Message from the Dean

As dean, I am pleased to welcome prospective students and other website visitors including fellow researchers, policy leaders, community members, and loyal alums.

I believe the School of Education at CU-Boulder is a very special place because our nationally distinguished faculty are engaged in cutting-edge research and at the same are devoted to their teaching, to teacher education, and to mentoring graduate students.  This is a community of teachers and scholars engaged in addressing the most vexing educational dilemmas. 

We are designing new learning environments and new technologies -- in classrooms and in after-school programs -- and we partner with policymakers to provide rigorous investigations of policy intentions and their actual effects on teachers and students.  We are dedicated to preparing the next generation of teachers who have the passion and knowledge to improve learning experiences for children and youth.  

Our shared commitment to democracy, diversity, and social justice means that the problems we take up are motivated by the need to address profound inequities in today’s schools.  Now, more than ever, equal educational opportunity is of unparalleled importance to ensure full participation in a democratic society.  Yet, over the past three decades, U.S. schools have become increasingly more segregated and resources more unequal.  Insights from cognitive science and learning research show us and our teacher education candidates how to teach for deep understanding -- to raise the level of challenge and at the same time provide multiple pathways into full participation.  Children in under-resourced schools deserve the same high-level learning opportunities provided in privileged schools, not deadening drill because their test scores are low.

Within the CU community, we are proud of our cross-campus collaborations with the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Music, and the College of Engineering and Applied Science.  Consistent with the “Best Should Teach” Initiative, top students from these colleges are recruited to become teachers, and they complete their major and teaching licensure program like a double major.  Education faculty have been close collaborators in efforts to transform courses in Mathematics and Science departments, and also play a leading role in providing CU students across campus with deep and purposeful learning experiences through civic engagement and service learning.

Prospective students, if these commitments resonate with you and reflect the kind of work you would like to do, I hope you will contact a faculty member or student ambassador to find out more. 


Lorrie A. Shepard, PhD
Dean and Distinguished Professor