Overview

Sara Ray Stoelinga is the Sara Liston Spurlark Director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute (UEI), and a clinical professor on the Committee on Education. Sara leads all aspects of the Urban Education Institute, overseeing Institute operations, development of teachers, rigorous applied research, operation of schools and the distribution of models to improve schools nationally. She participates in local and national engagement to discuss and disseminate UEI’s work. Stoelinga is also a faculty member at the University of Chicago, teaching and advising undergraduate and graduate students.

Changing the odds of young people, especially low-income students of color, is essential; there is nothing more important than this.

Why did you decide to join Deans for Impact?

There is much to be done to enhance the work we do in preparing teachers across the country. Coming together to discuss these important issues with deans from across the country around practice, policy and evidence has the potential to define new pathways for the field of teacher preparation. Together, I believe we can influence the field and contribute to innovative and productive paths forward.


What is one pivotal moment in your career in educator preparation that left a positive impact on you or others?

A pivotal moment for our program has been watching teachers that we trained become leaders in their own right: teacher leaders, principals, mentors and clinical instructors. We now get to see the excellence of the teachers we trained in the past in a new light, as they train our aspiring teachers and influence the field of education. In important respects, we now have the opportunity to learn from the teachers we have trained, in ways that benefit our aspiring teachers and our program.


What most excites you about the opportunity to transform the field of educator preparation in the years ahead?

Teachers are among our most important levers in changing the trajectories for young people across the country. Transforming educator preparation can potentially transform lives of students. That work, of changing the odds of young people, especially low-income students of color, is essential; there is nothing more important than this.


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