Division of Education - Mission, Vision,Philosphynext
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The Division of Education focuses on excellence in teaching with an emphasis on personal attention to our diverse learners. Our career-oriented curriculum builds upon a liberal arts and sciences foundation as we guide students toward initial and professional certification. This program is flexible because of the multiple delivery systems available to traditional students and practicing professionals. The staff and faculty are dedicated and committed to graduating students who are effective teachers. As reflective practitioners and scholars guided by constructivist approaches (Vygotsky, 1978) to learning and teaching, we challenge our students and ourselves to reach high standards of achievement through the pursuit of best teaching practices. Learning occurs in our classrooms within a caring environment, with dedicated faculty who advise, mentor, and guide students from their admission to the program through to the completion of their capstone course. Ultimately, we are invested in learning, teaching, and the continued success of our students.
The faculty of the Division of Education consists of scholar practitioners focused on research-based best practice. We take pride in graduating men and women who can successfully contribute to pupil learning through their excellence in teaching. The Division of Education continues to engage its experienced faculty in practitioner-focused curriculum in traditional and non-traditional instructional formats. It is the vision of the Division of Education to be an effective and responsive provider of educational programs that meet emerging needs.
Medaille College focuses upon excellence in teaching with an emphasis on personal attention to its diverse student body. The education programs provide a solid foundation in the study, design, and implementation of instruction and evaluation in the classrooms of the twenty-first century.
The overarching philosophy of the SOE is constructivism. This philosophy is a unifying thread that is evident in all our education programs. At the root of constructivism, Vygotsky (1978), is the belief that students make meaning for themselves. It is a student-centered model in which the teacher contributes more as a facilitator whose efforts assist students in developing their own understanding and learning. They base their own prior knowledge and mental constructs on existing knowledge bases. Knowledge does not exist independent of the learner (website link will be added when it has been updated).
Our approach to teaching emphasizes challenging opportunities for our teacher candidates to learn (Vygotsky, 1978). Through coaching from faculty, learners develop meta-cognitive strategies to monitor and direct their own performance and learning. The learners assume responsibility for their own learning. Teacher candidates work collaboratively on real-world, authentic activities (Dewey, 1916). Students are guided to develop and bring their own framework and perspectives. They integrate multiple perspectives, which help pupils negotiate and generate meaning (Gardner, 1999).
The Master of Education programs use research to teach participants to design instruction for classrooms with diverse learners (Bloom, 1965). Emphasizing critical thinking, research, and academic writing, teacher candidates are academically prepared to effectively design, implement, and evaluate curriculum for their schools and/or Districts or Boards.
Teacher candidates are encouraged to examine contemporary issues affecting curriculum and instruction within schools. Through integrated classes such as ECI 530, our students explore culture and society. Through courses like ECI 610, EDU 469, and EDU 110, teacher candidates learn how to examine how external forces influence school texts and pedagogy. In addition to emphasis on curriculum and instruction in schools, our teacher candidates are encouraged to use technology to enhance their skills, projects, assignments, and delivery of instruction.