Purpose and Goals

 

UNIT PHILOSOPHY, PURPOSE AND GOALS

The unit is committed to a learning environment that encourages students to reach their academic and professional potential through exposure to a highly qualified faculty, professional learning environments and a supportive atmosphere in a multicultural setting.

The Department of Education’s conceptual framework, the Constructivist Educator, is based on a constructionist philosophy residing in the critical role of the learner’s active involvement during the learning process. The common belief of the unit faculty is that construction of knowledge as an activity is engaged in by teacher and student. This shared philosophy guides the unit focus on the following beliefs:

* That learning must be constructed by the learner. This construction does not take place in isolation. Teachers, peers, parents, and others effectuate the learner’s construction of knowledge through participation in diverse settings.

* That developmentally based learning is both individual in nature, socially influenced, and that various factors contribute to the construction of knowledge.

* That the candidate is a critical player in the purposeful construction of knowledge by the learner. A teacher educated in developmental levels of learners, methodology, technology integration, and content knowledge can best guide in the classroom.

* That for teachers to monitor their effectiveness in the classroom and for the progress of the learners to be guided effectively, systematic evaluation must take place on a regular basis.

* That the teacher must model the pursuit of learning within his or her own life and as part of the community of learners within the classroom.

The unit prepares students to become constructivist educators who are nurturers, communicators, reflective professionals and facilitators. The curriculum in USCB's Early Childhood and Elementary Education programs is designed to promote the development of these qualities, referred to as elements of the conceptual framework. The acquisition of knowledge, through intellectual dispositions and skills, encourage depth of understanding, tolerance of others, and individual accountability. This philosophy forms the underlying belief system that guides the development of the unit’s curriculum, proficiencies, teaching practices and assessments.

The unit’s purpose is to prepare candidates who are nurturers, communicators, reflective professionals and facilitators for work in the classroom. In order to achieve this overall purpose, the unit has identified the following goals:

* Provide candidates with a high quality education that prepares them to work effectively and establish positive relationships with students and their families.

* Provide candidates with a professional and supportive learning environment that encourages them to reach their academic potential.

* Provide candidates with a highly qualified faculty in a multicultural setting.

* Prepare candidates to believe that all students can learn and assume responsibility for their learning.

* Prepare candidates who are able to design and integrate technology rich experiences based on the educational needs of students and to achieve educational goals in the classroom.

* Prepare candidates to work with colleagues, students and communities of varied cultural, ethnic and economic backgrounds.