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Major in Education, Youth Studies

Morse Ingersol

The education and youth studies department is committed to an interdisciplinary program of theory and practice that promotes social justice through shared scholarship. As faculty, we are committed to lifelong learning, professional expertise, creative and mindful action, and the pursuit of intellectual excellence. We support ethical reflection and will work toward teaching others and ourselves to respect a global environment with limited resources. As we look to the future and observe changes at local, national, and international levels, we commit to a responsive curriculum that tries to meet the changing needs of students.

Department vision and learning goals

Our new curriculum highlights a number of recurring themes that signal our commitments, and our aspirations for students:

  1. In every course in our curriculum, students will encounter themes of ‘social justice,’ each played in a different register. We emphasize social justice with respect to culture, race and ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, disabilities, indigenousness, youth and family, environment, and, of course, in its manifestations in our social institutions, schools in particular. Our approaches are critical and complementary, spanning many disciplines. Students will learn not to rush to accept any one theory or faith, but that they come to understand the complexity of the questions, and accept their own moral responsibility to understand, and to take a position, and to be willing to change positions.
  2. In every course in our curriculum, we stress the importance of engaging with, and understanding, the modes of inquiry that inform our knowledge and our ways of knowing. Our goal is for our students to come to see that there are many paths, each with their own philosophical strengths and weaknesses, to knowledge and expertise, and that each must be evaluated, in context, on a variety of grounds. This means giving up ‘natural’ dispositions to learn in particular ways, and requires that students -- and faculty -- be willing to take risks and live with uncertainty.
  3. In every course we teach, our faculty models and promotes inclusive pedagogy in explicit ways. Our classrooms are intentionally created as learning communities in which student voice, agency, and mutuality are primary.  Since most of our students will go on to become teachers, themselves, or other kinds of professionals who interact with children and youth, an essential goal we have is for our students to learn how to create the same kinds of inclusive, respectful, and educationally responsible spaces.
  4. In every course in our curriculum, students are brought into contact with people, places, and ideas from outside their normal orbits. This means that an essential goal, and purpose, of our program is to instill in our students the need to enter into these relationships mindfully, and to conduct themselves ethically and self-reflectively at all times. This interpersonal dimension is likewise foregrounded in all of our classrooms, which feature site- and content-specific varieties of sustained dialogue.
  5. In every course in our curriculum, faculty stress the importance of understanding the historical, philosophical, social, global/international, and psychological background of the issues in education and youth studies they are currently confronting, whether in classroom or in the field. Students going on to become teachers and youth workers will develop good professional responsibility after knowing better what they are doing and why.

Contact the Education & Youth Studies Department

Program Coordinator

  • Tracy Ehlers
  • Office Hours:
    • Monday-Wednesday, 7am-11am
    • Thursday, 12pm-4pm
    • Friday, 7am-11am

Office Assistant

 Samantha Gonfiantini

  • Tuesdays: 10am-noon
  • Thursdays: noon-3pm