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International & Transcultural Studies
Teachers College, Columbia University
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International & Transcultural Studies

About > Departmental Mission

Departmental Mission

In recognition of the interconnectedness of all human beings around the globe, Teachers College has a longstanding commitment to the international arena.

New technologies have led to a rapidly increasing flow of people, information, goods, and services within and across national boundaries. As these boundaries become more permeable, modern societies are characterized by greater diversification of people and resources. Such diversification introduces complex forces that can be best understood as transcultural. As individual and institutional identities increasingly reflect diverse cultural traditions and values, a major challenge to education is to promote new ways of understanding and negotiating these identities.

The United States is a powerful example of an international and transcultural society, and the metropolitan area in which Teachers College is located is a particularly vivid expression of such a society.  New York City and the United States are, in many ways, harbingers of what the 21st century is bringing to cities and countries around the world.

International and transcultural forces are increasingly present in all societies, and these forces are crucial in understanding education in every domain of human experience—family, community, schools, and the workplace. Such education takes place not only in schools, colleges, and universities, but in all societal institutions—families; churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples; libraries, museums, and parks; mass media such as social media, newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and computer networks; and the various kinds of workplaces that are emerging in our technological era.

Our department prepares professionals to provide leadership in educative configurations. To do so, we offer a range of disciplinary and professional programs and concentrations with distinct emphases within the collective mission.

Staff