Program Goals and Objectives Based on North Carolina's Standards for Graduate Teacher Candidates
Catawba College’s graduate program goals and objectives are based on North Carolina’s Standards for Graduate Teacher Candidates, which are parallel to and expand upon the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards. These are advanced standards, used as guidelines in preparing teacher leaders who facilitate the creation of healthy educational environments, have deep knowledge and skills in their content and curriculum, use research in making decisions about effective practice for student learning, and are continuous, reflective practitioners who model the values of lifelong learning, critical thinking, problem-solving and innovation.
Standard 1: Teacher Leadership
Teacher leaders assume the roles and responsibilities of collaborative leaders in schools and communities. Teachers demonstrate leadership in their classrooms, schools and professional organizations; they advocate for students and effective educational practices and policies; and they are role models for ethical leadership. Teacher leaders will know and be able to
- Demonstrate effective ongoing communication, collaboration, and team-building among colleagues.
- Facilitate mentoring and coaching with novice teachers.
- Set goals and establish priorities while promoting educational initiatives that positively affect student learning.
- Participate in professional learning communities.
Standard 2: Respectful Educational Environments
Teacher leaders model leadership by establishing a positive and productive environment for a diverse population of students, their families, and the community. Teachers are knowledgeable about cultures and global issues and how they are contextualized locally. Teachers help colleagues develop effective strategies for students with special needs. They encourage positive, constructive relations among colleagues and students. Teacher leaders
- Facilitate the development of inviting, respectful, supportive, inclusive, and flexible educational communities.
- Create collaborative partnerships with families, schools, and communities to promote a positive school culture.
- Facilitate and model caring and respectful treatment of individuals within the learning community.
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of diverse world cultures and global issues.
- Encourage high expectations for all students.
- Collaboratively design and implement curriculum and instruction that is responsive to learner differences.
Standard 3: Content and Curriculum Expertise
Teacher leaders have a deep knowledge of the subjects they teach and understanding of curriculum theory and development. They value collaboration and the interconnectedness of disciplines. They understand the importance of curriculum relevance in engaging students in content. Teacher leaders
- Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
- Model the integration of 21st century content and skills into educational practices.
- Develop relevant, rigorous curriculum.
Standard 4: Student Learning
Teacher leaders facilitate student learning through evidence-based practice informed by research. They understand and apply research in child and adolescent development, cognitive development, and general and specialized pedagogy. They encourage critical reading, writing and thinking in the learning process. They foster instructional and evaluation methods that embrace variety and authenticity. They promote student reflection and self-assessment. They encourage colleagues and students to take on leadership roles and work in teams. Teacher leaders
- Seek out and use existing research to inform school practices.
- Design action research to investigate and improve student learning and school policies and practices.
- Model technology integration that supports student learning.
- Critically analyze student and school performance data to determine needs and plan instruction that is rigorous, coherent, and substantiated within a theoretical and philosophical base.
Standard 5: Reflection
Teacher leaders contribute to systematic, critical analysis of learning in their classrooms and beyond. They are lifelong learners who model and support ongoing professional development. Teachers embrace critical thinking, problem solving, and innovation. Teacher leaders
- Promote an educational culture that values reflective practice.
- Model the development of meaningful professional goals.
- Model personal and professional reflection to extend student learning and school improvement
The NCATE Unit Standards Relevant to Advanced Degrees
The Catawba College teacher education programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The NCATE Unit Standards serve as additional guidelines for the goals the College aspires to achieve for both the overall program quality and for the master’s teacher candidates. The unit aims to have the master’s candidates receive acceptable/proficient ratings or target/accomplished ratings in those NCATE sub-standards that are relevant to elementary teachers.
Standard 1: Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions
1a. Content Knowledge for Teacher Candidates Acceptable: Candidates have an in-depth knowledge in the content they teach.
Target: Candidates are recognized experts in the content they teach.
1b. Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates Acceptable: Candidates demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the content of their field and of the theories related to pedagogy and learning. They are able to select and use a broad range of instructional strategies and technologies that promote students learning and are able to clearly explain the choices they make in their practice.
Target: Candidates have expertise in pedagogical content knowledge and share their expertise through leadership and mentoring roles in their schools and communities. They understand and address student preconceptions that hinder learning. They are able to critique research and theories related to pedagogy and learning. They are able to select and develop instructional strategies and technologies, based on research and experience, that help all students learn.
1c. Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates Acceptable: Candidates reflect on their practice and are able to identify their strengths and areas of needed improvement. They engage in professional activities. They have a thorough understanding of the school, family, and community contexts in which they work, and they collaborate with the professional community to create meaningful learning experiences for all students. They are aware of current research and policies related to schooling, teaching, learning, and best practices. They are able to analyze educational research and policies and can explain the implications for their own practice and for the profession.
Target: Candidates develop expertise in certain aspects of professional and pedagogical knowledge and contribute to the dialogue based on their research and experiences. They take on leadership roles in the professional community and collaborate with colleagues to contribute to school improvement and renewal.
1d. Student Learning for Teacher Candidates Acceptable: Candidates have a thorough understanding of the major concepts and theories related to assessing student learning and regularly apply these in their practice. They analyze student, classroom, and school performance data and make data driven decisions about strategies for teaching and learning so that all students learn. They are aware of and utilize school and community resources that support student learning.
Target: Candidates have a thorough understanding of assessment. They analyze student, classroom, and school performance data and make data-driven decisions about strategies for teaching and learning so that all students learn. They collaborate with other professionals to identify and design strategies and interventions that support student learning.
1g. Professional Dispositions for All Candidates Acceptable: Candidates are familiar with the professional dispositions delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards. Candidates demonstrate classroom behaviors that are consistent with the ideal of fairness and the belief that all students can learn. Their work with students, families, colleagues and communities reflects these professional dispositions.
Target: Candidates work with students, families, colleagues, and communities in ways that reflect the professional dispositions expected of professional educators as delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards. Candidates demonstrate classroom behaviors that create caring and supportive learning environments and encourage self-directed learning by all students. Candidates recognize when their own professional dispositions may need to be adjusted and are able to develop plans to do so.
Standard 2: Assessment System and Unit Evaluation
Candidates are kept abreast of their performance through formative feedback. They review their performance data with faculty and develop plans for improvement based on this data. In most courses, individual conferencing with faculty is encouraged and in the final three culminating courses is required of all candidates. Candidates contribute to data aimed at evaluating and improving candidate performance, the unit, and the graduate program. Current and former candidates are called upon for their recommendations aimed at program improvement.
Standard 3: Field Experiences and Clinical Practice 3b. Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice Acceptable: Candidates participate in field experiences that require them to apply course work in classroom settings, analyze P-12 student learning, and reflect on their practice in the context of theories on teaching and learning. They engage in structured activities that involve analysis of data, the use of technology and current research, and the application of knowledge related to students, families, and communities.
Target: Candidates participate in field experiences that require them to critique and synthesize educational theory related to classroom practice based on their own applied research. This research is theoretically based, involves the use of research and technology, and has real world applications.