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Teacher Education at Teachers College
A Message from the Vice Dean
Welcome to Teachers College at Columbia University and to the excellent teacher education programs we offer. Teachers College has been engaged in the preparation of school and classroom professionals since her founding in 1887 and has been especially committed to meeting the needs of those children who are often least well-served but deserve the best that education can provide. While many things have changed over the past 125 years, teacher preparation at Teachers College has remained true to several core values. First among these is a deep commitment to meeting the needs of all learners and the multiple capacities, as well as challenges, they embody.
Our programs prepare educators who are equally well-versed in the theories and practices of the field and therefore can draw upon a wide repertoire of methods, culturally responsive pedagogies, and teaching strategies supported by research, knowledge of learning and development, and curriculum theory in order to develop school/classroom environments, curriculum and instruction that are multi-level, content-rich, differentiated and responsive to diverse learners.
A second core value emphasizes teachers as deliberative and reflective decision-makers, thoughtful professionals whose central focus is the growth and learning of their students. At Teachers College, we prepare teachers who are not merely curriculum implementers but curriculum makers, able to move beyond the delivery of instruction to the careful, creative and well-informed design of instruction. We encourage our students to be thinkers, to ask critical questions and therefore equip them with the tools of inquiry for classroom research, empowering them to examine and assess their own instruction for the purpose of continuous learning, knowledge creation and improvement.
A final core value is a focus on context and community. Our teacher candidates enter the field understanding that both factors necessarily shape—and must inform—what goes on in schools and classrooms, that quality teaching depends on teachers’ ability to respond to the specific needs of local contexts, cultures and communities.
I, along with my faculty and professional staff colleagues, would welcome the opportunity to work with you, whether you are just beginning your journey as a teacher, or you are a seasoned educator considering a new professional goal. I am very proud of our teacher education programs here at Teachers College, and of our many graduates and alumni who lead classrooms, schools, and school systems in New York, across the country, and around the world.
A. LIN GOODWIN