Vision, Mission, & Shared Committments
The College of Education believes we must prepare our students for schools and communities as they could be, not simply perpetuating those that currently exist. We must be willing to explore with our students the difficult issues of inequities that exist in society and to help them to become agents of change. This of course means that as faculty we must examine our own beliefs, be willing to keep our hearts and minds open to the ideas of others, live our lives with integrity, and model how great educators take risks, challenge the status quo, and advocate for the rights of all people.
Ours is a college that continually changes because learning is a transformational experience. Members of the college embrace what Parker Palmer described as a “capacity for connectedness.” Palmer states:
Good teachers possess a capacity for connectedness. They are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves. (Courage to Teach, p. 11)
The College of Education’s learning community presents transformational experiences that allow students to create their own tapestries. As an intention of their preparation, students invest in school-communities that differ from theirs. They are challenged to examine their assumptions about other people, how children from diverse experiences learn, and reflect about the responsibilities of innovative educators. Exemplary teachers mentor education students by modeling best practice, supporting leadership, and demanding courage.
Participants in the learning community engage in scholarship that supports teaching as inquiry. As investigators, they become constructors of knowledge that seek to connect theory with practice. As a function of scholarship, students use technology applications to discern strategies for learning, creating, modeling, and assessing. Faculty and students take advantage of opportunities to study abroad and have new experiences that help them become better global citizens.
As faculty and students weave their unique tapestries, they gather regularly to discuss instructional strategies and the implications of new research. We celebrate the successes of the learning community’s participants and encourage them to reach new heights.
The mission of the College of Education at Butler University is to prepare individuals to be highly qualified professionals who challenge the status quo.
As faculty and staff members in the College of Education, these Shared Commitments represent our histories as well as our opportunities to learn and grow in our beliefs and practices. We understand we make mistakes and engage imperfectly in this work. By learning from and with one another and with diverse communities, we use our strengths alongside these mistakes and imperfections to stoke our professional curiosities, provide provocations for improvement, and ensure that we avoid complacency in our work and in our world.
- Pursue a Just and Equitable Society. We aspire to embody and enact anti-racist and identity-affirming teaching, scholarship, and professional practices. This means providing maximum access and opportunities to notice, name, and interrogate our own practices and those of others. We commit to dismantling systems and policies which have historically been used to marginalize and which persist in denying full educational access to all learners. Simultaneously, we uphold, strengthen, and create systems and policies that promote just and inclusive practices.
- Learn from, Contribute to, and Apply Theory and Research. We work to integrate theory and research to inform, interrogate, and renew our professional practices. We are intentional and transparent in engaging with research to assess what is working within our practices while also challenging who we are and changing our practices to interrupt inequitable systems for all learners. Using the research we create and seek, we confront what is difficult in our individual and collective work to transform ourselves and impact communities.
- Embody Inclusive and Responsive Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring. We demonstrate transparency in the ongoing and intentional development of our professional identities through self-examination and self-transformation. We are engaged and active contributors to our professional practice through collaboration and solution-focused advocacy. We commit to keeping our teaching practices relevant and engaging for all students across all identities. Our teaching and mentoring must reflect what we hope to see revealed in our students’ professional practices.
*Affirmed by Omni May 7, 2021