Mission Statement

The mission of the Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) School of Education is to prepare effective teachers who demonstrate the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to promote grades P-12 student achievement.

The School of Education is committed to:

(1)   develop leaders in education who have the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions to make skilled, reflective decisions and who view grade P-12 student learning as the focus for their work;

(2)   motivate life-long learning to adapt to the evolving needs of a global society and its diverse populations through high quality programs based upon exemplary instruction, knowledge of content, emergent technologies, and relevant research;  

(3)   develop candidates who accurately assess, reflect and make appropriate decisions about instruction resulting in achievement for all learners; and

(4)   collaborate with families, schools, community partners, and others to improve the preparation of candidates and the effectiveness of practicing teachers

The School of Education endorses the mission statement and strategic plan of Georgia Southwestern State University and envisions its mission within the context of those principles.

Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW)
School of Education
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
KEY CONCEPTS
Revised 1/8/10

Concept #1-Knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential for the teaching profession

We believe candidates need knowledge, skills, and dispositions of the academic disciplines they are to teach.  Candidates need background knowledge of the history and philosophy of American public education in order to help guide their decision-making and being able to communicate these beliefs to parents, students,  and other professionals as a professional teacher.  Candidates must develop a knowledge base of human growth and development.  Candidates have knowledge of how to treat students fairly and how to adapt instruction to meet the needs of all students.   This will further support their development of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for effective teaching and learning including the use of current technology, and in applying best practices in classroom organization and management, and assessing student learning.  All of these factors in combination will lead to mastery and the demonstration of essential skills needed for effective teaching.

Concept #2-Diversity

We believe our society is diverse, complex, and ever changing.  Faculty and candidates see diversity and complexity as a source of enrichment and are committed to capitalizing on this strength to advance lifelong learning for all students.  We believe candidates must recognize teaching and learning are affected by one’s own cultural attitudes and beliefs and be sensitive when working with diverse populations in diverse settings.  Candidates should be prepared to use instructional strategies that incorporate fairness, critical thinking, problem-solving, and performance skills of all students regardless of their differences.

Concept #3-Continuous reflection and assessment

We believe the educational preparation of candidates must involve continuous reflection and assessment.   Candidates should be involved in extensive clinical experiences and be immersed in a learning process involving continuous reflection and assessment of themselves, their teaching skills, and the results of their instruction during their teacher preparation program.  Candidates must understand and use formal and informal assessment strategies to diagnose students’ strengths and weaknesses, monitor students’ progress, assign grades, and determine ones’ own instructional effectiveness (Popham, 2008).  Candidates should demonstrate the ability to assess, reflect, and revise their practices as necessary to accommodate the educational needs of all students. 

Concept #4-Professionalism

We believe candidates should demonstrate professional behavior throughout their teacher preparation program.  Professional dispositions are continuously discussed, demonstrated, and fairly assessed.  Professional dispositions include, but are not limited to, attitude, responsibility, collaboration, and responsiveness to feedback and sensitivity to diversity.  Candidates should demonstrate skills necessary to work with various stakeholders to support the achievement of all students and advocate for the teaching profession.