Education

reading books to children raising hands

What do you want to teach? At Saint Michael's, you can major in:

  • Art Education (grades Pk-6, 7-12, Pk-12)
  • Elementary Education (grades K-6)
  • Middle Level Education (grades 5-9)
  • Secondary Education (grades 7-12)

Students completing majors in Art Education, Elementary Education, or Secondary Education automatically complete the courses for licensure. You may also choose to earn only a teaching license in Secondary Education.

Whichever you choose, you’ll have a breadth of opportunities, materials, experiences and professional mentoring that places our education program with the most highly regarded in the region among professional educators.

Ours is a program that gives you real world experience from Day 1.

  • You will have opportunities to visit classrooms in local schools to observe and learn from master teachers, and to teach alongside them.
  • You will prepare instructional materials, teach small and large group lessons and network with teachers.
  • You will work in school and community placements beginning in your first education class including local elementary and secondary schools, at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, COTS (Committee for Temporary Shelter), Winooski Community Center Refugee Resettlement Programs, Burlington Boys and Girls Club, among many other places.
  • Our education program will help you develop the values and skills to teach all learners. You will become confident in meeting the diverse learning needs reflected in today's classrooms.
  • We model the same active methods and participatory techniques you will need to use in the field. We show you how to teach using the latest software and hardware, math manipulatives, SMART Boards and more.
  • We give you easy access to curriculum materials to incorporate into your lesson planning.

To complement the practical experiences, Education majors can expect to tap into and expand their creativity, as well. Faculty incorporate a variety of approaches to teaching, learning and assessment into Education courses as a way to model best educational practices. For example, in Social Studies and the Arts, students use drama, music and movement to inform their understanding of history, culture and the arts as knowledge themselves. 

You will have multiple opportunities to teach students with a variety of characteristics including students from other countries and students with disabilities. Your experiences in the schools will increase in both time and responsibilities until you are student teaching full-time for one semester.

Valerie Bang-Jensen, EdD

Associate Professor of Education
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Teachers College, Columbia University MA, M.Ed., Ed.D
Smith College, A.B.

Areas of Expertise:

Children's Literature, Nonfiction, Literacy

Courses I Teach:

  • Digging Down to the Roots : The Meaning of Gardens (first-year seminar)
  • Elementary Education Senior Seminar
  • Literature for Children and Adolescents, Making Meaning: Content Area Literacy
  • Nonfiction in the Elementary Classroom (Graduate)

Claudine Bedell, EdD

Associate Professor of Education
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Ed.D. Indiana University
M.Ed. Saint Michael's College
B.S. Purdue University

Courses I Teach:

  • Adolescent Development for undergraduates
  • Classroom Assessment Design and Practice
  • Student Teaching Seminar for graduate students
  • The Decision to Teach

I also supervise student teachers in the field.

Mary-Beth Doyle, PhD

Professor of Education
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Ph.D., University of Minnesota: Educational Psychology
MA, State University College of New York at Buffalo: Special Education with Specialty in Severe Disabilities
B.S., State University College of New York at Buffalo: Elementary and Special Education

Areas of Expertise:

Curriculum design supporting students with moderate and severe disabilities in inclusive classroom communitites. Curriculum modification and design. Training and use of paraprofessional staff.

Courses I Teach:

  • Approaches to Teaching Students with Special Education Needs
  • Assistive Technology: Creating Access
  • Designing Instructional Programs with Students with Disabilities
  • Implementing and Evaluating Programs for Students with Disabilities
  • Peace and Justice Student Teaching Supervision
  • Teaching in Inclusive Middle and High School Classrooms

Kristin Gehsmann, EdD

Associate Professor of Education, Coordinator of the Master's in Reading Program
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Ed.D. University of Vermont
B.S., M.S. Central Connecticut State University

I am a former elementary school teacher, a K-12 reading specialist and educational consultant with specialities in: closing the achievement gap; literacy development, assessment and instruction; and teacher education/professional development. I hold degrees in elementary education and early childhood education, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Vermont.

Aostre Johnson, Ed.D.

Professor of Education
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A.B. Harvard University
M.Ed. Harvard Graduate School of Education
Ed.D. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Areas of Expertise:

My areas of specialization are curriculum and pedagogy, lifespan development, early childhood education and ethical, religious and spiritual dimensions of education. I teach courses in both the graduate and the undergraduate education departments, coordinate the graduate curriculum concentration and elementary licensure program and also direct the program on spirituality and education.

My Saint Michael's:

I like the strong sense of community at Saint Michael’s among faculty, staff and students and the atmosphere that encourages us all to talk about the ethical dimensions of education and about our sense of mission and purpose in life. As to Saint Michael’s students, I appreciate their interest in and support of each other. I like the balance that many have between respectful openness to new points of views and willingness to question them thoughtfully. I appreciate their desire to find a way to include a focus on academics with strong friendships and service.

One of my favorite classes is Pedagogy because it is a very challenging but ultimately rewarding class to teach. It is a required undergraduate elementary education class. The students must gain many skills and master many theories in order to create a month long thematic unit on a topic that interests them--and that they will some day teach. I see so much growth in most students over the semester which results in unique and interesting units that they are proud of. Another class I enjoy teaching is a graduate course on Spirituality and Education. I appreciate the diversity of perspectives that students (who are also teachers) bring to the class and the depth of class discussions as we explore many theoretical frameworks and personal interpretations. I often hear back from these graduate students that the course helped them to make changes in their classrooms that they feel are transformational in some way for their own students.

You can get a great deal of personal attention from excellent faculty members here if you want it.

James Nagle, PhD

Associate Professor of Education
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M.A., Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
J.D. Suffolk University Law School
B.A. Georgetown University

Areas of Expertise:

Teacher learningin academic content areas specializing in secondary STEM fields, community based education, and personalized learning in middle and high schools.

Courses I Teach:

  • Academic Literacy in Content Areas
  • Approaches to Teaching in STEM Fields
  • Co-teaching Academic Literacy for STEM Fields
  • Curriculum and Instruction in Middle and High Schools
  • Educator as Researcher
  • Middle School is Not a Building
  • Organization in Middle Schools
  • Proficiency Based Learning in High Schools
  • Student Teaching Seminar in Middle and High Schools
  • Teaming in High Schools

Brian O'Regan, EdD

Coordinator, School Leadership Coordinator
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C.A.S. and Ed.D. Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Vermont
M.Ed. Special Education, University of Vermont
M.A. Special Education Teachers College, Columbia University
B.A. Psychology, Fairfield University

Professional Experience:

  • Public School Educator New York and Vermont
  • Superintendent of Schools (VT)
  • Vermont Deputy Commissioner of Education

Areas of Expertise:

School Leader Development; education law; education finance, systems thinking, organizational development.

Courses I Teach:

  • Leadership Practicum
  • School Law and Finance
  • New Superintendents' Institute

Amy Saks-Pavese, PhD

Assistant Professor of Education
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Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder
B.A., M.Ed. University of Notre Dame

I joined the education faculty at Saint Michael’s College in August of 2007. I teach Schools and Society for undergraduates and The Decision to Teach for graduate students. Before joining the Saint Michael’s faculty, I taught social foundations of education and supervised student teachers at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Jonathan Silverman, EdD

Department Chair, Associate Professor of Education
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B.S., M.S., Ed.D. University of Vermont

Areas of Expertise:

As Coordinator of the Arts in Education program, my areas of interest are arts education, aesthetic perspectives on education, interdisciplinary curriculum, creativity and foundation. I strive to help students become “more imaginative, resourceful and critically reflective practitioners.” My philosophy is that the arts offer members of society a viable way to become knowledgeable, literate and morally responsible.

Courses I Teach:

  • Aesthetic Perspectives on Culture and Education
  • Arts: The Creative Process
  • Educator as Artist
  • Student Teaching Seminar

Tim Whiteford, PhD

Associate Professor of Education
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Ph.D. University of Illinois

Areas of Expertise:

The role of language in mathematics; the multicultural aspects of math; and the dynamics of teaching math to students from disadvantaged homes.

Courses I Teach:

At the undergraduate level:

  • Portfolio Development
  • Student Teaching (Elementary)
  • Teaching Elementary School Math and Science

At the graduate level:

  • Math and Diversity
  • Mathematics in the K-8 Classroom
  • Teaching K-8 Science and Design Technology

My Saint Michael's:

In my math education classes, students complete a unique field experience in a public school classroom with children of immigrants from all over the world. It is exciting for my students to teach a child from Somalia how to count in English or a student from Bosnia how to multiply.

Children's Books

There are 7,000 different titles in the Children and Young Adult section of the Durick Library to assist you with curriculum planning.

Teaching Materials and Technology

You will have easy access to a rich variety of instructional resources to practice teaching in any subject area, including math manipulatives, leveled texts for teaching reading, computer hardware (including the Smartboard and iPad), software for designing lessons, Tegrity lecture capture, adaptive technology (Ablenet switches, audio output devices), and electronic portfolios.

Mentoring Children

Woven into your teacher education courses, you will have opportunities to work with school aged children in classrooms, as well as in various community venues. Our Education classes provide direct services to children and youth at:

In addition, many Education majors provide additional community service through participation in various MOVE programs working with children and youth.

Study Abroad

During your semester abroad you may study educational practices in other countries. Many of our students find opportunities to work with children in other countries and learn about the local educational systems during their semester abroad. Recently, students have found placements in Italy, England, Australia, Ghana, Ecuador and many other countries around the world.

We particularly encourage our students to extend their teaching and cultural experiences by spending the Fall or Spring semester of their junior year in the ASE program in Bath, England. One day a week you will be in a classroom that corresponds to your selected age group and subject interests. Complementing the practicum, you will actively engage in a seminar on the British educational system further preparing you for this in-school experience. By the end of the semester you will have a portfolio and evaluation from your in-school experience. You will also select from tempting liberal arts courses in literature, history, politics and art to complete your 16 credit program. Many of the seminars are taught by faculty from Oxford University and include field trips. The academic program includes residencies in Stratford and Oxford. During break you will have ample opportunity to travel and take advantage of the many cultural sites throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. 

For information, please contact: Jonathan Silverman, Education Department ASE Study Abroad Coordinator, x2306, jsilverman@smcvt.edu or Peggy Imai, Director of Study Abroad, x2222, pimai@smcvt.edu.

Possible 9th Semester

Though many students finish in four years, students may choose to student teach during a ninth semester. Students who have completed ALL requirements except for student teaching and have passed Praxis I and Praxis II have the option to complete their student teaching during a ninth semester. The student may attend the commencement exercises at the end of their eighth semester, but will be recommended for licensure only after successful completion of student teaching.

After graduation, our majors go on to careers like:

  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Middle School Teacher
  • High School Teacher
  • Art Teacher
  • ESL Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Curriculum Specialist
  • Curriculum Designer
  • Principal
  • Boys and Girls Club Program Director
  • Journalist
  • Museum Educator
  • Social Worker

Many of our graduates go on to pursue a Master's in Education here at Saint Michael's.  Others have pursued advanced degrees at institutions like:

  • Boston College
  • Columbia University
  • Tufts University
  • University of Massachusetts

 

To contact the Department of Education:

Department of Education
Saint Michael's College
One Winooski Park, Box 281
Colchester, VT 05439

Fax: 802.654.2243

Department Chair:
Jonathan Silverman
Saint Edmunds Hall 308
802.654.2306
jsilverman@smcvt.edu

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