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A Solid Foundation

Navigating your teaching journey through the guideposts of reflection, resourcefulness and responsiveness. These are the qualities cultivated through the Educational Studies Department at Illinois Wesleyan University. Why do these qualities matter? Because together, they create teachers who are committed to social justice in their classrooms and schools so that the democratic ideals of equity and opportunity are realized for all students.

At Illinois Wesleyan University, we strive to prepare teachers who understand, appreciate, and are responsive to students from diverse backgrounds, and who have the knowledge, skills and dispositions to foster learning among all children regardless of culture, race, ethnicity, language, class, gender and/or ability.


Noyce Scholarship Program

2023 Noyce Scholars

Noyce Scholarship Program: Investing in IWU's STEM students as the inspiring educators of tomorrow.  Learn more.


Opportunities to Explore


Our Department Mission

  • Social Justice: A commitment to social justice means working to ensure that the particular educational system, of which you will be a central part, will treat your students with fairness, recognizing their talents, and giving them every opportunity to succeed.

  • Creative and Critical Thinking: We don't believe that great teachers are born; instead they achieve greatness through honest self-evaluation, critique, experimentation, and risk taking.

  • Reflection: Scholarly reflection involves asking questions, rethinking what one knows, posing problems, and generating possible solutions.

  • Resourcefulness: Resourcefulness requires a commitment to ongoing learning, the ability to draw from theory, research, and disciplinary knowledge when developing curriculum and pedagogy responsive to culture, ethnicity, class, language and ability.

  • Responsiveness: Responsiveness involves establishing caring, inclusive, inspiring and safe learning communities in which all students feel they belong.

  • Making a Meaningful Difference: We hold to a vision of teachers committed to making a meaningful difference in the lives of all students, teachers who will inspire among their students a passion for learning and acting in the world, and in so doing, will transform the educational landscape.


Leah Nillas - Chair and Associate Professor of Educational Studies

Department - Education