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Scenes from the School of Education

School of Education


Prospective Applicants


Core Beliefs Statement

Introduction to the Core Beliefs Statement

Detailed Description of Specific Core Beliefs

Initial teacher education programs at the University of Rhode Island seek to prepare beginning professional teachers who have the potential to become master teachers. We seek to attract candidates who are intellectually curious and academically ambitious, who are eager to teach a diverse population of learners, and who understand that becoming a master teacher is a career-long journey. URI seeks to develop teachers who are inquiring, competent problem-solvers; who reflect upon and learn from their experience; and who seek to become members of a learning community, working collaboratively with their peers and learning from their students as well as teaching them.

Preparation of beginning teachers includes:

  • a broad education in the liberal arts and sciences; deepening competence in the skills of communication and numeracy;
  • a rich understanding of the content and modes of thinking in the disciplines they will teach (understanding the how and why of a discipline, as well as the what);
  • a growing understanding of learners and how they develop along multiple dimensions;
  • development of skills of teaching that will allow the teacher to draw upon multiple approaches to learning appropriate for particular learners and subject matter;
  • skills in assessment of one's own teaching and of learner outcomes.

Practicing teachers respect and enjoy diversity among their learners; they see themselves and their students as members of a world community.

Master teachers function as decision makers and facilitators of learning as they work in the confluence of teacher, learner, subject matter, and environment. They are reflective of their own practice and continue to learn about the world around them, the skills and content they teach, about teaching and learning, and about their students and their community. Master teachers understand the historical and contemporary roles of schools in a democratic society. Knowledgeable about a range of philosophies of education, they can subsequently articulate their own and, from it, derive implications for their practice. Master teachers continue to seek professional challenge and contribute to leadership in education, in their schools, districts, communities, and through their professional organizations. They remain informed of contemporary research and writing by leaders in their fields and are active partners in shaping and implementing models of good practice.

Applicants should read the detailed descriptions of specific core beliefs.

Teacher education programs at URI seek to reflect these core beliefs about teachers and teacher education through recruitment and selection of students for teacher education programs; congruence between experiences in our programs and knowledge, skills, beliefs, and dispositions we believe are important for teachers; and our definitions of excellent teaching for faculty members in teacher education and school-related programs.

In this statement teacher education programs refers to any program preparing personnel to work in schools; teacher also includes other professional roles in schools for whom subject matter is their particular area of professional expertise. The term master teacher is used generically to represent the skill of an accomplished expert.

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Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, Distinguished Visiting International Scholar from Finland visits the School of Education

 


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