Teacher Education Conceptual Framework

Educating Leaders In the 21st Century

The College's conceptual framework was developed through a series of faculty retreats in 1993 and 1994, and revised in Spring 2002 based on recommendations by the COE Conceptual Framework Committee, which was comprised of representative COE faculty, and local school teachers and administrators. Programs were redesigned based on the revised framework and went into effect in Fall 2002. The Conceptual Framework specifically guides the Teacher Education programs within the College, and where appropriate applies to the various non-licensure programs housed within the College. The framework is comprised of nine dimensions that come together to inform the tenth: Leadership.

Leadership (The Tenth Dimension)

Teacher education graduates possess the personal and professional qualities that enable them to take a leadership role and work constructively within schools and agencies to create learning communities that foster the growth and development of all learners.

Dimension 1: General Knowledge

Teacher education graduates have a strong liberal studies core that develops their understanding of the rich cultural heritage of students, provides an understanding of our global community and develops competence in critical thinking, writing, oral communication, and technology. Students use general knowledge and skills in professional practice.

Dimension 2: Content Knowledge

Teacher education graduates understand and use the central concepts, tools of inquiry, technological resources, and structures of their discipline(s) and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of the subject matter meaningful for all students.

Dimension 3: Professional Knowledge

Teacher education graduates are able to plan instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, characteristics and needs of students, the community, and curriculum goals. They understand and use a variety of instructional strategies and tools to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem solving and performance skills. They use an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a safe learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. Graduates are able to ethically use technology to enhance the learning of students. They understand and are able to use formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of learners.

Dimension 4: Diversity

Teacher education graduates are committed to serving a rapidly changing, expanding, and increasingly diverse society. They understand how individuals differ and create instruction in which people honor one another as individuals, value differences and the special gifts each of us brings to the community, and respect the rights of others as human beings inclusive of race, gender, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, class, age, disability, religion, and national origin.

Dimension 5: Collaboration

Teacher education graduates recognize the importance of collaboration in professional practice. They possess the knowledge and skills necessary to build community support and interaction, to develop relationships with colleagues, parents, and the community, and to develop collaboration skills among their students so that student learning and well-being are enhanced.

Dimension 6: Reflective Practice

Teacher education graduates are reflective practitioners who continually seek to raise questions, to critically analyze the effects of their own practice on others (students, parent and other professionals in the learning community), and to develop creative solutions to educational dilemmas and concerns.

Dimension 7: Lifelong Learning

Teacher education graduates actively seek out opportunities to grow professionally through interactions with professional colleagues, reading professional literature, and accessing other learning resources. Graduates demonstrate a commitment to their own continuing professional development and the development of the profession.

Dimension 8: Caring

Teacher education graduates appreciate the talents of all learners, believe that all students can learn, and are committed to using individual strengths to help students develop self-confidence and competence. Teacher education graduates encourage and support the practice of thoughtful consideration and concern among all members of the school and community environment.

Dimension 9: Social Responsibility

Teacher education graduates demonstrate a commitment to active, ethical involvement in the school, community and profession. They are committed to developing opportunities for learners to engage in socially responsible behaviors.