STEM Education and Teacher Development Department Mission Statement

The STEM Education and Teacher Development Department at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is committed to providing teacher preparation, licensing and professional development opportunities for aspiring candidates and teachers who are working in schools.

We aim to develop reflective practitioners who seek to understand the complex social contexts of learning, education, and schooling in both urban and suburban settings. In addition to providing a rigorous preparation in subject-matter fields, we encourage students and teachers to develop their ability to apply pedagogical theory to practice and to reflect on the complexities inherent in their craft.

We are committed to the preparation of educators who have sensitivity toward multicultural issues, an awareness of the particular concerns of urban education, knowledge of the unique styles of individual learners, and a conscious knowledge of the role of schools in promoting social justice in the 21st Century.

The mission of the STEM Education and Teacher Development Department and its associated core values serve as both philosophical and operational guides for all activities.  We aim to develop reflective practitioners who can:

  • integrate academic knowledge with community-based knowledge to address public and policy issues, improve quality of life, and support a just and inclusive democracy
  • apply theory and evidence-based practice to produce effective and sustainable learning and development outcomes
  • involve equality of access and success for all students, especially those who historically have had limited educational opportunity because of education level, national origin, socio-economic status, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, or race, ethnic, linguistic, or cultural background

In addition, our programs are guided by a shared vision of the thoughtful and responsive educator who:

  • is knowledgeable about subject matter and research and theory in his or her field of specialization
  • is disposed to thinking critically about theory, research findings, practice, and the content of school curricula
  • is alert and observant practitioner, with the will and competence to identify and address children’s needs, and to confront social, economic, and educational inequities
  • can work collaboratively with others to ensure that schools and communities are safe places and environments  nurture and empower students and their families