Every year, the School of Teaching, Education, and Health (SETH) delivers innovative programs designed to prepare and support the development of a local and global corps of effective teaching practitioners. One of the tenets of this education covenant is an unyielding focus on preparing teachers that support equity and access, for all students, to high quality public education. The commitment to teaching, learning, health and well-being, and development is a critical lever in addressing the inequities in education. This is in keeping with the spirit of American University’s mandate to reflect and value diversity, and epitomize the scholar-teacher ideal while strengthening the commitment to social responsibility and service.
In today’s complex world, a 21st century education requires developing the abilities of citizens who live in a creative and diverse global society. We know that many of the nation’s public school systems continue to struggle in their efforts to implement and sustain reform. Recently, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reported that American high school students rank 23 out of 33 developed nations in reading, math and science proficiency. Although effective teachers and principals, and smart school districts are all central to student success, there is growing acknowledgement that public schools, by themselves, lack the capacity to address a range of critical issues that influence learning and development. Nevertheless, the current crisis demands the re-imagining of urban education, and the development and implementation of concrete solutions.
The Collaborative for Urban Education, Research and Development (Collaborative) is a university-wide initiative that provides a framework for the development of programs and projects that advance the study and understanding of urban education through research, teaching, and development. At the core of the Collaborative’s work, is the creation of a forum for the analysis of a wide range of multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural approaches. We actively seek opportunities to work with a diversity of stakeholders to critically examine local, national, and global approaches that address the social, political, cultural, economic, and civic structures that impact educational access and equity.