Conceptual Framework for Initial Certification of Teachers

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section I. Introduction

Section II. Mission Statement

Section III. Philosophy

Section IV. Belief Statements

Section V. Motto of the Teacher Education Program

Section VI. Model for the Initial Certification Program

Section VII. Explanation of the Process

Section VIII. Curriculum Frameworks for the Initial Certification Program

Section IX. Conceptual Standards: MoSPE Standards and Quality Indicators

Section X. Selected References


Section I. Introduction

The Conceptual Framework booklet is intended to help teacher education candidates and faculty construct a personal and professional understanding of the Drury University program for teacher education. It is anticipated that the information which follows will enable candidates, faculty, and collaborative partners to:

  1. identify the "big issues" or primary concepts of the teacher education program;
  2. interpret the various aspects of the teacher education program through a design or structure which is shared and understood;
  3. seek and value the points of view of others regarding the education of teachers;
  4. make the curriculum of the program for initial teacher education relevant; and
  5. assess the effectiveness of the Drury University teacher education program in terms of key performance standards.

The Conceptual Framework for Teacher Education provides a panoramic view of the teacher education program. Candidates and faculty have the opportunity to view the "whole" teacher preparation format before they are required to make sense of the associated “parts.”

The Conceptual Framework booklet provides a shared background and common vocabulary permitting candidates and faculty to express their points of view and their notion of reality regarding the professional preparation of teachers. The publication of the "Conceptual Framework" encourages dialogue, elaboration, and debate thereby allowing a deep understanding of the teacher education process to evolve. It is anticipated that candidates and faculty will reshape, transform, and reconstruct the "Conceptual Framework" until it becomes relevant and clear for each person.

Section II. Mission Statement

The mission of professional education at Drury University is to:

  1. Develop liberally educated professionals who are highly effective teachers and instructional leaders within their respective disciplines and who are knowledgeable and skilled in the areas of child and adolescent development.
  2. Prepare educators who are proficient in the use of data collection and analysis techniques to ensure that all students, regardless of ability, diversity of background, or other individual differences, will reach their learning potential.
  3. Add value to the lives of children of all ages and their families in rural and urban communities throughout the Ozarks’ region and beyond.

Section III. Philosophy

At Drury University we seek to prepare teachers who go beyond technical competence. We seek to develop teachers who are committed to students and their learning, who know the subjects they teach, and who are capable of teaching those subjects to students. We strive to nurture a disposition which calls for teachers to be reflective, thinking practitioners who have a vision of schools as places of energy, learning, creativity, commitment, and decency for all children. We seek to develop in our graduates a sense of purpose about their role as stewards of the schools.

While dedicated teachers cannot by themselves create schools which exert a strong constructive influence on society, teachers are the critical factor. The enterprise of preparing teachers who are capable of leading a renaissance for each new generation of children is viewed as a major responsibility of Drury University to our society.

Teacher education at Drury University must be fundamentally linked to the world of practice and deeply involved in the reforming and restructuring of the public schools. It serves everyone's interests for the teacher education program to prepare professionals who can work within the system to bring about renewal of the school. At the same time, we must ensure the teacher education program of Drury University is dynamic and receptive to change.

The moral and ethical insights of teaching are "caught" as well as "taught," and these understandings are acculturated throughout the experiences related to the teacher education program. The opportunity to associate with other candidates and faculty through learning communities such as the Teacher Education Alliance (TEA), the Drury Student Teachers' Association, Kappa Delta Pi, field experiences, and university courses creates a texture of moral and ethical insights and values which foster and renew a high sense of purpose and vision for the teaching profession. The School of Education and Child Development strives to create an environment in which persons identify with the teacher education program and work cooperatively to revitalize the profession and our schools.

The teacher education program must ensure undergraduates and practicing teachers in the Masters in Education degree program make connections between what they learn at Drury University and what is practiced in the public schools. Opportunities for critical, independent, systematic thinking and experiences which link the theoretical and the applied are essential. For these reasons, field experiences and observations are integrated with course work to bridge the world of practice with research and theory.

Section IV. Belief Statements

These belief statements reflect the five propositions of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), Goodlad’s postulates for reform of teacher education (1990), the standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), Comer’s model for School Development, the Missouri Standards for the Preparation of Educators (MoSPE), current research, and best practices for teacher education. The belief statements represent the fundamental convictions and values of the faculty of the Drury University School of Education and Child Development. They set the foundation for the development of program purposes, procedures, and assessments of standards related to the teacher education program.

The five propositions of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) for the National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTS) are:

1. Teachers are committed to students and their learning.

  • NBCTs are dedicated to making knowledge accessible to all students. They believe all students can learn.
  • They treat students equitably. They recognize the individual differences that distinguish their students from one another and they take account for these differences in their practice.
  • NBCTs understand how students develop and learn.
  • They respect the cultural and family differences students bring to their classroom.
  • They are concerned with their students' self-concept, their motivation and the effects of learning on peer relationships.
  • NBCTs are also concerned with the development of character and civic responsibility.

2. Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.

  • NBCTs have mastery over the subject(s) they teach. They have a deep understanding of the history, structure and real-world applications of the subject.
  • They have skill and experience in teaching it, and they are very familiar with the skills gaps and preconceptions students may bring to the subject.
  • They are able to use diverse instructional strategies to teach for understanding.

3. Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.

  • NBCTs deliver effective instruction. They move fluently through a range of instructional techniques, keeping students motivated, engaged and focused.
  • They know how to engage students to ensure a disciplined learning environment, and how to organize instruction to meet instructional goals.
  • NBCTs know how to assess the progress of individual students as well as the class as a whole.
  • They use multiple methods for measuring student growth and understanding, and they can clearly explain student performance to parents.

4. Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.

  • NBCTs model what it means to be an educated person – they read, they question, they create and they are willing to try new things.
  • They are familiar with learning theories and instructional strategies and stay abreast of current issues in American education.
  • They critically examine their practice on a regular basis to deepen knowledge, expand their repertoire of skills, and incorporate new findings into their practice.

5. Teachers are members of learning communities.

  • NBCTs collaborate with others to improve student learning.
  • They are leaders and actively know how to seek and build partnerships with community groups and businesses.
  • They work with other professionals on instructional policy, curriculum development and staff development.
  • They can evaluate school progress and the allocation of resources in order to meet state and local education objectives.
  • They know how to work collaboratively with parents to engage them productively in the work of the school.

Additional Belief Statements

  • The mission and goals of Drury University, the liberal arts and specialty studies curricula, and the strong support to personalized education are congruous with the conditions which support an excellent teacher education program.
  • The best preparation for the development of dispositions which transcend the ordinary and characterize effective teachers include the abilities to:
      • think critically,
      • communicate effectively,
      • empathize,
      • make mature value judgments,
      • exhibit personal and social responsibility, and
      • chart a healthy course for life.
  • The use of guidelines from the learned societies, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), the Missouri Standards for the Preparation of Educators (MoSPE), and the standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) help to ensure teachers are professional and prepared. Standardized tests such as the College Basic Academic Skills Evaluation (C-BASE) and the Educational Testing Service Praxis Series, in conjunction with state and national program approval/accreditation provide valid sources of evidence regarding the effectiveness of the teacher education program.
  • The School Development Program (James Comer, Yale University) provides a systematic model for P-12 and teacher education reform, which is compatible with MoSPE, NBPTS, and NCATE standards.
  • The advanced use of technology in the teaching-learning process must be an integral part of the teacher education curricula.
  • The teacher education program must establish and maintain linkages with graduates for purposes of evaluating and revising the program as well as to ease the critical early years of transition into teaching.
  • The central purpose of the teacher education program is to prepare teachers who are committed to nurture and support P-12 students through the Developmental Pathways: language, physical, social, psychological, ethical, and cognitive.

Section V. Motto of the Teacher Education Program The motto of the Drury University teacher education program is "Dedicated Teachers Make the Difference." Dedication, as a teacher disposition, implies far more than willingness to work hard. The person who is dedicated to the education profession is reflective and analytical about the roles of teachers. The dedicated person maintains a sense of vision and purpose, which is idealistic but not naive. Dedicated persons understand the importance of self-renewal made possible by a healthy life-style, and they utilize their sense of purpose or mission as a counterbalance for a too narrow view of teaching as a set of competencies and skills which can be directly observed and measured. Dedicated teachers reflect what Alfred North Whitehead calls "active wisdom," using knowledge by such actions as distinguishing relevant from non relevant issues and employing knowledge to add value to the experience of living. 

Section VI. Model for Initial Certification Program

A model is a description or analogy used to help visualize something that cannot be directly observed. The model adopted for the Drury University teacher education program is based upon The Aims of Education by Alfred North Whitehead, Teachers for Our Nation's Schools by John Goodlad, and Rallying the Whole Village by James Comer, Norris Haynes, Edward Joyner, and Michael Ben-Avie.

This model is expressed in the analogy of a bridge. The bridge analogy is powerful because it helps to communicate the systematic design of the Drury University teacher education program and the interrelationship between purposes, process, and outcomes.

The analogy of the bridge helps to express the connection between the world of practice and the body of knowledge, theory, and research which exist for professional education. The bridge is built by the candidate and used as a life-long resource.

Bridges share three common principles for the integral strength of their construction: the pier, the arch, and the truss. Relating the analogy of the bridge to the model for teacher education, the pier is symbolic of the liberal arts general education, the security and stability of the individual teacher, and the dispositions which each person brings to the profession. The pier must be deep and anchored to provide a secure base for the construction which is to occur above it.

The arch represents the academic major or subject area of specialization for the teacher. The arch relies upon the transmission of compression forces to the piers for its strength and stability. An arch, more than any other structure, must have reliable foundations. The academic major or subject area of teacher certification is anchored to the liberal arts. Careful academic advising, personal attention, flexibility, and a supportive atmosphere can allow candidates to develop programs of major study which have depth and breadth. The senior seminar course, which is required in each academic major, represents the capstone in the arch.

The truss helps to interlock and uniformly transmit the load over the entire structure of the bridge to the pier. The professional education component is represented by the truss system. The professional education courses are anchored to the liberal arts and enable the teacher to be a planner and facilitator of instruction through interlocking ties with the academic major or area of teaching specialization.

Section VII. Explanation of the Process

The Whitehead model represents a continuous process of learning and problem solving. The process is modeled in courses and represents a sequential flow of professional development. The stages of professional development are represented as binding together the eleven domains of the cable. The stages of professional development include:

Introduction to the Profession
Precision
Generalization
Development of Style
Active Wisdom

Introduction to the Profession: Represents the introduction to the teacher education program, initial field experiences and encounters with new skills and competencies needed for teachers.

Precision: Reflects the mastery of the knowledge, skills, values, and dispositions of effective teachers. It is during this stage that evidence of dispositions to the teaching profession becomes evident as the individual exercises self-discipline to master their subject area specialty and the professional knowledge component.

Generalization: With the mastery of the liberal arts general education curriculum, the subject area specialty, and the professional knowledge component, individuals have the educational background for generalization, or synthesis, enabling them to think critically, make mature value judgments, communicate effectively, understand the viewpoints of others, take responsibility for their own life, and practice health and well-being in their living.

Development of Style: Development of style represents the stage at which the knowledge, skills, values, and dispositions of effective teachers have become second nature to the individual. The focus changes from competencies and skills of the teacher to a greater use of reflection, analysis, vision, and purpose to meet the needs of children. Development of style is able to occur both in mastery of a subject or course and in a program of study.

Active Wisdom: Active wisdom is evident when a teacher demonstrates the ability to: make informed, reflective decisions as members of learning communities; help others learn, and add value to the lives of children in a rapidly changing global society.

Section VIII. Curriculum Framework for the Teacher Certification Program

The curriculum framework for the Drury University teacher certification program emerged from discussions of current research, guidelines of teacher competencies identified by learned societies and teacher certification agencies; the experience, philosophy, and professional insight of the faculty and the Teacher Education Advisory Council, and the changing needs of the public schools. The curriculum framework is organized around nine standards and thirty-six quality indicators, which, in concert, enable a teacher to practice active wisdom.

A complete matrix of the nine MoSPE standards, the thirty-six quality indicators, and the required courses which deliver the outcomes is provided at the end of this booklet. The key performance outcomes are reflected in the objectives of the professional education courses and the exit competencies of the initial certification programs for teachers. Brief descriptions of the nine MoSPE standards are as follows:

Standard #1: Content Knowledge and Perspectives Aligned with Appropriate Instruction - The teacher understands the central concepts, structures and tools of inquiry of the discipline(s) and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful and engaging for all students.

Quality Indicator 1: Content knowledge and academic language
Quality Indicator 2: Engaging students in subject matter
Quality Indicator 3: Disciplinary research and inquiry methodologies
Quality Indicator 4: Interdisciplinary instruction
Quality Indicator 5: Diverse social and cultural perspective

Standard #2: Understanding and Encouraging Student Learning, Growth and Development - The teacher understands how students learn, develop and differ in their approaches to learning. The teacher provides learning opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners and support the intellectual, social and personal development of all students.

Quality Indicator 1: Cognitive, social, emotional and physical development
Quality Indicator 2: Student goals
Quality Indicator 3: Theory of learning
Quality Indicator 4: Meeting the needs of every student
Quality Indicator 5: Prior experiences, learning styles, multiple intelligences, strengths and needs
Quality Indicator 6: Language, culture, family and knowledge of community

Standard #3: Implementing the Curriculum - The teacher recognizes the importance of long-range planning and curriculum development. The teacher develops, implements, and evaluates curriculum based upon standards and student needs.

Quality Indicator 1: Implementation of curriculum standards
Quality Indicator 2: Develop lessons for diverse learners
Quality Indicator 3: Analyze instructional goals and differentiated instructional strategies

Standard #4: Teaching for Critical Thinking - The teacher uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students’ critical thinking, problem solving and performance skills including instructional resources.

Quality Indicator 1: Instructional strategies leading to student engagement in problem solving and critical thinking
Quality Indicator 2: Appropriate use of instructional resources to enhance student learning
Quality Indicator 3: Cooperative learning

Standard #5: Creating a Positive Classroom Learning Environment - The teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages active engagement in learning, positive social interaction and self-motivation.

Quality Indicator 1: Classroom management, motivation and engagement
Quality Indicator 2: Managing time, space, transitions and activities
Quality Indicator 3: Classroom, school and community culture

Standard #6: Utilizing Effective Communication - The teacher models effective verbal, nonverbal and media communication techniques with students and parents to foster active inquiry, collaboration and supportive interaction in the classroom.

Quality Indicator 1: Verbal and nonverbal communication
Quality Indicator 2: Sensitivity to culture, gender, intellectual and physical differences
Quality Indicator 3: Learner expression in speaking, writing and other media
Quality Indicator 4: Technology and media communication tools

Standard #7: Use of Student Assessment Data to Analyze and Modify Instruction - The teacher understands and uses formative and summative assessment strategies to assess the learner’s progress, uses assessment data to plan ongoing instruction, monitors the performance of each student, and devises instruction to enable students to grow and develop.

Quality Indicator 1: Effective use of assessments
Quality Indicator 2: Assessment data to improve learning
Quality Indicator 3: Student-led assessment strategies
Quality Indicator 4: Effect of instruction on individual/class learning
Quality Indicator 5: Communication of student progress and maintaining records
Quality Indicator 6: Collaborative data analysis process

Standard #8: Professional Practice - The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually assesses the effects of choices and actions on others. The teacher actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally in order to improve learning for all students.

Quality Indicator 1: Self-assessment and improvement
Quality Indicator 2: Professional learning
Quality Indicator 3: Professional rights, responsibilities and ethical practices

Standard #9: Professional Collaboration - The teacher has effective working relationships with students, parents, school colleagues and community members.

Quality Indicator 1: Roles, responsibilities and collegial activities
Quality Indicator 2: Collaborating with historical, cultural, political and social context to meet the needs of students
Quality Indicator 3: Cooperative partnerships in support of student learning

When considered together, these nine standards constitute the truss system of a bridge because they connect the knowledge and skills associated with the academic major (symbolized by the arch) with the values and dispositions associated with the liberal arts (symbolized by the pier).

Within each of the nine standards, the pre-service teacher moves from the stage of "introduction to the profession" characterized by idealism but lack of knowledge, to "precision" characterized by mastery of content, to "generalization" characterized by integrating all of the components, to "development of style" characterized by reflection, analysis, vision and purpose, to "active wisdom" characterized by making decisions which help others learn and add value to the lives of children in a rapidly changing global society.

The curriculum design is developmental in character and combines perspectives from the several views of the professional education knowledge base. The knowledge base leads the candidate through a series of course work, clinical, and co-curricular experiences from the status of a beginning candidate focused on survival in a new educational environment to that of a master teacher with a strong professional identity prepared to function effectively in a complex and changing educational world.

Objectives for both the professional education and specialization components are primarily derived from the guidelines provided by learned societies. Separate folios, listing both the objectives and courses related to the objectives, have been prepared. The information in the folios provides a source of ideas for the formulation of objectives to be included in syllabi as well as a basis for the design of evaluation procedures.

Conceptual Standards: MoSPE Standards and Quality Indicators

The Teacher with Active Wisdom

Teachers with active wisdom demonstrate the ability to distinguish relevant from non-relevant issues and employ the knowledge base for teaching to add value to the lives of children.

MoSPE Standard

Quality Indicator

Required Education Courses

   Elem.          Sec.         Both

Standard #1: Content Knowledge and Perspectives Aligned with Appropriate Instruction - The teacher understands the central concepts, structures and tools of inquiry of the discipline(s) and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful and engaging for all students.

Quality Indicator 1: Content knowledge and academic language

Quality Indicator 2: Engaging students in subject matter

Quality Indicator 3: Disciplinary research and inquiry methodologies

Quality Indicator 4: Interdisciplinary instruction

Quality Indicator 5: Diverse social and cultural perspective

338  
356
380
382
401
402
407
409
452
476

303
304
385

Methods
Courses
478

200
201
203
207
302
340
360/608


Standard #2: Understanding and Encouraging Student Learning, Growth and Development - The teacher understands how students learn, develop and differ in their approaches to learning. The teacher provides learning opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners and support the intellectual, social and personal development of all students.

Quality Indicator 1: Cognitive, social, emotional and physical development

Quality Indicator 2: Student goals

Quality Indicator 3: Theory of learning

Quality Indicator 4: Meeting the needs of every student

Quality Indicator 5: Prior experiences, learning styles, multiple intelligences, strengths and needs

Quality Indicator 6: Language, culture, family and knowledge of community

338
401
402
476

303
304
385
478

207
302
331
340
360


Standard #3: Implementing the
Curriculum    -    The    teacher
recognizes the importance of long-range planning and curriculum development. The teacher  develops,  implements, and evaluates curriculum based upon  standards  and  student needs.

Quality Indicator 1: Implementation of curriculum standards

Quality Indicator 2: Develop lessons for diverse learners

Quality Indicator 3: Analyze instructional goals and differentiated instructional strategies

338
401
402
476

303
304
385
478

203
207
302
340


Standard   #4:   Teaching    for
Critical Thinking  - The teacher uses  a  variety  of  instructional
strategies to encourage students’ critical  thinking,  problem solving  and  performance  skills
including   instructional resources.

Quality Indicator 1: Instructional
strategies leading to student engagement in problem solving and critical thinking

Quality Indicator 2: Appropriate use of instructional resources to enhance student learning

Quality Indicator 3: Cooperative learning

338
356
380
382
401
402
407
409
452
476

303
304
385

Methods
Courses
478

331


Standard #5: Creating a Positive Classroom Learning Environment - The teacher uses
an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages active engagement in learning, positive social interaction and self-motivation.

Quality Indicator 1: Classroom
management,  motivation  and  engagement

Quality  Indicator  2:  Managing  time, space, transitions and activities

Quality Indicator 3: Classroom, school and community culture

338
356
380
382
401
402
407
409
452
476

303
304
385

Methods
Courses
478

200
201
203
302
340


Standard       #6:        Utilizing
Effective Communication - The teacher models effective verbal, nonverbal          and          media
communication techniques with students  and  parents  to  foster
active inquiry, collaboration and supportive interaction in the classroom.

Quality     Indicator   1:    Verbal    and nonverbal communication

Quality Indicator 2: Sensitivity to culture, gender, intellectual and physical differences

Quality  Indicator 3:  Learner expression   in   speaking,   writing   and other media

Quality  Indicator 4: Technology and media communication tools

338

303
304
385

201
203
207
302
340
360/608


Standard  #7:  Use  of  Student
Assessment   Data   to   Analyze and Modify Instruction - The teacher understands and uses formative and summative assessment  strategies  to  assess the    learner’s    progress,    uses
assessment data to plan ongoing instruction, monitors the performance of each student, and devises instruction to enable students to grow and develop.

Quality  Indicator 1:  Effective use  of assessments

Quality  Indicator 2:  Assessment data to improve learning

Quality Indicator 3: Student-led assessment strategies

Quality   Indicator  4:  Effect  of instruction on individual/class learning

Quality Indicator 5: Communication of student  progress  and  maintaining records

Quality  Indicator 6: Collaborative data analysis process

401
402
407
452
476

303
304
478

200
201
203
207
302
360/608


Standard    #8:     Professional
Practice - The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually  assesses  the  effects
of choices and actions on others. The  teacher  actively  seeks  out
opportunities  to  grow profession-ally in order to improve      learning     for      all
students.

Quality   Indicator  1:  Self-assessment and improvement

Quality Indicator 2: Professional learning

Quality  Indicator  3:  Professional rights, responsibilities and ethical practices

338
401
402
407
452
476

303
304
385
Methods
Courses
478

200
302
340


Standard     #9:     Professional
Collaboration - The teacher has
effective working relationships with students, parents, school colleagues and community members.

Quality Indicator 1:   Roles,
responsibilities and collegial activities

Quality Indicator 2: Collaborating with historical, cultural, political and social context to meet the needs of students

Quality Indicator 3: Cooperative partnerships in support of student learning

338
401
402
407
452
476

303
304
385
478

200
201
203207
360/608


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