As one of the foremost leaders in education and education reform in the nation, the Boston University School of Education provides comprehensive teacher preparation to students in more than 20 concentrations. Students take advantage of the many courses and activities of the larger University; the School represents a network of scholars and students with a shared focus and set of goals, and a true sense of community. Faculty and students enjoy many personal exchanges outside the classroom, both academic and social.
The School maintains a variety of collaborative arrangements with school districts in the greater Boston area. Boston University, under a unique partnership agreement, managed the public schools of Chelsea, Massachusetts, from 1988 through June of 2008, and now participates in both Boston’s “Step UP” effort and “Jumpstart,” a program for young children.
Schools of education have been criticized over the years for their isolation from the realities of everyday educational settings, on the one hand, and from the rest of higher education on the other. The current programs of the School of Education at Boston University offer a strong reply to these criticisms.
From its founding in 1918, the Boston University School of Education has pursued three missions: to educate and prepare professional teachers, administrators, and educators to accept leadership responsibilities throughout the world; to offer continuing educational opportunities for practicing teachers and administrators to make the very most of their talents; and to promote research and scholarship that elevate the quality of education. Attention to the surrounding community has made School of Education faculty and students particularly effective teachers and learners, sensitive and responsive to the circumstances and realities of schooling. These goals are reflected in the affirmation that follows.
Graduates of the School of Education serve communities throughout the United States and abroad. Their career opportunities expand as educational demands grow in industry, communications, public and private social service agencies, and government, in addition to schools, colleges, and universities. They are leaders in their fields; they give definition to new jobs; they bring dedication and fine judgment to a demanding profession.
School of Education programs are based on the premise that professional competence requires a foundation of knowledge in traditional academic disciplines and in the arts of teaching and learning. In addition to their courses in education, students take courses in the College of Arts & Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and other professional schools at the University. Collaboration between School of Education faculty and other faculty is increasingly important to our academic and research programs.
An informed professional educator must link traditional academic knowledge and training with practical experience. Commencing with the freshman year and culminating with student teaching or other field assignments at the close of the program, the undergraduate student has opportunities throughout to explore career options and relate theory to practice. At all degree levels, students are encouraged to work with faculty and research associates in building bridges among the academic, service, and research functions of the School. The School of Education draws heavily on the educational community of the Boston metropolitan area, educational counterparts in selected international sites, and the special skills of faculty and research associates working in centers, clinics, and laboratories in the School, the University, and in community agencies and hospitals.
Opportunities for overseas and regional field assignments are complemented by opportunities for working with faculty and graduate students in School-based clinics and learning laboratories. Collaborative arrangements with human service agencies and corporations allow students to match the training, development, and evaluation skills of the educator with the unique needs of those environments.
Urban and suburban fieldwork and service opportunities for students are also abundant. Through a cooperative network of school districts (including Boston, Brookline, Chelsea, Concord, Lexington, Newton, and Somerville) and carefully structured experiences overseas, students can link theory with practice and work with professionals in helping children and adults. The sharing of resources and exchange of ideas between individual school districts and community agencies, and between these and the School of Education that take place as a result of this program, create a vibrant atmosphere for learning.