The Conceptual Framework for the University of Arkansas Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) is derived from the mission of the University and College of Education and Health Professions (COEHP) and from professional literature and represents the views of numerous constituencies, including EPP faculty, public school teachers, administrators, and candidates. The Conceptual Framework serves to establish a "shared vision for ... efforts in preparing educators to work effectively in P-12 schools." In so doing, it provides guidance regarding factors "likely to have the strongest effects" on outcomes for students (U. S. Department of Education, 2013).
The goal of the EPP, preparing professional educators to be scholar-practitioners, is fully congruent with broader state and institutional mission and goals. The Scholar-Practitioner Model forms the basis for preparing teachers, administrators, and other school professionals. This preparation occurs at the basic and advanced levels and ties directly into the COEHP mission of enhancing the quality of life of citizens of Arkansas and the nation. Teachers, administrators, counselors, and other school professionals play a significant role in the quality of life for all of our citizens.
University of Arkansas graduates are prepared to become 1) knowledgeable, 2) skillful, 3) supportive, and 4) professional scholar-practitioners in diverse educational settings who can balance the needs and aspirations of each learner with the expectations of an increasingly complex and technological society. Scholar-practitioners are teachers, administrators, counselors, and other school professionals who value theory and research, understand that theory and practice are complementary and mutually reinforcing, and are committed to the enhancement of teaching, learning, and professional practice.
The overarching goal of the EPP is to offer effective, academically-rigorous preparatory programs for future educators as scholar-practitioners who advocate for the learning of all children. Professional educators are prepared for teaching, administration, counseling, and other school professions. The scholar-practitioner reflects a professional who is knowledgeable about subject matter and pedagogy; skillful in teaching and managing classrooms and schools; caring and supportive of students, families, school staff and the community; and a professional who continues to learn and who embodies ethical behavior.
Knowledgeable. Professional educators must possess general knowledge, content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and professional knowledge to be effective. They must know how to access, use and generate knowledge. In order to be current, they must be inquiring and up to date on new knowledge in their content, pedagogy, and school systems.
Skillful. This includes the pedagogy required to be an effective teacher, administrator, or other school professional. Aspects of a skillful teacher are planning, implementing, and modeling best practices including best technology practices.
Supportive. Creating a caring learning environment for all students and communicating that the educator is there to support student learning is another vital aspect of our graduates. This includes being caring, supportive, and responsive to the diverse backgrounds our students bring to the classroom and school. The ability to communicate and collaborate with groups of colleagues and others who contribute to the student's education such as families and communities is also essential.
Professional. As scholars, candidates are expected to continue to inquire and seek to improve their practice. Candidates also participate in professional communities. This involves staying current with educational research and working with appropriate professional organizations to better the professions. The professional candidates demonstrates ethical behavior in all aspects of their multi-faceted career.
Graduates from the University of Arkansas are expected to be scholar-practitioners who advocate for the learning of all children in diverse settings. Proficiencies reflect the knowledge, skills, and dispositions identified by specialized professional associations (SPAs), CAEP, INTASC, and criteria found in the Teacher Excellence & Support System based on the Danielson framework designed by Arkansas Department of Education. The outcomes of the University of Arkansas EPP focus on the preparation of professional educators who will be scholar-practitioners. They will assume leadership roles in education that will enable them to enhance the quality of life of citizens in Arkansas, the nation and the world.
U. S. Department of Education. (2013), For each and every child—a strategy for education equity and excellence, p. 12.