College of Education and Human Development Statue

Celebrating Our Past. Transforming The Future.


This fall, the College of Education and Human Development will begin a year-long celebration of 50 years of excellence.

Throughout our history we have been charged with transforming and enriching lives through education and health. Created as a school for teachers, we are now a school for leaders.

We offer 21 undergraduate programs and more than 30 graduate programs across multiple emphasis areas.

Educators, sports professionals, business leaders, healthcare professionals. Whatever the industry, our graduates are game-changers. Our graduates transform lives.

About the College

We Teach Texas


We are proud to be one of 11 universities in the Texas A&M University System preparing educators for Texas school systems.

There are more than 10,000 Aggies working in Texas schools across 746 districts and 208 counties. Thanks to our excellence in teacher preparation, these Aggies will stay in the classrooms long after their peers.

Become a Teacher

Learn about the TAMUS initiative

Departments in the College of Education & Human Development

Business professionals meeting outside of a cubicle workspace.

EAHR develops educational leaders and improves practice through teaching, research and service.

Educational Psychology Teacher Painting Students

EPSY is home to a variety of interrelated disciplines and degree options focused on human development and well-being in educational and community contexts.

Health-kinesiology

HLKN is the largest academic department at Texas A&M University and generates over 98,000 credit hours and 203,000 (Modified) weighted student credit hours each year.

Teaching learning culture middle grades classroom

TLAC’s mission is to create experiences that advance teaching, research and service through the application of knowledge in the preparation and development of quality educators; placing high value on collaboration, diversity, critical thinking, and creativity.

Staff and Faculty Kudos

If you’ve had a great encounter with a College of Education and Human Development faculty or staff member, tell us about it! Nominate them here.

Keeping teachers in the classroom

Keeping teachers in the classroom
August 19, 2019 Ashley Green
teacher in front of students in classroom
0000

Keeping teachers in the classroom


Teacher turnover is plaguing the United States. Each year, more than 200,000 teachers leave the profession, most for reasons other than retirement. Dr. Hersh Waxman, professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture, found that solving the problem begins with targeting teacher self-efficacy through literacy coursework and mentorship.

Self-efficacy refers to someone’s belief in their ability to effectively perform tasks needed to achieve a goal or outcome. Teachers with high self-efficacy are less likely to encounter burnout and more prepared to overcome challenges. Those with low self-efficacy tend to avoid challenging tasks and quickly lose confidence in their abilities.

Research shows most teachers begin their career with moderate to high self-efficacy, but often experience a sharp decline during the first year. While teachers may see a slight increase in later years, their self-efficacy rarely reaches the level it was at the beginning of their careers.

Waxman said a way to improve self-efficacy for teachers is through training and mentorship.

Researchers found, regardless of a teacher’s content area or grade level, first-year teachers who completed reading content courses during their teacher preparation program and received discipline-specific mentoring had higher levels of self-efficacy.

“Reading coursework helps teachers gain pedagogical knowledge that allows them to engage students in literacy practices across content areas which has been found to improve students’ academic achievement. When teachers perceive students’ improvement, their self-efficacy often increases too,” explained Waxman.

TRAINING

Waxman and the research team focused specifically on reading coursework in teacher preparation programs. While research has shown the importance of literacy practices, there is a lack of research focusing on the importance of literacy coursework in preparing all teachers, regardless of content area disciplines. 

Literacy can be integrated across all content areas in all grade levels because students are required to read and write in every subject. Waxman argues teachers with higher proficiency in teaching reading within their discipline will also have higher self-efficacy.

For example, a student may struggle in science because they cannot read and comprehend the text. However, a science teacher with high efficacy for literacy instruction will be able to help that student with strategies to improve.

“For teachers, reading coursework should be a priority as they are choosing a teacher preparation program. The outcomes associated with having even one course devoted to literacy practices may be helpful to them, regardless of the content area they teach in the future,” explained Waxman.

MENTORSHIP

Another key to teacher retention comes in the form of mentoring. In line with previous research, many first-year teachers point to the importance of mentoring and support they receive when it comes to making a decision about their teaching future.

However, this study went further and found the type of mentor matters. First-year teachers with a discipline-specific mentor were more likely to maintain high or moderate levels of self-efficacy during their first year.

With content-area mentors in place, first-year teachers can learn the nuances of their specific content area to help them be successful. For example, a science teacher and a language arts teacher need different skills to manage a classroom based on varying classroom activities. Those skills can easily be learned from an effective mentor.

Waxman recommends school districts prepare mentorship programs that emphasize collaborative teaching and pair novice and veteran teachers based on their content area.

He also has a recommendation for policymakers: focus legislation on mentoring and education for new and practicing teachers. Waxman believes this will help ensure children are receiving the highest quality education possible.

You can read more about Waxman’s research in Annals of Dyslexia.

 

About the Writer


Ashley is the Media Relations Coordinator and responsible for news coverage in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture as well as the Department of Educational Psychology.

Articles by Ashley

For media inquiries, contact Ashley Green.

Fundraising


To learn more about how you can assist in fundraising, contact Jody Ford ’99, Sr. Director of Development jford@txamfoundation.com or 979-847-8655

Recent Posts


Can't find what you are looking for?

Contact CEHD