"It's powerful and exciting that we can talk about methods in class and send students out to schools the same day. They see the connection between their textbooks and real students, and they have opportunities for sustained observations and experiences long before they student-teach." 

-- Professor Kerry Bostwick 

Why Study Education at Cornell?

What you should know

Jill Heinrich explains five things everyone should know about classical studies in the Fall 2009 issue of the Cornell Report. Read more

Philosophically speaking, you should study education because learning and teaching are at the core of human existence.  Moreover, educational institutions – schools – play a significant role in societies and in democratic citizenship.

The average college freshman will have spent roughly 16,000 hours in school but will not have studied education itself.  Classes in the Cornell Education Department offer students a chance to look at themselves as learners, teachers, and participants in educational institutions and societies. Whether you aspire to be a K-12 teacher or not, studying education is important, as it allows you to reflect on the very thing that brought you to Cornell in the first place:  a liberal arts education.

Education and the Liberal Arts

More practically speaking, students who major in education at Cornell become certified as K-12 teachers and are prepared for a wide range of other education-related fields, such as school counseling, coaching, and graduate work in educational policy. All education majors are grounded in the liberal arts, while secondary education majors also major in another field of study.  Studying education in a liberal arts setting is especially important, as the best teachers are those who not only possess a wide breadth of knowledge, but, more importantly, who appreciate learning for learning’s sake.

Our education majors come from a diverse range of backgrounds – from the student from a small rural school in Iowa, to the student from a large multicultural school in Los Angeles, to the retired army general starting a new career as a teacher.

Benefits of One Course At A Time

Thanks to our small classes and One Course At A Time schedule, students spend a great deal of time with one another and with their faculty members. The strong interpersonal component of our program allows students to develop their own unique teaching styles and philosophies.

Teacher Education Program

Finally, our Director of Teacher Education and the Education Department faculty will assist students as they prepare for careers as teachers, supervising their student teaching closely and helping students through the job application process. Our students have the opportunity to student teach in our local rural and city schools as well as Chicago or an international placement.