About Our Department
Welcome to the Department of Teacher Education
We are proud of our programs, which include elementary and secondary teacher preparation, the Master of Arts in Teaching and Curriculum, and our Ph.D. program in Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education, as well as affiliate programs in Education Policy, Literacy, and Mathematics. We strive to constantly revise those programs in light of both new knowledge and also new insights into the struggles faced by teachers and administrators in today's schools. And even though Michigan State University is a large place, all of our programs take a personal approach to providing the highest quality education for our students. Our classes are small, faculty and students work side-by-side, and we take pride in knowing each one of our students in personal and professional ways.
The faculty and students in our department have a broad set of interests. They do research on teacher learning and professional development, science education, social studies, literacy and English, English language learners and immigrants, special education, mathematics, and foundational issues like philosophy and history or sociology. They ask questions about curriculum, instruction, teaching, learning, textbooks, schooling, educational reform, and policy. Their approaches to scholarship are equally diverse, and faculty use a wide range of methods to interrogate these important social and education issues.
For over 30 years, we have combined a commitment to the land-grant tradition of meeting local needs with the AAU research tradition of generating knowledge. That we embrace and are equally committed to both of those traditions makes us unusual. Our faculty are expected to be good teachers and good researchers, and we believe that these two activities are mutually reinforcing. As a researcher, you learn to look for evidence that what you believe is true. This means that you are constantly asking questions, being challenged, being asked to revise your thinking. It makes you smarter and humble every day. As a teacher, you search for ways to get other people - your students - excited and interested in ideas. You are constantly challenged to communicate more clearly, listen to alternative perspectives, and see things in a new light. That work also makes you both smarter and modest. The kinds of people who thrive in this environment - faculty and students alike - are interested and interesting, they are excited about new challenges, they are ready to do what it takes to help improve education for all children.
Faculty and students work side by side. We value and seek out feedback and assistance from our colleagues who work in Michigan schools, and we believe that our work and programs are stronger because we work as a collective.
So if you are thinking about becoming a teacher or you are interested in becoming a teacher educator, contact us! If you want to do education research or influence education policy making at a local, state, national, or federal level, come join us in our work. We're always interested in new ideas, new approaches, and new ways to help teachers teach well and students learn.