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Mission and Goals

 
Teacher Education Program Mission and Goals

Misericordia University's Teacher Education Department is committed to preparing excellent teachers. One of the university's first majors, Teacher Education embraces the university’s mission and continues to reflect the values of our founders: mercy, justice, service, and hospitality.

The program seeks to develop effective teachers who are masters of the content they will teach and who teach in pedagogically sound ways that inspire students to learn. Using educational theory and methods courses with the liberal arts core as a base, the program provides a variety of learning opportunities to facilitate a thorough knowledge of human development and an appreciation of diversity so that, as teachers, graduates will understand, respect, and respond to the unique strengths, needs and desires presented by individual students and their families.

Through coursework and field-based activities that are conducted in collaboration with partnering schools and agencies, teacher candidates study, observe and apply strategies to structure learning experiences and environments responsive to students’ needs. Through teaching, supervision, and personal example, education faculty establishes the expectation that students will conduct themselves at all times in accordance with the highest standards of ethical practice and professionalism. The faculty strives to develop in our graduates a commitment to on-going personal and professional growth.

Goals of the Teacher Education Program

The Teacher Education Department faculty conflated the goals of the university and those suggested by PDE and other professional groups to produce nine departmental goals.

Based on its goals, the faculty identified a series of objectives which students must master. They clustered these objectives into courses. The objectives for each course are listed in their syllabi.

The TED goals are as follows:

Communication Skills

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills needed to confidently and effectively communicate orally, in writing and through various communication technologies, with students, other professionals, families, and members of their communities.

Students' Growth and Development

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall explain how students grow and develop and demonstrate a willingness and ability to adjust their teaching to meet the needs of individual students, including students with special needs. Graduates shall be especially sensitive to the challenges faced by female students, students with disabilities, and members of minority groups.

 

Learning

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall use research to explain the cognitive processes and complexities of learning and use this knowledge to plan and implement teaching/learning activities that support the intellectual, social/emotional, career, and personal development of students.

Curriculum Structure

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall explain how curriculum is developed, structured, regulated, and used by teachers to plan, monitor, and evaluate instruction and students' learning.

Content Mastery

Graduates of  Misericordia University's TED will demonstrate mastery of the curriculum they will be expected to teach and a willingness to engage in professional development activities, which ensure their continued mastery.

Teaching Processes

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall effectively analyze data and situations to make decisions which benefit students; plan, implement, and assess direct instruction within a mastery learning paradigm and implement a variety of advanced teaching procedures, including various educational and assistive technologies, that allow students, independently and cooperatively, multiple pathways to learning and which challenge them to explore and understand challenging concepts, topics, and issues. 

Graduates shall describe how to integrate a variety of technologies into instruction and shall be reflective regarding how these new approaches can be used most effectively with students from diverse backgrounds. Graduates will have developed the following dispositions: a) to view technology as a rich set of tools with much potential for addressing educational challenges, b) to choose to use information and technology legally and ethically, and c) to be committed to exploring how the use of new and emerging technologies can support and promote student learning.

Classroom Management

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall demonstrate a willingness and ability to use an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create learning environments which encourage positive social interaction, active learning, critical thinking, and independence. They will be devoted to creating schools and classrooms which are welcoming, caring, stimulating, inclusive, and safe places in which students are challenged to take risks, make choices, work independently and collaboratively, and be supported in their growth and development.

Family Involvement

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall acknowledge and respect the roles and responsibilities of parents and families and be willing to enter into partnership arrangements with those interested in the education of students.

Respect for Diversity

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall see "diversity as normal" and evidence an authentic respect for all students, families, co-workers, and school personnel. They should see themselves as teachers prepared to work with all students without regard to factors related to gender, race, creed, economic status, sexual orientation, physical attributes, or ability.

Values Based Professionalism

Graduates of Misericordia University's TED shall know and be comfortable with themselves in ways which cause them to reflective practitioners who are be willing and able to work effectively with students, other professionals, and parents.

They will be fully aware of their profession's standards and practices, including its codes of ethics; look forward to being contributing members and active leaders of their profession; and function ethically and responsibly as members of their communities.

 

They shall adopt the disposition of being a lifelong learner in order to remain an effective educator in a rapidly changing environment. Graduates shall demonstrate a willingness to engage in professional development activities that ensure continued mastery of content and pedagogy by embracing the challenge of continuous improvement and change, and by committing to staying current on the latest advances and understandings in the specific discipline.