4.2 Philosophy, Purposes, Goals and Standards of the Unit Philosophy

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1 4.2 Philosophy, Purposes, Goals and Standards of the Unit Philosophy Within the UW-Stout s School of Education, we believe that effective programs, whether initial licensure or advanced, must be based upon shared beliefs about professional education that guide program development and instruction from planning through assessment and evaluation. Early in the development of our conceptual framework, the education faculty and staff, in collaboration with content faculty and staff, developed core beliefs about reflective practice. These core beliefs informed the selection of, and are embedded in, the reflective practitioner framework as described in section Our philosophy is grounded in our mission and vision. It is our philosophy that education practitioners should operate within a framework of practice that is reflective and responsive; therefore, the faculty and staff of the School of Education are committed to preparing education professionals who engage in reflection to guide professional practice. We believe that reflective practitioners are constantly asking themselves questions about their work. Our philosophy on the preparation of reflective practitioners is consistent with Schon s description of reflective practice as involving thoughtful consideration of one s own experiences in applying knowledge to practice (Schon, 1996). Schon (1987) identified the concept of reflective practice as the critical process in educational preparation. Moreover, consistent with Campbell-Jones and Campbell-Jones, we believe that reflection involves an inner dialog with oneself whereby a person calls forth experiences, beliefs, and perceptions (2002, p. 134). This dialog informs and transforms knowledge and action (Risko, Roskos, and Vuklich, 2002). We believe that learning must be embedded in real-life experiences that reflect prior knowledge and experiences (North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, n.d.). Inherent in our philosophy of reflective practice is the importance of applied learning. We believe that the preparation of reflective and responsive practitioners requires active and applied learning opportunities for candidates throughout their academic program. Candidates engage in developmentally appropriate simulated and situational experiences that require application of theory and practice. They learn analytic approaches to decision making and practice. The philosophy of applied learning and research and theory driven practice is embedded in the UW-Stout polytechnic mission and culture. It is our philosophy that theory and practice must be integrated through a model of applied learning and that being reflective and responsive is a developmental process. Additionally, we believe in deep learning that occurs during problem-solving and decision making. However, one s own insight and experience alone is not sufficient for making educational decisions. Schon (1987) indicates that reflective practice is a kind of reflective conversation that involves the education professional, students, and parents. Schon also stated that reflective practice must apply knowledge to practice with the coaching of candidates in their discipline. Likewise, Hopkins and Antes (1990) described reflective practice in terms of action research wherein professional education faculty guide candidates, both at the pre-service and in-service level, to apply their knowledge of theory to their practice. Furthermore, it is our philosophy that reflective practitioners use evidence to inform their practice. The effective education professional also supplements theory and technical expertise with personal insights. Our philosophy of reflective and responsive practice is supported by a review of the literature. Research reveals that expert educators must demonstrate and communicate their subject knowledge with evidence based practice (Cross & Rigden, 2002; Mewborn, 2001; Shulman, 1986; Grossman, 1990; and Wise & Leibbrand, 2000). We believe that reflective practice involves thinking about one s practice, making informed and logical decisions about educational matters, assessing the consequences of those decisions, and using evidence to inform and change one s practice. Education professionals also need to understand the relationship between their personal dispositions (attitudes and characteristics) and their professional practice, and that their actions take place in a context where different participants may have different interpretations and understandings (Reagan, Case & Brubacher, 2000). We believe it is essential for candidates to understand diversity in the education environment. According to Nel (as cited in Sharp, 2003), educators who demonstrate the understanding of diversity in what they verbalize, perceive, believe, and

2 teach, can make the difference in either disabling or empowering students. Reflective practitioners aspire to an ideal of fairness for all learners and embrace their role in creating an inclusive environment in which all students can learn. Initial Teacher Candidates Initial teacher candidates and advanced program candidates at various benchmark stages are expected to engage in increasingly more critical reflection. Early in their development, candidates primarily reflect during planning and preparation and after an event. Schon (1983) draws a distinction between that process and what we expect of initial candidates nearing completion of their program and advanced program candidates as being the difference between reflection on action and reflection in action. At this more advanced stage of reflection, candidates are expected to use reflection as a problem unfolds and engage in on-the-spot experimentation. This normally occurs during field experiences, clinical practice and during coursework in which advanced program candidates analyze their own practice. Examples of ways in which our philosophy of reflective and responsive practitioners is developmentally embedded into the curriculum include, but are not limited to, the following examples. A description of how our conceptual framework guides the assessment of our candidates is found in section 4.5. Candidates pursuing initial teaching licensure: construct a personal philosophy of education that begins with the study of educational philosophies in foundational coursework and continues to be developed through investigation of preconceptions of teaching and learners, self-reflection, practice, assessment of learning, and supervisory feedback. At the final benchmark level review, candidates provide authentic evidences of how their philosophy informs their own practice; develop portfolios that require reflective thinking in the selection and construction process. Candidate portfolios include representative artifacts that provide evidences of the candidate s knowledge, skills, and dispositions aligned to the SOE Framework and Wisconsin s Teaching, Pupil Services, and Administrative standards. At the early levels, candidates are guided in their selection of artifacts representative of the domains and teaching standards. As candidates progress, they are given increasing responsibility for justifying how their portfolio artifacts provide authentic evidences of proficiencies; are guided in their development of curriculum (e.g., they are provided with grade level academic standards and other resources). By the final benchmark, initial teacher education candidates construct a teacher work sample as a culminating evidence of their reflective and responsive practice during clinical practice. The teacher work sample provides documentation of how the candidate s practice is informed by context, research on best practice, student characteristics, and student learning; explore issues related to the role of education and professional practice throughout their program, beginning with discussion about the purposes and history of education in the undergraduate foundations course and proceeding through experiences such as self-reflection journals during enrollment in a multicultural field experience, researching multiple perspectives on controversial issues associated with each education field, and presenting to their peers during enrollment in the required inclusion course. Candidates are expected to increasingly articulate and defend their positions on a number of issues including articulating during the benchmark interviews how their experiences have informed their ability to work with diverse learners and families; experience reflective pedagogical practices throughout their preparation. Examples include the use of cooperative learning, problem-based learning, case-studies, and role-playing. Candidates complete crossdisciplinary coursework related to diverse learners and classroom management at the undergraduate level and cross-disciplinary coursework in areas related to research, professionalism, assessment, and behavioral interventions at the advanced level; develop increasingly reflective and responsive classroom management skills for diverse learners that support development of a democratic learning environment, including preventive management strategies, conflict resolution, authoritative discipline strategies, and positive behavioral supports. In developmental field experiences and clinical practice, candidates are given increasing responsibility for classroom management, culminating in complete responsibility; have many opportunities, beginning with case-study analysis, proceeding through early field experiences, and culminating with full-time school-based clinical practice, to monitor and assess student learning and to

3 recommend or make adjustments to professional practice. During early field experiences, candidates observe and reflect on their supervisor s practice. As candidates progress, they implement practices developed by their supervisors; and, then, by themselves. Ultimately, they assume responsibility for independent professional practice. Advanced Program Candidates Candidates enrolled in advanced programs are expected to engage in a higher level of critical reflection, applied or action research, and leadership. Advanced program candidates are expected to demonstrate the ability to reflect in action as they analyze their own practice (Schon, 1983). Wilhelm and Edmiston (1998) stated candidates focus on exploring their attitudes, the ethical implication of their practice with students and families in regards to cultural differences, and the development of management skills. Advanced program candidates: explore issues relating to their professional practice throughout their program. Candidates are expected to articulate and defend their positions on a number of issues in a variety of courses and during benchmark reviews; experience reflective professional practices throughout their preparation. Examples include crossdisciplinary coursework related to diverse learners, classroom management, research, professionalism, guided assessment, peer-reviewed counseling practice, and behavioral intervention plans; collect data to inform the development and subsequent modification of behavioral or academic programs in the pupil services programs; complete multiple field experience and clinical practice courses culminating in an internship experience in the pupil services and administrative programs; develop a portfolio or professional development plan that incorporates authentic evidences of professional proficiencies and student learning. Although the School of Education houses a variety of initial teacher preparation and advanced programs with program-specific proficiencies, our unified philosophy, consistent with our vision, is to prepare professional educators who engage in reflection and evidence-based practice Purposes It is the purpose of the School of Education to adhere to and apply the institutional values to accomplishment of the SOE mission, vision, and goals. The values and purposes were developed through a consensus process and apply the institutional values to the preparation of education professionals. The faculty and staff of the School of Education value and are committed to the following: A. Excellence in teaching within high-quality, student centered undergraduate and graduate education programs involving active learning and appropriate technology; therefore, we will: Model best practice Build upon a strong content background Foster the understanding of growth and development and of learning processes Actively engage candidates in learning and assessment Challenge each candidate s thinking Utilize technology to enhance candidate learning B. Scholarship and Research within applied knowledge and general education; therefore, we will: Conduct scholarly research Mentor candidate research skills Disseminate scholarship and research findings Reward excellence in scholarship and research Participate in professional scholarly organizations

4 C. Collaborative Relationships with business, industry, education, community and government; therefore, we will: Cultivate educational partnerships Collaborate with industry, business, government, and professional organizations Nurture collegial relationships with cooperating teachers and supervisors Promote consistent, positive communication with internal and external audiences D. Growth and Development of students, faculty, and staff through active participation in university and professional communities; therefore, we will: Participate in service at the school and university levels Engage in professional development Provide leadership at local, state, national, and international professional communities Support candidate, faculty, and staff with opportunities to engage in professional communities at the local, state, national, and international level E. Diversity of people, ideas, and experiences; therefore, we will: Value candidate and faculty diversity Model respect for differences Recruit and support a diverse candidate and faculty population Provide candidates with opportunities to learn from diverse populations F. Active Involvement in shared governance, consensus-building teamwork, open and effective communication, and respectful, ethical behavior; therefore, we will: Model respectful and ethical behavior Provide leadership Promote open and effective communication Collaborate with organizations to improve the quality of education Participate in decision making that drives policy Unit Goals The overarching purpose and responsibility of the School of Education is the development, implementation, and oversight of programs, curriculum and assessment systems that facilitate candidate acquisition of the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to become effective reflective practitioners. The conceptual framework guides the identification and assessment of candidate qualifications and the evaluation of unit capacity. The School of Education also has the responsibility to support the goals of the university. The School of Education faculty and staff have established the following enduring unit goals to guide implementation of our conceptual framework and conduct strategic planning: 1. Provide program curricula that incorporate diversity, research, theory, and best practice. Aligns to University Goal 1 Aligns to Purpose A, B, D Aligns to Conceptual Framework Domain 3: Professional Practice 2. Align program outcomes with state and national education standards. Aligns with University Goal 1 Aligns to Purpose A,D,F Aligns with Conceptual Framework Domain 4: Professionalism 3. Foster the development of education professionals who are reflective in their practice. Aligns with University Goal 2 Aligns with Purpose A, D Aligns with philosophy and Reflective Practitioner Conceptual Framework and the Conceptual Framework Domain 4: Professionalism

5 4. Collaborate with PK-12 schools, universities, technical colleges, educational agencies, professional associations, and communities to improve teaching and learning. Aligns with University Goal 3 Aligns with Purpose B, C Aligns with Conceptual Framework Domain 2: Learning Environment and Domain 4: Professionalism 5. Advance educational scholarship and research at the university, local, state, national, and international levels. Aligns with University Goal 3 Aligns with Purpose B Aligns with Conceptual Framework Domain 1: Planning and Preparation 6. Recruit, support and retain a diverse faculty/staff. Aligns with University Goal 4 Aligns with Purpose D, E Aligns with Conceptual Framework Domain 2: Learning Environment 7. Recruit, support and retain a diverse candidate body. Aligns with University Goal 4 Aligns with Purpose D, E Aligns with Conceptual Framework Domain 2: Learning Environment 8. Foster a climate of tolerance, trust, and respect. Allow diversity of opinions and beliefs to be heard. Aligns with University Goal 5 Aligns with Purpose E, F Aligns with Conceptual Framework Domain 2: Learning Environment 9. Provide safe, effective, efficient, and inviting SOE facilities. Aligns with University Goal 6 Aligns with Purpose A, C, F Aligns with Conceptual Framework Domain 1: Planning and Preparation 10. Engage in leadership and service to the university, local, state, national, and international professional organizations. Aligns with University Goal 7 Aligns with Conceptual Framework Domain 4: Professionalism 11. Improve efficiencies and cost effectiveness of services and programs Aligns with University Goal 7. Aligns with Conceptual Framework Domain 1: Planning and Preparation Candidate Goals (Institutional Standards) The reflective practitioner was selected as the overarching theme to guide our framework and unit standards because of its consistency with our philosophy, mission, vision, values, and goals and because it is research based. Early in the development of our conceptual framework, the education faculty and staff, with input from the content faculty and staff, identified the standards essential to the development of reflective practice. These have continued to evolve over time. The following candidate goals/standards were identified as the knowledge (k), skills (s), and dispositions (d) essential for all candidates modeling of reflective practice: Build upon a strong content background (k,s). Demonstrate knowledge of growth, development and learning processes (k,s). Create a learning environment that enhances student learning, is caring and supportive, and inclusive (s,d). Model respect for diversity of people, ideas, and experiences (d). Create learning opportunities for diverse learners (s,d). Exhibit pedagogical excellence in teaching, pupil services, and leadership (k,s,d). Utilize technology to enhance student learning (s).

6 Build collaborative and supportive relationships within the classroom, school, and with families and the community (s,d). Demonstrate preparedness (s,d). Engage in continuous learning (d). Demonstrate thoughtful and responsive listening (s,d). These standards informed selection of, and became embedded in, our reflective practitioner framework as delineated below. The Charlotte Danielson framework (Danielson, 1996) for teaching was adopted in 2002 as the structural model for our conceptual framework through a consensus process involving teacher education faculty and staff. It was selected because research has confirmed the relationship between the Danielson domains and student learning (Danielson, 1996). The Danielson framework has been endorsed by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum (ASCD), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). The framework was later adapted for greater coherence to our philosophy and mission and to apply more broadly to all initial and advanced programs at UW-Stout. Our reflective practitioner framework highlights candidate proficiencies in the domains of planning and preparation, learning environment, professional practice and professional responsibilities. The alignment of the four domains of reflective practice with the candidate goals and critical elements of each domain for teachers, pupil service practitioners, administrative practitioners, and advanced program professional development candidates are delineated below. The domains are aligned with the state standards for teaching, pupil service, and administrative candidates as described in section 4.4 and with our assessment system as described in section 4.5. A more detailed description of the proficiencies is displayed in section 4.4. The UW-Stout framework emphasizes four domains of proficiencies as follows: 1. Planning and preparation Knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to content, students, and pedagogy, and the ability to plan are central to this domain. The common candidate goals/standards incorporated within this domain include: Build upon a strong content background. Demonstrate knowledge of growth, development and learning processes. Demonstrate preparedness. Create learning opportunities for diverse learners. For teachers, Domain 1 is further indicated by the following proficiencies: Knowledge of content and pedagogy (k) Knowledge of students (k) Select instructional goals (s,d) Knowledge of resources including instructional and adaptive technology (k) Design coherent instruction (s) Assess student learning (s) Demonstrate enthusiasm for the discipline (d) Respect individual differences in development (d) Demonstrate belief that all students can learn (d) For pupil service professionals, Domain 1 is indicated by the following proficiencies: Understand the psychosocial foundations of development (k) Understand and advocate for guidance needs of students (k,d) Conduct, interpret and apply educational research (k,s) Understand data-based decision making and accountability (k) Understand consultation and collaboration models and methods (k) Understand principles of effective instruction (k) Understand theories of human development (k) Understand student diversity (k,d)

7 Knowledge of prevention, crisis intervention, mental health (k) Understand family systems (k,d) Knowledge of the foundations of practice (k) Understand how to use technology (k) For administrative professionals, Domain 1 is further indicated by the following proficiencies: Knowledge of principles and theories of curriculum and instruction (k) Evaluate and plan for continuous improvement (k,d) Understand and promote comprehensive programs (k,s,d) For advanced professional development programs, Domain 1 is indicated by: Knowledge of multiple influences on education (k,d) Analyze current issues and trends and historical foundations of education (k,d) Interpret assessment data and apply research (s) 2. Learning Environment Knowledge, skills and dispositions related to understanding and influencing the learning environment are central to this domain. Modeling diversity, engaging students, collaboration, and communication are essential to this domain. The common candidate goals/standards that are incorporated within this domain include: Create a positive learning environment that enhances student learning and is caring, supportive, and inclusive Model respect for diversity of people, ideas, and experiences Build collaborative and supportive relationships within the classroom, school, and with families and the community Demonstrate thoughtful and responsive listening. For teachers, Domain 2 is further indicated by the following proficiencies: Create an environment of respect and rapport (s,d) Value peer relationships (d) Demonstrate commitment to diversity (d) Establish a culture for learning (s,d) Manage classroom procedures (s) Manage student behavior (s) Organize physical space (s) For pupil service professionals, Domain 2 is further indicated by: Apply developmentally appropriate classroom and group guidance (s,d) Apply school and systems organization, policy development and climate theory (s,d) Have knowledge of prevention, crisis intervention, and mental health programs (k,d) For administrative professionals, Domain 2 is further indicated by: Demonstrate effective interpersonal and communication skills (s,d) For advanced professional development programs, Domain 2 is further indicated by: Analyze the philosophy and principles underlying organization and operation of schools (k,d) 3. Professional Practice In this domain, pedagogical knowledge, skills and dispositions are applied to the practice of teaching, counseling, assessment, and leadership. The common candidate goals/standards that are incorporated within this domain include: Exhibit pedagogical excellence in teaching, pupil services, and leadership Utilize technology to enhance student learning Create learning opportunities for diverse learners

8 Demonstrate thoughtful and responsive listening For teachers, Domain 3 is further indicated by: Communicate clearly and accurately with diverse learners (s,d) Use questioning and discussion techniques (s) Engage students in learning (s,d) Provide feedback to students (s,d) Demonstrate flexibility and responsiveness to adapt instruction for diverse learners including use of adaptive/instructional technologies (s,d) For pupil service professionals, Domain 3 is further indicated by: Model theoretical and practical approaches to counseling Apply basic skills in individual and small group settings Conduct individual and group assessments Facilitate student career and transition plans Develop, organize, administer and evaluate comprehensive pupil service programs Demonstrate data-based decision making Demonstrate consultation and collaboration skills Demonstrate assessment, effective instruction, development of cognitive/academic skills Assess and support socialization and life skills Demonstrate skills related to diversity Facilitate school and systems organization, policy development and climate Apply prevention, crisis intervention, and mental health programs Facilitate home/school/community collaboration Use information technology For administrative professionals, Domain 3 is further indicated by: Provide educational leadership (s,d) Plan, manage, budget, make decisions, implement programs/policies, and supervise personnel (s) For advanced professional development programs, Domain 3 is further indicated by: Examine various orientations to curriculum (s,d) Analyze, evaluate, and revise professional practice (s,d) 4. Professional Responsibilities Knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to conducting oneself in a professional manner and with integrity are central to this domain. Common candidate goals/standards that are incorporated within this domain include: Model respect for diversity of people, ideas, and experiences Build collaborative and supportive relationships within the school and with families and the community Engage in continuous learning For teachers, Domain 4 is further indicated by: Reflect on teaching (d) Maintain accurate records including use of technology (s) Communicate with diverse families (s,d) Contribute to the school and district (d) Grow and develop professionally (d) Demonstrate professionalism (d) For pupil service professionals, Domain 4 is further indicated by: Communicate and collaborate with students, families, school, and community (s,d)

9 Model ethical practice (d) Model legal and ethical standards of practice (d) Implement consultation and collaboration (d) Demonstrate sensitivity to student diversity (d) Facilitate school and systems organization, policy development, climate (d) Facilitate home/school/community collaboration (d) For administrative professionals, Domain 4 is further indicated by: Demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills to interact and collaborate (d) Evaluate programs and stay abreast of current and emerging trends (s,d) Model professional, legal, and ethical standards (d) For advanced professional development programs, Domain 4 is further indicated by: Examine personal practice to reflectively develop a personal philosophy and practice (d) Interpret and apply assessment data and educational research (s,d)

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