for your whole career.
We seek to develop and reinforce our students’ understanding and practice of how to create and successfully participate in a community of learners and appreciate how a community of learners enhances learning. Rather than teaching and learning in isolation, our students have ample opportunities to construct a culture of collaboration, both in and outside the classroom. The cohort model enhances actively listening to others, thoughtfully reflecting, and rigorously applying collective insights to develop individual beliefs about teaching and learning.
Community of leaders
Being an educator extends to much more beyond knowing how to manage a classroom or create lesson plans. The M.A.T. and M.Ed. programs seek to show future educators how to become leaders in their school or workplace in order to shape the culture and learning environments to better serve their students or community. Students have opportunities to learn, practice, and value the process of infusing Quaker beliefs and practices—such as the process of consensus-building, the affirmation of the worth of individuals, and the process of peaceful problem-solving—in the foundation and formation of a learning environment’s culture. We help our students understand issues surrounding structural inequities and how to advocate for equity within their spheres of influence.
Another central component of the program is encouraging candidates to think constantly about new ideas and approaches to their teaching—encompassing both what we learn and how we learn. Our students study the most recent social science and educational research that is needed in order to become an informed and reflective educator. A significant component of the program is a three-semester-long project that requires each student to pick an area of educational research that interests them and not only study the current research, but design and implement their own action research.
Theory into practice
Practicing educators use their coursework and current educational settings for implementation and research during their time in the program. This concept aligns with our collective belief that being able to put educational theory into practice is where the most learning occurs.
With the use of action research and the teacher as researcher, the program provides educators with the necessary tools to become reflective practitioners in their own classrooms, schools, and other educational environments.
Teaching all students
The needs of today’s students are growing and changing. Today’s educators need to be able to respond to issues of literacy, critical thinking, inclusion, differentiated instruction, gifted and talented, and other issues of students.
This aligns with our belief that the profession of education needs to be strengthened. Not only should educators be treated as professionals, but educators should believe that they are professionals. This includes participation in on-going professional development opportunities that impact educators’ leadership and involvement in their schools and learning communities.