Mission Statement (June 2015)
In the Education Studies Program we believe that we must become a more inclusive and just society. We must honestly name and relentlessly address the educational inequities that we have created and that we sustain as individuals and members of multiple communities. In our formal settings, whether a Kindergarten class or senior seminar at Middlebury, and in our informal interactions with each other, we seek to embody the intellectual understandings, the humility, and empathy essential to this work.
The mission of the Education Studies Program is to prepare students to effectively contribute to a more just, compassionate, and equitable society by developing their self-awareness, critical lenses, analytical frameworks, and pedagogical content knowledge manifested in meaningful practices.
Teaching and Learning in the Liberal Arts: Constructing Meaningful Connections
The Education Studies Program is grounded in and grows out of the strength and excellence of the Middlebury College liberal arts curriculum. The College's aim has been to educate students in the liberal arts tradition who can bring their learning to bear on practical and significant real-world problems and concerns. In gaining a well-balanced liberal arts education, the Middlebury student majors in a recognized field of inquiry and undertakes a minor in education studies that provides a cross-disciplinary focus on the teaching and learning process. Taken together with distribution requirements in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics, and foreign language and cultures, the coursework in the major and the education studies minor provide prospective teachers with the analytical framework and content knowledge pivotal to engaging in reflective instruction in the practicum and in their first years of teaching.
Through a curriculum that emphasizes both breadth and depth in the selection of courses in different fields, Middlebury students develop conceptual understanding and interdisciplinary perspectives. Gaining informed, multiple viewpoints on a wide-range of problems and concerns also helps students develop empathy, as well the disposition for critical inquiry necessary for any professional career and for effective participation in a democratic society. Such liberal arts preparation, in particular, fosters and facilitates reflective practice in beginning teachers and the effective development of their problem-solving, decision-making, and communication skills. These skills and habits of mind are essential to the creation of an inclusive, learning community that is intellectually challenging for a diverse population.
While the foundation of the Education Studies Program (EDST) rests on the excellence of the College’s liberal arts curriculum, EDST depends on strong connections and collaboration with liberal arts faculty from every discipline as well as colleagues in volunteer and service learning programs. The connections and collaborations include the MiddArts Program, MiddCORE, Costa Rica Internships, the Urban Education Internship, the Bread Loaf School of English, the Summer Language Schools, Information Technology Services, the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research, Center for Careers and Internships, Center for Civic Engagement, special Winter Term courses, the Teacher Resource Room, our Liberal Arts Mentors, the Consortium for Excellence in Teacher Education (CETE), and the Vermont Council for Teacher Education (VCTE).
The Education Studies Program works closely and collaboratively with our colleagues in the Primary-12th grade, educational community. We are fortunate to work in a state and county that has a deep commitment to providing high quality education to the children of our community. The colleagues with whom we work in the P-12 settings embody that commitment. Through dialogue in classes and seminars, through thoughtful discussions in supervisory conferences, and on other mentoring occasions, together with our K-12 partner, ourselves and our students. Not only does partnering offer extended opportunities for on-site visits and clinical preparation for pre-service teachers, but it also enriches the entire educational community through professional development and other support services that utilize College resources and personnel. Finally, the Partners in Education (PIE) grant creates further opportunities for innovative and creative collaborations between the Addison County Supervisory Union and the Education Studies Program.