Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Centenary College of Louisiana Department of Education (CDOE) is to prepare competent, caring and knowledgeable educators who have the pedagogical skills, content knowledge, community passion and inquiring minds necessary to be Dedicated Educators. To accomplish this, the Department encourages candidates to inquire about and question their own practices, as well as what they read in courses and observe in classrooms. Candidates, through course work and field placements, develop a variety of research-based instructional and assessment strategies they can utilize and augment for years to come. The CDOE also focuses on the importance of building a caring and collaborative classroom culture. To accomplish this, the Department engages faculty who are skilled in modeling an atmosphere of collaboration, as well as being educators who care enough to take time to know the candidates on a personal basis.

Embracing a caring and collaborative atmosphere includes a faculty willing to help candidates navigate the M.A.T. and certification process, as well as allow them to question the world of teaching. Faculty care about the candidates and are ready to help them sort through questions they have about teaching and the teaching profession. Candidates are supported and encouraged to explore both elementary and secondary level teaching in order to find their “best fit” for professional fulfillment. Centenary’s Department of Education, as does Centenary College of Louisiana, “supports students in their development and encourages them to become leaders in the workplace, the community, the nation, and the world at large”

 

Conceptual Framework: The Dedicated Educator

The unifying concept on which Centenary College of Louisiana bases teacher preparation is the Dedicated Educator. The four essential elements of content knowledge, pedagogy, inquiry, and community support this framework.

The main objective of the Department of Education is to prepare dedicated educators. A dedicated educator is one who commits to the personal and professional development and success of all learners, colleagues, and self. Dedicated educators exhibit the knowledge, skills, and dispositions embedded within the essential elements to effectively promote this development and success.

Content Knowledge

Effective teachers know and understand the central concepts and structures of the academic discipline they teach. Graduate students are expected to demonstrate this high level of competency upon entrance to the teacher education program and to further develop content mastery through coursework in the Education Department. Dedicated educators realize that their mastery of content must be so well-refined that they can turn their attention and energy to the appropriate pedagogical approach to present the material to students. 

Pedagogy

Effective teachers choose strategies of instruction based upon content, learning goals, and students’ background knowledge and learning needs. At Centenary, candidates develop highly refined pedagogical skills including oral and written communication skills; technology skills; assessment methods; classroom management strategies; and the ability to select the appropriate strategies to use for different students from different cultures with different learning styles. The Dedicated Educator realizes the value of grounding practice in theory and utilizes the most valid and reliable research available. 

Inquiry

Effective teachers engage in purposeful reflection, professional development, collaboration with colleagues, and action to improve education. Centenary teacher education candidates learn to examine ideas and experiences critically, successfully work in diverse groups, connect with professional organizations, plan long term professional goals, and develop leadership skills. Dedicated Educators continually reflect upon what they believe and what they do, engage in professional inquiry and scholarship, and are leaders in their school and community.

 

Community

Effective teachers create productive learning communities by working with colleagues, parents and caregivers, and community organizations to support the learning and well-being of all students. At Centenary, teacher education candidates learn to build communities that respect diversity and individual differences through service learning, intercultural experiences, and field and clinical experiences. Dedicated educators engage in social justice work to ensure that all students and families receive equal consideration, respect, voice, opportunities, and participation. Further, dedicated educators create a school climate that empowers students and families.