Six Principles

Working in education is a moral act based on an ethic of care
Everyone learns best in safe, supportive environments that tolerate differences of opinion and welcome diversity of experiences and learning styles. Any action we take has a moral component. One important aspect of the Mills programs is a focus on how to recognize the moral content of our work to create such caring communities both in our college classrooms and in the classrooms and centers in which we work.

Working in education is a collegial act
Those who work with young children and those who teach children of all ages need to develop good working relationships not only between one another, but also with parents and with the students themselves. The Mills graduate programs emphasize the development of collaborative and collegial work in a variety of scenarios including coursework, field work and program retreats.

Working in education is reflective and inquiry-based
Thinking about what we do and why we do it is often a challenge in the day-to-day practice of working with children and youth. One major component of our program is to encourage the use of reflection to consider why we are doing what we do, and why it is a good idea to continue or change. Reflection is encouraged primarily through writing, discussion and collaboration.

Working in education is a political act
Many social and political factors in our society, in particular the issues of equity and equal access affect what happens in our schools and in the way we parent, care for and provide for children. The importance of these factors is continually considered as we think about our actions both in the classroom and in the larger school communities.

Learning is a constructivist and developmental process
Working with children and youth requires an understanding of how children change as they grow. Our program emphasizes the active participation of all learners in the learning process as learners construct new knowledge. Our coursework both teaches about theory and puts the theory into action as we encourage our students to construct their own knowledge of children and teaching.

Working in education is acquisition of subject matter and professional knowledge
Part of learning is acquiring knowledge in the disciplines that are the foundation of our profession and in the disciplines that we teach. We believe the ability to apply knowledge, to critique knowledge, to transform knowledge into practice and to develop curriculum to support diverse learners is essential to an education professional. The graduate program at Mills provide students with opportunities to acquire advanced knowledge and skills in areas of special expertise.

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Related Projects

Center for Play Research

Language Development Lab

Mills College Children's School (Lab school)

Mills College Teacher Scholars

Contact Information

P: 510.430.3190
F: 510.430.3379

Last Updated: 6/22/17