Conceptual Framework Overview
The last BOT/NCATE visit occurred in spring of 1996. Since that time, the conceptual framework has undergone significant development (Conceptual Framework History). It has been reviewed and revised by faculty from a variety of disciplines, both within and outside the Unit, and reflects their shared vision with regard to the preparation of professionals wishing to work in P-12 schools. Further, the Unit has shared the conceptual framework with colleagues in P-12 settings, both as a way to seek their input and to share the Unit's vision. The conceptual framework is aligned with national and state standards--e.g.., INTACS, The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, the Minnesota Board of Teaching--as well as with the missions of the college and university, in both an elaborated and abbreviated format (Detailed Alignment of Standards, Abbreviated Alignment of Standards).
After creating the alignment of standards, the Unit developed indicators related to each area of the conceptual framework--knowledgeable, reflective, humanistic, and creative (Conceptual Framework Indicators). These indicators provide coherence among course curricula, instructional practices, field experiences and clinical practice. Thus, as candidates complete requirements for their programs of study, they navigate through an integrated system of coursework and clinical experiences designed to help them develop a professional commitment to the knowledge, skills, and dispositions articulated in the conceptual framework. Continuing programs at the graduate level within the Unit are also aligned with the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (Graduate Alignments). To ensure that the shared vision of the Unit integrates fully within all aspects of various programs of study, the Unit has developed an assessment plan. Its purpose is to provide a systematic method for data analysis to review and revise curriculum, instruction, field experiences and clinical practices at entry, mid, and exit points of programs.
The conceptual framework articulates the philosophy of the institution's Teacher Education Unit. Candidates at MSUM encounter ideas and experiences designed to help them become professionals who are knowledgeable, humanistic, reflective, and creative. Unit faculty believe candidates must develop a strong knowledge base in the content of their field and in the pedagogical understandings necessary to transform that content in ways that support students' learning. Unit faculty also believe candidates must know the ways in which technology can be used to support student learning, and understand the professional knowledge base that will guide their efforts as practitioners. Unit faculty members also recognize the importance of candidates displaying a strong commitment to helping all students learn and to recognizing and building on the strengths of student diversity as they plan instruction. Aligned with the MSUM and College of Education and Human Services (CEHS) mission statements, with professional, state, and national standards, and with current research (Conceptual Framework Literature Review), the framework serves as the guiding document for faculty and staff educating those who would work in P-12 schools.
In addition to a conceptual framework that reflects a commitment to high ideals, Unit faculty, too, are committed to those same ideals. Faculty are professionally committed to the mission of both Minnesota State University Moorhead and the CEHS.--to foster excellence in learning and teaching and to emphasize developing the unique talents of each person. Faculty model their commitment to these missions through continuing professional development and by actively contributing to their fields of interest.
Faculty are committed to diversity and recognize the value of having individuals from a variety of backgrounds work with and learn from one another in order to better understand themselves and the world.
Faculty value the pursuit of knowledge and are committed to the thoughtful and appropriate use of instructional resources to support learning. To that end, faculty provide opportunities for candidates to develop an understanding of the ways in which technology might support instruction, as well as an awareness of the limitations of technology.
Faculty acknowledge the importance of communities of learners wherein students work together to construct knowledge, develop dispositions, and acquire skills that will enable them to act in and on the world.
The conceptual framework of the Unit, and the faculty dedication to the guiding principles described in it, reflect our commitment to create programs that foster in those seeking to work in P-12 schools the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to engage in the complex act of teaching. As candidates deepen their capacities in the four areas--knowledgeable, humanistic, reflective, and creative--they will develop the ways of knowing they will need to become transformational teachers.