The conceptual framework guides our professional education unit in achieving its mission for the College and its Teacher Education Programs. The unit’s conceptual framework is based on the assumption that candidates must have proficient knowledge, skills and dispositions in order to be effective, highly-qualified R.E.A.D. teachers. Therefore, the conceptual framework has been developed through collaborative efforts among the students, faculty, administration, teacher education advisory council, and the professional community. The conceptual framework also addresses assessment, diversity, clinical field-based experiences and best practices as modeled by faculty qualifications. In addition, the conceptual framework is knowledge-based, articulated, shared, coherent, and committed to professionalism, diversity, technology, and teaching professional standards. The vision of Tougaloo College is reflected in each component of the conceptual framework. The main goal is to prepare the R.E.A.D. (reflective, effective, active, decisive) teachers for the classrooms of Mississippi and the global community. Tougaloo College unit’s Teacher Education Programs prepares students who are self-directed learners and self-reliant individuals capable of working effectively with all students, meeting challenges and issues in our public schools.
In keeping with the unit’s philosophy and theme of its conceptual framework, the unit’s four characteristics of a “READ Teacher” guides the unit’s programs, and promote a culture of excellence in the education profession. From this philosophy and theme, and based on input received from fulltime and adjunct faculty of the unit, public school teachers and administrators, and in keeping with state, national and professional association standards, the unit created an assessment system in order to evaluate teacher candidates expected competencies and demonstrated proficiency upon completion of our programs. The unit believes that the following four characteristics of the R.E.A.D. Educator listed below support our conceptual framework, vision and goals to provide the basis for the unit’s teacher education programs.
Characteristics of a "READ Educator"
The Division of Education seeks to provide experiences that will enable the teacher candidate to:
- Have personal qualities that allow them to develop authentic human relationship with their students, parents, and colleagues and to create democratic, socially just classrooms for children and adolescents (Arends, 2007).
- Apply critical thoughts to all areas of life. Communicate verbally and nonverbally instructional modalities, including speaking effectively for the sake of performing, explaining and creating (Arends, 2007).
- Acquire and process information including listening effectively in various arenas of life, reflecting and observing objectively and with insight in academic and nonacademic environments.
- Demonstrate knowledge of content subject matter area, critical analysis and thinking skills and creating inquiry for problem solving.
The Division of Education seeks to provide appropriate opportunities and instructional strategies for students to acquire knowledge, skills and dispositions, so that they may:
- Acquire and demonstrate basic knowledge of the humanities, natural sciences, and the social sciences and integrate this knowledge into the total education process.
- Have a positive disposition toward learning with a command of at least three broad knowledge-based areas that address subject matter, human development and learning, and pedagogy. Teaching candidates use this knowledge and the dispositions to guide the science and art of their teaching practices.
- Effective teachers have a repertoire of teaching practices known to stimulate student motivation, to enhance student achievement of basic skills, to develop higher-order thinking skills, and to produce self-regulated learners.
- Select and implement teaching models, teaching strategies and appropriate educational materials to complement and enrich the individual learning styles and academic levels of students.
The Division of Education seeks to provide experience for the development of active leadership skills by providing opportunities to:
- Participate in activities and experiences that promote service to the community.
- Become familiar with and use professional journals to understand theory and inform practice.
- Read and interpret research data and apply its findings and analysis to enhance their service to community and profession.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the goals and functions of professional organizations related to the field.
The Division of Education seeks to promote professional development, personal growth, cultural responsive teaching in order:
- Provide leadership in a democratic society and changing world.
- Demonstrate a service-oriented attitude that enhances the school, home, and community relationships.
- Develop and demonstrate personal values, recognizing differences in individuals with respect to their beliefs, culture, and values.
- Empower pre-service teachers to be committed to social justice and equity in order to serve as advocates for underserved children in our community.