School of Education

Vision, Purpose and Conceptual Framework

Vision Statement

The School of Education prepares innovative educators to serve in classrooms, local communities, and across global contexts with a deep commitment to justice-oriented approaches that elevate educational experiences, opportunities, and life outcomes for all learners while collectively working toward liberation for oppressed peoples.

Purpose Statement

We believe in the transformative power of education to cultivate a society rooted in justice, joy, love, and respect. The purpose of the SOE, in collaboration with our community partners, is to support the development of critically reflective and responsive educators who affirm and uplift the identities of all learners, their families, and the communities they serve. Leveraging our collective agency, we are committed to inquiry-based and justice-centered praxes to improve educational experiences and outcomes for PK–12+ youth, particularly learners from oppressed communities.

Conceptual Framework

The School of Education faculty are committed to advancing: 


Engaging with Critical Literacy 

SOE faculty are committed to accessible education and equitable opportunities for all learners through the practice of engaging with critical literacy, which is the relationship between literacy, language, power, and education for a just world. We value and affirm learners’ multiple literacies, language communities, linguistic repertoires, and ways of being and knowing. We model the critical examination of pedagogical content including research and literature that address the needs, interests, and lived experiences of oppressed communities. We are dedicated to seeking out current scholarship that honors multiple perspectives and amplifies voices of underrepresented and/or marginalized groups in the field. 

Faculty in the SOE prepare candidates to develop, practice, and promote critical literacies in classroom contexts. Candidates reflect on their own beliefs about literacy and language ideologies in relation to teaching for justice. In addition to supporting the development of foundational literacy skills (PDF), teacher candidates are taught to center the experiences and knowledges of culturally and linguistically diverse populations through the integration of multimodal texts (e.g., artwork, counter narratives, poetry, social and digital media, spoken word, oral storytelling/testimonios) from the perspectives and cultural backgrounds of marginalized communities. Guided by critical consciousness, candidates engage with justice-oriented approaches and learn to intentionallycreate opportunities for multilingual learners to make connections across languages.

Utilizing Asset-Based Approaches through Critical Theory

Faculty members are committed to utilizing asset-based approaches by valuing and amplifying different ways of knowing and the strengths that students contribute to a community of learning. This educational approach prioritizes learner strengths and assets while simultaneously challenging and disrupting deficit-oriented approaches to teaching, learning, being, and becoming. We presume competence, honor the multigenerational funds of knowledge (PDF) that people bring, and affirm/support learners to leverage their strengths into collective understandings and new forms of knowledge.

Faculty in the SOE prepare candidates to develop, practice, and utilize asset-based approaches in classroom contexts by facilitating class discussions with a particular focus on the contributions, lived experiences, and community cultural wealth of oppressed communities. Candidates will utilize critical classroom practices including, but not limited to: critical pedagogy, culturally sustaining pedagogies, healing centered engagement, humanizing pedagogies, place-based education, social emotional learning(SEL), and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Importantly, these practices are underpinned by critically-oriented theoretical lenses that name oppressive logics and harmful policies that perpetuate deficit approaches to education and foreground asset-based forms of teaching and learning.


Radical Healing 

Healing within educational contexts requires faculty, candidates, and our community partners to experience a sense of belonging, agency, and hope for justice. Faculty acknowledge that radical healing involves vulnerability and is a relational process toward personal and collective healing. This process begins with faculty naming and reflecting on their own personal and collective traumas that manifest from systems of oppression. In turn, faculty engage in honest and brave conversations that honor our lived experiences and acknowledge that our personal well-being is tethered to our collective healing. Essential to this process are action-oriented approaches that work toward justice. 

Faculty support candidates in engaging with healing-centered practices by cultivating and sustaining healthy classroom communities built on empathy, love, trust, and compassion. Candidates problematize dehumanizing curricula and pedagogies that perpetuate systems of oppression, and work to reimagine and create equitable policies and practices across educational contexts. Candidates also cultivate healing spaces in classrooms alongside their learners by centering humanizing approaches to curriculum and pedagogies and developing healthy relationships while simultaneously working toward educational justice. Radical healing is a process driven by imagination, possibility, and hope with a shared commitment toward developing/sustaining self-love, empathy, and collective well-being for a just world.

Confronting Ecological Precarity

Faculty members draw from Chico State’s attention to the climate crisis and the SOE’s commitment to ecological justice by fostering critical awareness about the causes of ecological precarity and devastation throughout the continued development of modern society. Recognizing scholarly consensus on the climate crisis, faculty utilize place-based and action-oriented pedagogies that connect to various understandings of relationality to build perspectives concerned with creating a more sustainable future. Considering Chico State’s proud status as an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), faculty members center and amplify the contributions and knowledges of Black, Native, and people of color climate leaders/scholars and community members to develop sensible approaches and solutions that teachers can promote in their classrooms.  

Our goal is to prepare teachers who are deeply connected to the biodiversity of the more-than-human world by extending this consciousness to ecological contexts.

Importantly, we acknowledge that efforts to grapple with environmental and climate issues are entangled with tribal sovereignty and racial/social inequalities that plague local, national, and global communities. By acknowledging that ecological justice cannot be achieved without sovereignty and racial/social justice, teachers work toward advancing initiatives relating to ecological sustainability and stewardship. 


Acknowledging and Engaging with Intersectionality

SOE faculty acknowledge the intersectionality of identities across various lived experiences including, but not limited to: race, ethnicity, language (PDF), gender, gender identity, sexuality, dis/ability, justice-impacted experience, socioeconomic status, housing status, immigration status, and caste. We recognize that intersectionality extends beyond categories and identities and supports critically analyzing, challenging, and engaging with intersectional systems of oppression. Furthermore, we acknowledge that U.S. policies and practices shape lived experiences and identities through a distinct and complex relationship with privilege and oppression. With an emphasis on how intersectionality can be generative for understanding the relationship between schooling and injustice, faculty are committed to examining caste systems, hierarchies, and the logic of domination in educational contexts and contribute toward abolishing structural inequities that result in dehumanizing, harmful, and unhealthy lived experiences for oppressed peoples (academically, ecologically, emotionally, financially, materially, medically, physically, and socially).

Faculty in the SOE support candidates in developing understandings of intersectionality, with a particular focus on how the U.S. educational system upholds and reproduces injustice through curricula, policies, and practices. To disrupt educational injustice, emerging and practicing teachers co-create critically conscious environments alongside their learners to cultivate humanizing educational experiences and/or outcomes. Candidates draw on theories/frameworks such as, but not limited to: justice-oriented theories, culturally sustaining pedagogy, healing centered engagement, humanizing pedagogy, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) with the capacity to create and sustain healthy learning communities rooted in care, curiosity, imagination, inquiry, love, joy, and justice.

Critically Reflective Teaching 

Faculty members support the development of critically reflective teachers by creating a culture of personal and collective growth by consistently reimagining the SOE program design and aligning courses, assessments, and field experiences with current justice-centered theories/practices. Crucial to this process, faculty members model critical reflection by consistently examining their own teaching practices, pedagogy, and curricula that work to affirm/amplify candidates’ educational histories, perspectives, and experiences.

 Faculty members prepare teachers to critically reflect on their teaching and learning practices by examining their implicit biases and assumptions, oppressive educational practices, and colonized ways of thinking (e.g., Western logics rooted in dispossession, extraction, standardization, and conformity). Essential to this process is active engagement with community collaborators’ experiences and feedback, furthering one’s own critical thinking/consciousness through brave conversations and critical scholarship, thus cultivating justice-centered pedagogical practices. 

EDU emblem - Preparing Educators to be Effective, Reflective, and Engaged