Curriculum and Instruction 2018-2019, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota

We have work to do.

We are committed to promoting social justice and dismantling racial, socioeconomic, gender and language injustices in education. We actively work to eliminate barriers and obstacles created by institutional discrimination. We are committed to developing future teachers, practitioners, technologists and researchers who are equipped to identify and challenge systems and structures of racism and oppression in their field(s), locally, and globally.

Our three focus areas:

Teaching, Equity, and Research


We prepare our students to become effective leaders and teachers who understand how our culture and society impacts students, classrooms, and the field of education so we can make change for the better.


We partner with schools and communities to support the engagement and preparedness of all learners. We work to change harmful practices in education and reform the system on the path to social justice.


Our research spans the breadth of educational practice for children and adults. We are dedicated to creating more engaging and effective ways to teach and learn.

Our impact : By the numbers

Students served: 1178

in the 2018-2019 academic year in C&I academic programs

Graduate students: 675

Undergraduate students: 516

This represents a 14% increase over last year's undergraduate population.

School partnerships, teacher licensure program: 108

Our students are teaching in classrooms across the metro during their teacher licensure program. See the map of schools below.

Number of continents in 2018-2019 where faculty presented research: 6

C&I faculty presented research in hundreds of conferences worldwide last year.

We are tackling big problems in education to improve lives and strengthen communities through research.

Improving literacy for all students

We are home to the Minnesota Center for Reading Research (MCRR), a clearinghouse for research, education, and professional development for literacy educators. Our faculty and staff work with schools, districts, and teachers to improve reading outcomes, engage students in digital and print literacies, and design inclusive curriculums for culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Author Thanna Lai meets with local students during C&I's Read and Meet initiative that engages students in projects based on a visiting author's work.

Increasing access to STEM education for underrepresented groups

Our faculty are committed to advancing STEM education and opening up the STEM fields for underrepresented groups. We engage in teacher preparation, professional development for educators, and outreach programs for K-12 students.

STEM educators collaborate at the inaugural CASM conference designed to create connections between advanced and secondary mathematics.
The SciGirls code team presents research on the project which is designed to use connected to learning to engage middle school girls in computer science and computational thinking.

Creating inclusive classrooms for bilingual and non-native English speakers.

As the population of Minnesota, and the nation, becomes more linguistically diverse, there is a greater need for research that supports how to effectively meet the needs of multilingual, bilingual, and non-native English speakers. Our faculty are researching how to leverage the skills of bilingual students, assessing the educational needs of immigrant and refugee youth, creating language revitalization programs, and preparing teachers to support a positive learning environment in a linguistically diverse classroom.

Mary Hermes (with doctoral student Veronica Quillien) researches language revitalization and teaches her students how to develop projects that support linguistic, cultural, and identity support for Indigenous communities.

Working towards educational equity and social justice.

Our faculty are steadily working to close the opportunity gap, provide more opportunities and access for underrepresented groups, fight for racial and social justice in schools, and reject harmful educational practices for marginalized groups. A major goal of the Department is to diversify the teaching force.

Vichet Chhuon researches how to train teachers to improve student engagement and disrupt the deportation to prison pipeline. His work supports the Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers in Minnesota.
The Other Side of Poverty in Schools workshops led by Mark Vagle and Colleen Clements helps teachers to support working-class students and families, and those experiencing poverty.

Preparing future teachers to meet the needs of all students.

We prepare teachers to be leaders in their field, to challenge the status quo, and be a force for social justice and equity in the classroom. Our research examines current teaching methods and teaching culture and applies that to our teacher training programs where students receive cutting-edge instruction on educational practices.

J.B. Mayo coordinates the Teacher Scholars of Color Program and focuses his scholarship on including LGBTQ contributions in history books, and supporting LGBTQ youth in school and community settings.
Gill Roehrig co-lead professional development for STEM teachers in the metro area.

Digital and media impact


Web and social media analytics

Unique website visits: 188,838

Most visited page: People

Twitter followers: 1641 (135% increase from last year)

Top tweet: New LT minor announcement

Facebook followers: 419 (up 113% from last year)

Post with the most engagement (likes, shares, etc.): CEHD graduate commencement photos 2019

CEHD graduate commencement

Post with the most reach (most seen): Preethi Titu wins second place in the 3 minute thesis competition.

Preethi Titu presenting her 3 minute thesis

Most viewed story on the news blog: Elementary education major to present at National Council for Teachers of English conference

In the news

A selection of broad impact media coverage featuring faculty in Curriculum and Instruction:

Research Brief: Social Media impact in an English language classroom, Martha Bigelow, Kendall King, Jen Vanek, featured in multiple news outlets, reach over 3 million

Kendall King and Jen Vanek (on screen) talk about social media use to promote literacy for ESL students.

Op Ed: Embrace Multilingualism as a goal for all Minnesota students, Star Tribune, Kendall King, reach 2 million

Op Ed: Disaggregating student data will help, not hurt, the cause of addressing gaps, Star Tribune, reach 1 million

5 questions: Talking Summer Reading Habits with UMN, Lori Helman, multiple outlets, reach

Lori Helman advises parents on how to prevent summer reading slide.

Radio: There's a science to teaching children how to read, Lori Helman interviewed, MPR

Radio: The debate over homework, Annie Mason interviewed, MPR

Online news: Muslim Advocates Predict More Racist Attacks To Come From Trump, Nimo Abdi quoted, Huffpost, reach 5 million

New Initiatives 2018-2019

Establishment of the Race, Equity, and Justice Council: The faculty and staff are collaborating to push forward the commitment of the Department in working towards educational equity and racial and social justice. Six working groups were established to examine areas of injustice and create policies and practices that promote equity.

Emerging Scholars Conference: The Curriculum and Instruction Graduate Student Organization (CIGSA) reformatted the C&I research day into a conference with sessions, a keynote, and a poster session giving emerging departmental scholars a venue to practice presenting their research.

Graduate student Qui Alexander opens the Emerging Scholars conference.

Graduate student writing retreats: Several writing retreats for research-track doctoral and master's students were held on various topics throughout the year to kickstart writing, create community, and exchange scholarship and ideas.

Learning Technologies minor program: The Department added a new undergraduate minor that helps students leverage technology to learn, collaborate, and become digital savvy leaders.

Challenges Ahead

Recruiting and retaining teacher candidates of color. We are actively looking at ways to provide financial and career incentives to students of color to become teachers. Minnesota ranks as #50 in the country for racial disparities in education. Research shows that students of any color do better when teachers of color in the classroom.

We are tackling this problem by:

  • Establishing the Race, Equity, and Justice Council
  • Continuing to provide mentorship and career opportunities to the Teacher Scholars of Color group (self-selecting teacher candidates)
  • Recruiting more students of color into DirecTrack for Teaching
  • Engaging student groups, collaborating with other departments, and holding information sessions for students of color interested in teaching
  • Actively looking for undergraduate scholarships and financial support for students of color interested in teaching

Graduate student satisfaction

Doctoral student surveys indicated they want more financial support during their programs. We have one of the largest graduate research populations and are looking for grants, donors, and sponsored projects that can guarantee a doctoral student four years of financial support.

Doctoral student Felicia Leammukda presents her research.

We are actively looking for ways to give doctoral students more writing help, more opportunities to present research, and more individualized faculty attention. The graduate writing retreats and Emerging Scholars conference are two pilot programs aimed at supporting our research students.

Looking forward.

We are hopeful and excited about the next year and ongoing initiatives to support students, advance equity, and produce research and teachers that have a positive impact on our communities, our nation, and the world.

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