University | 11:24 pm | December 10, 2012 | By Jane Darby Menton

Students look to ‘save’ Educational Studies program

“Save the Ed,” a group of students concerned about the future of Yale’s Educational Studies program, is working to generate dialogue on campus about the future of the program.

Roughly 35 students gathered in St. Anthony’s Hall on Friday for a panel discussion on the future of educational studies at Yale. The panel, which featured a local New Haven teacher, a graduate of Yale’s former Teacher Preparation program and a student studying education at the University of New Haven, addressed topics including student involvement in New Haven schools, approaches to formalized education training and future challenges. The event’s organizer, Sophia Weissmann ’14, said Save the Ed has created a petition that has already collected more than 100 signatures, and will use the information collected during the meeting when putting together a report to present to University President-elect and Provost Peter Salovey after break.

“We want to create a network of people that is sustainable,” Weissmann said. “We’ve all come together to start to figure out how we can bring the community together.”

Panel participants and audience members both emphasized the importance of experience in New Haven classes. Other proposals that will be go into the report included increasing communication between disparate groups that relate to education, cross-listing courses such as “Public Schools and Public Policy” with the Educational Studies curriculum, and preserving the network that former Educational Studies Director Linda Cole-Taylor had created between Yale and New Haven schools.

Weissman said she hopes the administration will take student opinion into account when they assess the program this year and search for a new director to replace Cole-Taylor, who stepped down earlier this year.

Concern about the future of educational studies at Yale began after administrators canceled the Teacher Preparation Track — a program that allowed students to become certified teachers — citing financial concerns and dwindling student interest in accreditation in 2010. Following the cancellation, then-Director of Education Studies Jack Gillette resigned and Cole-Taylor took Gillette’s place as director.

Yale College Dean Mary Miller and Dean of Undergraduate Education Joseph Gordon both said the administration will continue to support the program, and Miller announced last week that former high school teacher and Harvard doctoral candidate Elizabeth Carroll will continue teaching the core courses for Educational Studies while the University searches for a new director.

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