Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Furman University Education Department Conceptual Framework (2013)

Preparing Scholars and Leaders
Teacher Education at Furman University

Vision Statement

The Teacher Education Program at Furman University prepares educators who are scholars and leaders.

Mission of the Program

Furman University prepares teachers and administrators to be scholars and leaders who use effective pedagogy, reflect thoughtfully on the practice of teaching, and promote human dignity.  Furman is committed to a program of teacher education that calls for collaborative, interdependent efforts throughout the academic community.

Furman’s Teacher Education Program is anchored in the university’s commitment to the liberal arts—encompassing the humanities, fine arts, mathematics, and social and natural sciences as the essential foundation for developing intellectually competent educators.  Furthermore, all candidates develop the following proficiencies as they progress through the Teacher Education Program:

·      mastery of subject matter
·      mastery of pedagogical knowledge
·      the ability to teach diverse learners
·      the ability to reflect on scholarship and practice
·      the belief that all learners can succeed
·      responsible and respectful behavior at all times

Content, Pedagogy, and Dispositions

The Teacher Education Program of Furman University prepares educators who are scholars and leaders, based on the following propositions:

1.     Educators who are scholars and leaders have in-depth knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals and concepts of their discipline. (CONTENT) They:

a)     demonstrate content knowledge through inquiry, synthesis, and critical analysis;
b)    understand the interrelationship of curriculum, instruction, and assessment to help all students learn;
c)     know and can implement national/state/district curricula and learning standards;
d)    are able to meet the standards set by all national/state/district content assessments;
e)     use accurate and current content from multiple sources to make subject matter meaningful to all students*.

*    The Unit uses the phrase all students to encompass students who represent all characteristics of diversity, including but not limited to, gender, race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, geographic origin, socioeconomic background, and varied abilities.

2.     Educators who are scholars and leaders use evidence-based practice for effective teaching and communication. (PEDAGOGY)  They:

a)     articulate their own philosophy of education and use it to guide their practice;
b)    demonstrate effective long- and short-range planning using appropriate organization and time management strategies;
c)     establish and maintain high expectations for all students;
d)    use a variety of assessments to inform instruction;
e)     implement differentiated instructional strategies that address multiple learning styles;
f)     demonstrate ethical use of current educational technologies to enhance instruction, assessment, and student performance;
g)     consider school, family, and community contexts, and adjust practice based on students’ experiences, interests, and relationships;
h)    analyze individual student, classroom, and school performance data, making data-driven decisions about strategies for teaching and learning;
i)      create, nurture, and maintain a classroom environment that promotes learning;
j)      use effective and appropriate classroom management strategies;
k)    demonstrate respectful and productive communications with diverse families and care-givers;
l)      communicate effectively and professionally in writing, orally, and through various electronic media;
m)   reflect on curricula, the nature of learning and teaching, and their own practice for professional self-renewal;
n)    demonstrate initiative to extend responsibilities beyond the classroom and into the school and community;
o)    engage in collaborative work with colleagues, other professionals, and community members.

3.     Educators who are scholars and leaders are caring and thoughtful individuals who respond sensitively to the needs and experiences of all students and others with whom they interact. (DISPOSITIONS)  They:

a)     are aware of, and sensitive to, community and cultural diversity;
b)    are timely, respectful, and responsible in meeting professional expectations;
c)     acknowledge and accept feedback, responding appropriately to improve practice;
d)    reflect thoughtfully and frequently on their own attitudes and actions;
e)     exemplify passionate commitment to teaching, continuous learning, and professional involvement;
f)     model appropriate professional conduct;
g)     use sound judgment and display confidence in practice;
h)    are advocates for the well being of all students;
i)      treat all students fairly and equitably;
j)      exhibit cooperative and productive work relationships with students and colleagues;
k)    value civil engagement in decision making with students, colleagues, and community members.

(Based on InTASC, 2011; NBPTS [date depending on certification area]; and ADEPT, 2006 standards)

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