The future of education is not ours to shape alone

Collaboration and listening are paramount

By Karen Symms Gallagher

This fall, USC Rossier is celebrating our centennial. While we formally became a school of education exactly 100 years ago, we have been preparing teachers as far back as the 1890s from a small department of pedagogy in USC’s College of Liberal Arts.  

Karen Symms Gallagher, PhD

Karen Symms Gallagher, PhD
PHOTO BY ANDREW ZINN

In 1911, we took a major step forward by adding credential programs for high school teachers, programs that the Los Angeles Times called “an educational blessing to all Southern California.” By 1918, this program was in such great demand that university officials moved to establish a formal school of education.

The vision and determination we have demonstrated from the beginning have served us well over the years—from the redesign of our EdD program and the establishment of our online Master of Arts in Teaching, to the creation of innovative research centers and the founding of USC Hybrid High and four other high schools to serve first-generation students who will carry on the spirit of positive multigenerational change.

We embark on our second century as a leading school of education knowing full well that leadership requires listening, that innovation demands collaboration and that the future of education is not ours to shape alone.

So we decided to offer something different in this issue of our magazine. We have invited thought leaders from within and beyond USC Rossier to share their perspectives about the future of education—covering topics as varied as the interconnectedness of access and equity, justice and progress; the convergent roles of psychology and technology in new paradigms of teaching and learning; and the urgent need for clearer communication and better organization to improve outcomes for our students.

We see the obstacles. We seek the solutions. And together we Fight On! 

Karen Symms Gallagher is the Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean of the USC Rossier School of Education.