Graduate Beliefs



We believe professional educators and school leaders:


1. possess the underlying disposition that learning and growth is achievable for and expected for all.
Pedagogically congruent practice: Educators who hold this belief have high expectations for all members of the educational community, resist "giving up" on them, and avoid making excuses if they fail to grow and develop. This belief is apparent in their knowledge of the psychology of learning, leadership, management, and motivation. It is also apparent in the skills used in choosing a variety of teaching and assessment strategies appropriate for the developmental needs of all those involved. This knowledge and these skills include but are not limited to: strategies for supervision, cooperative development, resource management, evaluation, and public relations.


2.  demonstrate a caring attitude for all people.

Pedagogically congruent practice: Educators who hold this belief exhibit an ethic of caring in everything they do. They look for the good in people. They recognize colleagues for their efforts at thinking critically as well as for their desire to participate. They are careful in their recognition; they rarely praise individuals publicly, use private specific praise sparingly, encourage frequently, and dignify student answers when they are incorrect. Their workplaces are positive, learner-centered environments where colleagues and students are active, curious, successful risk-takers and decision-makers. Recognize the importance of shifting the responsibility for much of what goes on in the classroom from the teacher to the student. They recognize that conflict is how students learn to solve problems, build positive-self esteem and create a sense of self-efficacy. Therefore, they avoid punishment, coercion, sarcasm, ridicule and manipulation with rewards. They encourage students to reflect on the choices they make and the consequences of their actions for themselves and for others. Their goal is to help students develop the same caring attitude for themselves, their fellow community members and more distant global populations.


3. engage in and promote life-long learning.

Pedagogically congruent practice: Educators who hold this belief possess a disposition to habituate the acquisition of knowledge and instructional skills through critical and reflective thinking, professional reading, and action research using both traditional and technological methods. In short, educators who hold this belief exhibit a love of learning in every pedagogical decision they make. By extension, professional educators promote and foster this love of learning in all colleagues, clients, and students.


4.   value different ways of knowing.

Pedagogically congruent practice: Educators who hold this belief use the objective scientific tradition, rational evidence-based argument, as well as intuitive, human connections that involve knowing from accumulated cultural wisdom. They diagnose, assess, and facilitate human growth and development as dependent on a range of contextual variables, e.g. past experiences, cultural predispositions, new information, local context, etc., and select and implement appropriate instructional and curricular approaches to accommodate various ways of knowing. These educators appreciate and value culturally-bound knowing and use this understanding in their interactions with learners and clients.


5.  value diversity and importance of global awareness.

Pedagogically congruent practice: Educators who hold this belief encourage and seek different ways of perceiving, knowing, and valuing. The content and instructional strategies chosen represent a sophisticated selection process that legitimates the experiences, needs, histories, and learning preferences of diverse populations across the full range of traditional school subjects. As well, the instructional approaches of professional educators are marked by sensitivity to potential learning roadblocks such as differing language backgrounds, and cultural ways of perceiving, knowing and valuing skills and information.


6.  utilizing appropriate interpersonal communication skills to foster positive interactions that strengthen relationships with students/clients, families, colleagues, and community members.
Pedagogically congruent practice: Educators who hold this belief get to know colleagues, clients, and students well. They communicate in a positive way. They provide instructive feedback that helps students improve as learners; and they demonstrate respect for, and a commitment to, the cultures and communities from which students come. Through effective communication, they facilitate the growth and development of all.


7.  value a "real world" approach to educational/counseling practice informed by past and future perspectives.

Pedagogically Congruent Practice: Educators who hold this belief recognize that knowledge is not static-that it has been shaped and re-shaped according to changing conditions. This recognition yields an understanding of the fact that the "real world" is encountered in ways not particularly discernible by a single-subject perspective. Consequently, educators who hold this belief integrate school subjects to produce curricular relevance and thereby increase student leverage over problems common to the human condition.

8.  demonstrate competence (knowledge, skills, and dispositions) in areas they teach/practice.

Pedagogically congruent practice: Educators who hold this belief seek
competence in the theory and wisdom of practice associated with their area(s) of specialty(s). They think on their feet. Their command of relevant technology and content yields a level of confidence that permits experimentation with teaching approaches, while it encourages the construction of understanding through the organization, orchestration, and presentation of interconnected ideas.


9.   implement assessment strategies to evaluate student/client growth and the effectiveness of their teaching/practice.

Pedagogically congruent practice: Educators who hold this belief continually and systematically inquire and reflect, using assessment feedback, to improve their own performance. They are skilled in the use of assessments and collect data to make consistent inferences about students' academic abilities, skills, dispositions, developmental levels, learning preferences, and modalities. Using those inferences they select teaching strategies and assessments to continually challenge and provide feedback before, during, and after learning activities.


10.  seek, adopt, and utilize technology to promote learning and enhance communication.


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