Department of Education Vision and Mission
SWCU Department of Education Vision
The vision of the SWCU Teacher Education program focuses on developing effective teachers who can integrate faith and learning as they positively impact the lives of others.
SWCU Department of Education Mission
The mission of SWCU Teacher Education program is to develop and nurture competent and caring teachers who model Christ through a life of service and leadership; demonstrate an understanding of individual differences; and dedicate their efforts to the education and welfare of all students.
SWCU Teacher Education Unit Philosophy
Our overarching philosophy recognizes teaching as a critical conduit to foster the social, cultural, political, economic, and moral conditions that will improve individuals and society as a whole. Within the P-12 classroom, that end requires treating and educating all learners with care and dignity because they have been created in the image of God. Our primary example of one who embodies the characteristics of a master teacher is Christ himself, who exemplified these characteristics through his own ministry as recorded in the Gospels. He engaged respectfully with those of different cultures and religious beliefs (John 4:3-42), was reflective and addressed holistically the needs of individuals (Mark 5:24-34), modified his instruction to challenge those who were intellectually gifted (John 3), valued children and held them in high regard (Mark 10:13-16), and welcomed the poor and disadvantaged (Luke 14:13-14). Christ also objected to unjust practices (Luke 11:42), taught with authority (Matthew 7: 29), and recognized the individual responsibility of his students (Mark 10:17-23). Christ’s overall teaching reflects a genuine concern for individual learners, varying his approach according to their prior knowledge and contexts (Luke 15). His teaching in Matthew 25 reminds Christian educators that when they serve each student, they serve Christ himself.
With the belief that candidates can best assimilate the competencies of a master teacher through the pursuit of scholarly endeavors and authentic experiences, the Unit seeks to construct a collaborative learning experience. By engaging teacher education faculty members and the P-12 classroom teachers, the Unit has designed a teacher education preparation that provides integrated clinical practices throughout the candidate’s program. Through this experience, we strive to develop educators who model the master teacher characteristics of Christ as they exhibit caring through empathic concern and social awareness and who routinely reflect on their teaching practices to ensure that they fully prepare their students for a life of learning.
SWCU Teacher Education Purpose
The purpose of the SWCU Teacher Education program is to facilitate the development of highly effective teachers who are life-long reflective professionals committed to the learning of all students with a focus on scholarship through extensive and integrated clinical practice, student-centered education, current research and best practices; standards-based curriculum and dynamic assessment; and interdisciplinary knowledge and curriculum.
Teacher quality is the most important schooling factor influencing student achievement (Goldhaber, Liddle, Theobald, 2013). The purpose of the SWCU Teacher Education Program is to ensure that its graduates have a broad knowledge base, a firm grounding in professional education, a strong competency in the teacher candidate’s area of specialization, a commitment to service, and an integrated clinical practice throughout the program. Furthermore, the program will prepare teachers who apply knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and the learner to make appropriate decisions regarding students, curriculum, and instructional strategies. The program will encourage the development of educational practitioners who care about learning and learners as they engage in reflection leading to life-long scholarship through professional growth and commitment to their schools and communities.
SWCU Teacher Education Goals/Organizational Standards
SWCU’s teacher education standards are designed to ensure that teacher candidates develop a strong foundation in the liberal arts, a sound knowledge of their discipline, and an understanding of how students learn and develop. Teacher candidates are encouraged to explore, reflect, analyze, and think critically as they develop curriculum and appropriate assessment procedures with awareness of different learning styles. As they strive to create a positive classroom environment that facilitates learning and partnerships with the home, school, and community through a reasonable mastery of communication skills. It was decided by the SWCU Teacher Education Council to adopt the InTASC Standards. Based on research and a solid knowledge base, the InTASC Standards will serve as the practical application for our SWCU Conceptual Framework.
Interstate teacher assessment and support consortium (In TASC)