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Chatham’s Education Department offers a major in PreK-4 education, and certificates to teach secondary English, social studies, mathematics, biology, physics, and chemistry (grades 7-12) and art (K-12). Many Chatham education courses draw from the UN Sustainable Development Goals, preparing you to take steps towards ending poverty, fighting inequality, and stopping climate change from your position as a classroom teacher. As a Chatham education graduate, you will stand out from other new teachers because Chatham will train you to help K-12 students critically examine and solve social problems, economic problems, and environmental problems in their community.
“We are not just preparing our students for the classroom, we are preparing our students to be conscientious global citizens. Through the lens of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals, students examine the role education can play in making all communities more sustainable and equitable. Our students learn how to reflect on their own belief systems and how they can contribute to the profession. We value faculty who are current in best practices and are able to transmit their experiences to our future teachers.”
– KRISTIN HARTY, Ph.D., program director
Educational Research Methods
In the Educational Research Methods class, Education majors conduct an action research project for Environmental Charter School (ECS). Chatham students visited the ECS intermediate school, talked with school leaders, then designed a survey to examine how ECS students understand the concepts of equity and sustainability. Results from class analysis of the data were given to ECS school leaders to guide them in their continued work teaching about these concepts.
Explore the Education Degree:
- Chatham has been named a 2019-2020 Top Education College of Distinction, recognizing the program for its expert blending of the liberal arts with professional programming in education.
- All students complete a capstone seminar in which they conduct an action research project at a local school under close faculty guidance. Action research is a systematic process that educators use to improve student outcomes and school environments. Chatham is one of the few universities across the country that offers such an independent and student-driven program.
- Earn your Pennsylvania certification and be prepared for advanced studies.
- Put your interest in education and sustainability into practice by working for or volunteering with Chatham’s Eden Hall K-12 program office during your undergraduate years
Perspectives on Education
Students examine how an education system and society shape one another. Topics include the purpose of school in society; how social constructs (i.e. race, gender) interact with the education system; issues of power and control; the role of technology, and how we can provide an education for all that promotes equity and sustainability.
This course focuses on the characteristics of effective teaching practices and examines different instructional models that effective teachers help students learn. Students are first introduced to these models and then practice teaching using the models they learn. The course also discusses best practices that align for education for sustainability and equity such as backwards design, performance assessment, and project based learning. Students learn how to create instruction for diverse groups of students so that all might succeed in the classroom.
Diverse Family and Professional Partnerships
This course provides students with an understanding of issues pertaining to student diversity and also examines partnerships and relationships between communities, schools, students and parents. Students will develop an understanding of how socially constructed categories such as race, sexuality, and nationality emerge, evolve, inform, and affect the individual, schools, families and communities. This course prepares students for responsible citizenship in a global community.
Faculty members are accomplished teachers, scholars, practitioners, and active leaders in the field. We care about our communities and our planet, and those commitments are apparent in all the work that we do.
Certificate in Education
Students interested in becoming secondary school, art, or music teachers major in their content area at Chatham and complete a certificate in education for 45 credits. Options include certification for English, social studies, mathematics, biology, physics, and chemistry for grades 7-12, and art or music for grades K-12.
Teaching Teachers in Haiti
Dr. Tyra Good, assistant professor of education, knows a thing or two about culturally responsive education. In fact, she teaches it—courses with names like Teaching in Urban Schools, Issues of Poverty and Race in Education, and Diverse Family Community Partnerships.
Student Profile: Aubrey Lawrence '22
Secondary English education student Aubrey Lawrence ‘22 presented a project-based unit she designed to area teachers with Chatham instructors and community organization leaders at the State of Black Learning Conference. Her unit was about youth-led, systemic community transformation. Aubrey co-presented with community leader Na'Tisha Washington of Operation Better Block and Kelly Henderson of Chatham’s Education Department.
Alumna Profile: Lexi Kalpla '19
Lexi Kapla ’19 is a double major in PreK4 Education and Sustainability. This past summer, she assisted with a faculty-led research project research about teacher understandings of sustainability and equity at a local school. During the academic year, Lexi works as part of the Eden Hall Campus K-12 team, leading sustainability-related field trips for area students.