Teacher Education Program
Mount Union's Teacher Education Program is based on the guidelines suggested by the Ohio Department of Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Composed of all departments at Mount Union, the Teacher Education Program is guided by a conceptual framework that gives the program "an underlying structure" that gives conceptual meanings through an articulated rationale to the unit's operation and provides direction for programs, courses, teaching, candidate performance, faculty scholarship and service, and unit accountability. (NCATE, 2001) Mount Union's Teacher Education Program's Conceptual Framework focuses on its theme, candidate performance, program areas, and commitments to diversity, technology, and assessment.
The theme, Caring Teachers Live What They Believe, has its roots in the synthesized "We Believe" statements collected from Teacher Education Program faculty, teacher candidates, members of our partner schools, and other professional community members. The Teacher Education Program Advisory Council, Unit Governance Committee, Kappa Delta Pi, and SNEA interacted with various drafts of the conceptual framework. This allowed input from teacher candidates, cooperating teachers, as well as other constituents from our partner schools. Fundamental to understanding the theme is Martin Haberman's (1995) belief that only decent people can be prepared to teach, Nel Noddings' (1995) understanding of the ethic of care, Mount Union's mission statement and Mount Union's Teacher Education Program's eleven common goals.
The Teacher Education Program has established criteria for candidate performance. Key elements in understanding Mount Union's Teacher Education Program's teacher candidates' performance are the descriptors competent, capable, and caring.
- Competent reflects our commitment to grounding our teacher candidates in knowledge of content, pedagogy, and child development appropriate to each area of licensure.
- Capable reflects the nexus of theory to practice. This criterion refers to Mount Union's teacher candidates' ability to apply the theories regarding instructional techniques, classroom management, reflection, and the varying needs of students in microteaching situations as well as actual school settings.
- Caring reflects the disposition that is most essential to the theme, Caring Teachers Live What They Believe. Our teacher candidates must demonstrate that they are committed to service and to the betterment of children's lives.
The Teacher Education Program licensure programs are aligned with state, national, and international standards. Licensure standards ensure that only those teachers who can perform the work will do the work. The standards emphasize performance from the time a teacher enters the classroom throughout his or her career. The ultimate benefit of this new direction is a better education for Ohio's students.
These standards increase the rigor in the teaching profession because they:
- Strengthen Ohio's teacher preparation programs,
- Require successful performance of beginning teachers,
- Achieve higher standards through licensure, and
- Intensify professional development.
Licensure requirements are subject to the authority of the Ohio State Department of Education and Ohio law. All program curricula, requirements, and policies are subject to change given the nature of the ongoing review process between Mount Union and the Ohio Department of Education.