As members of the Teacher Education Unit at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, we strive for continuous improvement. Consequently, we consider the Conceptual Framework to be dynamic – changing as demanded by critical elements, such as professional standards, state program regulations, and the contexts in which we teach.
As a result, we are continuing to focus on the six Teacher Education Initiatives that provide multiple pathways to continuous improvement. This fits in perfectly with NCATE’s model of Continuous Improvement as we are constantly striving to enhance our teacher education program.
The Initiatives and resulting actions occur at the university level with teaching colleagues and administration, in basic education with our partners in the field, and with our ESU students. Activities engage small and large groups of adults and/or students in a range of experiences such as workshops, conferences, courses, grants and projects, inquiry, reorganization, and research. These Initiatives, which foster continuous improvement, include both short-term and long-term projects. They are guided by the current research in education, wisdom of practice, and sensitivity to and respect for the collaborative needs, interest, and expertise of the participants. Each Initiative contributes to the well-being of the participants and advances respect and understanding for teaching and learning at every level of involvement. The Teacher Education Initiatives and related goals are:
- Technology Initiative: To generate effective, emerging models of technology use and integration.
- Best Practice Initiative: To establish ways and means to support and validate best practice in teaching, learning, and assessment.
- Diversity Initiative: To institute reciprocal pathways for unity and understanding.
- Student Success Initiative: To design and model strategies that help professors, collaborating teachers, and the students themselves foster, analyze, guide, and assess individual student success.
- Collaborative Partnership Initiative: To initiate collaborative relationships to share resources, promote interaction, facilitate change, and improve student achievement.
- Professional Growth Initiative: To value, structure, encourage, and validate ongoing professional development within traditional and alternative educational communities.
The six ongoing Teacher Education Initiatives, underpinned by the Teacher Education Unit’s dynamic Conceptual Framework, comprise the TEU’s commitment to continuous improvement that impacts teaching and learning throughout individual teacher education programs, with our colleagues in basic education, and within the University community. This commitment is supported by the Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education and ESU grants and various national, state, and local collaborative projects.
The continuous vitality of faculty scholarship and service is demonstrated within each initiative. The six Initiatives, which are responsive to current research and the lessons learned from the field, help to strengthen and develop Reflective and Deliberate Decision Makers who are prepared support and extend the learning of all students in a global society.