English Education Program Redesigned

School of Education News graphic

When the Department of Public Education (DPI) shifted the requirements for certifying English Language Arts teachers because of state mandates, the School of Education’s English Education team chose to reimagine the program. Kristine Lize, director of the English Education program, led the effort, with financial support from the Women’s Giving Circle for the part-time instructors’ book purchases necessary for this work. 

Kristine Lize, Teaching Faculty IV in Teaching and Learning
 Kristine Lize

Key changes included the expansion of the program to prepare educators to teach students English Language Arts in grades 4-12 (previously grades 6-12) as well as prepare them to teach speech and journalism. The shift in grade-level meant an increased emphasis on reading instruction and vocabulary development. In addition, the program redesign considered the most recent scholarship as well as its longstanding focus on urban education and used the opportunity to ground the program in anti-racist teaching practices.   

As part of the redesign, instructors personally purchased new instructional resources for the methods courses. The Women’s Giving Circle was able to reimburse the instructors, all of whom redesigned the program and the courses without compensation, for the cost of these materials.   

Part of the work also involved developing methods courses and field supervision support grounded in culturally based practices, according to Lize. The team met weekly after working hours, on weekends, and during the summer months to collaborate on the program redesign.     

The project helped prepare aspiring teachers going through the program to be anti-racist educators and change agents.