The mission of the School of Education is to prepare teachers who are Reflective Scholars, Instructional Leaders, and Global Citizens and to serve the community and profession promoting and facilitating best practice in education.
At the core of our Conceptual Framework is the Learner. We believe that there are many different learners at the heart of our model. Our programs focus on candidates as learners. In turn, candidate learning has a positive impact on student learners in schools where they practice their acquired knowledge, skills and dispositions. As university and school faculty, we learn from assessing the performance of our candidates and their students and then use this information to adjust our programs to make learning even more effective for all.
Arranged around the core is a circle that represents the three major themes on our programs and assessment system are built: Instructional Leader, Reflective Scholar, and Global Citizen. The circular representation symbolizes the interconnectedness among the themes, and the belief that they are to be integrated and scaffolded throughout the curriculum. No one theme is dominant over the others. As the circle grows outward, so do the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that candidates are expected to demonstrate.
Teachers should understand that self-reflection is an on-going part of being an effective teacher. They assess experiences and circumstances for personal and professional meaning in order to enhance teaching performance. They understand the value of mentor relationships and professional interactions, and thoughtfully consider and act upon advice. These teachers use professional literature and/or resource materials to remain current in issues related to pedagogy, technology, diversity, and content.
They should work to develop and implement a well-chosen curriculum that promotes active engagement in developmentally appropriate learning for all students. They constantly monitor and assess student learning and growth and make adjustments to optimize learning experiences. They are expert in the content they teach and effectively use resources and technology to meet their instructional goals. These teachers become leaders as their personal visions are shared with colleagues who embrace the same goals and move together toward a unified learning community.
Teachers who are global citizens seek to shape the world of the future through their roles in the classroom and beyond. They challenge students to examine and think critically about global issues. These teachers comprehend their own cultural perspectives (and biases) and make conscious efforts to expand them. They celebrate the diversity of their students and develop curriculum that is responsive to and incorporates that diversity.
Our Goal as Teachers
The outer layer of the circle is supported by the foundation of the themes and represents the goal of becoming an Effective Teacher who is a Change Agent in the classroom, the community, and beyond. Movement inward through the layers of the circle occurs as effective teachers , through their roles as Instructional Leaders, Reflective Scholars and Global Citizens, have a positive impact on learners. We believe that the journey from Learner to Effective Teacher to Learner is a cycle that never stops – we are all life-long learners.