TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM VISION STATEMENT
By holding ourselves to high standards of professional excellence and professional integrity in an ever-changing global environment, and by caring for the personal, social, and professional well-being of the teacher candidates in our undergraduate community and the career professionals in our graduate community, we will make sound judgments about the design and delivery of professional development programs in an environment of mutual trust and common commitment to public school children and their families.
THE TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM MISSION STATEMENT
Believing that the quality of education directly influences the quality of life both for those served and for those serving, the UNC Pembroke Teacher Education Program has as its mission to develop and nurture competent, caring, and inclusive communities of public school professionals who dedicate themselves to the education and welfare of all students and whose understanding of the dynamic interrelationship among theory, practice, and reflection compels them actively to influence positive change with sensitivity and integrity. The UNCP Teacher Education Program shares the University’s commitment to academic excellence, cultural diversity, and lifelong learning within a balanced program of teaching, research, and service.
TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAM DIVERSITY POSITION STATEMENT
As part of the mission of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in providing the setting and environment for the University experience, and to graduate students prepared for global citizenship and our multi-ethnic regional society, the Teacher Education Program at UNCP is committed to the development of educators who embrace the diversity of ideas, learning styles, racial, ethnic, and gender differences, and who possess the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to promote living and learning in a global society. In order to accomplish this, the Teacher Education Program
- recruits students from among diverse backgrounds, cultures, and races;
- recruits faculties from among diverse populations who possess a knowledge base for teaching diverse populations;
- develops, teaches, and assesses a curriculum that embraces learning and teaching for diverse populations; and,
- provides (field) experiences and clinical settings which enable students to test, adapt, and adopt paradigms of learning for diverse populations.
BASIC TENETS OF THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
The UNCP Teacher Education Program is committed to the public school mission of preparing P-12 learners for full participation in a democratic society. We believe that all P-12 learners are entitled to the highest quality instruction, services, resources, and facilities that society can provide. UNCP’s primary responsibility in that noble effort is to prepare competent and collaborative professional educators committed to the mission of public education.
Public schools exist to make equal access a reality for children of any race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, language, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or exceptionality. Success in school is critical to the quality of future life for individuals as well as the health and vitality of our democracy. Therefore, professional educators--classroom teachers, specialists, administrators, and school counselors--significantly influence the shape of that future for P-12 learners in our public schools. Such serious responsibility for the well-being of others requires an equally serious commitment from professional educators on several levels.
First, professional educators must be committed to the mission of public education in a culturally diverse, democratic society. Professional educators respect the dignity of all children, their families, their cultures, and their communities, and care deeply about each child’s academic success, health, and well-being. Second, professional educators must be committed to rigorous standards for students. Professional educators believe that all students can learn, and set high expectations for all learners. Professional educators create safe, secure, and supportive learning environments designed to meet the needs of diverse learners. Third, professional educators must be committed to rigorous standards for themselves. They are personally invested in their professional work using continuous critical reflection to assess their effectiveness and guide professional development. They are committed to lifelong learning and continuous growth over the span of a career. Fourth, professional educators are committed to the profession. They are proud to serve their communities as educational leaders, and advocate for the profession in all interactions. They affiliate with professional organizations at the district, state, and national levels.
Public education is a complex social institution whose stakeholders include local, state, and national governments, the general public, special interest groups, numerous national professional organizations, accreditation agencies, business partners, civic organizations, and millions of classroom teachers, administrators, service professionals, specialists, support staff, students and their families. Collaboration among all of these stakeholders in public education is essential for success. The UNCP Teacher Education Program nurtures the development of professional educators who understand the importance of collaboration for public schools’ success, and who work productively with others in collaborative endeavors for the welfare of P-12 learners.
Professional educators must collaborate with others in the community of learners. They create shared knowledge, work as a team on group projects in their classes, and develop a repertoire of cooperative learning strategies. Professional educators must collaborate with other professionals in the school community. They plan collaboratively with cooperating teachers, grade-level teams, resource teachers, and curriculum specialists, and embrace opportunities to team teach. Experienced professionals lead collaborative efforts for school improvement. Professional educators collaborate with students’ families and other caregivers. They understand that the partnership between school and home enables the child’s success in school. They communicate regularly with parents about what is going on in the school, and invite them to participate actively in the school community. Professional educators collaborate with others in the community. They secure partnerships with businesses, civic organizations, nonprofit groups, and committed individuals in the district, state, and nation to support educational initiatives for the benefit of P-12 learners.
The UNCP Teacher Education Program prepares professional educators who are competent. They possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to perform their entry level and advanced roles and responsibilities in the public schools effectively. Competent professional educators promote positive learning outcomes for all students. Understanding the critical connections among theory, research, and practice, they ground their work in a defensible, well-developed conceptual framework grounded in relevant theory, research, and evidence-based practice. A competent professional educator is a reflective professional educator: such educators routinely use critical, evidence-based self-reflection to learn from direct experience, and continuously to improve their effectiveness. Specifically, professional educators reflect on their practice, thinking systematically and critically about student learning to determine why learning happens and what can be done to improve student achievement. Toward this end, they collect and analyze student performance data to implement practice-related changes both to improve their teaching effectiveness and to enhance student achievement, and adapt their practice based on classroom-based data and relevant research to meet students’ needs. They secure and use 21st-century technologies and skills to enhance student learning, service delivery, communication, and administration. Competent professional educators embrace cultural diversity. They know the students for whom they are responsible and how to accommodate the needs of diverse learners in a positive, caring environment. They value the role of the family in the child’s education and work cooperatively with parents and other caregivers for the child’s benefit. Competent professional educators provide leadership wherever it is needed; they are always alert for opportunities to use their individual strengths to promote public education and those it serves.
Specific guidelines for defining professional competence are prescribed by the NC State Board of Education, as the body authorized to govern licensure credentials for professional educators, and The University of North Carolina Board of Governors, the body authorized to govern the award of academic degrees for the UNC system. NC State licensure requirements are aligned with the professional organization standards of the respective licensure area. Specific guidelines defining professional competence are also prescribed by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP), external accreditation agencies.
In summary, UNC Pembroke prepares committed, collaborative, and competent professional educators who are responsive to equity and diversity; who are knowledgeable, effective, and reflective; and who lead in the classroom, school, and profession.