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College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dean's Blog

When Amazon came looking, public schools delivered for Northern Virginia

By now, it’s no secret that Amazon selected Northern Virginia for its new headquarters in large part because of the region’s commitment to outstanding P-12 public schools and comprehensive higher education institutions. Amazon had its pick from just about every major urban center in the United States. And while leaders from these cities spent months trying to persuade the tech giant with an assortment of incentive packages, Virginia stood out for a decision it made many years ago. Virginia had made a commitment to its public schools – from P-12 to our network of top-tier universities – and Amazon saw value in that commitment and its associated investment.

School Safety: A Student Right and Community Responsibility

Safe schools are essential for student learning and development. This principle is both logical and self-evident – it should not need to be said. However, recent events of violence in schools underscore the premise that safety – providing an environment that is free from the fear of personal insecurity – is a “right” that our students MUST expect. And, if fear associated with personal insecurity is present, as is the case for so many students today, then safety is an assurance that our students MUST CLAIM – just as scores of students have done as participants in recent protests, walkouts from schools, and other community gatherings.

Dreaming with and for the “Dreamers”

The intent of the Trump Administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is cause for much concern – actually alarm. University presidents from throughout the United States have observed, including Mason President Ángel Cabrera, that the end of DACA will have a very negative impact – in fact a devastating impact. President Cabrera, in a message to the Mason university…

Seek Truth, Speak Truth, and Be the Truth

As a new semester at colleges and universities dawns across the country, and P-12 schools also begin a new academic year, educators and students alike must embrace truth, reject the intentionality of false inference, and express disdain for intolerance. Educators must assertively and consistently “speak truth.”

An Invitation to Our CEHD Alumni & Friends – Mason’s Giving Day 2017

April 6 will be a special day for George Mason University and the College of Education and Human Development, and it will be a special opportunity for our alumni and friends who value and support our work.

This year, our university has designated April 6, 2017 as "Giving Day" – a day to reflect on the value that George Mason University brings to our community and a day for our friends…

Education Builds Nations

In a recent address, the President of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Dr. Sharon Robinson, declared that "education is the engine of democracy." This is a compelling premise.

Activism IS Patriotism

Today, in America, questions frequently are raised about the “patriotism” of Americans. Some argue that devotion and loyalty to country, a hallmark of patriotism, is synonymous with agreement with those in power. Others suggest that the “sounds of democracy” are the expressions of independence associated with “voices of dissent.” I define freedom as the opportunity “freely” to offer an opinion and perspective that differs from the empowered, or even from the majority. It is a fundamental tenet of our democracy that all have a voice, with due regard and respect for the rule of law. Assuring these freedoms is the very definition of patriotism.

Truthful NOT Neutral

Universities have a special responsibility to serve the public and society with fidelity to more than what one believes – to have fidelity with what we know. Academics have a very special responsibility to articulate positions backed by evidence. When we write, we accurately must report evidence that supports the positions we take and perspectives that we infer. Science is about facts and scientific ethics demands appropriate methodology, rigor and accuracy in reporting. There can be alternative explanations for what led to observable phenomena – and debates about such distinctions. However, there are no alternative facts.

…I Have a Dream…

It is a momentous time for our nation. It is a time of change yet also an opportunity both to remember the sage legacy of our wisest leaders as well as to affirm our own personal and professional values.

As our nation remembers the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, we reflect about the principles he espoused, lived and stood-for. He led as he sought change. Among Dr. King’s most well-known oratories was his declaration in August 1963, on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial, that “I have a dream.” He dreamt then, as many of us still dream today, for racial justice and equality.