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College of Education mission statement on multicultural education and social justice

Officially adopted by the COE Faculty Senate March 24, 2010

The College of Education is committed to multicultural education as a foundation for working toward a more just and equitable society. The scholarship, practice, and activism of critical multicultural education focuses on examining and transforming inequitable societal structures, policies, practices and values. As critical multicultural educators, we work simultaneously to increase our own awareness of power, privilege, and positionality, as well as collaboratively with stakeholders to enact social change. As educational professionals we identify and challenge oppression and work for social justice, generally, and in local educational settings, specifically.

The imperative for social change arises from inequity based on systems of social, historical, economic, and political structures that influence and are influenced by culture, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, language, religion, national origin, educational and socio-economic status, and community.

The purpose of this statement is to reaffirm our College’s commitment to facilitate dialogue and foster the development of knowledge and action among students, staff, and faculty necessary to educate and counsel individuals from various cultural and socio economic backgrounds. The College will institute a process of continuous reflection and evaluation to accomplish the mission of social change for the just and equitable benefit of all people.

Goals for multicultural education

Instruction Develop curricula that will help elementary through post-secondary students construct a frame of reference and inquiry to combat all forms of discrimination in our society. Some educational expectations should be that students (1) be informed of how myths and stereotypes associated with other peoples exhibit cultural biases; (2) be shown how all peoples have made major contributions to economics, education, mathematics, politics, art, science, and social and cultural institutions; and (3) be taught how to identify and discuss indicators of discrimination within specified American institutions. Be knowledgeable about diverse ways of knowing and feeling, and differing world views so that students and faculty can use appropriate teaching strategies to instruct students. Provide for, and create opportunities for reflection on, diverse fieldwork and school experiences, such as urban teaching through the Atlanta project. Be effective in interacting with people by understanding the issues of cross-cultural interactions and communications.

Research

  • Generate new knowledge through systematic inquiry in areas of multicultural education.
  • Explore an interdisciplinary approach to research with groups such as African American studies, women’s studies, international student services, and minority services.
  • Promote research related to multicultural education instruction and policy.
  • Encourage all researchers to consider the influence of culture on the design, data collection, analysis, reporting, and probable impact of their research.

Service

  • Develop strategies for working with colleagues, students and school personnel which will assist all in understanding cultural diversity.
  • Sponsor workshops and conferences for colleagues and office personnel to assist in understanding diverse student groups.
  • Develop proactive approaches to recruitment and retention of more culturally diverse students, faculty and administrators.
  • Promote opportunities to inform faculty members about the availability of multicultural resources.
  • Use faculty members as resources to mentor and collaborate with each other to expand understanding of multicultural teaching, research, and service.
  • Assist faculty members in learning about the various cultural norms and experiences of the communities within which they conduct research or provide in-service.
  • Refuse to serve in any capacity that (to the knowledge of the professor) condones or continues inequitable structures or processes.

Administration

  • Develop proactive approaches to recruitment and retention of a more culturally diverse student body.
  • Develop proactive approaches to recruitment and retention of more culturally diverse faculty.
  • Develop proactive approaches to recruitment and retention of more culturally diverse COE administration, including deans, school heads, and department heads.
  • Develop a supportive environment within administrative units to encourage the practice of multicultural awareness and sensitivity.
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