RCOE Conceptual Framework 2013 - Reich College of Education

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CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

(Revised 2013)


Revision Committee


Charles R. Duke, Dean

Laura DeSisto, Department of Leadership and Educational Studies

Elizabeth Graves, Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling

Robert Heath,
Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Cheryl Lee, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

Peter Nelsen, Department of Leadership and Educational Studies

Rebecca Shankland, Department of Reading Education and Special Education

Sara Zimmerman, Departme
nt of Curriculum and Instruction




2


RCOE
Conceptual Framework

Revised 2013

In what follows we offer a conceptual framework for the
Reich College of Education’s (
RCOE
)

efforts to
fulfill its mission, vision, and
commitments.

Based upon the guidelines provided by NCATE

(2008)
, the
framework


provides direction for programs, courses, teaching, candidate performance, scholarship,
service, and unit accountability
.”
1

The conceptual framework aligns
with the six NCATE standards;
[
] in
the following text denotes
a
cross
-
walk to
the
applicable
standards
.

At the heart of our framework is the concept that highly effective organizations have a set of shared
commitments
. Through ongoing dialogue the membership of the organization creates
, refines, and revises
its activities. Such dialogue serves as the key means for communication among members. For the
organi
zation to remain effective, our commitments
must stay in the public domain so that all members
share in their ongoing creation and a
pplication. Since its adoption in the 1990's, the RCOE
Conceptual
Framework has continued to evolve, informed in large part by
a

rich body of research and theory
.

The
framework has been organ
ized in the following manner:



Vision and Mission



Conceptual Commi
tments



I.

Cultivating
Communities of Practice




II.

Advancing

Professional Knowledge



III.

Developing

Expertise in our Fields

through Reflection and Inquiry



IV.

Promoting
a Core Set of
Professional and Ethical
Disposition
s



Summary







1

http://www.ncate.org/Standards/NCA
TEUnitStandards/UnitStandardsinEffect2008/tabid/476/Default.aspx


3


Part I:
RCOE
Mission and

Vision

Revised 2013

Mission Statement

The Reich College of Education (RCOE) prepare
s

graduates for
leadership and
outstanding service to the public in
the fields of education and human services. This preparation includes a broad range of degree
s

at the Ba
ccalaureate,
Master’s, Specialist
,

and Doctoral levels

as well as licensure and certification programs.

Vision Statement

The
vision

of RCOE is to enhance practice in the fields of education and human services by preparing graduates for
leadership and outst
anding service; partnering with the local, regional, national, and international community to
identify and address educational and community needs; and

cultivating deeper and broader understandings through
research and theory development.
We view ourselves

as a collaborative community of practice which promotes
excellence in teaching, learning, research, scholarship, and outreach, with a particular emphasis on global
engagement, intercultural diversity, and issues of social justice.

To fulfill this
vision
, the RCOE engages traditional
and non
-
traditional students in rigorous and relevant coursework that utilizes cutting
-
edge technologies, diverse
research and theory, culturally
-
relevant instruction, and robust career
-
based activity.


Part I
I
: RCOE

Concept
ual
Commitments

I
.

Cultivating Communities of Practice
[Std. 1A
-
C; 1G;

3A;

5B
]

Broadly defined, a community of practice is a web of individuals bound together by a common set of goals and values.
The RCOE cultivates vibrant and dynamic learning communities

that bring together students, teachers, and teacher
educators in the shared g
oal of achieving genuine praxis
[Std.1B]
,

in which we improve our pedagogical practices and
our theoretical understanding of teaching and learning.
Although the RCOE includes mul
tiple communities of
practice with their own distinctive characteristics, we share these goals and values as
one

unified community
.

A community of practice is always in action. Members come together because they are engaged in common work to
reach agreed
upon goals. While technical knowledge is crucial
,

it is always embedded in a complex set of social
relationships. Out of these relationships emerges a set of shared knowledge, skills, values
,

and other characteristics
that define the community

(Wenger,
199
8
)


A
democratic

community of practice is
committed to

the open flow of dialogue, and this
commitment
entails healthy
disagreement and the challenging of received truths. By openly ackno
wledging different perspectives
,

communities
are able to c
ontinuously

redefine themselves

and adapt to the ever
-
advancing

knowledge base.
T
hrough these
processes our communities of practice remain dynamic.

In keeping with the principle that dialogue is the cornerstone
of

democratic education (Burbules,
1993), we
view
constr
uctive
dialogue as

the means for identifying and defining
problems, exploring alternative solutions
, monitoring activity,
and evaluating results.

Therefore, we extend the
democratic commitment to dialogue and participation to our classrooms and to the
relationship
s between teachers
and students
.

4


II.

A
dvancing Professional Knowledge

The RCOE views itself as a professional school
,
committed to advancing the knowledge and expertise of our
respective fields.

We consider it crucial that all our graduates com
e to view themselves as professionals, and assume
the

roles and responsibilities which

this implies. One of the defining characteristics of a profession is a scholarly
knowl
edge base (Shulman, 1998). Although

we use a variety of theoretical perspectives in

the preparation of
educators, sociocultural and constructivist perspectives (e.g., Vygotsky, Piaget, Bruner, Dewey) are central to
guiding our teaching and learning. Our core conceptualization of learning and knowing

that learning is a function
of the so
cial and cultural contexts in which it occurs and that knowledge is actively constructed

emerges from the
intersection of these two perspectives.

We
extrapolate from
Darling
-
Hammond and Baratz
-
Snowden (2005)

in maintaining
that

educators
must
construct
k
nowledge in the following areas
:


(a) knowledge of learners,

(b) knowledge of subject matter and curriculum goals, and

(c) knowledge of teaching.


The
RCOE emphasizes two
additional

areas

of knowledge
which

are in acco
rdance with our core c
ommitments
:

(d) knowledge of socially
-
just principles and practices, and

(e) knowledge of
how to
foster socially
-
just relationships with diverse populations.


Meaningful learning is situated in everyday lives and relevant problem
-
solving activities which can vary by
cultural context, socioeconomic circumstances, and other political factors. Our aim is to

prepare educators
who understand the views and experiences of students and clients, engage them in actively co
-
creating
knowledge, and make learning relevant to real
-
world situations. Candidates learn
that

competent
educators
model the notion of praxis, the intertwining of theory and practice, leading to transformation of the
individual’s participation in the world (Freire, 1970).
Our obligation is to help our candida
tes “to both
understand and move beyond their own personal knowledge and experiences to bring to bear a wider set of
understandings on the problems of helping others learn” (Bransford, Darling
-
Hammond, & LePage, 2005.
p. 12).

A)

Knowledge of Learners

[
Std.1B
-
G; 4A]

The research literature provides a rich and fruitful understanding of how individuals learn. A number of
fundamental theories about learning provide beginning teachers and other practitioners with a foundation
for their continued professional

growth, such as learning as a constructive process (Salomon & Perkins,
1998; Lave & Wenger, 1991), the zone of proximal development (Englert & Mariage, 2003; Vygotsky,
1978), and metacognition (Darling
-
Hammond and Baratz
-
Snowden, 2005). In particular,
Dar
ling

Hammond and Baratz
-
Snowden (2005) state competent educators must develop a deep understanding of
how
individuals

learn
,

including

the following:





The learner and his or her strengths, interests, and preconceptions;



The knowledge, skills, and attitude
s we want children to acquire and how they may be organized so
that students can use and transfer what they’ve learned;

5




The assessment of learning that makes students’ thinking visible and through feedback guides
further learning;



The community within whic
h learning occurs, both within and outside the classroom (p. 7
).


B)

Knowledge of Subject Matter and Curriculum Goals

[
Std 1A
-
D
]

Hawkins (1974) and others (e.g.
,

Grossman & Schoenfeld, 2005) have repeatedly called for
educators

to
become diagnosticians of lea
rners' interests and ideas.
Based on our commitment to social constructivism,
t
his

should lead

us
to engag
e

learners in the study of subject matter that extends to a deeper and richer
understanding of how the content they study relates to their lives and their needs. For educators to be in
the appropriate position to lead such study, they must have a deep unde
rst
anding of the content

for which
they have responsibility as well as the knowledge and ability to represent that content in meaningful ways
for all students (Shulman
,

1987).

Educators’ content knowledge most often is addressed through program standards a
t either the national
and/
or state levels.
[See Appendix A].

Specialty organizations affiliated with NCATE have established

standards, many of which focus on "the knowledge related to teaching" that teaching majors should be
expected to master. North Caroli
na’s Department of Public Instruction establishes what it believes is a

necessar
y knowledge base for teachers according to

discipline. All of our
P
-
12
programs are built on these
standards and are held accountable for demonstrating their candidates' perfor
mance in relation to the
standards. Each program's decision related to meeting the content standards is reflected in the curriculum
check sheets prepared for all majors.

The kind of content knowledge educators must possess may differ
from content preparati
on for disciplines other than teaching.

Therefore
, other programs in the
RCOE

are
aligned with the standards and requirements from their respective accrediting bodies.

C)

Knowledge of Teaching

[
Std.1B
-
D; 3A
-
C]

Because content knowledge alone is insufficient f
or the preparation of
educators
, it must be synthesized
with pedago
gical knowledge. While all
ed
ucators must come to understand a

number of general
pedagogical theories and principles
,
pedagogical knowledge often is subject specific
. Therefore, o
ur
candidates explore such knowledge in that context
, most notably in their subject
-
specific methods courses
and in their field experiences.

We focus on preparing professionals capable of exercising “trustworthy judgment based on a strong

base of
knowledge” (
Bransford et al.
, 2005, p.2). Because learning is a career
-
long commitment,
we do not expect
to
provide our candidates with all the skills and knowledge necessary to perform throughout their careers.
Instead, our role is to help candidates develop the core

understandings and skills that will prepare them for
a lifetime of professional learning. Our aim
, therefore,

is to develop “adaptive experts” who continuously
build their knowledge and skills as they develop more sophisticated expertise.
Feiman
-
Nemser (2
001)
asserts:

The study of teaching requires skills of observation, interpretation, and analysis.
…[T]
eachers can
begin developing these tools by analyzing student work, comparing different curriculum materials,
6


interviewing students to uncover their thinki
ng, studying how different teachers work toward the
same goals, and observing what impact their instruction has on

students. Carried out in the
company of others, these activities can foster norms for professional discourse such as respect for
evidence,

openness to questions, valuing of alternative perspectives, a search for common
understandings, and shared standards (p. 1019).

D)

Knowledge of Socially Just Principles and Practices

[Std. 1A
-
G;4A
-
D
]

While diverse in academic focus, our programs all share a

commitment to educating others in inclusive and
supportive environments, whether they are traditional

classrooms, counseling settings
, or community
-
focused agencies. To this end, we embrace approaches to education that are boldly and clearly anti
-
racist
a
nd anti
-
bias in focus (Nieto
, 2009
). We agree with
Ladson
-
Billings who argues that emancipatory
approaches to education involve “questioning (and preparing students to question) the structural inequality,
the racism, and the injustice that exists in societ
y” (
199
4, p.
128). As a result, the curricular knowledge we
teach must also incorporate an analysis of how topics such as diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice
intersect with our social systems (e.g.
,

schools), especially as they are manifested
on local, state, and
national levels. This
analysis
entails understanding the historical and contemporary dimensions of the
personal and systematic forms of oppression associated with categories such as race, class, gender, sexuality
,

and ability. Doing so

requires that we all, “critically reflect on the nature of cultural differences and how
they attach to s
tatus and privilege in society
…The ‘culture of power’ must be made explicit in the process
of instruction and treated as an object of study in itself”
(Fletcher
,

2001,
pp.

176
-
177
)
.


Furthermore,
we believe that,
in their explorations of curricula, students must develop the critical capacity
to evaluate the value and validity of what they are learning. Such a capacity involves seeking out and
remaining
open to divergent viewpoints. It also involves critically appraising the validity of all perspectives,
including ones personally held as well as those of their educators (Shor
,

1992). Therefore, we reject
authoritarian, top
-
down educational approaches tha
t posit the students as empty vessels into which
know
ledge is “banked,” to use
F
reire’s apt description
(
1970
). Instead, we embrace emancipatory
approaches to education that bring students and teachers together to analyze the complexities surrounding
vario
us claims to knowledge. Rather than making the demonstration of knowledge a matter of factual
recall, the goals of education on this account are to help students engage with each other and their teachers
in the evaluation of curricula and the social contex
t from which our claims to knowledge emerge. As such,
all forms of knowledge are subject to critique and questioning by teachers and students (Kozol
,

2009). In
doing so, educators come to see themselves as co
-
explorers and co
-
learners with their students a
nd clients.
Such approaches are wholly consonant with the College’s commitment to
c
ommunit
ies

of
p
ractice as our
guiding image, as well as our belief that learning is a function of the social and cultural contexts in which it
occurs and that knowledge is a
ctively constructed.

E)

Knowledge of
How to
Foster Socially Just Relationships with Diverse Populations

[
Std.1A
-
G;

3A;

3C; 4A
-
D
]


We at the RCOE recognize that because learning is an “active knowledge construction process, emphasizing context,
interaction an
d situatedness” (Salomon & Perkins, 1998, p. 4)
,

it does not occur in isolation
,

but requires interactions
among people and is, therefore, shaped and transformed by one’s social and cultural environment (Lave & Wenger,
7


1991). As a result, we embrace educational approaches that involve students as active and socially engaged co
-
inquirers with other students and educators. This work
continuously
extends outside the classroom
by
our efforts to
offer community
-
based learnin
g opportunities through
S
ervice
L
earning courses and projects as well as school
-
based
practic
a
.

Since relationship
s are

central to
a
learning

environment
, we understand that our social identities, school practices
,

and pedagogical choices intersect with a
nd influence the relationships we create with our students. In this respect
,

students and their families must be underst
ood as having strengths, skills,
and interests that are central and relevant to
the curricular activities that animate classrooms and s
chools. “Building on students’ strengths means, first,
acknowledging that students have significant experiences, insights, and talents to bring to their learning, and, second,
finding ways to use them in t
he classroom” (Nieto,
2009
, p. 136). Connected to t
his idea is the belief that the people
most intimately associated with students also need to be meaningfully involved in their education. Our candidates
must come to understand that their students’ families and their communities are resources that
must be
cultivated,
appreciated,
and included within the construction of learning experie
nces (Freire,
1970
).
Consequently,

we believe
that our candidates must understand how to create
inclusive and
caring learning environments and
how to foster
genuine and meani
ngful
interactions with their students’ families
and broader communities
(Noddings
,

2005).


In order to more fully and authentically incorporate students in the learning process, we encourage our candidates to
adopt approaches to teaching and learning that

are often described as “critical multicultural education” and as
“culturally relevant pedagogy” (
Ladson
-
Billings, 2001;
Nieto
, 2009
;
). Both
approaches
entail viewing cultural
differences as opportunities, resources
,

and the places to ground pedagogical in
teractions. For example, they ground
the construction of curriculum in students’ everyday experiences, using the questions, concerns
,

and themes students
and their communities face as the springboards for curricular exploration. Settings that embrace such communal and
democratic approaches to classroom inquiry are, at thei
r core, emancipatory in nature

(
Fletcher
,

2001, p. 179).

The ai
m of such inquiry is to help students develop an understanding of how a more active and critical relationship
with their education may lead to their empowerment: “Instead of trying to convince students that the traditional
curriculum will serve them, if on
ly they can finally master it, a culturally relevant pedagogy offers students an active
role in questioning the knowledge they encounter in school and attempts to give students a place to engage their own
critical reconstructions” (Fletcher
,

2001, p. 177).

Furthermore, emancipatory educators explicitly link their
classroom inquiry with issues of social justice that permeate their students’ lives, demonstrating how school
-
based
knowledge provides resources for responding to the real challenges students face

in their encounters with the world,
especially ones associa
ted with power and oppression.

III.

Developing Expertise in our Fields through Reflection and Inquiry

[Std. 1A
-
G
; 3A;

3C; 4A
-
D]

We believe that professionals in all fields develop a personal know
ledge structure which guides their activity. Their
knowledge is not simply a list of isolated facts but a highly organized and contextualized structure. They recognize
that problems can be complex and not solved effectively by the same routine solutions us
ed over and over again.
While novices may search for correct formulas or pat answers during problem solving, experts know they must probe
for more information about the context and situation. This illustrates the difference between “routine experts” and

adaptive experts” as described by Hatano and colleagues (Hatano & Inagaki, 1986; Hatano & Osura, 2003). Routine
experts have developed a core set of knowledge an
d skills that they can efficientl
y apply to problems in their field. In
contrast, adaptive ex
perts are more likely to continue to develop their skills and add to their knowledge base as they
“expand the depth and breadth of their ex
pertise” (Bransford et al., 2005
, p. 49
).

8


Englert & Mariage (2003) explain

that
“students must have opportunities to
participate in the ‘ways of knowing’
specific to a particular discipline” (p. 451). The metaphor of a cognitive apprenticeship has been used to “describe
teaching designed to assist students in acquiring more expert, or proficient, cognitive processes for

particular valued
tasks”
(
Greenleaf et al
.
, 2011, p. 656). A cognitive apprenticeship “establishes a teaching and learning relationship in
which interactions between ‘expert’ learners and ‘novice’ learners support the movement of the novice toward the
exp
ert end of the learning continuum” (Hock, Schumaker, & Deshler, 1999, p. 9). As such, faculty serve as “relative
experts” who guide candidates (as “relative novices”) as they acquire the requisite knowledge, skills, and dispositions
to become expert member
s of the professional community.

Drawing upon Freire (1970), we note that the roles of expert and novice are not absolute and can be misleading;
these roles are fluid as teachers and learners engage collaboratively in dynamic learning environments in
which they
co
-
explore their respective knowledge, perspectives, and experiences. As

a result, both the faculty and candidates
emerge from this process with a greater and more nuanced understanding of the realities and challenges of the fields
with which t
hey engage professionally. Our aim is to help our graduates build upon the knowledge and skills that rest
at the core of their fields so they may be empowered to serve as active and productive leaders
.

An important component in the process of developing ex
pertise in one’s field is the capacity to engage in active and
reflective inquiry into one’s practices. To this end, the RCOE adopts an inquiry
-
driven approach to reflection that
situates an on
-
going examination of the “self” in the context of a broader cr
itique of educational knowledge, beliefs,
policies, and practices. Reflection is the ability to exhibit self
-
awareness and engage in critical inquiry into one’s own
dispositional biases, knowledge, and skills, continually assessing one’s own professional p
ractice in order to change
and grow (Freese, 1999). Pragmatically, critical reflection and inquiry involve reviewing, critically analyzing, and
reconstructing classroom teaching and learning (Bullough & Gitlin, 2001; Freese, 1999).

The RCOE believes tha
t when professionals engage in reflective inquiry within the context of their own practice,
they habitually ask themselves what happened during their work, how they responded emotionally to what happened,
what about the experience was positive and negative
, how the event may have been experienced by others or in light
of different viewpoints, what conclusions might be drawn from the experience, and how they might improve upon
their performance, thereby creating an action plan to advance their mission (Gibbs
, 1988
). This advanced professional
practice of reflection and inquiry is the hallmark of committed and courageous professionals, for it not only leads to a
developing base of knowledge, metacognitive skills, leadership
,

and collaborative skills, but also
to a sense of social
responsibility (Eby, Herrell, & Hicks, 2002; Hatton & Smith, 1995;
Schön
,1987; 2000). Through reflection and
inquiry, educators and other professionals learn to view the world from different perspectives and then use this
knowledge to

engage in professional practice that is responsive to the needs of diverse students and clients and
addresses social ine
quities or injustices
.

Darling
-
Hammond (2000) suggests that the ability to understand another is not innate, but rather is developed
through study, reflection, guided experience, and inquiry. As a community of practice, the RCOE embraces the
active partnership of reflective, inquiry
-
oriented professionals who guide and support students’ theoretical and
practical learning. Collaborativ
e inquiry through questioning, discussion, case study, action research, and teamwork,
both in the college classroom and in clinical settings, contribute
s

to the development of critical reflection and inquiry.

Our goal is to assist our candidates in devel
oping behaviors that will provide us with an indication of their
commitment to reflective practice and ongoing inquiry. We expect candidates to reflect on and actively use feedback
from mentors, evaluators
,

and instructors, gradually building this professi
onal habit into the regular practice of their
profession. Candidates are also expected to engage in reflective self
-
analysis about their own teaching performance
9


and the learning performance and behaviors of all of their students, clients, or other learner
s. We expect evidence of
their use of multiple assessments that lead to revised practice and a deeper understanding of the learning, growth
,

and
developmental needs of all students or clients. The RCOE believes that this professional practice is a propert
y of
committed and engaged professionals
,
and we work to introduce, guide, and sustain this practice in our students.

IV
:

Promoting a Core Set of Professional and Ethical Dispositions

[
Std. 1G; 3C
]

All members of the RCOE develop a set of dispositions that
reflect the attitudes, beliefs, and values common to the
Community of Practice. The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) defines the term
"dispositions" in the following way:


Professional attitudes, values, and beliefs demon
strated through both verbal and non
-
verbal behaviors as educators
interact with students, families, colleagues, and communities. These positive behaviors support student learn
ing and
development” (NCATE, 2008
).

Learning has to be more than the mere accumu
lation of knowledge, skills, beliefs, and values if it is to have any
meaning to those who teach or serve and to those who learn. Therefore, dispositions that manifest themselves in the
actions of expert teachers are worthy of imitation. Raths (2001) sugge
sts we should strengthen certain dispositions
that we view as critical to the success of any candidate who enters the field of education and social services. As an
expectation of their performance as members of the RCOE Community of Practice, we ask our ca
ndidates to behave
in ways that reflect these dispositions.

What habits of mind and behavior are essential to good teaching, leading, administering, and providing human
services? We have identified four key dispositions:

1.

Candidates exhibit a commitment to
meeting the needs of all learners.

2.

Candidates exhibit a commitment to promot
ing

the value and significance of diversity and social justice
.

3.

Candidates exhibit a commitment to reflective practice.

4.

Candidates exhibit a commitment to professional and ethical
practice.


Candidates must have multiple opportunities to display the key behaviors associated with each disposition so that both
the candidate and the observer can reach the conclusion that the candidate will be likely to display the disposition in
the fu
ture in similar situations. The RCOE’s focus on these four key dispositions

is not meant to imply t
hat program
areas do not have other dispositions for which candidates may be held responsible by their respective areas. However,
we believe that such additi
onal dispositions will fit easily within the RCOE conceptual framework.


Disposition 1: A Commitment to Meeting the Needs of All Learners

[
Std. 1B
-
D
; 1F
-
G; 3A
-
C
]

Haberman (1996) suggests that determination and persistence are essential to working with all

learners until they
succeed. This includes the responsibility for an individual's learning and the willingness to identify different
approaches to teaching and working with people from diverse population
s
.
Candidates are expected to maintain a
positive
an
d supportive learning

environment and prepare
differentiated and
developmentally appropriate
interventions, lessons and activities.


They
also
should
develop

appropriate relationships with all students, connect
ing

learning

to life experiences, and work
with families to support all individuals' learning. If our candidates exhibit these
identified behaviors consistently and at high levels, they will have displayed their commitment to meeting the needs
of all individuals they encounter in their chosen profe
ssions.


10


Disposition 2: A Commitment to Promoting the Value and Significance of Diversity and Social Justice

[
Std. 1A
-
D; 3C; 4A
-
D; 5B]

As a College, we believe the field of education
is an inherently moral enterprise, one

that involve
s

understanding and
responding to a complex set of interwoven dynamics associated with power, privilege
,

and identity. Therefore, we
are committed to creating emancipatory, socially just educational and therapeutic environments.
We recognize that it
is imp
ortant to “understand the history and dynamics of dominance and to nurture in ourselves and our students a
passion for justice and the skills for social action”
(
Howard
,

2006, p. 85). As a result, we actively encourage our
community members to engage in th
e deeply personal and professional work necessary to enable us all to collaborate
with and advocate for the diverse populations with whom we work. Keeping in mind that the answers to what
socially just education

entails will vary and evolve over time, our

vision is not to demand that our graduates
espouse the same beliefs or embrace a particular ideolog
y

but w
e ask that they develop
:



a commitment to understanding and promoting soci
ally just educational practices;




a desire to embrace and sustain the
humility and openness necessary to understanding how good intentions
might mask h
idden biases and unjust actions;




a valuing of alternative and divergent v
iewpoints and

a sense of empathy and solidarity to ally with those
margi
nalized within a social syste
m;



the courage to challenge and question the status quo, and the resilience to endure and act through adversity
and resistance.


Of utmost concern is that our graduates possess the critical capacities to analyze and then respond to the complexities
of soc
ially just practices. These involve
the ability to understand their field of study and work as
an amalgamation of
individual, institutional, ideological
,

and collective dynamics
(
Nieto
,

2009
).

Disposition

3: A Commitment to Reflective Practice

[
Std. 1B
-
C;
1E; 3B
-
C
]

If we act without forethought or reflection upon our actions, we run the risk of not being attuned to the context of
teaching, helping
,

and learning.. Our judgments are often suspect and require questioning and constant reflection
because our abi
lity to perceive others develops within a limited cultural and familial context. Our goal is to assist our
candidates in developing behaviors that will provide us with an indication of their commitment to reflective practice.
We expect candidates to reflec
t on and actively use feedback from mentors, evaluators
,

and instructors. Candidates
are also expected to engage in reflective self
-
analysis about their own teaching performance and the learning
performance and behaviors of all of their students, clients,
or other learners. We expect evidence of their use of
multiple assessments that lead to revised practice and a deeper understanding of the learning, growth
,

and
developmental needs of all students or clients.

Disposition 4: A Commitment to Professional and

Ethical Practice

[
Std. 1C; 1G; 3C
]

Because teaching, leadership, and counseling are inherently moral and ethical enterprises, candidates are expected to
conduct themselves according to the highest ethical and moral standards. As educators, we engage in a
variety of
interactions within schools and other social service settings as well as with parents and others outside these domains.
We expect our candidates and faculty within the RCOE Community of Practice to display a set of behaviors that
indicate their
understanding of their roles and responsibilities in these contexts. Among these behaviors are showing
respect for the diverse views of all those with whom they work: students, parents, colleagues. We expect candidates
to work collaboratively with diverse

populations, perform their assigned duties
,

and meet all professional obligations.
11


We also expect that candidates will assume active roles as participants in profess
ional decision
-
making processes

and
pursue growth and development in the practice of their

profession
.

A Summing Up

The RCOE conceptual framework is based on a social constructivist perspective.

To become a graduate from the unit
requires candidates to participate in the communities of practice

within
the unit as well as

in public schools and o
ther
professional settings. Learning to become a participant in the unit involves the transition from partial to full
participation in the community of practice. Becoming a graduate of the unit's

programs requires the mastery and
acquisition

of large amoun
ts of knowledge
and extensive experience in applying and testing that knowledge
in practical settings.

As a result of their work in the unit's programs, graduates and faculty of the professional education unit at
Appa
lachian State University will:



Provide positive professional contributions within the various communities of practice of which they are
members;



Embody the view that learning and teaching are active, social, and transformative processes that are
enhanced when new learning is linked to
prior knowledge;



Use theory and research to inform practice and use experience from practice to inform theory and research;



Become adaptive experts by proceeding thro
ugh stages of development from novice to e
xpert under the
guidance of more experienced a
nd knowledgeable mentors in the COP;



Plan and adapt teaching and learning experiences, assessments, and inte
rventions with reference to
learners'
diverse needs and characteristics;



Demonstrate a commitment to four key dispositions:



Meeting the Needs of
All Learners



Promoting the Value and Significance of Diversity and Social Justice



Engaging in Reflective Practice



Engaging in Professional and Ethical Practice

Becoming a truly accomplished professional requires that one continue to learn and acquire
knowledge throughout
one's entire professional life. Within its theoretical and practical conceptual framework, the RCOE prepares its
candidates to become full
-
fledged members of the community of practice appropriate to their major fields of study.


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