Educational Studies Shape the Next Generation

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.

Think Big

In the words of Educational Studies alumni...

Our Mission

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Opportunities to Explore

Student Teaching

At IWU, you will be able to observe and work with children in the very first course you take, Education and Social Justice. This is a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in classrooms during your first year in college.


As teacher-scholars for social justice, students present poster or oral presentations during the Annual Inquiries into Teaching and Learning Conference, actively engage in leading professional development events on campus, and some pursue a Research Honors in addition to their captsone undergraduate research experience.


Internship opportunities are a great way to get experiential learning. Some popular internships are student teaching as part of the Chicago Semester program and teaching ESL to adults through the Freeman Asia program.

Study Abroad

Education majors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in various different cultures by studying abroad.

Student Organizations

The Student Education Association is a pre-professional organization of students preparing for careers in education. Activities for this group center around: providing pre-professional development and job preparation, community outreach, and political action.

Student Athletes

Many of our majors are also Division III student athletes.