We focus our teacher education program on preparing teacher-leaders. These are teachers who are not only excellent practitioners but teachers who work toward improving education in and beyond their own classrooms. To achieve classroom excellence, we are committed to the five core propositions of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. We select and prepare teachers who:
- are committed to students and their learning,
- know their subject areas and how to teach those subjects to students,
- are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning,
- think systematically about their practice and learn from experience, and
- are active members of learning communities. Building directly from these original core propositions, we have articulated seven program goals with supporting outcomes that guide our selection and preparation of teachers.
GOAL ONE. OUR GRADUATES ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE SUBJECTS THEY TEACH Outcomes. Our graduates:
- demonstrate depth of knowledge in their subjects.
- recognize how knowledge in their subjects is created, organized, and linked to other disciplines.
- identify the organizing themes and central concepts necessary for understanding a subject.
- identify associated content necessary for students to understand these themes and concepts.
GOAL TWO. OUR GRADUATES ARE COMMITTED TO KNOWING THEIR STUDENTS AND CULTIVATING A COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS. Outcomes. Our graduates:
- understand how students develop and learn.
- treat students equitably and work diligently to help each student reach his or her potential.
- create and maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning.
- recognize diversity among their students and adjust their practice accordingly.
- create and maintain an atmosphere fostering mutual respect and caring.
- cultivate within their own students a recognition and valuing of diversity.
GOAL THREE. OUR GRADUATES KNOW HOW TO TEACH SUBJECT MATTER TO STUDENTS. Outcomes. Our graduates:
- demonstrate specialized knowledge of how to teach subject matter to their students.
- use multiple approaches to facilitate student learning.
- create lessons that are engaging and motivating for students.
- create learning experiences that are appropriately challenging for all students.
- involve students in thoughtful inquiry and reflection.
- ensure that students understand the purpose of activities within and across lessons and units.
GOAL FOUR. OUR GRADUATES EFFECTIVELY MONITOR STUDENT LEARNING. Outcomes. Our graduates:
- use multiple strategies to assess students.
- regularly assess student progress using appropriate measures.
- demonstrate the ability to make informed decisions about students and their learning based on classroom, district, and state assessments.
GOAL FIVE. OUR GRADUATES ARE THOUGHTFUL AND REFLECTIVE PRACTITIONERS WHO LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE. Outcomes. Our graduates:
- make well-reasoned choices and decisions within the complex and demanding conditions of teaching.
- analyze the effects of their actions and make appropriate changes.
- take into account the moral and philosophical implications of educational decisions.
- improve their practice by reflecting on their own experience, observing others, seeking advice, and drawing upon educational research and scholarship.
GOAL SIX. OUR GRADUATES UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF SCHOOL REFORM AND THEIR ROLES AS AGENTS OF CHANGE. Outcomes. Our graduates:
- assess the relative merits of educational reform efforts and determine their appropriateness to the classroom, school, and broader societal contexts in which teaching and learning occur.
- develop and articulate their own conceptual and philosophical perspective on teaching and learning based on professional experience and current theories and research in education.
- 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.
- are willing to take risks as advocates for the benefit of students, teachers, and the profession.
GOAL SEVEN. OUR GRADUATES ARE ACTIVE MEMBERS OF LEARNING AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITIES. Outcomes. Our graduates:
- work with colleagues to enhance their own teaching, learning, and professional development.
- work collaboratively with students, peers, and community members to create and contribute to effective learning environments.
- participate in professional organizations.
- continue to pursue avenues of inquiry into the teaching and learning process through study, research, and dialogue.