The Department of Learning and Teaching upholds the university’s tripartite mission of teaching, scholarship, and service, directed toward the ultimate goal of improving educational practice.
Five underlying principles guide our work. We believe:
- learning is an active process in which students construct, test, and act upon their own understandings;
- effective teaching promotes depth of understanding and problem solving, recognizes children’s individual and cultural differences, and encourages interaction and collaboration;
- teachers must have an understanding of current research and theory on learning and teaching so they can make informed decisions about educational practice;
- teachers should be able to undertake systematic inquiry into educational practice, whether it entails action research, reflections on their own teaching, or the more traditional research conducted in universities; and
- teachers must be aware of recent innovations, educational reforms, and social needs so that they can help to bring about positive change in schools.
The department’s faculty are committed to offering instructional programs in the content areas of language, literacy, math, and science that recognize the centrality of the learner and the learning process in the study of teaching. Master’s degree, specialist, and doctoral programs allow already-certified teachers to advance their knowledge and skills and assume new positions as curriculum developers, instructional leaders, teacher educators, and educational researchers.
In addition, the department provides five-year teacher education programs (culminating in a master’s degree) for undergraduate students at Rutgers as well as two-year master’s degree programs for postbaccalaureate students who also wish to pursue certification.