The School of Education of Loyola University Chicago is a community that seeks to transform members to impact local and global communities through the principles of social justice.
School of Education Mission
The School of Education at Loyola University Chicago, a Jesuit Catholic urban university, supports the Jesuit ideal of knowledge in the service of humanity. We endeavor to advance professional education in service of social justice, engaged with Chicago, the nation, and the world. To achieve this vision, the School of Education participates in the discovery, development, demonstration, and dissemination of professional knowledge and practice within a context of ethics, service to others, and social justice. We fulfill this mission by preparing professionals to serve as teachers, administrators, psychologists, and researchers who work across the developmental continuum, and by conducting research on issues of professional practice and social justice.
Our mission is social justice, but our responsibility is social action through education.
Our framework guides the curricula of School of Education programs and serves as the foundation to the School of Education Conceptual Framework Standards – standards that are explicitly embedded in major benchmark assessments across all SOE programs.
The School of Education is a community comprised of students, faculty, and staff whose success is dependent upon interdependence, collaboration, and mutual respect, in that we recognize, include and capitalize on our many forms of diversity, and pool these resources in our mission as educators. We seek to build on the assets of diverse faculty, staff, and students (including, but not limited to race and ethnicity, culture, language, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity) and holding high expectations for our educational practices that serve these nested groups.
The SOE uses transformative education as a tool for challenging and inspiring students to improve the world around us. We view transformation on a continuum from a highly personal process (requiring risks, vulnerability, and trust) to the transformation of supports, services, and outcomes for our students, community partners, and those whom they serve. Each point on this continuum requires both reflection and a commitment to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration that challenges our perceptions and decision-making. Programs incorporate Ignatian pedagogy and traditions, including the four processes of knowing: attention, reflection, judgment, and action and commitment. Transformative education does not have the narrow learning of a knowledge base as its outcome, but rather it prioritizes the notion of disruptive knowledge, a means or process of questioning knowledge and the valuing of learning more. The SOE prepares our candidates to critique the knowledge base and to question knowledge through a social justice lens, and simultaneously to use and contribute to knowledge for just purposes.
In working to impact both local and global communities, we recognize that we are members of many larger and overlapping communities. Within our local context, we have a deep commitment to urban communities, including attention to the sociocultural and sociopolitical issues that may transcend geography (e.g., lack of resources, educational inequity and inequality). By providing this more expansive definition, we are not limited to geographical context, rather we address injustice in any contexts. We strive to purposefully dismantle traditional boundaries between institution-based and field-based scholarly work and service, to build trust and deep, lasting relationships with our partners in education, to understand that we must work not for communities but to be of those communities, working alongside them, sharing their commitment and responsibility to address their needs, priorities, and goals from a social justice perspective. Faculty, staff, and students are involved in a variety of service-learning activities which influence communities, from service-learning projects, immersion experiences, field-based learning sequences, clinical placements and internships. Reflection occurs in many classes, from observational papers, reflection papers, and group activities. In the SOE, careful attention is given to ethics and moral decision-making, and steps for developing sound judgment is included and assessed in course work. We aim for graduates of the SOE to be prepared to be aware of their work environments and make solid judgments that lead to social justice action.
The SOE embeds social justice principles throughout course work, research, and service oriented activities. “The goal of social justice education is full and equal participation of all groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs. Social justice includes a vision of society that is equitable and [in which] all members are physically and psychologically safe and secure” (Bell, Adams & Griffin, 2013, p. 3). Our efforts are devoted to promoting human rights, reducing inequalities, and increasing the empowerment of society’s most vulnerable groups. Our mission is social justice, but our responsibility is to social action. We work to transcend openness, understanding, tolerance, and acceptance, instead working directly to promote equal representation where there is disproportionality, resilience where there is vulnerability or risk, access where there is isolation, and equality where there is none.