Transformative scholar-practitioners are broadly defined as leaders in education and public policy who weave between research and practice, and theory and experience, constantly working within communities to foster learning and a just, democratic society. Graduates of our programs use their strong foundation of knowledge of content, methodolgies, and exemplary practices as well as their habits of mind to critically reflect on those components. They advocate for public policies and practices that benefit the people they serve, the community, and their professionas while striving to build a more just, inclusive, democratic community, and to expand and strengthen public voice and identity.
Specifically, the departments strive to prepare future leaders who thoroughly understand, consciously apply, and intentionally use democracy and community, habits of mind, and advocacy in their professional endeavors. We define those concepts as:
Transformative scholar-practitioners need to be a part of a dynamic, diverse professional community. They actively explore what it means to live and participate in a diverse, just, and global world. They use that knowledge to inform effective practice which demonstrates their respect for and valuing of our multicultural, multilingual, and multi-abled society. Through this they work towards developing communities that are more cognizant of and compassionate toward democratic encounters over moral, cultural, social, political and economic differences. Consequently, the departments support transformative scholar-practitioners who strive for and create democratic, just, inclusive communities.
Transformative scholar-practitioners develop more powerful cognition and action through their strong knowledge of content, methodologies, and exemplary practices. However, they realize that such knowledge alone is not sufficient. They practice critical thinking and reflection as they explore the reciprocal relationship between scholarship and practice. Within the context of a compassionate, caring community, transformative scholar-practitioners foster habits of minds such as investigating, inquiring, challenging, critiquing, questioning, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating. They view such habits of mind as necessary for engaging students, clients, community members, and the public in the process of teaching and learning. Consequently, the departments foster transformative scholar-practitioners who integrate critical habits of the mind in all aspects of their professional work.
Transformative scholar-practitioners develop and support the rights of students, clients, and community members as they advocate for the people they serve and the profession. They cultivate professional, public visions informed by historical and cultural perspectives. They strive to set the highest goals for themselves and the profession while inspiring their colleagues to do likewise. Transformative scholar-practitioners resolve professional and ethical challenges through the convergence of knowledge, theory, and practice. Consequently, the departments facilitate transformative scholar-practitioners’ development as professional and community advocates.