Why Mills, rather than another school of education? Mills prepares future teachers, leaders, and early education professionals to develop an ethical stance about education and social justice, along with the knowledge and skills to transform the educational landscape. Mills is proud of its Oakland location, using it to prepare practitioners who plan to work in urban settings, whether locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally. Further, Mills provides its students with the opportunity to explore a range of degrees and interests so that graduates are ready to teach and lead in early childhood programs and hospitals, in K–12 schools, and at institutions of higher education.
Mills School of Education has three central programs: Early Childhood Education, Teacher Education, and Educational Leadership. All three programs are guided by our goal of promoting equity and social justice, and six core principles inform this goal. These principles are that:
- teaching and leading are moral work that creates an ethic of care,
- collegiality is essential to teacher and leader professional growth,
- inquiry and reflection are characteristic of informed practice,
- learning is constructivist and developmental,
- teaching is a political act, and
- subject matter and professional knowledge are essential for transformative work.
We consider these principles essential not just to teaching and leading, but to our providing a coherent mission and cohesive set of courses.
All programs at the School of Education aim to prepare students for practical and scholarly work that is grounded in practice and informed by research and analytic processes. Our courses provide students with opportunities to learn from one another, gaining insights from both colleagues’ and instructors’ knowledge and experience. Credential students work in local public schools to teach and learn leadership and administrative practices. Many MA students have field placements and professional positions that provide them opportunities to integrate classroom discussions of theory with practice.
Mills’ outstanding faculty and staff make this possible. Many faculty members have extensive experience as practitioners and are recognized scholars. This is demonstrated in their myriad books and articles, their invitations to present at conferences in the US and across the world, and their deep engagement in schools and educational settings through professional development and teaching. All are committed to students’ individual growth. The students themselves are talented and diverse. Like the faculty, they are committed to thoughtful scholarship and real-world practice.
Mills College Children’s School, located adjacent to the School of Education, combines high-quality, progressive education for infants through fifth-grade students from the local community with preparing early childhood and elementary education professionals. The Children’s School is an important resource to Mills students, offering an environment where all Early Childhood Education students as well as students from other programs join teachers to research classroom practice and learn to teach.
We live in a time filled with immense challenges and opportunities. If you are committed to living in a socially just world, we invite you to join us. We can offer you the opportunity to be a part of an educative, dedicated, and vibrant community committed to exploring some of the most pressing issues of our time. The experience at the School of Education will be exciting and rewarding, opening new vistas for your future.
Katherine Schultz, PhD