Mission and Tradition
Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) was created with a single purpose, to prepare teachers. Now, more than a century later, our Teacher Education Program continues to draw recognition for excellence in preparing highly-qualified teachers.
To prepare caring professionals who teach for understanding in communities of learning.
Our teacher education programs are designed to prepare you to become a competent, caring teacher with the knowledge, skills, and disposition needed to be effective in helping all students learn.
Our Teacher Education Program's educational tradition includes a unique combination of:
- dedicated faculty
- collaborative instruction
- curriculum integration
- professional partnerships
- extensive field experiences
- attention to performance assessment
We offer undergraduate students Bachelor's Degrees in Elementary and Secondary Education. Completion under these disciplines also leads to an Idaho teaching certificate.
Our Elementary and Secondary Education Programs lead to state certification for post-baccalaureate students. Numerous areas of specialization can also be completed.
The Conceptual Framework of our Teacher Education Program explains how curriculum, instruction, technology, assessment, and evaluation are related. It provides a theoretical construct for the program's conceptual meanings and generalizations, the policies and procedures, and actual activities and processes that systematically relate to how the physical, natural, social, and human realities of the unit are aligned into a coherent whole.
Our Conceptual Framework is further defined by describing each component of the framework statement:
- Caring Professionals
The term "caring" emphasizes our commitment to preparing teachers who recognize the importance of relationships in the teaching-learning process and who are committed to creating inclusive, safe, and supportive learning environments for all students. The caring teacher values and appreciates diversity and respects students' varied talents and abilities, and uses an understanding of individual and group motivation techniques to encourage positive interaction, active engagement, and self-motivation.
The term "professional" emphasizes our commitment to preparing teachers who are knowledgeable, dedicated to the profession, and reflective in their practice. Knowledgeable teachers are content area experts who understand the interaction of subject matter and effective teaching strategies in helping students learn. Dedicated teachers understand that teaching and learning extend beyond the classroom, that professional growth is critical, and that it is an ongoing process. In addition, they recognize the value of reflection in the teaching-learning process.
- Teaching for Understanding
The phrase "teaching for understanding" emphasizes in-depth learning, generative topics, understanding goals, performances of understanding, and ongoing assessment. Learners are able to demonstrate that they know more than rote-level material. Learning facts is an important aspect of understanding, but learning facts is not sufficient. Students must be able to connect information in meaningful ways and be flexible in applying their knowledge to a variety of situations and settings. In addition to a good repertoire of knowledge, they must have well-developed skills and an understanding of the meaning, significance, and use of what they have studied. Teachers use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills. These teachers foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.
- Communities of Learning
Finally, the phrase "communities of learning" addresses our belief in the importance of establishing community, both in the classroom and beyond the classroom, and of maintaining professional partnerships and collaborations. Learning communities include all those with an interest in the education of children, adolescents, and adults -- our teacher candidates, our faculty, our on-site teacher educators (cooperating teachers), administrative and support personnel, parents, and laypersons. We believe that continual interaction and shared responsibility between and among members of the learning community are essential in the preparation of highly-qualified teachers. We especially value the involvement of on-site teacher educators who provide opportunities for our teacher candidates to apply their formal pedagogical knowledge and skills in actual classroom settings. On-site teacher educators are also involved in providing our teacher candidates with new knowledge through on-campus presentations in their particular areas of expertise.
Our Eight Principles:
Coursework and field experiences revolve around a set of Professional Principles for Teachers, ensuring that you remain focused on the right capabilities to perform successfully in shaping and facilitating the education of young learners. Likewise, our caring faculty members are dedicated to helping you become a great teacher!
Through innovative coursework and extensive clinical experiences, you (teacher candidates) develop the knowledge and skills of a highly-qualified teacher. This purposeful collection of knowledge and skills is defined by a focused set of Professional Principles for Teaching. These principles become the foundation of the teacher education curriculum, ensuring that you remain focused throughout preparation and can readily demonstrate these competencies. Our faculty members believe that in order to ensure the continuous intellectual, social and physical development of all learners, the qualified teacher must perform several roles. In preparing for these roles, you must demonstrate knowledge, skills and dispositions related to eight areas of professional competence. Successful candidates must be:
- A dedicated professional
- A knowledgeable professional
- A content specialist
- An educational designer
- An educational facilitator
- An educational evaluator
- A culturally-responsive educator
- A reflective professional
Through participation in our teacher preparation program, you have opportunities to develop, nurture, and demonstrate your professional competence in each of these eight areas.
Integration of Technology
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. References to the integration of technology are present in a number of program standards, indicators, and course syllabi, and you are encouraged to consider how technology can enhance your learning and teaching. 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.
Responsiveness to Diversity
Our faculty members believe that it is important to respect, value, and attend to individual differences. Therefore, they provide experiences for you 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 you to accommodate the needs of individual students, including students who are physically or intellectually challenged, and to provide instruction that is appropriate for each situation. In addition, you are encouraged to be sensitive to the ethnic and cultural backgrounds of your students and to the communities in which you 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.
How You Will Benefit From the Program
1. You will understand how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
2. You will use understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
3. You will work with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.
4. You will understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) you teach and create learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
5. You will understand how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
6. You will understand and use multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.
7. You will plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
8. You will understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
9. You will engage in ongoing professional learning and use evidence to continually evaluate your practice, particularly the effects of your choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.
10. You will seek appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.