Special Themes in Teacher Education
Two themes are present throughout our teacher preparation programs:
1) The integration of technology and
2) Respect for and responsiveness to diversity.
These themes are the expression of certain priorities or areas of particular interest that are valued by the faculty.
Technologies for Teaching and Learning
Our faculty members believe that technology offers many possibilities to support learning and teaching in traditional and non-traditional environments. Technology is, therefore, integrated into a variety of courses in teacher education ranging from the initial entry-level course to the elementary and secondary internship courses. Teacher candidates are encouraged to consider how technology can enhance their learning and teaching, and references to the integration of technology are present in a number of program standard indicators and Course Syllabi. As a manifestation of the importance placed on the continuing exploration for effective ways by which technology can strengthen teacher education, our faculty members have adapted a significant number of courses for distance delivery.
Diversity and the Culturally-Responsive Teacher
Our faculty members believe that it is important to respect, value, and attend to individual differences and to provide experiences for teacher candidates to interact with higher education and school faculty, other candidates, and K-12 students who represent diverse ethnic, racial, gender, language, socioeconomic, exceptionality, and religious groups. Through instruction and modeling, our faculty members proactively encourage teacher candidates to accommodate the needs of the individual student, including students who are physically or intellectually challenged, and to provide instruction that is appropriate for each situation. In addition, candidates are encouraged to be sensitive to the ethnic and cultural backgrounds of their students and to the communities in which they teach. Ethnic and cultural diversity are to be recognized and celebrated for the invaluable contributions they make toward the enrichment of personal growth and the enjoyment of life for all members of society. Our candidates are provided with field experiences on the Nez Perce, Colville, and Coeur d’Alene Indian reservations, and in Seattle and Portland area urban and tribal schools. This theme of respect and valuing of diversity is reflected in our Program Standard Indicators and Syllabi of education coursework. In addition, the faculty members manifest their commitment to this theme through support of a variety of initiatives such as CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) and the Indian Education Professional Development Program. The AISLE grant (American Indian Students in the Leadership of Education) was recently awarded to a member of our faculty. Amongst other goals, this grant was designed to establish an on-campus learning center for Native American students pursuing a four-year college degree.