The mission of Teacher Education at Elon is to prepare quality teachers who are knowledgeable, responsible and thoughtful professionals. The conceptual framework, "Thoughtful Practice in a Community of Learners," reflects an intention to create a learning environment in which teacher candidates inquire and collaborate to develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions for effective professional practice.
Effective teachers know learning theory, disciplinary content and relevant pedagogy. They are cognizant of the developmental characteristics and diverse learning needs of students and of varying family and community cultures. They act on the belief that all students can learn, create positive learning environments and choose appropriately among varied and multiple instructional strategies. They understand and use a variety of assessment procedures to determine student learning progress and to inform practice.
Effective teachers value and use questioning intentionally to stimulate student inquiry and to motivate learning. They use a variety of human and technological resources to acquire and critically analyze information and to draw conclusions. They are enthusiastic self-learners who engage in purposeful inquiry within professional communities. They continually reflect upon personal beliefs and the implications for instructional practice.
Effective teachers view themselves as integral to a professional community that shares and builds knowledge about student learning and quality practice. They interact with colleagues, students, families and others in the community in an ethical and respectful manner, and they seek to promote relationship and acceptance of diversity. They remain current and informed through professional organizations, meetings and literature.
Embedded throughout the quality teacher education program described in the conceptual framework are dispositions that describe the values and commitments that we seek to develop in all teacher candidates. Effective teachers are committed to the following:
Teacher candidates with these dispositions have a propensity to act in ways that further the learning of all students. They are professionals who can meet the daunting challenges of educators in the new century.