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Whitworth University School of Education: Conceptual Framework
The mission of the School of Education is to prepare educators of mind and heart who are scholars, community members, effective practitioners, visionary leaders, and guardians. The School of Education provides opportunities to integrate theory and practice in diverse settings through the study of established and emerging content as well as through pedagogical and professional knowledge. Whitworth University prepares educators to have a positive impact on the learning and development of those whom they are called to serve.
Educators of mind and heart possess current knowledge of the content areas in which they work, understand the connections among disciplines, use tools of inquiry, and demonstrate an attitude of ongoing learning as existing fields of knowledge continue to evolve and grow. Educators of mind and heart strengthen their existing knowledge base through continuous intellectual and scholarly growth based on current research, the study of their own practice, the analysis of data collected and the application of data to the solution of problems in their respective fields of study.
Educators of mind and heart develop and sustain intentionally collaborative and interdependent relationships among teachers, students and their families, counselors, administrators, and other community members. Educators of mind and heart understand their roles as professional colleagues in the school, community and professional organizations. They actively help to shape the culture of classrooms and schools to reflect the values of our democratic society. They model professional behaviors appropriate for those entrusted with educating today’s children and young people.
Educators of mind and heart are prepared to analyze situations, set goals, plan and monitor actions, assess outcomes, and reflect on their professional thinking and decision making. They are committed to culturally responsive and relevant practices that engage students and are purposeful in making a positive impact on their students’ learning. They demonstrate proficiency in the selection and differentiation of materials, strategies, and assessment practices that are appropriate for the diversity of students and the educational contexts in which they serve. They use formative and summative data as evidence for decision making. They are competent in using technology and other 21st century skills in the educational setting to improve their own practice and the learning of their students.
Educators of mind and heart have a vision. They articulate a personal philosophy of education that includes a belief in the worth and ability of each human being that provides a framework guiding personal and professional decision making and development. The educators’ practices are intentionally aligned with this vision for the benefit of members of their learning communities. Educators of mind and heart model transformational and servant leadership in their learning communities and in their contributions to society.
Educators of mind and heart act as advocates for children and youth, demonstrating a sincere and equitable commitment to the success of all, paying attention to the role that diversity, including gender, ability, ethnicity, race, culture, religion or socio-economic status brings to learning and the community. Educators understand and respect the inter-connected, global nature of society and encourage sustainable practices designed to preserve our world for future generations. In the Christian tradition of servant leadership, educators serve humankind and seek opportunities to assist, encourage, and support all those under their care in a manner that leads to transformation in the lives of their students.