Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction – Specialization in Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies Program Student Testimonials

Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction – Specialization in Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies

Student Testimonials


The program provided engaging coursework that expanded my thinking on education, schooling, and curriculum. The faculty demonstrated expertise in their fields and provided both academic and professional guidance for my career goals, and I had multiple opportunities for research experiences with classmates and faculty. The program provided many more academic and professional opportunities than I had anticipated, and the faculty and my classmates were a community of support throughout the program and provided life-long connections that continue to enhance my career. I am grateful for the time and attention faculty provided me during my time at Indiana University, and even more thankful for the continued support in my first faculty position.

Spencer Clark, Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies ('11); Director, Rural Engagement Center; Associate Professor, Curriculum Studies, Kansas State University

Students at Indiana have access to world-class faculty who not only conduct vibrant research but also take seriously their role as educators and mentors. In large part thanks to their leadership, junior scholars learn to conduct high-quality original research, assist with the education of future teachers, and pursue a diverse array of individual interests. The culture of the program is also deeply rooted in considerations of equity, and I have benefitted from the encouragement I have received to design creative research and teaching projects that promote justice-oriented activisms, theories of liberation, and education as social transformation. Faculty advisors work diligently to locate sources of funding for graduate students, and they have generously introduced me to their colleagues at other institutions, intentionally opening doorways for connection and collaboration across universities.

Alexandria Hollett, Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies (current student)

After teaching kindergarten, I knew I needed to go back to school to understand why school had changed so much and what I could do to make it better. As I progressed in my program, I began teaching undergraduate courses, and this is where I found my calling. Though I was nervous that my limited experience as a teacher would negatively affect my ability to prepare others, I soon learned that it was quite the opposite. My experience as a teacher, combined with what I had learned in my doctoral program, allowed me to excel as an instructor. I later came to realize how invaluable this work was to my ability to land my first job as an Assistant Professor. The opportunity to teach undergraduate courses for four years while I worked on my degree was instrumental in my subsequent hires at different universities. The coursework, research opportunities, and faculty at Indiana all played a vital role in shaping the person I am today.

Denisha Jones, Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies ('12); Director of Art of Teaching at Sarah Lawrence College

In every moment of my job I realize how the program at Indiana University helped me grow as a researcher. In my coursework, I found myself learning what educational research ought to be, and what kinds of researcher I should become. Moreover, I can confidently say that all my achievements were possible owing to supportive professors and friends. As a foreign student, everything was challenging to me, including language, culture, and the academic atmospheres, but my advisors listened carefully and helped me find solutions. Students in the program, from many different countries, also supported each other and worked together—organizing reading and writing groups, exchanging their own research papers, and giving each other feedback. My experiences at Indiana University are my compass as I navigate my academic life in Korea.

Geena Kim, Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies ('18); Korean Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation

The program prepared me well to work with future teachers. I like doing research, but my primary goal was to influence how social studies is taught in middle and high school, and the faculty encouraged me to pursue this goal. This was clear my first year, when I was able to work with faculty to explore how an elementary school was melding art and social studies in fourth and fifth grades. Later, I designed research on teachers’ ideas about democracy for my dissertation. The community feel was also essential to my growth as a teacher educator. From the first day, I felt at home in the program. I knew that if I needed anything, the faculty and my fellow students were there to support me. I never felt that I was toiling alone, or that others had little concern for my well-being.

Dean Vesperman, Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies ('17); Assistant Professor of Education University of Wisconsin-River Falls

The Bloomington campus is an ideal place to complete your degree. It is very safe on campus and it is a great pleasure to enjoy the beautiful scenery of different seasons. The campus also has rich academic resources, a wealth of student involvement opportunities, study sessions, and tutoring sessions. It was a wonderful experience learning and doing research as a Hoosier, and I am proud to be a part of the Indiana University community. The program was flexible in allowing me to connect coursework with my research interest. Every class, professors hold discussions and are ready to help classmates to exchange and develop their ideas. Not only have I learned valuable knowledge in the field of early childhood education, but I have also strengthened my critical thinking skills.

Zitong Wei, Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies ('16); China Women’s University