Our Department Mission

The Department of Curriculum and Teaching, established in 1938, was the first department in the U.S. devoted to the scholarly study of problems of curriculum and teaching across all subjects and all levels of schooling, from early childhood through the education of teachers and supervisors. Broad questions about the nature, purpose, and design of curriculum and about the theory and practice of teaching remain at the core of all department programs. Addressing these questions in contemporary times calls for critical analyses of the ways in which curriculum, teaching, and schooling contribute to social inequalities and a commitment to educating for social justice. Our location in New York City compels us to focus intensely on the lives of children and youth who attend under-resourced schools and face complex challenges in urban centers, but this focus does not exclude attention to problems of teaching and curriculum in suburban and rural settings as well as international contexts.

Across all our programs, the preparation of teachers, educational leaders, teacher educators, and educational researchers is designed to provide them with the intellectual tools needed to re-imagine schools and other educational settings. We aim to prepare the next generation of outstanding educators who have broad repertoires of knowledge, practices, and dispositions that enable all children, including those who have acquired labels, to gain access to and succeed with the kind of education that historically has been reserved for children of privilege. Teacher inquiry, critical perspectives, knowledge of content and pedagogy, a curricular stance, and the interrelationship of theory and practice are also woven throughout our certification and our advanced programs.