Professor Jean Strait builds strong partnerships with K-12 schools, supports civic engagement, and works to institute a culture of civic engagement. Dr Strait clearly knows how to connect practice with theory and finds innovative ways to encourage collaborative decision-making and reciprocal relationships as students enter and exit the teacher-licensure program. Her courses integrate service-learning experiences to help students understand the value of working with children, communities, and families, particularly those from under-served populations. She believes that students must be invested in service to build and sustain critical partnerships with the future communities and families that they will serve.
The Hancock-Hamline University Collaborative Magnet school, Avalon, and the Seven Hills Academy enjoy the impact of Dr Strait’s work. Students comment that Dr. Strait’s service-learning courses transform their understanding of human suffering, inequities, and social stratification. Rather than think of the I, me, and my, students think about our, us, and we.
Dr Strait was named to serve as Hamline School of Education’s designated service-learning coordinator. She will help transition the school onto a path for connecting courses with service-learning experience with foci on critical pedagogy, social justice, and transformative learning.