Clark University Hiatt Center for Urban Education

  • MA

About Us

The Hiatt Center offers academic programs leading to a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Arts in Education, with a special focus on the challenges of educating children in an urban setting.

Our teacher education programs are an exciting and dynamic blend of university and school. Clark faculty from education and other liberal arts departments work together with local public school teachers and administrators as specialists in subject matter, curriculum, and classroom teaching to support the learning of Clark graduate and undergraduate students. The learning culture is collaborative, interdisciplinary and reflective because it embodies and draws together these vital educational perspectives.

Our programs combine high expectations and standards with strong support for students. We seek to attract students with an enthusiasm for learning, a strong interest in subject matter, a capacity for reflection and inquiry, a spirit of collaboration, and a desire to make a difference in the lives of diverse urban youth and the communities in which they live.

The core mission of the Hiatt Center is to develop exemplary models of urban schooling, teaching and teacher education through local partnership, in order to learn from these models and expand the knowledge base of effective practice through research. This work will serve as a catalyst for positive change both locally and nationally.

This mission honors Jacob Hiatt's hope in endowing the Center in 1991, which was to enhance educational opportunity and achievement among the increasingly diverse students in the city of Worcester. The Center would uniquely join together and appropriate the knowledge and skills of the University and practitioners for this purpose. Thus the Center was conceived from the outset to be a collaborative entity spanning university-school boundaries.

The Hiatt Center exists dynamically at the nexus of university and school. It is a learning community that aims to cultivate and combine synergistically the expertise of practitioners and faculty in education and the arts and sciences in generating and applying knowledge and developing effective practice. It is embedded in a real urban community with all of its challenges and complexities, so that theory, practice and context are mutually engaged and informing.

A set of partnerships with schools in the nearby diverse and low income neighborhood forms the heart of this learning community. The partnerships as a whole share a commitment to teaching, professional learning and school reform that ensure equitable opportunity and achievement, promote professional modes of learning that build mutual understanding of effective practice, and value a culture of reflection and inquiry.

By its example, by mutually beneficial connections to similar initiatives in urban school reform and teacher education, and by documented effectiveness, the Center aims to embody the commitment of the University to social justice, transformative education, and neighborhood revitalization, and makes a significant contribution to urban education reform nationally.