Elementary & Secondary Education

Vision and Mission

The Education Department is committed to the preparation of 21st century teachers who understand the complexities of learning and teaching that encompass inclusion, equity, and justice. This work is enhanced by a liberal arts foundation that encourages breadth of knowledge, interdisciplinary and international perspectives, engaged inquiry, and intellectual curiosity.

The organizing theme of the Education Department’s mission is “teaching as principled practice.” We strive to help our candidates acquire skills of analysis and reflection, a broad knowledge base, and an array of experiences that will enable them to articulate and examine their own beliefs about teaching and learning and to set those beliefs into action.

The Education Department mission is to prepare candidates who implement “principled practice” – reflective, student-centered, democratic, inclusive, equitable, and authentic teaching and learning. This mission is facilitated by the strong liberal arts and professional preparation of the candidates.

As professionals and educational leaders, graduates of our program:

  • Make informed teaching and learning decisions based on use of best practice, reflection, and new knowledge;
  • Act as leaders for positive social change within schools and communities;
  • Advocate for their students' intellectual, physical, and emotional well being;
  • Understand cultural and linguistic diversity, and promote anti-racist, gender fair, and inclusive educational opportunities for all students;
  • Defend their instructional choices on the basis of pedagogical, moral, and ethical grounds;
  • View teaching as a journey of learning;
  • Proactively profess and advocate well-developed teaching beliefs, and participate in decision-making, not as mere technicians, but as positive agents of change.

Conceptual Framework

Conceptual Framework


The conceptual framework undergirds the Gustavus Teacher Education Program. Initial structuring of the framework was based on the five attributes of a teacher education program knowledge base presented by Galluzzo and Pankratz (1991). Our conceptual framework is not static but in fact represents the dynamics of an ever-changing professional landscape. The current 2011 redesign continues to be framed by our core philosophical tenets, the research literature, program outcomes, and complete evaluation procedures and processes which guide feedback to the candidate and the program.


Educators for Minnesota Schools


At Gustavus Adolphus College, we hold high standards for our teacher education program. In order to assess how we are meeting these standards and preparing our candidates, we engage in regular collection and analysis of performance-based data. Among other indicators, these data indicate that our candidates are well prepared and in high demand.

Our candidates are in high demand

  • In 2014, ninety-four percent (94%) of our graduates were hired for teaching positions following graduation.
  • These positions included districts and schools around Minnesota as well as teaching positions in other states.

Our candidates are well prepared

  • Our candidates perform well on the edTPA, an assessment process that requires teacher candidates to demonstrate skills and knowledge developed in teacher education programs. Though the edTPA is a relatively new assessment and thus we have a limited sample of candidates, the aggregate data from 2014 indicate that our candidates are achieving high levels on the edTPA.
  Number of Candidates Planning Instruction Assessment

Elementary Literacy


Elementary Math

Performing Arts 8 16.70 14.90 14.20
Secondary Language Arts 5 15.90 13.60 12.50
Secondary History/Social Studies 11 15.70 14.10 15.40


  • Last updated April 2016
  • Programs with fewer than 5 graduates not included
  • Passing scores: Planning (13), Instruction (13), Assessment (12)


Name Title Phone Web
Deb Pitton Professor and Chair 507-933-7456 web
Michele Koomen Lind Professor and Associate Professor 507-933-6057 web
Sidonia Alenuma-Nimoh Associate Professor 507-933-7451 web
Katrina Imison- Mazy Associate Professor 507-933-7440
Daniel Moos Associate Professor, Assessment Director (College), and Assessment Director 507-933-7448 web
Lisa Dembouski Assistant Professor 507-933-7452
Amy Vizenor Assistant Professor 507-933-7444
Valerie Walker Assistant Professor 507-933-7454 web
Ruth Heilman ’73 Visiting Assistant Professor 507-933-7457
Lisa Burkett Visiting Instructor 507-933-7457
Dwayne Cates Visiting Instructor 507-933-7457
Marilyn Christiansen Visiting Instructor 507-933-7457
Kent Franklin Visiting Instructor 507-933-7457
Eva Hendrickson ’96 Visiting Instructor 507-933-7457
Steven Jones Visiting Instructor 507-933-7457
Eric Koser Visiting Instructor 507-933-7457
Annie Rients ’03 Visiting Instructor 507-933-7457
Jane Schuck Adjunct Instructor 507-933-7457 web
Kim Meyer Teacher Education Field Placement and Admissions Liaison 507-933-7455
Sara Sletten Administrative Coordinator 507-933-7457
Al Pearson ’65 Professor Emeritus web