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The mission of the Department of Education at Saint Xavier University is to prepare professionals to enter the field of education with knowledge, competence, dedication to lifelong learning and commitment to excellence. The graduates of education programs at Saint Xavier University are grounded in liberal arts, including an ethical and spiritual dimension that respects individuality and diversity and stands ready to provide caring service in varying communities.
The Department of Education at Saint Xavier University is a community of undergraduate and graduate students, teachers, staff and administrators who strive to achieve the goals of the University through the sharing of experiences, understandings, modes of argument and applications of educational theory to educational practice. These goals are realized in an environment of spiritual development and intellectual vigor.
Spiritual development is anchored in the belief of the fundamental dignity of all persons, an openness to all persons of any race, creed, gender, economic class, social standing or disability. All of the members of the Department of Education community are included in the dialogue of human dignity by challenging each other to reflect on a teaching career as a conscious choice to serve requiring the development of habits of openness, hopefulness, kindness, persistence and self-reflection. Community members are further challenged to take an active role in issues of social concern.
Intellectual vigor is grounded in the belief that intellectual growth is critical to human fulfillment. Knowledge is active; acquisition of knowledge is a lifelong pursuit. The knowledge required of teachers involves an understanding of the arts and sciences that enables students to integrate their knowledge of content with the educational structures required to enable children and adolescents to learn how to learn.
Intellectual vigor further requires the ability to:
- relate child and adolescent behavior to plans for educating;
- critically assess their own performance as teachers;
- communicate effectively for the purpose of developing shared goals and achieving them;
- find and define problems meaningfully, analyze them clearly and solve them effectively;
- locate helpful resources and manage them effectively; and
- network with other educators at all levels for the improvement of their own practice and the practice of the whole teaching profession.
Each member of the Department of Education community enjoys a reciprocal relationship with others in the community. Faculty, administrators, staff and students collegially engage in inquiry that results in spiritual development and enhances intellectual vigor. The mission of the Department of Education is to serve the University, the school districts in Illinois, and the people of the immediate and broader communities with continuous support through in-service education, staff development and clinical services. This service incorporates a commitment to act in solidarity with the economically poor of the world, as well as women and children.
The Department of Education is also committed to developing new knowledge in the field of education through the individual and collaborative research of faculty and students. It is integral to the work of the community of scholars, which makes up the Department of Education.