Conceptual Framework

Educator Preparation

University Overview, Mission, Vision

Central State University was established in 1887 by the Ohio General Assembly as the Normal and Industrial Department of Wilberforce University. In 1947, the General Assembly expanded the Department into a College of Education and Industrial Arts, which provided for four-year college programs. As a result, in 1947 the College began operating independently from Wilberforce University and the College continued programs in teacher education, industrial arts, and business, and added  a four-year liberal arts program under the name of Wilberforce State College. In 1951, the legislature authorized a name change to Central State College. The College was granted university status in 1965, changing the name to Central State University.  In 2014, the University was granted Land Grant status. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College and Schools, and in 2012, the University was granted Land Grant status.

Central State is Ohio’s only predominantly African American public institution of higher education (HBCU). The enabling legislation of 1887, however, stipulated that the institution would be open to all persons of good moral character.  The University continues to actively promote ethnic diversity in the student population, faculty and staff as a means to enrich the learning environment.  Educating African American youth for success, leadership, and service on the state, national, and global levels remains paramount to the University’s core historical mission. Faculty members have a deep commitment to providing academic advising and mentoring to all students enrolled at the University

As an 1890 Land-Grant institution, the Mission Statement of Central State University confirms the institutional commitment to prepare students with diverse backgrounds and experiences for leadership, research, and service.  The University fosters academic excellence within a nurturing environment and provides a strong foundation in liberal art leading to professional careers and advanced studies.

The University’s Vision is to aspire to be a premier institution of excellence in teaching and learning that embraces diversity and produces graduates with the knowledge, skills, and disposition to make valuable contributions in a global society.

In tandem with progressive academic achievement, the University has an ongoing commitment to embody the core values of Service…Protocol…Civility®.  Students, faculty, and staff provide Service to the institution and communities for the greater good; are guided by Protocol and adherence to best practices in order to gain desired results; and actively demonstrate Civility with the understanding that respect for each voice is essential to a learned society.  The University also actively promotes the values of honesty, hard work, caring, and excellence.

Educator Preparation Unit Overview, Mission, Vision

Following the last accreditation on-campus visit, Spring Semester, 2014, the Unit determined a need to modify the Conceptual Framework to more explicitly identify expected program outcomes and to better define the mastery of knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions expected of candidates.  Through the efforts of the Conceptual Framework Faculty Committee appointed by the Dean of the College of Education and Head of the Professional Education Unit and included faculty representation from all educator preparation programs offered by the Unit, sharing and informational sessions were conducted to obtain a broad perspective of the role of educator preparation from the viewpoint of the Unit, the University, and from K-12 colleagues. Feedback confirmed that the Conceptual Framework should maintain the “footprint” of the original but streamlined and expressed in language easily understood by faculty and the professional community and accepted by the broad community of stakeholders. Based on the feedback, the Committee conducted sessions during large portion of the semester and reached a consensus on a revised mission statement and candidate proficiencies.

The Mission of the Educator Preparation Unit at Central State University is to prepare reflective educators who practice evidence based instruction by advocating and demonstrating  appropriate learning strategies for diverse student populations. The Unit remains actively committed to the preparation of educators who are prepared to take appropriate action to enhance the teaching-learning environment for all students.

The Vision of the Educator Preparation Unit is to foster the establishment of  a teaching and learning environment that produces professional educators with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions appropriate for the changing needs of students and society in general.

The modified Conceptual Framework identifies three focus areas of emphasis for the preparation of educators:

Knowledge; Candidates will:

Practice: Professional and Pedagogical Skills; Candidates will be able to:

Professionalism: Professional Dispositions; Candidates will demonstrate:

The tenets of the Conceptual Framework are consistent with the University’s mission to foster academic excellence in preparing students with diverse backgrounds and experiences for leadership roles and professional careers. The expected outcomes for candidates are aligned with the Ohio Standards for Teaching and with other national standards, including professional standards from National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

The Unit’s Conceptual Framework provides a structure of courses, field experiences, and other professional interventions leading to the preparation of candidates who become reflective educators who practice evidenced based instruction by advocating and demonstrating appropriate learning strategies for diverse student populations.  The Conceptual Framework describes the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required of all candidates, and the outcomes are aligned with the Ohio Standards for Teaching, Interstate New Teacher Assessment Support Consortium (INTASC) Standards for New Teachers.

Guided by the three focus areas of Knowledge, Practice, and Professionalism, the Conceptual Framework serves as the basic construct for all programs offered within the Unit. Through a spectrum of learning experiences, candidates achieve a strong academic foundation in the liberal arts, in-depth understanding of program content, and mastery of professional and pedagogical knowledge. The programs provide sequentially structured learning experiences through which candidates master an array of professional and pedagogical skills. Through the delivery of all programs, dispositions are recognized as fundamental to the candidates’ development of professional ethics that guide their career-long professional interactions.  Candidates learn to be fair and equitable in their association with others.  Essential to program objectives and outcomes, candidates are guided to arrive at the belief that all students can learn. All programs offered by the Unit provides learning experiences for candidates to develop a sensitivity and responsiveness to diversity that incorporates race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, culture, age, gender, aptitude, interests, and learning styles. The critical aspect of the expected outcomes is the goal of guiding candidates to systematically engage in critical self- reflection, recognized as the process in which candidates identify the assumptions on which their professional actions and behaviors are based.  In essence, through self-reflection, candidates question the basis for their assumptions and consider the relevance or accuracy of their assumptions.

Knowledge-Base Design: Preparing Reflective Educators who Practice Evidence-Based Instruction by Advocating and Demonstrating Appropriate Learning Strategies for Diverse Student Populations

Donald Schon, in his 1983and 1987 publications, is often credited with first applying the concept of reflective practice to the teaching profession. From that initial recognition, others have suggested constructs to guide and promote teacher reflection. Loughran (2002) recognizes that the term, reflective practice carries different meanings. “For some, it simply means thinking about something, whereas for others, it is a well-defined and crafted practice that carries very specific meaning and associated action.”  Farrell (2004) suggests that teacher reflection can be accomplished individually, in pairs, or in a group, and reflective activities include group discussion, classroom observation, journals, and portfolios. Boud, (eds.) conclude that “…only learners can reflect; reflection must be done with intent, reflections is a complex process in which both feelings and cognition are closely interrelated and interactive.” (p. 11).   Other models representing variations have been presented. Important all the models, however, is the process of teaching looking back on completed action (e.g., teaching strategy), creating different approaches, executing trials of the new approach, repeating the process.  Osterman and Kottkamp (2004) succinctly summarize the outcome, “reflective practice is ultimately a way for educators to search for ever-improved ways to facilitate student learning” (p. 1).

Brookfield (1995) concludes that critical reflection is essential to good teaching.  Thus, the Unit’s Conceptual Framework promotes the practice that reflective educator is capable, through the act of reflection, of developing and implementing teaching strategies that address the needs of the diverse student population.

A Shared Vision

The initial and modified development of the Unit’s Conceptual Framework involved a strategy that ensured the active participation of faculty, administrators, community representatives, candidates, and professional staff from partner schools.  As a result, the Conceptual Framework represents a truly shared vision of the design and delivery of the Unit’s educator preparation programs.

Though the geographic location of Central State University can best be described as rural, the University is surrounded by urban and suburban school districts.  These districts provide educational opportunities for a substantially diverse student population. The students represent a wide range of socio-economic, racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds and populations.  As a result, district administrators voiced to the Unit personnel the need for classroom teachers who sincerely believed all students can learn and who possessed reflective skills to constantly develop teaching strategies to address the variety of learning styles represented among the student population.  From the articulated frustration emerged the beginning of a Unit-district collaboration to develop an educator preparation program at Central State University designed to produce educators who, in addition to possessing the essential knowledge and skills, demonstrate the disposition that all students can benefit from effective instruction.  During the 2012-13 academic year, representatives from the area school districts collaborated with Unit personnel to develop a conceptual framework that included the shared vision for educator preparation programs.  The resulting conceptual framework remained the guiding force for educator preparation at Central State until a revision was completed in 2015. The modified Conceptual Framework was approved in October, 2015, by the Unit faculty and the Professional Education Council. The updated Conceptual Framework continues to recognize the importance of preparing educators who accept the ideal that all students can learn and fosters the need for educators to explore multiple teaching strategies to meet the educational needs of all students.

The Conceptual Framework provides coherence for the Unit’s educator preparation programs. By providing the foundation on which all educator preparation programs are developed, the Conceptual Framework gives coherence to program delivery and ensures consistency regarding program content, pedagogy, skills, and professional dispositions expected of all candidates. By design, the Conceptual Framework promotes the delivery of identified professional practices.  The practices involve effective teaching strategies, the role of technology as an instructional tool, the awareness of diversity that is inherent in the teaching-learning process, and the true recognition of the importance of evaluation/assessment and research to the educational enterprise.  The professional practices are in addition basic knowledge and theories common to all educator preparation programs offered by the Unit: historical and philosophical foundations of education, and the human growth and development of learners.  Further, the Conceptual Framework promotes an environmental structure that allows candidates to develop professional dispositions necessary for successful and productive service to the teaching-learning process. The design of the Conceptual Framework, as delivered through the implementation of program curriculum, can be evidenced and documented through course syllabi, clinical experiences, and assessment of other artifacts that reflect candidate maser of required knowledge and skills.

Commitment to Diversity

Consistent with the Mission of the University, the Unit is staunchly committed to evidencing the belief that respect for the diversity that exists among learners is paramount to the success of an effective educator. To that end, and in addition of program requirements, the commitment is confirmed through Unit operations and design. Through curriculum design and clinical experiences, programs offered by the Unit result in candidates’ mastery of knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential to successfully engage in the teaching-learning process based on the premise that all students can benefit from effective instruction. The tenets of the Conceptual Framework are based on the recognition that today’s schools reflect the multicultural composition of the society as a whole. The structure of the Unit’s educator preparation programs, then, is grounded in the proposition that effective educators must have a mastery of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to assist all students in the learning process.  To realize such a belief system, the philosophy of educator preparation programs in the Unit place an emphasis leading candidates to a sensitivity to diversity and multicultural awareness.

Commitment to Technology

The Unit recognizes that technology is important to the educational enterprise and, consequently, to the preparation to future educators. The Unit stipulates identifies specific outcomes expected of all candidates that relate to the application of technology in the teaching-learning process. As a beginning point, candidates are required to complete a learning experience in the application of technology within the educational enterprise. The application of technology continues as an integral part of the delivery of all aspects of candidates learning experiences as they complete the respective educator preparation programs.

Commitment to Continuous Review and Improvement

The implementation of the Conceptual Framework is continuously assessed through the Unit Assessment System.  The assessment system is based on the collection of data and the use of other documents to reveal the overall performance level of candidates and to assess the Unit’s capacity to support and sustain the delivery of the education preparation programs.  The overall objective of the assessment system is to foster a commitment to continuous improvement.  The data elements and the internal and external data collection procedure of the assessment system are aligned with the Unit’s Conceptual Framework and, through the Conceptual Framework, accreditation standards, State, national, and specialized professional association standards. The system collects data pertaining to the various expectations outlined in the Conceptual Framework, appropriateness of curricula design and delivery, candidate performance, Unit capacity, and the performance of program completers as practicing professionals.  The analysis of data collected becomes the basis for the continuous evaluation of the Conceptual Framework as a working and living document.

The knowledge, skills, and dispositions outcomes outlined in the Conceptual Framework constitute the basis and structure for assessment system data collection procedure.  The operational structure of the assessment system captures data from the different developmental stages of the candidates’ preparation to becoming the reflective instructor as outlined in the Conceptual Framework, pre-professional and emerging practicing professional.  Candidates’ mastery at the pre-professional stage, including the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and dispositions associated with the reflective instructor, is assessed through the completion of program content, professional education core, clinical experiences, the Ohio Assessment of Educators exams, student teaching, and exit portfolios. The level of performance of program completers at the professional stage of development is assessed through the one-year, three-year and five-year follow-up. The comprehensive nature of the data and data collection processes enable the Unit to continuously assess and modify the Conceptual Framework to address program and Unit modifications as dictated by the results of data analysis.

Boud, D., Keogh, R., &Walker, D. (Eds). (1985). Reflection: Turning experience into learningNew York: Kogan Page Ltd.

Brookfield, S.D. (1995). Becoming a critically reflective teacher. San Francisco: Josey-Bass.

Loughran, J.J. (2002). Effective reflective practice: In search of meaning in learning about teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(1), 33.

Osterman, K.F., & Kottkamp, R.B. (2004). Reflective practice for educators: Improving schooling through professional development (2nd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Schon, D.A. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professional think in action. New York: Basic Books.

Schon, D.A. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner: Toward a new design for teaching andlearning in the professions. San Fancisco: Josey-Bass.