Department of Curriculum and Instruction


The Department of Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) at Penn State provides innovative and research-based educational experiences for students in undergraduate teacher education programs and graduate degree programs. C&I faculty are leaders in their fields, conducting cutting-edge research about teaching and learning in Pk-12 schools, about curriculum and pedagogy more broadly, and about teacher education. C&I students benefit from faculty engagement in teaching, research, and service. 

We believe every student in our department deserves the best educational experiences in their program, and we strive to offer those experiences across the department. Our department is composed of people with diverse areas of expertise across various academic disciplines, ages or grade levels, and research paradigms and methodologies, who share a deep interest in exploring the role of schools, teaching, and learning in public life. As a result, our department has a tradition of studying and practicing equity-minded pedagogical approaches, and a commitment to efforts to understand and address systemic inequities. 

Students in our teacher preparation programs learn responsive and equity-focused practices for teaching literacy, science, mathematics, languages, and/or social studies as well as come to know Pk-12 students as learners in those fields. The structure of our program emphasizes that teacher education students progress through their professional coursework with a small group of peers, creating a more relational and community educational experience among students and faculty. In-school experiences are woven throughout the programs, so there is significant opportunity to interact with both teachers and students in Pk-12 schools in tandem with opportunities to reflect on and learn from those experiences. Our graduates are successful in garnering teaching positions after graduation - school districts across PA, as well as in many other states, heavily recruit Penn State teacher education graduates. 

Students in the C&I graduate programs (Master’s and Doctoral) are offered a broad array of graduate-level courses and experiences. In addition to taking coursework in their emphasis area(s), graduate students learn about educational research in a number of ways – through coursework, in collaborations with faculty, and ultimately from their own independent research projects. Graduates from the PhD program go on to university and college faculty positions, leadership positions in policy, state departments of education, and school districts. Graduates from the master’s degree programs (M.S. and MEd) often take on leadership roles in their schools or districts, such as curriculum specialists or grade level chairs, or continue their education in doctoral programs. 

We hope to welcome you to our C&I community soon. We are…the Penn State Department of Curriculum & Instruction.