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Conference Proceeding

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Portland State University -- Faculty, Transformative learning, College teaching -- Psychological aspects, College teaching -- Ethical aspects, Scholarship of teaching and learning


Portland State University’s (PSU) motto Let Knowledge Serve the City identifies a key piece of the University’s DNA as a community-engaged institution. As educators in PSU’s signature general education program, University Studies, we work intentionally as colleagues to catalyze transformative teaching and learning to build--with our students--a just world.

In AY 2016-17, through an iterative process involving faculty, administrators, staff, and students, University Studies adopted vision and mission statements to reflect and ground our efforts:

Vision: Challenging us to think holistically, care deeply, and engage courageously in imagining and co-creating a just world.

Mission: University Studies’ inclusive pedagogy

  • provokes students to build self-efficacy through relational learning across difference;
  • encourages a community of educators to practice engaged teaching for transformative learning; and
  • advances civic engagement, reflective practice, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Following the development of this programmatic vision and mission, we co-created a teaching ethos in AY 2017-18 to identify UNST’s pedagogical beliefs, commitments, and practices.


Presented at the International Transformative Learning Conference Proceedings 2018, at Teachers College at Columbia University.

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