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Curriculum & Supervision

Students in Mathematics LabThe program in Curriculum and Supervision is intended for students who have a passion for student, teacher and school development. Our work is multidisciplinary. Our students explore contemporary educational issues through scholarly experiences in curriculum, supervision, teacher education, professional development, teacher leadership, instructional coaching and mentorship. Students and faculty in the program conduct research contributing to our understandings of how teachers learn and develop in a variety of formal and informal learning communities. Graduates go on to academic positions at colleges and universities throughout the world in teacher education, curriculum, and related fields as well as positions in schools, districts, governments, and other entities concerned with the development of expertise in teaching and learning.

Some central perspectives and principles unite and undergird our work in this area. We see teaching as a socially situated and complex activity with intellectual, moral and craft dimensions. Given the complex nature of teaching, we believe that teacher development is grounded in an inquiry stance and ongoing reflection. This understanding of teaching undergirds the rest of the work we do in preparing students to engage in scholarship and practice in teacher education, curriculum, supervision, and professional development. We conceptualize leadership as a function as opposed to a role or position. We understand professional development to be an individual and collective lifelong endeavor situated in a range of contexts, both informal and formal. We understand all these aspects of our work in education as unfolding through collaboration within communities of practice in which theory and practice are mutually informing. We view our work as multidisciplinary, national, and international in scope.

Here at Penn State, our work is multidisciplinary and flexible. Our students come from a broad range of educational settings both in the United States and abroad. Our students have the opportunity to work on issues and concerns relevant to state, regional, national and internationals settings across a broad variety of roles in education. Though our understandings are informed by broad perspectives in curriculum, our practice and scholarship are situated primarily in schools. Our students are fortunate to have access to a host of resources including the amenities of a large and thriving research university with dedicated faculty who both conduct research at the forefront of their fields and devote personal attention to doctoral students. We have established strong relationships with a diverse set of school districts that span rural, suburban, and an increasing number of urban contexts. We are also proud to have a long-standing, award-winning Professional Development School in which teachers are our full partners in teacher education. We are located in State College, Pennsylvania, in a region nicknamed “Happy Valley,” a community that’s a positive, affordable, and welcoming place to live and work.