The Union University Teacher Education Initiative
April 3, 2011 - The School of Education at Union University, accredited by NCATE and nationally honored by AILACTE, has launched a comprehensive study at both the undergraduate and graduate levels of how teachers are prepared for practice. Research seems to be clear on the dramatically positive impact of quality teachers in classrooms, and Union’s teacher educators want to continue to lead the way in preparing teachers who transform the lives of young students.
Executive Dean Tom Rosebrough launched the Union University Teacher Education Initiative (UUTEI) on February 1, 2011, saying, “We must study our current practices in light of the contemporary educational culture, gather evidence about effective teacher education, make needed, wise, and systematic changes, and publicize our responses. Please anticipate an SOE faculty-wide immersion in this process, with other teacher educators across the university joining us this fall. Whatever our result, we want it to be uniquely matched to the university’s core values and to serving the needs of teachers, students, and schools.” The School of Education faculty has begun the UUTEI study by brainstorming two broad questions:
- What do we currently do well?
- What do we need to change?
Two SOE committees were appointed, one to study contemporary educational culture and answer these questions for undergraduate teacher education, chaired by Dr. Michele Atkins, and another committee for graduate teacher education chaired by Dr. Stephen Marvin. UUTEI committees are now active with faculty members meeting from Jackson, Germantown, and Hendersonville campuses.
Early discussions have centered on the balance between the art and the science of teaching, the effective teacher, value-added teacher training, accountability measures, holism in roles for teachers and in goals for learners, clinical models for teacher preparation, video-taped reflective teaching lessons, technology-enhanced guided inquiry pedagogy, and more. Data are currently being gathered from stakeholders in the educational community to assist in answering the initial two questions for study.
It is anticipated that School of Education faculty will meet in a retreat format this summer to begin to synthesize findings.