Five questions for Greg Anderson

Greg Anderson is dean of the College of Education at Temple University. Located in the heart of North Philadelphia, the College of Education enrolls 1,200 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students for a total enrollment, including non-matriculating students, of more than 2,200. Since the College’s founding in 1919, it has cultivated a special relationship with the School District of Philadelphia and continues to provide Philadelphia with more teachers than any other college. The College of Education is organized into two departments: Teacher & Learning, and Psychological, Organizational and Leadership Studies.

What was your first role working in education?
I worked for the Education Policy Unit of the Community Service Society of New York. I did analyses of class sizes in the New York City school district, parental and community engagement, Title 1 funding, and state financing of public education in New York City and the disparate impact of racial segregation. 

What is one pivotal moment in your career in educator preparation that left a positive impact on you or others?
 Overseeing and expanding two teacher residency programs in Denver, Colo As a result of the experience, I began to fully appreciate the importance of the clinical component of educator preparation as well as the need for Colleges and Schools of Education to work more closely and thoughtfully with school districts when developing curricula, instructional methods and research on effectiveness.

Why did you decide to join Deans for Impact?
 I believe there needs to be a fundamental paradigm shift in teacher education and the introduction of a more balanced perspective guiding the transformation of educational policy and teacher preparation oversight.

What most excites you about the opportunity to transform the field of educator preparation in the years ahead?
Even though it sounds cliché, I truly believe that fighting for access to high-quality educational opportunities for all students in the United States IS the civil rights struggle of the 21st century. Preparing educators and essentially empowering them with the knowledge and confidence to positively impact the life chances of children in the 21st century is one of the most exciting and important responsibilities I can think of as parent, an educator and a university leader.

What is one surprising thing that everyone should know about the program you lead?
University faculty are often presented as disengaged, privileged and somewhat irrelevant, but I have found the opposite to be the case at Temple’s College of Education: Our faculty care deeply about the real implications of their research and are genuinely open to radically transforming how they teach in order to “make a difference” in the city of Philadelphia for all students.

Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing series featuring Q&As with all the member deans of Deans for Impact.

Gregory Anderson

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