The Teacher Prep Urban Specialization track is designed to ensure that students interested in urban teaching gain the experiences, knowledge, skills, and dispositions they need to teach successfully in urban classrooms as well as for those students interested in student urban planning or social policy.
There are four areas of focus that we believe are essential to successful urban teaching and are cultivated in the Urban Specialization. These are:
- Social, historical, and political context of urban education
- Research-based pedagogical knowledge and instructional skills
- Community and advocacy
The preparation offered through the Urban Specialization is integrated into existing coursework throughout the program. Students in the Urban Specialization work with their instructors and the Urban Specialization coordinator to adapt specified assignments and field experiences in TPP 301, PSY 307, TPP 403/404, and TPP 405/406 so that they have an urban focus. Each course also has an optional selection of readings for students in the Urban Specialization.
Additionally, there is a general Urban Specialization reading list that offers a selection of readings in two broad categories: Social context/ policy and pedagogy/classroom practice. Students should read at least one reading from each of these broad categories and write a 300-word reflection on them to be submitted to the Urban Specialization coordinator. This can be done at any time before completion of the program. Students in the Urban Specialization are expected to meet periodically with the Urban Specialization coordinator to discuss readings and to ensure they receive the guidance and support they need.
There are occasional talks and gatherings with an urban focus that students participating in the Urban Specialization should make every effort to attend. Students enrolled in the Urban Specialization also have access to a Canvas site that provides resources, readings, announcements, videos, and discussions. Students in the Urban Specialization are required to submit evidence in their Professional Portfolio of their preparedness to
teach in urban settings.