Education is the heart of democracy; therefore, a critical discourse about education is a crucial part of a liberal arts college experience.
The Department of Education not only certifies teachers but also helps develop public intellectuals and ethical citizens. In this work, we draw inspiration from a long list of teacher-intellectuals: Paulo Freire, Maxine Greene, Antonia Darder, Joel Spring and Linda Tuhiwai Smith, among others. With critical pedagogy at the center of our mission, we support students in moving beyond disciplinary parameters and addressing issues of power, history, identity and collective agency. Our students thus gain a breadth and depth of knowledge that is distinctive among education programs.
The department offers students across majors the opportunity to acquire a state certification for teaching. Because we believe that studying the history, practice and philosophy of education should be central to a liberal arts education, we welcome students who bring varied backgrounds, academic interests and aspirations.
Students, especially those seeking certification, work in a variety of field experiences with young people. They build curriculum for specific places and populations, drawing on the cultural wealth of the communities they serve as they teach, tutor, mentor and coach in regional public schools and organizations.
After graduation, our students pursue careers in education, social work, public policy and government, among other fields; many also attend graduate school in service of their broader goals.