Welcome from the Dean
Welcome from Dr. Miller - Graduate School of Education
I welcome our students to Touro College and the School of Education with a new optimism for improving educational opportunities for all children. Never before have we been so imbued with hope for education's success as we have with the election of our 44th President, Barack Obama. Touro's School of Education, with its highly diverse student body is poised to play a major role in the new, developing process for change in education. Thus, my message to students, faculty and our education community is: Join us for the express purpose of beginning a new examination and study of both the meaning and realization of high student achievement and diversity.
In 2009, our frame of reference is fundamentally different then 55 years ago at the time of the 1954 Supreme Court decision of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. The sweeping scope and breathtaking pace of today's global economic, demographic, and technological changes have placed enormous challenges upon school districts as well as the institutions of higher education that prepare the personnel who work in those districts and schools. The United States is now undergoing one of the most profound demographic transitions in its history. We are becoming a new people. The increasing racial diversity of the American people has profound consequences to our sense of national unity, the growth of our democracy, and our future economic prosperity. Our ability to make this transition depends to a large extent on the strength of our public and private schools and on our ability to help the country benefit from, rather then be divided by, its demographic transformation.
Achieving diversity must not be pursued at the expense of providing high quality teaching and learning opportunities for all of our children - whether they are white, black, Latino, or any other race or ethnic background. Diversity is a parallel concern to raising academic achievement. Our most important challenge in education - closing the achievement gap - seems to be clear. But there are many questions that must be examined; for example: .Which set of factors is the most responsible for the achievement gap - school or non-school?. .What conditions, if we attend to them, will result in the largest improvement?. Clearly, both school and non-school factors underlie the achievement gap. Further, the conditions that improve learning in school and out of school are intertwined. Closing the gap must be more than a one-front operation. As educators, we must hold ourselves responsible and accountable for improving schools when and where we can. At the same time, we must recognize that the achievement gap has deep roots. Governments, communities, neighborhoods, and families, all have the responsibility to create conditions that remove barriers to cognitive development and the ability to work effectively across lines of racial and ethnic differences.
At Touro we believe that now is the time to start a new conversation and to develop new strategies for helping our children academically while crossing over any existing racial and ethnic boundaries at a time when our Nation is becoming increasingly diverse. We believe that with the input of our diverse student body, faculty, and administrators, we will play a major role in this transformation and change in education.
Welcome from Dr. Polemeni
The Graduate School of Education holds to a pervading philosophy that guides all of our programs with respect to theories of human development, methods of education, methods of assessment of individual differences, and overall approaches to our job as citizens. We hold that the primary goal of learning is more learning, that the mission of education is to stretch minds, that is, to enhance each person's educability, and ultimately to produce life-long learners who can become independent of formal education.
Every person is modifiable, which is to say that all of us can develop our intellectual potential to a higher level. We place a central emphasis on the development of the tools of effective thinking and learning, a strong belief in the value of family participation in education, and dedication to multi-culturalism in all of our teaching. We also believe strongly in learning by doing, so our students will apply what they learn in controlled settings. We welcome learners at every level. Good thinking to all!