DTP Mission Statement, Conceptual Framework and Standards

School of Education Mission

The mission of Purdue University Calumet’s School of Education, in collaboration with other professional educators and agencies, is to prepare and support education professionals and related specialists who:

  • apply the appropriate knowledge, dispositions, and performances in developing diverse approaches to educational strategies that are constructive, consistent and reflective of sound practice;
  • are prepared to use current research, knowledge, and technology to empower the people they serve;
  • are sensitive and responsive to the unique needs of themselves, of others, and of the diverse society in which they practice;
  • are advocates for and models of quality education and lifelong learning. The School faculty is committed to providing the human and technological resources to enable students and themselves to develop as educational professionals in constructing knowledge, developing practice, and fostering relationships.

School of Education Conceptual Framework

Through a continuing process of development, the faculty members of Purdue University Calumet’s School of Education have integrated information about instructional principles and about the specific needs of our school partners and other stakeholder groups with its Mission Statement in order to derive the standards that describe the characteristics we hope to help our degree candidates achieve. This Framework rationale describes how current research and insights about education have been integrated with our Mission Statement to arrive at the different program standards.

The themes of constructing knowledge, developing practice, and fostering relationships provide the foundation upon which the program standards were developed in each of the departments. These standards, which can be grouped into three general categories, form the backbone of the initial and advanced teacher preparation programs. Definitions of each of these themes follow:

Constructing knowledge refers to the process by which individuals make meaning of professional information and develop personal theories about teaching, learning and human development. Individuals construct knowledge through structured educational activities and life experiences.

Developing practice refers to both the process by which education professionals improve how they do their job as well as to the process of developing and growing as reflective professional practitioners.

Fostering relationships refers to the development of those dispositions necessary to create mutually beneficial connections among people and educational institutions and organizations.

Initial Program Standards

The Department of Teacher Preparation has adopted the ten standards of Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) to which all teacher candidates in the program must respond. In addition, each secondary licensure program has its own set of content standards based on the special requirements for teaching professionals in those instructional areas.

The following INTASC 2011 Model Core Teaching Standards are assessed in both the elementary and secondary programs in the Department of Teacher Preparation:

The Learner and Learning

Standard #1: Learner Development The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Standard #2: Learning Differences The teacher uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

Standard #3: Learning Environments The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.

Content Knowledge

Standard #4: Content Knowledge The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

Standard #5: Application of Content The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues. 

Instructional Practice

Standard #6: Assessment The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.

Standard #7: Planning for Instruction The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross- disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

Standard #8: Instructional Strategies The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Professional Responsibility

Standard #9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard #10: Leadership and Collaboration The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

The themes of constructing knowledge, developing practice, and fostering relationships shaped the development of departmental standards. These standards, which can be grouped into three general categories, form the backbone of the initial teacher preparation program:

1. A major theme of our initial teacher preparation program is to help our teacher candidates understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s), as well as be able to create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students (Standard 4, Content). As part of this understanding, the teacher candidate will know how children and youth learn and develop and be able to provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal development (Standard 1, Learner Development). Both teachers and teacher educators need to be aware of the powerful influence knowledge, or lack of knowledge, of a subject exerts on teaching. Finally, the major goal of constructing knowledge is to encourage the reunion of pedagogy and content, not only in the theoretical world of research and publishing but also in the actual practice of teacher education.

2. A second major focus of the initial teacher training program is to develop effective practice in our teacher candidates. Studies have shown that effective educational strategies need to embody an understanding of how learners differ in their approaches to learning (Standard 2, Learning Differences), as well as know how to use a variety of instructional and assessment strategies (Standard 8, Instructional Strategies; Standard 7, Planning for Instruction; Standard 6 Assessment). An understanding of individual and group motivation is also essential to our teacher candidates (Standard 3, Learning Environments, along with the ability to effectively plan and communicate instruction (Standard 5, Application of Content). Therefore, the major goal of developing practice is to promote practices that embody effective teaching in the classroom.

3. Our graduates must understand the dynamics of educational, geographic, and school communities, must effectively participate within these communities, and must foster an environment that respects all learners. Teachers often work in settings that differ radically from the communities in which they themselves have lived and in which students often differ substantially from one another (Standard 10, Leadership and Collaboration). With this in mind, our teacher candidates must reflect on the effects of her/his choices and actions on students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community (Standard 9, Professional Learning and Ethical Practice). This concept of fostering relationships is engendered in the notion that teacher candidates should reflect on how to gain information from the local community and transform it for pedagogical use.

Regardless of the conception of teaching a beginning teacher holds, he or she will of necessity start out by operating on the basis of a radically simplified conception. Real world problems encountered in teaching are too complex for anyone to grasp fully as a beginner, so new teachers can at best work incrementally toward dealing with them.  The growth of expertise in teaching may therefore be conceived of as a process of life-long learning and continuing reflection on what it means to be a master teacher.