A Letter from the Chair
The Education Department at Columbia College Chicago recognizes the fundamental value of the arts in educating young children and youth, especially in the urban communities of Chicago. Whether your goal is to be a certified classroom teacher in elementary education, the visual arts, or early childhood education; a Head Start teacher with a BA degree; a credentialed educator of infants and toddlers; or an artist who can effectively communicate about art through after school, community-based, or museum arts programs, we have a major or minor that will fit your interests and career goals.
The arts are essential components of every program we offer, as we view the arts as indispensable to effective teaching. Our faculty members understand the vital relationships between the arts and learning, so we have worked hard to foster partnerships with the arts programs across Columbia College. As these programs interact, the results are more than simple combinations of two or more programs. Rather, our education programs give art students increased possibilities to use their majors after graduation, and provide education majors expansive understandings of effective teaching through the relevant infusion of the arts in their teaching.
The arts exist within all domains of knowledge, and our education programs uncover the relationships between the arts and learning about science, math, literature, written and oral communication, and other subjects. Because we recognize that the arts contribute to children’s inquisitiveness and creativity as they learn about the world and their place in it, our Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education programs emphasize the ways in which the arts are tools children and youth use to understand and reflect on their environment and their learning. We also maintain a focus on the importance of art education, and our Art Education program prepares teachers to effectively make art the center of instruction.
Our Programs Develop Effective
Our education programs develop knowledgeable, skilled, reflective educators, whether for the classroom or the art gallery. Our courses are rigorous and engaging. They require students who understand their profound responsibilities to children and youth.
Effective teachers know about the development of young children and youth, and how learning environments affect them. Thus, our students learn how relationships among children and between children and adults are a part of the learning context. They view children and youth as possessing potential and possibilities. They also learn about the importance of children’s cultural experiences, including their histories, languages, and communities. Our students also know a lot about the content they teach, including, but not limited to, professional, state, and institutional content standards.
Effective teachers have the skills to use this complex knowledge to create engaging, respectful, learning-filled educational settings. Therefore, our students develop the skills to encourage children and youth to explore their environments and beyond and to use the oral and written languages of these settings. And, at Columbia College Chicago, they learn how the arts are a natural part of the educational environment.
Effective teachers also demonstrate dispositions that embody the professionalism of educators. Consequently, our students come to understand and practice critical reflection of their teaching. This means that they analyze how their pedagogical practices impact learners, with the intent to always create supportive, caring, challenging, and culturally relevant educational contexts.
As you consider joining the Education Department at Columbia College Chicago, I encourage you to explore our website, talk with our faculty members, talk with your friends and family, and maybe even visit one of our classes. But most importantly, ask yourself: “Is the education of children and youth my passion?” If it is, join us and gain the skills and knowledge necessary to Live what you Love.
Carol Lloyd Rozansky, PhD
Professor and Chairperson, Education Department