The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education has been selected to receive the 2013 University-wide Departmental Teaching Award (UDTA) from the University of Nebraska, NU President James B. Milliken announced today.
Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, UNL
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“It is fitting that the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a model for excellence in teaching,” Milliken said. “Faculty in the department are deeply committed to ensuring that students graduate with the tools they need to become Nebraska’s next generation of teachers. Students have opportunities to conduct meaningful research, have an international learning experience, access the latest technological advances and – most importantly – work closely with faculty members who understand that great teaching is the foundation of a great university. I am proud to honor the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education for its long record of success.”
The UDTA originated in 1993 and is designed to recognize a department or unit within the University of Nebraska that has made unique and significant contributions to the university’s teaching efforts. The honored department is awarded $25,000 to be used in a manner the department sees fit, such as for travel to a conference, instructional equipment or improvements to a classroom or student resource.
The Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, a foundational unit within the university, is home to about 40 faculty and 1,800 student majors at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. The department leads teacher preparation in Nebraska, playing a pivotal role in meeting the state’s need for high-quality teachers – a demand that has become more complex as technological, economic and demographic transformations sweep Nebraska. The department produces more teachers than any other Nebraska institution and offers the only doctoral programs in teacher education in the state. In addition, the department provides professional development programs to practicing teachers, including in high-need areas such as English language learning, mathematics and science.
Faculty within the department are charged with creating and maintaining a climate that promotes a respect for good teaching practice. They have engaged in a number of initiatives and innovations aimed at improving teaching and learning. For example:
- Like the University of Nebraska, the department increasingly is globally engaged. Recent initiatives include student teaching exchanges in Spain, educational fact-finding trips to Korea and South Africa and delegation visits from Mexico and China. The department has been recognized by the Institute of International Education for its efforts, which have expanded research and education opportunities for faculty and students.
- The department is actively exploring opportunities to leverage technology to meet the needs of the 21st-century global economy. Novel technologies are incorporated into the curriculum so that the department produces teachers who are prepared to meet the needs of tomorrow’s students. Additionally, the department has expanded its course offerings online to make education accessible to more students.
- The department is a model for multidisciplinary collaboration, having partnered with numerous other departments across campus for enhanced program development, teaching and research funding.
- The department has earned a reputation for the scope and quality of its engagement with undergraduate research. Since 2003, more than 20 department faculty members have mentored more than 200 students through the Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences (UCARE) program.
The department will be honored at a luncheon this month.
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