Improving the learning experience for every student in the College of Education and Human Development is a top priority for Dr. Michael de Miranda, the newest department head in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture (TLAC).
“We are entrusted not only by the citizens of Texas but also our students’ families and their loved ones to do the best we can,” said Dr. de Miranda.
Before coming to Texas A&M, Dr. de Miranda spent 18 years as a professor in the Department of Electrical Computer Engineering and the School of Education at Colorado State University. His research focused on the development of young STEM educators, specifically in learning, cognition and instruction in engineering and technology education.
He plans to use that expertise to strengthen the STEM contributions from the college as well as create collaborations within each program in the department.
“I like to think of each of our programs being cross-linked like Lego blocks that you can unlink and link to other areas to strengthen as needed. A single piece of concrete can’t be unlinked. Once you pour it, it stays. We need to move away from that and have these pieces – our faculty, our students, our programs – being able to be linked in cross-functional diversity teams. For example, if we need expertise in reading and comprehension in science education then our reading specialists should be able to link with our science faculty across disciplinary boundaries,” explained Dr. de Miranda.
He believes creating those collaborations will help with the primary mission of our college – providing innovative professional training to our students to prepare future leaders around the world.
“Faculty and students are of primary importance and our priorities are to do what we need to do to improve the educative experience that every student has not only in this department but the college and at A&M. We want their learning experience to knock their socks off.”
Dr. de Miranda also hopes to use his research expertise to highlight the important work our faculty are doing. As department head, Dr. de Miranda’s main responsibility is providing leadership in support of faculty, staff and students. While he will no longer be focused mainly on research, Dr. de Miranda has found a new drive to succeed.
“It’s helping each of my faculty to reach that $10 million sponsored research goal. I want to lend the little expertise that I have to enrich the professional lives and work of our faculty. It is important for us to do great work in a great place to work.”