Understanding of Educational Pedagogy and Knowledge of
Current Views of Educational Practices.
We have long been
aware of the importance of interaction between students and students and
teacher in learning experiences. Dewey (1902) placed the learner at the
center of the learning process and indicated the greater the depth of
interaction with others the better the learning, and thus the
experience. A synthesis of the literature on pedagogy and educational
practices supports the following classroom strategies: 1) Allow students
to write and discuss what they are learning; 2) Encourage
teacher/student contact inside and outside the classroom; 3) Have
students working with others on substantive tasks inside and outside of
class; 4) Give prompt and frequent feedback to students; 5) Communicate
high expectations; 6) Make standards and grading criteria explicit; 7)
Help students achieve to their highest ability; 8) Respect diverse
talents and ways of learning; 9) Motivate through posed problems,
questions, means of inquiry, rather than merely content coverage; 10)
Focus on assignments and help students successfully complete assignments
(Astin 1985; Bonwell & Eison, 1991; Chickering &Gamson, 1987; Drummond,
1997; Erickson, 1984; Frost, 1991; Kurfiss, 1987; Light, 1992; McKeachie,
1986; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991; Penrose, 1992.)
In 1987,Chickering & Gamson presented their widely accepted Seven
Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education for use in
teaching and learning environments on campuses across the country. The
Education Commission of the States (ECS) through the American
Association of Higher Education (AAHE) expanded on these principles in
developing the “ECS Dozen” (AAHE, 1996). The “ECS Dozen” is based on
extensive research conducted in response to changing student needs.
There is strong evidence indicating that colleges and universities
systematically engaging in the employment of these practices
demonstrating improved student performance and satisfaction (AAHE,
Becoming Reflective Practitioners Capable of Assuming
Roles of Leadership.
It has been said that all teachers,
formally or informally, engage in the process of reflection.
Specifically, reflection-in-action, reflection-of-action, and
reflection-on-practice (Schon, 1983, 1987). Any type of reflection on
practice, pedagogy and process allows for teachers to continue to learn
and grow as professionals and as people. This reflection may be
purposeful or incidental but is typically ongoing and powerful. Ideally,
reflection-on-action is a shared process that presents an opportunity
for discussion of practice with peers. If reflection is a normal process
for teachers, we need to teach pre-professionals to reflect critically
on their teaching to continue to grow and learn about self, their
students and the teaching profession. Brookfield (1995) believes many
teachers fail to reflect critically on their teaching practices, not
because of a lack of sincerity or a strong sense of purpose, but because
they fail to fully understand the effect of their actions on their
students. Critically reflective teachers regularly inquire into how
students are perceiving the learning environment (Brookfield, 1995).
PEP Enabling Students to Meet World Class Standards.
Wisconsin Model Academic Standards, which align with discipline-specific
national standards, form a framework for content and pedagogical study
within each certification area in UWSP Professional Education Programs.
These standards are used in the creation of classroom lesson plans,
consideration of appropriate learning strategies, examination of current
discipline-specific research and practicum and student teaching
PEP Using Advanced Concepts of Technology.
Understanding the most effective use of distance education continues to
evolve with its on-going usage. Many schools currently are using
technology as an aide to accomplishing traditional prescriptive
approaches. As we progress toward maturity with these new tools, a more
constructivist approach involving collaboration, authentic methodologies
and the development of higher level thinking skill development and
problem solving is emerging through careful attention to broad ranging
assessment technique. Researchers such as Hawkes (1996), Rowland et.
al.(1996) emphasize the evaluation of program components by the faculty
and students in order to determine further refinement and development.
Therefore, the Professional Education Program makes alterations to their
courses using varying distance education technologies.
Vision of the Professional Engaging in Life-long
Learning, Professional Development and Personal Growth.
Every person is a product of his/her life experiences. These life
experiences play heavily in shaping and determining an individual style
of teaching. Developmental psychology, cognitive psychology and
motivation research have been examined to better understand forces that
shape development of a preferred style of teaching (Bain, 1998; Shrank,
1998). Not surprisingly, professional development training and practices
are more beneficial for people with a high self-esteem (Riordan, 1993;
Lindley, 1993; Kalivoda, 1995; and Showers, Joyce and Bennett, 1987). In
many cases, much of what we learn is incidental through either
observation and/or trial and error, making it difficult to describe,
understand and/or appreciate (Marsick & Watkins, 1990).
A great deal of research has been done to better understand conditions
essential for the successful implementation of any professional
development plan or strategy for improvement of teaching practices. (Borko
& Putnam, 1995; Hargreaves & Dawes, 1989; Kahn, 1993; Eraut, 1994; Schon,
1983, 1987; Brookfield, 1995; Shulman, 1993; Smylie, 1995; Guskey, 1995;
Harnish & Wild, 1994; Quinlan, 1995; Zeichner, 1993.)