Brenda Fyfe, dean
Degrees Offered: BA, MA, MAT, MET, EdS
Departments (3): Department of Teacher Education; Department of Communication Arts, Reading and Early Childhood; Department of Multidisciplinary Studies
Majors and Degrees Offered
The School of Education at Webster University provides its students with the knowledge, experiences, and practical tools that enable them to guide both themselves and others toward lifelong learning. The School of Education is a community of teacher-scholars who apply critical reflections and creative energies to enhance learning in schools and other educational settings. The faculty strives to do this by modeling effective teaching practices based on sound theory and research. The personalized approaches make for a challenging, yet supportive environment that permits the risk-taking necessary for learning and growth. The School encourages its faculty and students to work actively toward this end, keeping in mind that the actions must be rooted in visionary yet realistic thinking. This thought and action process underscores the development of an inner-directed self-understanding, an outer-directed global perspective, and an appreciation of human diversity that arises from both.
“...We all must work to make this world worthy of its children.” (Casals, 1970)
Developing a world of learners through knowledge, leadership, and lifelong learning.
This graphic represents the conceptual schema of the School of Education.
The outer circle is the “world of learners” in cultural settings. Each quadrant represents one of the school’s four goals for its candidates: to develop knowledgeable learners, informed instructors, reflective collaborators, and responsive educators. The two axes represent the theme components of knowledge, leadership, and lifelong learning. These lines are broken to emphasize the fluid relationship of the goals and integrated concepts.
1. Education candidates will demonstrate knowledge of the subject matter, knowledge of the learner, and knowledge of pedagogy based on inquiry and scholarship.
The knowledgeable learner:
- knows content that supports conceptual understanding;
- applies tools of inquiry to construct meaningful learning experiences;
- identifies developmental factors in student learning; and
- understands theoretical principles of effective instruction to plan learning experiences.
2. Education candidates will incorporate multiple assessment and instructional strategies to support effective educational practices based on research and theory.
The informed instructor:
- designs curriculum based on students’ prior knowledge, learning styles, strengths, and needs;
- understands and uses a range of instructional strategies;
- uses a variety of communication modes, media, and technology to support student learning; and
- employs a variety of formal and informal assessments to monitor learning and modify instruction.
3. Education candidates will reflect on the roles educators take as leaders of change through collaboration with colleagues, students, and families in schools and communities.
The reflective collaborator:
- values and integrates reflection to grow as a professional;
- promotes communication and collaboration with colleagues, families, and community leaders;
- seeks relationships with families and students to support student learning; and
- initiates change that benefits students and their families.
4. Education candidates will demonstrate respect for diversity through responsive teaching and learning that values individual differences.
The responsive educator:
- understands and responds appropriately to issues of diversity;
- acknowledges social and cultural contexts to create effective teaching and learning environments;
- adapts instruction to the learner’s knowledge, ability, and background experience; and
- identifies resources for specialized services when needed.
There are various definitions of dispositions. The dictionary suggests that dispositions are the combination of traits revealed by one’s habitual ways of behaving or thinking. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education defines dispositions as “the values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues, and communities and affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator’s own professional growth.” (Professional Standards, p.53) Interpreting and assessing dispositions is often more intuitive than it is descriptive and measurable. Regardless of the difficulty of assessment, there is significant value in focusing attention on qualities that make an effective teacher. Students must demonstrate satisfactory competency in regard to the knowledge, skills, and dispositions identified in the School of Education Conceptual Framework.
- Understands and Respects Self
- Understands and respects that s(he) may be different from others
- Embraces an openness to change (adaptability, flexibility)
- Exhibits curiosity
- Engages in reflection
- Understands and Respects Others
- Understands, respects, and responds appropriately to diversity in a variety of settings
- Exhibits empathy
- Commits to fairness and honesty
- Listens respectfully to other points of view
- Understands and Respects Professional Communities
- Commits to professional behavior in university and school cultures
- Practices informed decision-making in university and school cultures
- Communicates and collaborates in university and school cultures
- Accepts academic rigor (willingness to work/high expectations)
- Effects change with courage and confidence