Stetson University

College of Arts and Sciences

Conceptual Framework


Stetson University
Professional Education Unit
Conceptual Framework

We believe that becoming an educator is a dynamic process extending from initial preparation over the course of an entire career. Through its program of study, the Professional Education Unit at Stetson University has made a strong commitment to quality teacher education for the 21st century-striving to prepare a common series of courses and experiences that provide knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will enable candidates to meet the needs of students within culturally diverse educational settings in a rapidly changing world.

These four organizing strands -Reflective Practitioner, Collaborative Instructional Leader, Responder to Diversity, and Facilitative Change Agent- were established to create a sense of unity across all programs at both the initial and advanced levels.


Professional Commitments and Dispositions

Building on Stetson University's commitment to infuse programs with the values of ethical decision making, human diversity and commonality, gender equity, community service, and environmental responsibility, we expect that all candidates will:

  • show evidence of behaviors that exemplify the ethics of the teaching profession.
  • develop awareness, appreciation, and understanding of diverse populations.
  • value a questioning and analytic attitude (e.g., utilize critical analysis of data and behavior to initiate change).
  • seek articles in professional journals about teaching, learning, educational management, and reform.
  • reflect on and formulate a personal philosophy with respect to learning and teaching.

Commitment to Diversity

Florida schools are growing in diversity, and our unit recognizes the serious implications of this evolving change. About one-half of Florida's students are considered racial/ethnic minority; about one-fourth are labeled ESE; over 200 languages are reported as being the native language in the home; and, more than 50% of Florida's elementary students receive free or reduced lunch (Florida Department of Education, 2006).Our unit recognizes the serious implications of these statistics to meeting the learning needs of diverse students. The unit's commitment to diversity is evident in the strand of Responders to Diversity, which is woven throughout initial teacher preparation programs and advanced programs. The design, delivery, and evaluation of the unit's courses and field experiences reflect this commitment.

Specifically, we expect that candidates will:

  • have knowledge of issues involving teaching and schooling in a complex and culturally diverse society.
  • have knowledge of unique learning characteristics, needs, and capabilities of students of different ages, cultural, language and socio-economic backgrounds, and exceptionalities.
  • demonstrate the ability to bridge theory to practice in a variety of educational settings.
  • plan and implement strategies in cultural diversity and nurture human relations with pupils, peers, teachers, and other stakeholders.

Commitment to Technology

The unit's commitment is shown in faculty use of technology in their teaching and monitoring of students' progress in the use of technology throughout the programs. Candidates demonstrate competence in the use of educational technology through an ability to utilize technology personally and professionally in their teaching in order to help all students learn. The use of technology has been integrated across the curriculum, instruction, field experiences, clinical practice, assessments, and evaluations.


Throughout all our professional programs, there is an underlying commitment to the following beliefs:

  1. All candidates must understand their own culture and the cultures of others.As educators, they must accept all students and teach in an atmosphere that honors the unique cultural differences and fosters in each student respect, appreciation for human and cultural diversity in a democratic society. See Unit Strands: Responders to Diversity and Collaborative Instructional Leaders.
  2. Educational leaders influence students towards inherent possibilities of human development by using multiple instructional strategies in high performing learning environments that facilitate the academic achievement of each K-12 student and the importance of the individual's commitment toward living a meaningful life. See Unit Strands: Collaborative Instructional Leaders and Facilitative Change Agents.
  3. Educators -- beyond their responsibility to transmit knowledge -- have the mission to transform practices in schools so that all students may learn to their fullest potential and participate fully in our democratic society. See Unit Strands: Reflective Practitioners and Facilitative Change Agents.

View the full version of the Department's Conceptual Framework.

View our Mission Statement slideshow.

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