Illinois State University has a historic and enduring commitment to prepare teachers and other school personnel who will be responsive to the ethical and intellectual demands of a democratic society. To teach in a democracy is to consciously take up the challenge of improving the ethical and intellectual quality of our societal dialogue by including in it as many educated voices as possible.
The democratic ideal unites caring and knowing: The more voices we call into thoughtful dialogue, the truer our convictions and conclusions will be. This is a demonstrable necessity of a democratic society, and it is why Illinois State University graduates aspire to teach and serve everyone, including those on the margins, those who have been or are in danger of being excluded.
The democratic conception of education informs all aspects of teacher education at Illinois State University. Graduates ready to meet the challenges and rewards of serving students in a democratic society embody the ethical and intellectual aspects of teaching and learning.
The ethical commitments are
The intellectual commitments are
Of the challenges facing teachers and other school personnel in the 21st century, none is more pressing than the need for them to develop and maintain a strong sense of their ethical and intellectual commitments — a professional identity. Toward this end, Illinois State University prepares teachers and other school personnel who have a dynamic, reflective sense of themselves and their mission; through caring and knowing, they work to realize the democratic ideal.