Welcome!

Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies
Marcy B. Wood
Department Head, Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies

We are a diverse community of internationally recognized faculty with a commitment to equity, access, and social justice. Our programs include literacy acquisition, sociocultural theory, Indigenous education, heritage-language revitalization, the study of households and community settings, children’s and adolescent literatures and literacy, science and mathematics education, environmental learning and sustainability, curriculum theory, classroom organization and management, and teacher education and development.

Teacher certification programs

Our undergraduate degree programs in Early Childhood Education (birth-age 8) and Elementary Education (grades K-8), with a Bilingual Endorsement option.

We also offer a teaching degree through a new partnership with Sunnyside Unified School District called Pathways to Teaching.

At the graduate level, the Teach Arizona program (available in Tucson and Phoenix/Chandler) leads to a master's degree with certification as a teacher of Math, Science, English, American government, History, or Spanish in middle or high schools (grades 7-12). Additional programs lead to endorsements in bilingual education, reading, and English as a Second Language (ESL). For more information on teacher certification programs, go to the certification programs page.

Another option is our master's degree in secondary education through our Alternative Path Program. This is a two-year, professional, alternative certificate program in which students develop as teachers, meet certification requirements, and earn a master’s degree while teaching full-time in middle or high schools. With a conceptual framework based on equity literacy, the program uses context specific pedagogy to help nurture teachers’ appreciation of the unique schools and students they serve. Students in the program, called teaching interns, receive assistance in placement in a Southern Arizona middle school or high school where, as a teacher of record on an Alternative Teaching Certificate, they deepen their teaching practice while being paid as full-time teachers. Throughout the program, teaching interns receive support and guidance from assigned university coaches and mentors as well as a school-based mentor in the schools in which they teach.

Other undergraduate noncertification programs

If you are looking for noncertification programs, we have two excellent options: Literacy, Learning & Leadership and Adolescents, Community, and Education (ACE) minor.

Graduate programs

These include degrees in Language, Reading & Culture (M.A.), Teaching & Teacher Education (M.A.M.Ed.), and Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies (Ph.D.). The LRC master's program revolves around the study of the teaching and learning of literacy and biliteracy in the educational context of cultural and linguistic diversity. Read our related program position statements. The TTE master's programs focus on a wide variety of aspects of teaching and learning, including teacher preparation and development, curriculum theory and policy, and subject-specific content such as mathematics and science. 

Teachers in Industry is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)-focused program providing in-service middle and high school teachers a combination of paid summer work in Arizona businesses and industries with intensive coursework that leads either to a master's degree in Teaching & Teacher Education or professional development credits, depending on individual needs. The doctoral program in Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies prepares students to investigate and address a broad range of issues in teaching and learning. Emphasizing a sociocultural perspective, the program nurtures innovative ways of knowing, methods of inquiry, and approaches to problem-solving.

Visiting Scholars

Read about our Visiting Scholars.

Our statement on social justice

In March of 2014, we unanimously approved a position statement committing ourselves to principles of equity, diversity, and an academic climate dedicated to social justice. This commitment reflects an orientation to our goals and practices in education as well as the stance that individuals bring a variety of linguistic, social, and cognitive strengths from their families and communities into the classroom. As a department, we commit to holding one another and ourselves accountable, through our research and practice, to rejecting entrenched inequalities and to cultivating new discourses as groundwork for imagining new social worlds.

As you contemplate applying to our department for undergraduate or graduate degree programs, please review this statement. The principles in this statement and the overall orientation underlying them will be reflected in your course work and in the academic expectations we have for you.

Read our complete Position Statement on Social Justice

Annual TLS Colloquy

The TLS Colloquy is a fantastic opportunity for educators, students, researchers, visiting scholars, and community members to engage with graduate student research from across departments and programs on teaching and learning for social justice. Due to COVID-19, the annual event has been put on hold, but look for future information on the TLS Colloquy information page.

 

Student Spotlight
Laurie Sheldon

I’ve lived in Tucson for 33 years, and when I decided to make a career change (leaving the practice of accounting and to consider becoming a researcher and an educator), the University of Arizona, as a research 1 university, seemed like the natural choice. The stance that the TLS department takes around equity and social justice has really helped me refine my interrogation of data from this perspective. Adopting this stance has helped me recognize the many ways that data is subjective and that the people who know how to work with and analyze data have power. In my role as Data Science Ambassador, I’ll be holding workshops for the students, staff, and faculty within the college. We are devising a survey to determine these needs and will then design workshops around them. I’ll also be holding drop-in office hours to work on specific issues around data.

I am passionate about teaching; I love working with the students, seeing and experiencing their meaning making processes informs my research, so I envision myself in this role. Follow your passion. Graduate school is hard work, but when you are doing what you love it doesn’t seem that difficult.