SWCU Teacher Education Conceptual Framework
The Conceptual Framework document provides a set of assumptions, expectations, knowledge, skills, and learning outcomes adopted by our program. This organizing framework shapes the structure of our program by providing a system for ensuring coherence among curriculum, instruction, field experiences, and assessment across a candidate's program (Karmon, 2007). The document, as well as the program itself, will be continuously reviewed, evaluated and modified to incorporate new knowledge and experience about best practices in education. Data collected from student assessments, student evaluations, recent graduates, and members of the professional community will be utilized to help make necessary modifications and improvements. SWCU Teacher Education Council members take part in this continuous evaluation process through regular meetings of both the SWCU Teacher Education Faculty and the SWCU Teacher Education Council. As well, aspects of the SWCU Conceptual Framework document will be included in the university catalog, on course syllabi, and on evaluation tools. In addition, the document will be available for review by members of the professional community and other interested individuals.
SWCU Teacher Education Conceptual Framework Themes
The essence of our Christian mission is represented in our conceptual framework. This mission is also supportedby a strong commitment to preparing competent, caring, reflective, and qualified educators. SWCU emphasizes the integration of subject matter, clinical experiences, and pedagogical knowledge as demonstrated by caring actions, service in the field, and teaching skills. We believe the teacher is the orchestrator of the learning environment and has the responsibility to create a positive atmosphere for all students. This is reached through specific themes designed to provide a unique educational experience at SWCU. The SWCU teacher education program seeks to prepare effective educators who are caring, reflective, service-guided, and scholarly throughout their professional careers as they facilitate learning and model Christ.
The graduate emerging from the SWCU teacher education program is:
CARING-for all students and the belief that all can learn
REFLECTIVE-On professional and personal practice
SERVICE-guided as a model of Christian character through leadership and involvement
SCHOLARSHIP-minded in the pursuit of life-long learning
SWCU Conceptual Framework Model
As we began to identify the themes associated with our Conceptual Framework, someone realized the CRSS arrangement (see model to the right). We immediately liked the acronym because it was a good match for our beliefs and the model was a natural out-flowing of our collaboration. There was discussion about finding and “O” word, however, we found ourselves trying to make something work and decided the CRoSS was the best choice and fully supported our shared vision for our teacher education program. So, the SWCU Conceptual Framework Model includes the shape of the cross to remind of us of our university mission and the themes are included on each part of the cross representing the need for each in our holistic approach to preparing future teachers. Our conceptual model encompasses the interrelatedness of each component in an effective teacher education program. By each component working together, the unit promotes scholarship, service, reflection, and caring educators).
SWCU Teacher Education Conceptual Framework Themes Alignment
During meetings in Spring 2013, the conceptual framework themes were aligned directly to the Oklahoma General Competencies for Teacher Licensure (Table 1). Even though the Commission on Teacher Preparation provided an alignment chart for the Oklahoma General Competencies for Teacher Licensure and the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) (Table 2), during the fall 2013 meetings it was decided it would be wiser to align the SWCU Teacher Education Conceptual Framework themes to the InTASC Standards released April 2011 (Table 3). Since this is a newly created teacher education program, the faculty members believed it would be easier to work with the newly adopted standards rather than to make future changes. This would allow for consist thinking, planning, and incorporating as the process moved forward to build a solid foundation on which to develop all of the supporting documents, processes, and procedures. The themes will guide the unit and the InTASC Standards will become the goals and objectives incorporated throughout the teacher education program.