The Department of Teaching, Learning & Culture

Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC) encompasses students, faculty and staff whose efforts and interests center on the many different aspects of academics, teaching and classroom education. TLAC’s mission is to create experiences that advance teaching, research and service through the application of knowledge in the preparation and development of quality educators; placing high value on collaboration, diversity, critical thinking, creativity, democratic governance and global leadership.

Having two highly-ranked graduate programs within one department serves as an index of the world-class academic programs and faculty who are committed to a culture of excellence in research and discovery, and the scholarship of teaching.

-Dr. Michael de Miranda, Dean of The School of Education and Human Development 

From Our Former Students

“One of the things that set this program apart is that it is located within the Teaching, Learning & Culture Department at Texas A&M. There’s more to teaching than just delivering a curriculum or instructional strategy; we have to consider the influence that culture has one what we do.”

Dr. Byron William

Online Ed.D in Curriculum & Instruction


Former TLAC student teaching middlegrades


TLAC offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Education, with one of three focuses.

Former TLAC student teaching middlegrades

Graduate Programs

The Culture and Curriculum program offers students the opportunity to learn and grow in many areas.

students studying on computer for teacher certification


Providing greater opportunities and flexibility for students, TLAC offers online degree programs, in addition to many individual Web-based classes.

kid working online


TLAC offers several types of certificates for students as well as Texas Teacher Certifications

Teaching, Learning & Culture

Vision & History

Vision & History

Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC) was established in 1969.

Over the years, TLAC has established a solid foundation of teacher preparation in undergraduate elementary and secondary education. In response to growing recognition to the need for more practical experience, the department continues to develop new programs and new approaches for the preparation of teachers. Many efforts have been supplemented by funded and non-funded research studies, grants and dissertations. In response to Texas legislature and national forums in the 1990s, the interdisciplinary studies degree program, which incorporates more field-based courses and experiences, was established. Today, preservice teachers usually complete 750 hours in various field-based settings.

Individuals who have served at the level of department head:

  • Dr. Glenn Ross Johnson: 1969 –1974
  • Dr. Robert E. Shutes: 1974 – 1980
  • Dr. William H. Peters: 1981 – 1990
  • Dr. James B. Kracht: 1990-1993
  • Dr. Donna Wiseman: 1993 – 1995 (interim)
  • Dr. William H. Rupley: 1995 – 1997
  • Dr. Francis E. Clark: 1997 – 1999 (interim)
  • Dr. John P. Helfeldt: 1999 – 2003
  • Dr. Dennie Smith: 2003-2011
  • Dr. Yeping Li: 2011-2015
  • Dr. Lynn Burlbaw & Dr. Victor Willson 2015-2016 (co-interim)
  • Dr. Michael de Miranda 2015-2022
  • Dr. Claire Katz 2022-Present


Transform individuals, schools and society with a global view through our engaged scholarship, reflective teaching and collaborative service.


The central mission of TLAC is to create experiences that advance teaching, research and service through the application of knowledge in the preparation and development of quality educators; placing high value on collaboration, diversity, critical thinking, creativity, democratic governance and global leadership.


  • Strive to exceed students’ expectations.
  • Treat all people with respect and dignity.
  • Aware and accommodating of cultural differences.
  • Engage in public moral exchanges concerning the education and well-being of a community.
    (Improve society and address important cultural and socio-economic problems.)
  • Establish a friendly, trustworthy and accepting organization for our students.
  • Value the interrelationships and interdependency of our department with public schools and the community.
  • Establish relationships through trust, respect and integrity.
  • Commit to seeking justice and compassion in our society.
  • Encourage intellectual autonomy, honesty and integrity.
  • Support collaborative forms of decision-making.
  • Communicate and resolve differences in an open and professional manner.
  • Accept responsibilities for our actions.
  • Recognize and own problems that occur.
  • Spend time looking for solutions rather than looking to blame.
  • Committed to continuous learning for students and ourselves.
  • Value the attributes of diversity in all aspects of our work.
  • View all people’s opinions as important and critical.
  • Support each other in our work.
  • Accept responsibilities in our groups in an equitable fashion.
  • Use data to support and make prudent decisions.
  • We do what we say we are going to do.


TLAC embraces and advances cultural diversity, multicultural education and inclusive pedagogy. TLAC is an open and affirming department for all people, including but not limited to those who are subjected to racial profiling, hate crimes, heterosexism and violence. TLAC does not tolerate discrimination, bullying, violence or vandalism and insists that appropriate action be taken against those who perpetrate discrimination, bullying, violence or vandalism. TLAC affirms its dedication to non-discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, academic rank, professional status, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, domestic partner status, immigration status, national origin, language, veteran status or disability in employment, programs and services. Texas A&M University is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity institution. Our commitment to non-discrimination and affirmative action embraces the entire university community including faculty, staff and students.


TLAC’s most recent comprehensive academic program review (APR) was completed in 2018. The self-study document provides information about the department, faculty and students as well as assesses the strength and challenges of the department. The APR process culminates with a review conducted by an external peer review team. 


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