Our Vision and Mission


We, the Department of Teaching, Curriculum, and Educational Inquiry (formerly Teacher Education), are people dedicated to the improvement of the common good through teaching and learning.


We prepare future and current teachers who design and implement culturally and contextually relevant curriculum and pedagogy. Empowered by a critical and substantive understanding of research, these teachers are positioned to confront social injustices, apply global perspectives, and actively participate in democratic society.

Threshold Concepts

What we aim to foster in our teaching candidates:

  • to become critically conscious curriculum makers for social justice

  • work in solidarity within community contexts

  • develop a critical lens to see power & privilege and the consequences within and beyond educational contexts

  • build intellectual framing/lens toward various ways of being (knowing, learning, reflecting and acting) as pedagogues

What students already believe and hold to be true will sometimes make it difficult or hinder their ability to achieve these goals, including:

  • Past observations of teachers and experiences in schools challenges notions of achievement and what constitutes education, teaching, learning, and success

  • An ability to operationalize a critical, social justice pedagogy

  • An efficacy to enact social justice in homogenous communities

  • An ability to imagine schooling beyond the transmission of knowledge

Based on our commitments as well as these obstacles, the following ​threshold concepts​ need to be directly addressed through the experiences we offer at TCE (formerly EDT). This will help students shift their thinking about teaching, learning, and education.

  • Education is not neutral/Teaching is political

  • Curriculum is more than standards, textbooks, or courses of study

  • Curriculum is co-constructed

  • Both teachers and students have empowerment/agency

  • Teaching is/as intellectual engagement

  • Teachers and students engage in critical-consciousness

  • Teaching and learning honors people’s full humanity

These ​threshold concepts​ help define social justice in education and foster this orientation in our students:

  • Social justice requires awareness, action, activism, and practice.

  • Social justice questions power and how institutionalized powers are enacted in specific instances that privilege some and marginalize others.