The UT College of Education will prepare students and faculty for the diverse challenges affecting education with a new campaign.
The campaign, Reimagine Education, started this semester and focuses on using the College of Education’s strenghts to combat issues affecting education, said Charles Martinez, dean of the College of Education. Martinez said the campaign plans to deal with educational challenges by ensuring the well-being of students despite unique and diverse needs.
“It’s not enough for us to be a great institution,” Martinez said. “Reimagine Education gives us a chance to … be clear about the things we’re going to be focused on as a college.”
Through forums and discussions with students, faculty and education policy leaders, Martinez said Reimagine Education began to take shape in January. He said the college placed emphasis on researching educational disparities in other school communities and within itself.
“We shared ideas with our former leadership team … in a way to begin a college discourse around what are our strengths and what difference can we really make,” Martinez said. “Our students also forced us to ask the questions not just about how we’re serving the state, but also what we’re doing to nurture the environment inside the college.”
The College of Education will be hiring faculty with diverse experiences that do not fit into a typical department category, Martinez said. The college will educate students on how to overcome race and social class inequities that exist in different schools students work with, Martinez said.
Applied learning and development senior Emily Thrower said she thinks the new campaign’s focus on these topics will help teachers of the future.
“I’ve always been a supporter of individualizing the curriculum for the students that you are serving,” Thrower said. “I feel like the vision that the school is doing right now of no generalizations and no cookie-cutter kind of approach to education is great because everyone is different, and they come from different backgrounds.”
John Bartholomew, department chair of Kinesiology and Health Education, said Reimagine Education allows students to see all the areas of study the college has to offer, as well as its goals.
“Very often, people don’t think of the College of Education as a place to come and do health-related work and get health-related training,” Bartholomew said. “Reimagine Education … helps to bring that to the forefront of what the college does.”