Letter from Dean Mears

I am delighted to welcome you to the Spring 2016 edition of the New Hampshire Journal of Education: Reimagining Education: Every Learner, Every Day.  This edition examines is a theme important to all educational levels. The critical issues facing our society require citizens who are able to approach problems from multiple perspectives, with imagination and creativity, and in collaborative teams that support relevant solutions. We are no longer able to rely on educational practices the teach concepts in isolation from real world application and that do not honor that interdisciplinary nature of meaningful problem resolution.

To this end, Plymouth State University is embarking on a bold transformation.  In order to make education more relevant for our students and  the region, we are organizing into seven areas of excellence, interdisciplinary in nature, that bring students, faculty, staff and the community together to address critical concerns and problems that we face as a society.  Coursework is being re-imagined to involve transformational learning environments that include open labs for students, faculty, staff and community members to work together and jointly address the real world questions or problems we face.

Plymouth State University’s seven areas of interdisciplinary excellence (Strategic Clusters) include:

  • Education, Democracy and Social Change
  • Health and Human Enrichment
  • Discovery and Exploration
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Arts and Technology
  • Justice and Security
  • Tourism and Environmental Sustainability

Partnerships are an essential part of this vision. A hallmark of our new direction involves collaborative relationships that transform all parties and promote innovative approaches to meet shared goals. Of course in Education we have always been doing this. Partnerships that positively affect student development is built into the educator preparation process.  But we can do more! We need to develop even more robust partnerships that enhance the educational experiences of all students; address important educational and social issues; meet the needs of in-service educators and school administrators; and bring the University, the p-12 school districts, and the broader community in closer relationship to address collectively those issue critical to education.

I want to thank to all our contributors; our co-editors, Dr. Marianne True and Dr. Stacey Curdie, and all of you for engaging in this most important exploration.  Together we can co-construct optimal learning environments for New Hampshire students.

I look forward to our ongoing collaboration!


Gail Mears
Dean, College of Education, Health and Human Services