Welcome to the Education Department at Castleton!
Director of Education: Dr. Ric Reardon
Department Chair: Dr. Monica McEnerny
The purpose of the Education Department's instructional programs is to prepare graduate students to engage in the analysis and integration of educational theory, research, and practice for an increasingly diverse society. The department's primary intellectual and practical focus is on fostering equitable and effective schooling for all students. In working toward this goal, the department seeks to understand the profound issues involved in transforming public education so that it better meets the needs of students from various linguistic, ethnic, racial, and class backgrounds.
We are a small department with the large agenda of developing educational leaders and pursuing educational research that will affect the future of teaching and learning both inside and outside of schools. Our commitment lies in three essential and interrelated domains: 1) school, families, and communities; 2) teacher education and development; and 3) educational leadership. Undergirding them all is a focus on the socio-cultural context in which learning and teaching takes place and an understanding of the power of language and literacy in both formal and informal educational settings.
With a reputation for producing scholarship that transforms the nature and the content of education in ways that leads to positive changes in society, Castleton's faculty members support our student-scholars with pedagogy and curricula that respect diversity, value interdisciplinary collaboration, and engage new technology.
We are proud of our graduate programs, which now include master's degrees in Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education, and Mathematics Education (with new Educational Leadership, post baccalaureate, and literacy/reading programs in the planning stages). We constantly revise our programs in light of both new knowledge and new insights into the struggles faced by teachers and administrators in today's schools.
Because Castleton is a small university, all of our programs take a personal approach to providing the highest quality education for our students. Our classes are small; faculty and scholar-practitioners work side-by-side; and we take pride in knowing the personal and professional needs of each one of our students.
Faculty in the Education Department have a broad set of interests. They consistently examine best practices in teacher learning and professional development, literacy and English, science education, social studies, English language learners and immigrants, special education, mathematics, and foundational issues like philosophy, history and sociology. They ask questions about curriculum, instruction, teaching, learning, schooling, educational reform, and policy. Approaches to scholarship are equally diverse, and faculty use a wide range of methods to interrogate these important social and education issues.
Castleton University has been a leader in Vermont since 1787! Although so much has changed in its nearly 230 years, Castleton retains its historic commitment to students and to Vermont. Our faculty members are expected to be good teachers and good ambassadors to the greater community, and we believe that these two activities are mutually reinforcing. As a liaison to the greater education community, our faculty learn to look for evidence in practice for what we believe is true in theory. This means that we are constantly asking questions and revising our thinking. As teachers, we search for ways to get our students excited and interested in ideas and inquiry. We continually striveto communicate more clearly, listen to alternative perspectives, and see things in a new light. The kinds of people who thrive in this environment-faculty and scholar-practitioners alike-are interested and interesting; they are excited about new challenges and they are ready to do what it takes to help improve education for all children here in Vermont and beyond.
Another foundational aspect of the Education Department is our commitment to collaboration. This is particularly evident in our undergraduate courses in education, all of which are co-planned, co-taught, and co-evaluated through a true team-teaching model. In addition, faculty and scholar practitioners in our graduate programs work side by side. We value and seek out feedback and assistance from our colleagues who work in Vermont's schools through feedback provided by our Teacher Education Advisory Council and through our consistent presence in many schools in our region, and we believe that our work and programs are stronger because we work as a collective.
Becoming a part of it
We invite you to explore our website to learn more about our distinctive programs. We also look forward to interacting with you directly as you seek to learn more about our programs and services. If your interests are in education research, improving your skills as an educator, or influencing education policy-making at the local, state, or national level, come join us in our work. We are always interested in new ideas, new approaches, and new ways to help teachers teach well and students learn better.