If the college moves forward with a new credential program, it should continue to promote innovation in instruction and dedication in educators. There should be a firm commitment to see the education department as a teacher education program with a clear purpose, such as: “Preparing Teacher Leaders and Researchers”. Leaders because they will embody excellence as teachers and impact the work of others, including the community, the educational system, and the lives of students. They often assume formal and informal leadership roles and positions. Researchers because they will learn about research methodology in course work, but also exemplify an attitude of inquiry, problem solving and analysis, and use of data in evidence-based practice) Having a leader with a clear vision and the ability to collaborate across disciplines is imperative.
Any quality program at Occidental will address issues of Social Justice, Multi-culturalism and educational equality as a natural outgrowth of the focus of Occidental students and as an outcome of excellent teaching standards.
Any quality program at Occidental will train teachers to be Urban Educators as a result of Occidental’s location and its relationship with schools in the local community. There are a number of schools that tout their Urban Education Programs so this is no longer a niche that would set an Oxy education department apart. It should be considered a given- a basic component of an outstanding Occidental program.
Outstanding pedagogy, current research and best practices will be the basis of any education program.
Extensive fieldwork and opportunities to put into practice the theories developed in classrooms will be a critically important component.
Reflective practice, collaboration and cohort support will assist students in analyzing and refining their teaching skills.
Students will have strong preparation in an academic major in addition to their courses in Education.