The teacher education program prepares teachers who possess the knowledge, disposition, and skills necessary to take the lead in establishing effective teaching and learning environments within their own classrooms and school communities. Immersion in subject matter, research, theory, and field-based experience provides a base for our graduates to make well-reasoned judgments in complex situations, render informed decisions, model exemplary practice, and take initiative for planned change. Students learn to establish caring environments which celebrate individual differences and backgrounds while fostering cooperation and educational improvement. We stress reflective critical inquiry as a mode of study and community-building as a means for promoting change. We value and support both our students' local practice and their broader leadership within the profession.
Excellence in Practice
We expect our students to gain mastery of subject matter, command professional knowledge, and acquire a good grounding in general education, including global perspectives regarding diverse cultures and environments. They will recognize how knowledge in their subject matter areas is created, organized, and linked to other subjects. Upon graduation, they should possess a specialized knowledge of how to teach subject matter to their students and employ multiple, motivational approaches in teaching their subjects. They will know how to orchestrate learning in group settings, placing a premium on student engagement and thoughtfulness. They will remain mindful of their teaching and learning objectives through selection and use of appropriate measures.
In their commitment to students and their students' learning, our graduates will recognize diverse backgrounds and perspectives in their students as well as individual development. They will be able to adjust their practice to meet students' needs, working diligently to help each student reach his or her full potential. They will create and contribute to a classroom atmosphere which fosters a community of learners, establishes an atmosphere of mutual respect and caring, and cultivates a celebration of diversity.
We expect our graduates to be thoughtful and reflective practitioners who learn from experience. They will be capable of making choices and decisions in complex and demanding situations, analyzing the effects of their actions, taking into account moral and philosophical implications. They will seek to improve their practice by observing others, seeking advice, and drawing upon educational research and scholarship.
We believe that, over time, our graduates will become well-informed decision makers and agents of change, providing leadership within the school community and profession. We seek to equip our graduates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for such leadership, but we recognize that development and demonstration of leadership skills take time and practice within the professional setting. Through study and experience, our graduates will learn to assess the relative merits of educational reform efforts, determining their appropriateness to the classroom, the institution, and the broader societal contexts in which reform is implemented. Drawing upon current theories and research in education, graduates will be able to develop and articulate their own conceptual and philosophical perspectives on teaching and learning. We expect them to develop an understanding of how leadership is informed by varied perspectives on the structure of public education, the nature of educational change, and the teacher's role in the change process. They should be willing to take risks in advocating for high levels of quality within the teaching profession. We expect them to become active members of learning and professional communities. In doing so, they will engage colleagues in their own and others' teaching, learning, and professional development. They will be able to work collaboratively with all members of the community--students, peers, specialists, parents, etc., to contribute to effective learning environments. They will continue to be active learners, participating in professional organizations, pursuing avenues of inquiry through study, research, and dialogue while taking into account the moral and ethical implications of their professional practice and efforts to enhance the school, community, and profession.
Our two program themes, Excellence in Practice and Leadership in the Profession, are reflected in the goals and expected student outcomes that form the basis of our program.