Vision, Mission and Conceptual Framework
"Preparing educators to be knowledgeable, ethical, caring decision makers for a diverse and changing world."
Our Mission is fulfilled through:
- the delivery of exemplary instruction to students at the undergraduate and graduate levels;
- production, interpretation, and dissemination of sound and useful research and scholarship;
- leadership, collaboration, and service within the profession;
- and promotion, understanding, and celebration of diversity.
Conceptual Framework for the
Preparation of Professional Educators
Our Conceptual Framework serves as the guide for fulfilling our vision of preparing educators to be knowledgeable, ethical, caring decision makers for a diverse and changing world. The College of Education strives to address three major areas in preparing the teachers of tomorrow:
- General Education – courses and experiences that help students develop theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding related to the arts, communications, history, literature, mathematics, philosophy, sciences, and the social studies.
- Content Area Studies – courses and experiences provide students opportunities to master the structure, skills, concepts, ideas, values, facts, and methods of inquiry unique to their discipline.
- Professional Studies – courses and clinical and field-based experiences ensure that students understand and apply appropriate strategies for meeting individual learning needs in the diverse educational environment. Professional studies courses and experiences are designed to address the following four categories: Perspectives and Preparation, Learning Environment, Instruction and Professionalism.
Standards and Dispositions
Category 1: The Learner and Learning
1. Learner Development. The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate, relevant, and rigorous learning experiences.
2. Learning Differences. The teacher uses understanding of differences in individuals, languages, cultures, and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet rigorous standards.
3. Learning Environment. The teacher works with others to create learning environments that support individual and collaborative learning, includes teacher and student use of technology, and encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
Category 2: Content Knowledge
4. Content Knowledge. The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates content-specific learning and literacy experiences that make the discipline accessible and relevant to assure mastery of the content.
5. Application of Content. The teacher understands how to engage learners through interdisciplinary lessons that utilize concept based teaching and authentic learning experiences to engage students in effective communication and collaboration, and in critical and creative thinking.
Category 3: Instructional Practice
6. Assessment. The teacher understands how to use multiple measures to monitor and assess individual student learning, engage learners in self-assessment, and use data to make decisions.
7. Planning for Instruction. The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, technology, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
8. Instructional Strategies. The teacher understands and uses a variety of appropriate instructional strategies and resources to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in relevant ways.
Category 4: Professional Responsibility
9. Professional Learning and Ethical Practice. The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
10. Leadership and Collaboration. The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, support staff, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.
Category 5: Dispositions
11. Values Learning and Professional Development.
Dedicated to acquiring and applying new ideas about content, pedagogy, and students.
- Demonstrates a positive attitude toward learning through intellectual curiosity, interactions with students, and participation in professionally related experiences
- Actively and continuously seeks ideas and resources to expand pedagogical content knowledge
- Exhibits curiosity and a spirit of intellectual inquiry
- Effectively applies new knowledge and skills to professional practice
12. Commits to Professional, Ethical, and Legal Conduct.
Committed to obeying the law and abiding by institutional, state, and national professional and ethical standards.
- Adheres to local, state, and federal rules and laws
- Complies with university and school district policies and procedures
- Follows the Kansas Educator Code of Conduct
- Exhibits good judgment when making professional and ethical decisions
13. Values Positive, Caring, and Respectful Relationships.
Committed to interacting with students, colleagues, and community members with care, compassion, and respect.
- Exhibits caring, compassion, and respect for students, colleagues, and families
- Fosters positive relationships with students to promote learning
- Exhibits teaching behaviors reflecting the belief that all students can learn
- Has high expectations for all students
14. Embraces Diversity, Equity, and Fairness.
Recognizes and values human differences and is committed to meet the educational needs of all students.
- Demonstrates an understanding and appreciation for differences among people and the ability to interact with people from diverse backgrounds
- Uses a range of instructional practices to meet the diverse educational needs of all students
- Advocates for the fair and equitable treatment of all students
- Interacts with sensitivity to community and cultural norms
15. Commits to Wise and Reflective Practice.
Dedicated to careful reflection on instructional decisions and takes actions to improve professional competence.
- Reflects on one’s teaching and develops plans to improve professional practice
- Seeks, accepts, and uses constructive feedback to improve performance
- Modifies teaching behavior when provided with new information or experience
- Exhibits creativity and innovation when attempting to improve professional competence