NCATE Conceptual Framework


Conceptual Framework

C.1. How does the unit's conceptual framework address the following structural elements?

  • the vision and mission of the unit
  • philosophy, purposes, goals, and institutional standards of the unit
  • knowledge bases, including theories, research, the wisdom of practice, and educational policies that drive the work of the unit
  • candidate proficiencies related to expected knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions, including proficiencies associated with diversity and technology, that are aligned with the expectations in professional, state, and institutional standards
  • summarized description of the unit's assessment system

Conceptual Framework Overview: The Unit’s Conceptual Framework depicts the outcomes, processes and proficiencies related to expected knowledge, skills and professional dispositions embedded in the vision, mission and philosophy of the Unit.  The tree model is a graphic representation of the Conceptual Framework for the College of Education (The Unit). The tree represents the dynamic model of the living entity that is the professional educator preparation programs at the University.  The roots draw from the knowledge, skills and dispositions identified by the specialized professional associations and state and national standards.  The candidates become Masters of Subject Matter Content, Facilitators of Learning, and Enhancers and Nurturers of Affective Behaviors and ultimately become Catalysts for Change in their educational settings. As candidates advance through an integrated and systematic assessment of the curriculum, instruction and impact on student learning associated with diversity and technology and aligned with professional, state and institutional standards, they grow as branches and leaves develop and reproduce on a tree.  

Unit Vision:  Producing knowledgeable, skilled, and compassionate educators and other school/non-school professionals “Where Everybody is Somebody.”                

Unit Mission: Providing quality teaching and learning which advances life-long learning and human experiences for teachers and other school/non-school professionals.

Unit Philosophy:  Committing to excellence in teaching, scholarship, service, and professional development through life-long learning and the empowerment of learners.

Unit Purpose:  Producing highly qualified teachers and other school/non-school professionals who demonstrate competency in their respective areas, exhibit characteristics of thoughtful practitioners, use best practices in all aspects of their work, advocate for children, and who are accountable to themselves, their students and the profession.  Each program offered at the baccalaureate and master’s levels lead to licensure (certification).

Unit Goal: Ensuring that candidates acquire the professional skills, knowledge bases and dispositions that reflect best practices in research, service, teaching, and administration within the field of education.

Unit Institutional Standards: The institutional standards of the Unit reflect the University’s goals for undergraduates and graduates.   (www.gram.edu )  Historically the mission of the university was to provide equal access for all; currently the university is a selective admissions institution.  However, both the University and Unit continue to provide opportunities for professional and intellectual development for undergraduate and graduate students.  In addition, the University and Unit seek to generate new knowledge while rendering service to the community and society.  The Unit adheres to the University’s mission by providing opportunities to strategically use the technologies available in a global society, as well as maintain an appreciation for diversity.

Knowledge Bases & Proficiencies for Initial and Advanced Candidates: All teacher preparation programs are housed with the COE, but content courses and faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences are integral parts of the teacher preparation unit (Unit). Through broad-based curricula consisting of research-based instruction, strategic field experiences and performance-based assessment, the curriculum and instruction, kinesiology/pedagogy, and educational leadership programs produce teachers and educational leaders. The content of the curricula is based on national standards of the Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs) and Interstate Leadership Licensure Consortium (ISLLC), state standards (e.g. Louisiana Components of Effective Teaching [LCET], Standards for Educational Leaders in Louisiana [SELL], and Bulletin 746), regional standards (e.g. Southern Regional Education Board [SREB]) and unit standards. GSU has a PK-16+ Council designed to help foster collaborative partnerships between the university, area schools and the community under Louisiana’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Teacher Quality which provides additional input.  The council includes superintendents, school principals, teachers, administrators, and community leaders.

The candidate proficiencies related to the expected knowledge, skills and professional dispositions, including proficiencies associated with diversity and technology are aligned with the expectations in professional, state, and institutional standards captured in three outcomes.  Examples of the knowledge base theorists are incorporated with the outcomes.   

1. Masters of Subject Matter Content:  The Unit has established for this outcome the following program proficiencies:

1.1. Demonstrate knowledge of content that underlies professional competencies (McTighe, J., and Wiggins, G. 2004).

1.2. Apply knowledge of best pedagogical practices for use in the instructional process (Stronge, 2007).

1.3. Describe diverse strategies for interrelating disciplines in the instructional process (Banks, J. 2008).

1.4. Identify technology infusion strategies for diverse populations. Demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. (ISTE 2009, Grabe and Grabe, 2001).

1.5. Plan effective lesson procedures and demonstrate effective delivery strategies (Wiggin and McTighe, 1998).

1.6. Interpret and implement appropriate and multiples measures of assessment (Popham, 2001; Carey, 2001).

1.7. Reflect on the value of practices, knowledge inquiry and critical thinking behaviors (Barell, 1998).

1.8. Identify personal, professional, and curricular values (Darling-Hammond, 1995).

2. Facilitators of Learning: Candidates should exhibit the following proficiencies/ competencies to facilitate learning within classrooms, buildings, and districts:

2.1. Demonstrate the effective delivery of standards-based instruction (Woolfolk, 2007; Miller and Darling-Hammond, 1992).

2.2. Create and maintain effective management strategies (organization of time, space, resources, activities (Walker and Shea, 1995).

2.3. Devise activities which promote active involvement, critical/creative thinking and problem solving skills for all students (Marzano, Pickering, Pollock, 2001; Spivey, 1997; Brooks and Brooks, 1999).

2.4. Demonstrate the use of diverse experiences that incorporate the underlying philosophy of education that is multicultural across the curriculum (Banks, 2001; Grant and Gomez, 1996).

2.5. Perform strategies that incorporate literacy learning across the curriculum (Vacca and Vacca, 1996; Rubin, 2000).

2.6. Apply strategies that accommodate diverse learner needs by selecting and using appropriate resources (Grant and Sleeter, 2007; Heward, 2003).

2.7. Analyze research that relates to strategies for promoting effective teaching and learning, and life-long learning in a global society (Marzano, 2003).

2.8. Commit to the continuing development of life-long learning in a global society (e.g., Dewey, 1916; Sternberg, 1997).

2.9. Relate knowledge of educational theorists to planning, lesson delivery, and classroom management (Jaggers, 2002).

2.10. Demonstrate an awareness of the social, cultural, political, economic and comparative context of schools and learners (Oakes, 1985).

2.11. Utilize technology in planning and presenting lessons, research, and professional development (Draves (2002). 

2.12. Facilitate school improvement (Nanus, 1992).

2.13. Model best practices for teaching and learning (Zemelman, Daniels, Hyde, 1998).

2.14. Demonstrate competence as action researchers (Holly, Arhar, Kasten, 2009).

2.15. Demonstrate proficiency in the application of research findings (Holly, Arhar, Kasten, 2009).

2.16. Model best practices for implementing reading specific to content area (Behrens, Rosen, 2008).

2.17. Advocate for literacy and numeracy across the curriculum (Cooper, 2006).

3. Enhancers and Nurturers of Affective Behaviors:  The expectation is that candidates and graduates exhibit the following competencies/proficiencies:

3.1.Display positive self-concept development and respect for others (Woolfolk, 2007; books on Reflective Practitioner; Shor, 1987; Standord, 1999).

3.2. Practice a positive attitude and mutual respect toward students, parents, and colleagues (Gerlach, 2003).

3.3. Display sensitivity to diverse learning styles and multiple intelligences (Armstrong, 2003).

3.4. Demonstrate sensitivity to the many facets of diversity (Banks, 2002).

3.5. Organize school, family, and community partnership (Heward, 2003).

3.6. Influence the development of healthy mental, physical and social lifestyles (Kunjufu, 1988).

3.7. Display a commitment to the improvement of student learning and school improvement (Marzano, 2003).

3.8. Display a classroom climate that is conducive to learning (Silver et.al. 2000).

Assessment System and Unit Evaluation:

The unit assessment system is designed to collect and analyze data on applicant qualifications, candidate performance, graduate performance, and unit operations. The goal of the system is to facilitate continuous self study to promote efficient and effective unit and quality program operations that positively impact three outcomes: applicant and candidate qualifications, initial and advanced candidate proficiencies, and graduate competencies. Assessments are aligned with state and national standards and the conceptual framework thus ensuring that data are used to enhance, expand, and improve curricula and instructional programs.

The GSU Conceptual Framework provides a system for ensuring coherence among the diverse curricular programs of study and the unit’s assessment system.  Specifically, the Conceptual Framework reflects the unit outcomes, and competencies/proficiencies as related to the system for assessing the overall operation of the unit.  The unit’s assessment system is based on teacher licensure tests (The Praxis Series), educational theorists/best practices research, state and national standards, specialized professional associations, federal mandates/ societal needs, graduate and employer feedback

As outlined in the Conceptual Framework, the unit’s assessment system is designed to promote and produce teacher candidates and educational personnel who are masters of subject matter content, facilitators of learning, and enhancers and nurturers of affective behaviors.  Specific assessment measures are utilized as candidates’ progress through different phases of the program (entry, midway, advanced standing, and program follow-up). Efforts are made by the unit to help ensure that the candidates have a smooth transition from program admission to exit. The data collection process involves six transition points. Formal procedures are used to track, monitor, and evaluate candidates’ readiness as they move through each phase of the program.

  Program improvement has resulted from data collected from various sources. Specific data include Praxis scores, portfolio assessment, and conferences with candidates Additional sources of data used to make program improvement are acquired through feedback from supervising teachers and employer surveys.  Based on the feedback, on-going Praxis sessions are implemented.  Professional accountability courses have been revised and expanded to reflect the current Praxis content and format.  Additional faculty development seminars have been added to focus on assessment and technology. 

Grambling State University seeks to mold candidates into effective classroom teachers and educational leaders and to provide scholars, professionals, educators and leaders who respond to the needs of communities by creating educational opportunities for all students regardless of individual differences.

C.2. What changes have been made to the conceptual framework since the last visit?

In 2003, the Unit’s conceptual framework emphasized preparing teachers and other school personnel to educate a PK-12 student population.  The revised conceptual framework addresses the preparation of other school professionals as well by way of our advanced level programs.  Six additional proficiencies were added to the list of outcomes entitled skills: Facilitators of Learning to delineate that graduates will facilitate school improvement, model best practices for teaching and learning, demonstrate competence as action researchers, demonstrate proficiency in the application of research findings, model best practices for implementing reading specific to the content area, and advocate for Literacy and Numeracy across the curriculum as appropriate for the specific professional educator program. The overarching concept was added that graduates will ultimately become Catalysts for Change in their educational settings.

The use of an integrated and systematic assessment of the curriculum, instruction and impact on student learning has become more viable.  Instead of just focusing on what our graduates have learned and can do, emphasis is placed highly on the graduates’ impact on student learning.  This impact is validated by the graduates’ portfolios and artifacts of their students’ work.

Finally, the tree graphic representation was revised.  GSU stakeholders determined that it is necessary to make it known that continual emphasis on rigorous program delivery as well as assessment of feedback for program improvement are vital entities mandated by Grambling State University’s Conceptual Framework.  This feedback is depicted by the leaves becoming a part of the soil (foundation) and then sending nutrients (graduates) back up through the tree (programs) to recycle continual productivity in PK-12 schools and in the global society.  With the interaction of the knowledge, skills and professional dispositions that our graduates acquire, they indeed become Catalysts for Change, our new overarching outcome

Click here for Conceptual Framework Diagram.