School of Education - Accreditation Self-Study Report

Conceptual Framework: Key Elements

St. Cloud State University – Teacher Education Unit

Conceptual Framework

Educating for a New Era

Description of Key Elements


Institutional/Unit Commitment to:

Excellence in Teaching- The St. Cloud State University teacher education program is committed to preparing teachers who understand the importance of pursuing excellence by developing the knowledge and skills to become effective teachers and continuing to develop their knowledge and skills throughout their careers.  This commitment is reflected in faculty who model excellence in their own teaching, reflect on their work and aspire towards continuous improvement.

Access and Opportunity- The SCSU teacher education program has a strong history and commitment to providing access to students from different (socioeconomic, student with disabilities and cultural) backgrounds and giving students the support that they need to succeed in our program.  As a state university, we offer affordable programs and provide financial assistance to help our students to pay for their programs.

Active and Applied Learning- The SCSU teacher education program is committed to providing students with clinical experiences that allow them to practice the skills they are learning.  Faculty members engage students in a variety of projects inside and outside the classroom to learn in an active and real manner.Community Engagement- SCSU as an institution of higher education is committed to involve students in the community to learn with and from community members, programs and professionals. The teacher education unit reflects this commitment through strong and active partnerships with P-12 schools.

Community Engagement- SCSU as an institution of higher education is committed to involve students in the community to learn with and from community members, programs and professionals. The teacher education unit reflects this commitment through strong and active partnerships with P-12 schools.

 Accountability that Improves Teaching- SCSU teacher education program is committed to working with students to study and implement meaningful accountability measures and processes that are connected with assessing learning and improving teaching by better understanding student learning and being able to individualize approaches to learning to match student needs, level of understanding and style of learning.

 Global and Cultural Understanding- SCSU is committed to cultivating a multicultural and engaged campus that prepares students and faculty to embrace living, learning and working in a diverse global community.

Transforming Candidates and Supporting Faculty as Co-Learners to be:

 Knowledgeable and Skilled Educators-The basic knowledge base and skills for teachers are identified in the 2011 InTASC standards and refer to four areas: 1) Understanding the learner and learning environments; 2) Content knowledge-that is specific to each licensure area; 3) Instructional Practice-that involves understanding instructional strategies, planning for instruction and assessment; and 4) Professional Responsibility- A commitment to ongoing professional development and ethical practice and collaboration with others.

 Caring and Ethical Professionals- The understanding of the importance of building caring relationships with learners and colleagues as a basis for promoting individual and group learning.  Ethical practice refers to an awareness of the ethical dimensions of teaching diverse learners and the nature of educational professionalism in the 21st Century.

 Collaborative Leaders- This role acknowledges that teaching is no longer a solitary activity within the walls of a classroom but depends upon working in a collaborative manner with other educators, other professionals, families and community members and the responsibility to be advocates for individual learners and the education system.

 Reflective Practitioners- Reflective practice involves the ability to assess educational practice by reviewing assessment data, understanding self as an educator/ learner and making adjustments to be more skilled and effective as an educator. Being a reflective practitioner requires a life-long commitment to learning and continuous improvement.

 Creative, Flexible Problem Solvers-Teachers need the ability to work with students in creative ways to maximize student learning and display the flexibility to be effective with learners from diverse backgrounds with differing abilities, learning styles and interests.  They also need to be creative in engaging parent and family members in learning about a learner’s background, interests and needs.

 Advocates for Equity and Justice in Education-The current context for education in the US reflects gaps in opportunities, inequity of resources for students in poverty and bias based on race, gender, sexual orientation and SES.  Educators have to advocate for all students including individual students and groups of students who may face social injustices in our society.

 Innovative Users of Technology-The role of technology in education continues to evolve and educators need to seek innovative ways to engage learners through using and teaching with technology. This includes, but is not limited to enriching learning experiences, enhancing the learning environment, assessing individual learning and communicating with families.

Leading P-12 Students to:

 Display Inquiry and Enthusiasm for Learning- Learners need support for their innate curiosity to be understood and stimulated by activities in their educational settings.  Educators model this enthusiasm for learning in their approach to education. They continue their own professional development and embrace new information, new ways of thinking and new ways of learning.

 Thrive on Diversity- Learners growing up in the 21st Century should embrace new opportunities to interact in a global environment where physical boundaries will no longer constrain their exposure to different ways of thinking and living.  Educators model cultural sensitivity and global awareness reinforcing the importance of diverse ideas, cultures and values.

 Construct Knowledge and Originate Ideas- Learners will need to move beyond learning the current “facts” to being able to put knowledge together in new and creative ways. Educators model creative presentation and engagement with knowledge, using a variety of modalities including artistic, kinesthetic, technological and traditional. 

 Demonstrate Understanding through Authentic Assessment- Learners need to demonstrate not just their memorization of facts or concepts but show how this understanding is applied in real-life situations. Educators construct and utilize authentic assessment to ascertain learners’ mastery of skills and understanding.

 Meet Well-Defined Standards-Learners must demonstrate mastery of a core set of subjects that will continue to evolve with our understanding of what is most important. Educators continue to review and refine their understanding of current standards and develop relevant learning experiences.

 Cooperate and Collaborate with Others in Multiple Contexts- Learners and workers in the 21st Century will collaborate on projects that may stretch across different disciplines and cultures.  Learning how to communicate and work as a member of a team on complex real-world issues is a necessary new mind-set and set of skills. Educators model collaboration in their interactions with colleagues, learners, families and community.

 Demonstrate Technology Literacy-Learners are able to use digital tools for research, problem solving, and decision-making in an information rich environment.  They understand and practice the ethical use of technology in communicating and collaborating with others.  Educators model innovative and ethical use of technology with learners and colleagues.