Teacher Education Department Mission and Objectives
The Department of Teacher Education is committed to the principle that teaching is a moral endeavor and that the primary purpose of education in America’s schools is the preparation of our youth for the role of citizen in our social and political democracy. This basic belief forms the foundation of our mission. The mission is predicated upon the four moral dimensions espoused by the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER): (a) the enculturation of youth into a social and political democracy; (b) access to knowledge; (c) nurturing pedagogy; and (d) stewardship. The themes of democracy, diversity, and technology are also central to department courses and programs.
- To provide premier undergraduate and graduate programs for the preparation of pre-service teachers and the professional development of in-service teachers.
- To encourage the habits of independent and lifelong learning among undergraduate- and graduate-level students.
- To foster the development of effective and committed educators who are responsible, collaborative, and reflective. To this end, department undergraduate and graduate courses provide a broad knowledge base, applied skills, competencies, dispositions, and appropriate field and/or practicum experiences.
Desired Outcomes for Graduates:
- Understand the relationship of the philosophy that guides the education process in a democratic society, the College of Education, their specific discipline, and the behaviors they utilize in their classrooms.
- Understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, instructional technology, and standards of the discipline(s) they teach and be able to create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for all students.
- Understand how cultural background influences student learning and development. They will be able to provide technologically-enhanced and other learning opportunities that support intellectual, social, and personal development of diverse students.
- Understand different student learning styles and exceptionalities and be able to develop a variety of instructional opportunities, including the use of technology, that are adapted for diverse learners.
- Be reflective practitioners who continually evaluate the effects of their choices and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seek out opportunities to grow professionally.
- Understand and use both formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate professional standards to ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner.
- Be skilled in the democratic process of collaborative decision making.
- Understand the strengths and needs of their students and possess the necessary skills to work effectively with individuals and groups from a variety of racial, cultural, ethnic, experiential, and linguistic backgrounds.
- Have knowledge of family and school influences that affect student wellness, learning, and achievement. They must be able to form partnerships among parents, educators, and the community in the best interests of their students.
- Understand the school as a democratic system and how to work with individuals and groups to facilitate structures and policies that create and maintain school as a safe, caring, and inviting place for members of the school community.