Our Four-Part Mission for Teacher Education
The mission of teacher education at Montclair State University has four parts, and each part is derived from a moral imperative in education.
The first two parts of the mission statement embody the goals of public education:
- To facilitate the critical enculturation of the young into a social and political democracy
- To provide to all children and youths access to knowledge, which entails disciplined encounters with all the subject matters of the human conversation
The third and fourth parts stipulate essential teaching practices for attaining these two goals:
- To engage in pedagogical practices that forge a caring and effective connection between teacher and student
- To exercise responsible stewardship of our schools
The vision for the teacher education program is derived from this four-part mission and in the spirit of educational renewal, is open to continuous scrutiny and revision.
How does The Office of the Agenda for Education in a Democracy carry out its work?
A number of initiatives around the themes of professional development/leadership development, developing standards for judging admissions, curriculum, and performance (see the Portrait of a Teacher), and actively seeking funding to support this work form the core of the work of the Agenda.
In addition to these activities, the Agenda coordinates the membership of the University in the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER) and the Institute for Educational Inquiry (IEI). There are more than twenty university-school partnerships nationwide that participate in the NNER and all settings pursue the Agenda for Education in a Democracy. The work of the NNER is closely linked to John Goodlad's IEI, which offers a variety of professional development activities to the NNER membership including national leadership associates programs.
Leadership Associates Program
A major function of the Agenda is coordinating Montclair State's Leadership Associates program, which has been adapted from the national Leadership Associates Program of the Institute for Educational Inquiry. Every year, twenty education professionals representing faculty and administrators from the tripartite (public schools, arts and sciences and education) are selected to participate. Over an eight day period in July, members of the cohort attend an intensive seminar that focuses on public education in a democracy and issues such as social justice and equity. Teams continue to meet during the following academic year. Leadership Associates undertake funded inquiry projects designed to move the agenda forward. These projects are shared with others in the cohort and beyond. If you are interested in applying to the program, you must be a member of the Montclair State University/Montclair State University Network for Educational Renewal partnership. Contact the Coordinator at 973-655-7535 for an application.
Each year the Agenda puts on the January Advance, a professional development workshop for members of the tripartite (public schools, arts and sciences and education) focused on a pressing issue in the educational community. Topics of past Advances have included authentic assessment, racism, white privilege and power, literacy, health, and mindfulness in teacher education.
The Agenda provides the framework for the Teacher Education Program admissions process, with the goal of "selecting in" those students whose qualities and dispositions most closely reflect the aims and values of our Portrait of a Teacher.