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  The Graduate School of Education 2022-2024 Academic Policies and Procedures Special Policies Governing the Graduate School of Education's Initial Teacher Certification Programs Urban Social Justice Focus  

Urban Social Justice Focus

GSE Urban and Social Justice Teacher Education Program Statement

The Graduate School of Education's (GSE) teacher education program is designed to develop teachers to be engaged in and committed to excellence, equity, and social justice in their teaching practice. New Jersey is a uniquely diverse and urban state as defined by the following: large numbers of students from historically marginalized linguistic, economic, and cultural backgrounds; high-poverty districts or schools; and population density combined with educational inequality. The GSE teacher education programs aim to develop a diverse generation of teachers prepared according to the New Jersey Professional Standards for Teachers with the skills and dispositions to both teach and advocate for all students, as well as to learn from students and their communities.

Teachers prepared at the GSE will learn to critically analyze the social politics of urban, rural, and suburban schools and use that analysis to advocate for each other, their students, and the families that they serve as they engage in the most effective instructional practices built upon deep knowledge of their students. GSE teacher candidates benefit from working with some of the best education faculty in the world and gain real-world experience by partnering with carefully selected mentor teachers in districts/schools serving economically, racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse communities in New Jersey. In order to cultivate the unique set of skills for success in our nation's increasingly diverse schools, GSE teacher candidates do their clinical work in school- and community-based placements in urban partner districts that are part of the GSE-Community School Partnership Network (GSE-CSPN).

An urban and social justice teacher education program prepares candidates to:

  • develop meaningful understandings of diverse students and their experiences and communities and the social, economic, historical, and political dimensions of urban settings and schools;
  • effectively teach diverse students, including those from historically marginalized linguistic, cultural, and economic backgrounds;
  • identify and disrupt instances and patterns of discrimination and marginalization  and develop their students' critical and active citizenship capacities;
  • balance constructivist, student-centered approaches with explicit instruction and scaffolding;
  • deeply understand their disciplines, research-based current/best practices in their disciplines, and student learning in their disciplines; and
  • be caring, competent, rigorous, and reflective practitioners.
For additional information, contact RU-info at 848-445-info (4636) or
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