Program Characteristics

  • A common clear vision of good teaching (Agenda for Education in a Democracy) that is apparent in all course work and clinical experiences.
  • Well-defined standards of practice and performance that are used to guide and evaluate course work and clinical work.
  • A curriculum grounded in substantial knowledge of child development, learning theory, cognition, motivation, and subject matter pedagogy, taught in the context of practice.
  • Extended clinical experiences (at least 30 weeks) that are carefully chosen to support the ideas and practices presented in simultaneous and closely woven course work.
  • Strong relationships, common knowledge, and shared beliefs among school and university faculty.
  • Extensive use of case study methods, teacher research, performance assessments, and portfolio evaluation to ensure that learning is applied to real problems of practice (Darling-Hammond, 2000, Critique of Teacher Education, Journal of Teacher Education, AACTE).
  • Develop the ability of each teacher educator and candidate to see beyond his or her own perspective, to put oneself in the shoes of the learner and to understand the meaning of experiences in terms of learning. This capacity to understand another is not innate; it is developed through study, reflection, guided experience, and inquiry (Darling-Hammond, 2000, Needs of teacher education candidates, Journal of Teacher Education, AACTE).
  • Make social justice ubiquitous in teacher education. A concern for social justice means looking critically at why and how schools are unjust to some students. When social justice is a major lens with which to view the education of all students of all backgrouds, then diversity gains a place of prominence in the teacher education curriculum (Nieto, 2000, Addressing diversity in teacher education programs, Journal of Teacher Education, AACTE).