Program Mission and Philosophy

Within the conceptual framework of the College of Education and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the teacher preparation program for Interdisciplinary Studies in Education is designed to educate "Teachers as Instructional Leaders." The philosophical base for this theme is best explained by the following set of purpose statements endorsed by the Interdisciplinary Studies in Education faculty. The purposes are:

  • to facilitate the learning and development of prospective teachers as they grow in their ability to promote the learning and development of children;
  • to establish a linkage of personal and professional development that is intended to assist students in internalizing ideas about learning and development; and
  • to foster the professional development of students with their own philosophies and appropriate pedagogical practices.

The Interdisciplinary Studies in Education program is evolving as a performance-based program aligned with standards that have been developed at the national level by professional organizations and learned societies. These standards enhance the philosophy, purposes and assumptions within the curriculum of the major in Interdisciplinary Studies in Education. The faculty of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction has adopted the following performance-based standards for the Interdisciplinary Studies in Education program. All students who select Interdisciplinary Studies in Education as a major area of study are expected to:

  • understand, demonstrate and apply the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students;
  • understand how children learn and develop, and provide learning opportunities that supports their intellectual, social and personal development;
  • know how students differ in their approaches to learning and create instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners;
  • use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills;
  • use individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation;
  • demonstrate knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom;
  • demonstrate knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals in the planning of instruction;
  • use formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social and physical development of the learner;
  • demonstrate reflective practice by continually evaluating the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, parents, the learning community) and by actively seeking out opportunities to grow professionally; and
  • foster relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students' learning and well being


Admission Criteria
Program Requirements

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