An integral focus of our curriculum is our signature attribute of social justice. We focus our instruction on advocacy for equity, civic engagement, global citizenship, and international/comparative perspectives. We know that an understanding of, and scholarship in, social justice curriculum enriches classrooms and makes for better educators. Our education faculty are experts in these fields, conducting, presenting, and publishing their own research, as well as facilitating opportunities for student scholarship.
Explore a Diverse World with E-town College
Discover classrooms around the world as an Education major. We strongly encourage our students to study abroad during their time with us. There are numerous benefits to experiencing life in another culture, especially those directly relevant to your area of study—such as a Spanish Education majors studying in South America, or a future history teacher spending a semester in Greece. Only 10% of all college graduates have studied abroad, which makes education abroad an advantage when applying to jobs after graduation.
Most recently, students in ED 372 - Peace Education and Integrated Schools in Northern Ireland and the United States – went to Belfast during the May term 2014 to study, research, and meet with stakeholders involved in the integrated and shared education movements. Students also experienced some of the important heritage sites involved in the Troubles. The trip was documented on Twitter at #Ecedforpeace.
Academic Service Learning
Our students and faculty strongly believe in using education for the benefit of others, and this is evidenced by the emphasis on social justice and service learning within the program, and reinforces the college motto of “Educate for Service”.
Education majors may elect to participate in the Commitment to Community certificate program as an important extension of their coursework. Per the parameters of the certificate program, each student self-selects their community engagement project to complete the required 100 hours, makes key theoretical connections between the activities and their education coursework, participates in group reflection sessions, and maintains a digital portfolio of their work and experiences. Contents of this portfolio are later included in the students’ professional portfolios that are required for graduation and teacher certification.
The Poverty Simulation is a profoundly moving experience. It provokes thought, emotion and insightful conversation about the realities of poverty and how communities and supporting systems need to work cooperatively to address problems. Most importantly, it moves people to get involved and make a difference!
The Community Action Program (CAP) of Lancaster County's poverty simulation is a series of role playing scenarios that give participants the opportunity to learn about the realities of poverty and its effects. People adopt a new persona and a family profile that they must live with for the duration of the exercise. They must navigate through daily tasks that many of us take for granted. During four, 15-minute "weeks", those assigned adult roles try to maintain their home, feed their families, send their children to school, and maintain utility services while trying to navigate local support and resources. Through simulations, our students are better equipped to aid students and families who may be navigating similar issues.
The Common Read: Establishing a Foundation of Social Justice
Education students enrolled in their first semester at E-town College will begin to explore the department's social justice initiative through a common book selection. The Department's common book for 2015-2016 is Made in America: Immigrant Students in Our Public Schools by Laurie Olsen. Made in America provides an insightful look at the day-to-day difficulties that immigrant children and their teachers face in American public schools.
Education students enrolled in their final semester at Elizabethtown College will conclude the exploration of the Department's social justice initiative through an additional common book reading. The book for Senior Seminar 2015-2016 is Rethinking Multicultural Education, edited by Wayne Au. Moving beyond a simplistic focus on heroes and holidays, and foods and festivals, Rethinking Multicultural Education demonstrates a "powerful vision of anti-racist, social justice education". Through a series of essays, the text reclaims multicultural education as part of a larger struggle for justice and racism, colonization, and cultural oppression--in schools and society.