VCSU Education students are expected to understand the conceptual framework that underlies pre-service and in-service program design. The broad goals of the teacher preparation and advanced programs at Valley City State University are to prepare entry-level teachers and advanced in-service teachers and school personnel who:
- are capable of teaching and guiding students of varying backgrounds, strengths, and needs;
- are competent decision makers;
- are skilled in planning, implementing, and evaluating learning experience for students;
- view decision making as a reflective process;
- understand and are committed to the moral dimensions of teaching;
- select and apply technology appropriately; and
- accept the view that professional growth and development is an on-going, never-ending process.
Knowledge-based Decision Making
The four major elements of the conceptual framework are supported in both undergraduate and graduate assessments, from course level to program evaluations surveys.
While planning, the teacher must make decisions regarding areas such as, goals and objectives, the degree of background building required, specific materials and methods to use.
The implementation function is that which requires the teacher to carry out the plans that have been made. During the actual teaching phase numerous decisions need to be made. Often times, they need to be made quickly as the teacher responds to students' reactions, comments, and instructional needs. As a result, modification of prepared plans becomes the rule rather than the exception.
During the evaluation phase of decision making the teacher needs to determine the degree to which the instructional objectives were attained. Determining the degree of re-teaching that is needed, recording information, and reporting progress are some of the areas within the evaluation phase of decision-making.
The teacher plans, implements and evaluates by using feedback in a reflective manner. During the entire process, it is essential for the teacher to realize that professional growth and development is continuous.
Teacher Education Domains
The teacher education program has three major domains. The overall goal of each domain is as follows:
Domain I - General Studies: To help pre-service teachers acquire a broadly-based liberal arts education needed in order to function as informed members of our society and within the teaching profession (University Abilities).
Domain II - Specialty Studies: To prepare pre-service teachers who possess strong backgrounds within each subject area they will teach.
Domain III - Professional Studies: To prepare pre-service teachers who are able to function effectively in a variety of educational settings and with students of diverse backgrounds, abilities, and needs.
- Teacher candidates apply knowledge and skills to plan a unit that meets the needs of students in a P-12 classroom.
- Teacher candidates apply knowledge and skills to implement a unit that meets the needs of students in a P-12 classroom.
- Teacher candidates apply knowledge and skills to evaluate student learning during a unit taught to students in a P-12 classroom.
- Teacher candidates apply knowledge and skills to reflect on student learning and their own practice as a teacher during a unit of teaching students in a P-12 classroom.