Kathleen A. Butler, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Education
Department Chair / Professor of Education
Joined USJ: 2001
Revealing “Learning Styles”
Kathleen Butler was on the ground floor of cutting-edge research into the emerging field of “learning styles” three decades ago. She spent much of her career providing professional development direction for teachers nationally and internationally, earning a reputation as an expert in an aspect of education that dramatically changed how teaching and learning was approached in classrooms worldwide. The paradigm shift, Butler recalls, was recognizing that “we each learn in our own way,” and helping teachers understand that there are different methods that are effective at reaching different students.
Launching Teaching Careers
Joining the USJ faculty after 25 years establishing programs and lecturing around the world, including ten years in England, “gave me the opportunity to work with students preparing for their teaching careers from the get-go and re-build a secondary teacher prep program,” Butler says. “It is important for teachers in preparation to recognize their strengths, as well as areas for growth.” With extensive expertise in learning styles, she was also able to instruct her future teachers on “how to accommodate a variety of learning styles in their classrooms – giving them multiple approaches so that they will be better able to reach all their students.”
Butler, who later became chair of the Department of Education and then Dean of the School of Education, remains extremely high on the caliber of teacher preparation at USJ. “Every teaching candidate works hard, and we work hard together,” Butler says. “The depth of their preparation is truly extraordinary.” Butler attributes the plaudits USJ student-teachers receive to their own dedication and the expertise of faculty, who remain thoroughly committed to the most current research and best practices. “I love as a professional to see students grow and develop, and begin to understand the power in providing multiple approaches to a lesson so that they can effectively reach every learner.”
Ph.D., University of Connecticut, Curriculum & Instruction
M.A., University of Connecticut, History
B.A., University of Connecticut, Political Science