Tracey Gorham Blanco
Director of Secondary Education
QUALITY SECONDARY TEACHER PREPARATION through YOUTH, PEDAGOGY, and CONTENT AREA
The secondary education program at New Mexico State University focuses on preparing highly qualified teachers by situating secondary education teaching at the intersections of youth, pedagogy, and content area knowledge with an emphasis on rigor, relevance, and relationships. Our program provides opportunities for pre-service and in-service teachers to engage with youth to understand how to develop relationships and relevance through exposure to their everyday lived realities and multiple worlds in and out of school. Our teacher candidates value students’ languages, literacies, and sociocultural contexts. As such, our secondary teacher graduates are able to work with youth to bridge and strengthen their in-and-out of school learning experiences and identities for academic success. In an attempt to promote this type of teaching and learning, this program focuses on youth, pedagogy, and content area through the following commitments:
Youth are at the center of secondary education. Our program recognizes, values, engages and supports a critical evaluation of how youth are positioned by society and how they position themselves within society. The program challenges long-held confident characterizations of youth and schooling. Our teacher candidates negotiate youths’ complexities in relation to multiple lived realities so that pedagogies and curricula engage youth in school. Our teacher graduates enter the profession prepared and committed to build on youths’ strengths and support youth as complex people with much to contribute to their communities and the learning environment.
Our program focuses on pedagogy which includes a philosophical view of learning connected to action in classrooms, schools, and communities. In order to assist pre-service and in-service secondary education teachers in understanding the complex relationship between teaching and the practices of the classroom, we provide opportunities for our students to consider the dynamic between theory and practice. Our teacher graduates enter the profession prepared and committed to understanding the nuances of pedagogical expertise in their content area, linguistic diversities, special education, and interdisciplinary approaches as a way to make connections with all youth to promote learning and engagement.
All secondary education majors have a teaching field major that requires at least 32 hours of academic study. We offer licensure for the State of New Mexico in Business, Language Arts, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Science, and Social Studies. In some areas such mathematics, education majors, take the same course of study as mathematics majors. In the broad teaching fields like social studies, science, and language arts, the course work covers more breadth to broaden the teachers’ knowledge of the range of content in these disciplines. All of our teacher graduates enter the profession prepared and committed to be academic leaders in their content area and the teaching profession.