1.4 Summarize the basic tenets of the conceptual framework, institutional standards, and candidate proficiencies related to expected knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions.
At the heart of the conceptual framework for the professional education unit at Fresno
State is its theme, Leadership for Diverse Communities. The unit’s philosophy, purposes, professional commitments, and dispositions are
found in the vision, mission, goals, and dispositions articulated above.
The specific goals of the Kremen School are as follows:
- to work collaboratively with regional districts, agencies, and services in providing a coherent system of preparation and support to positively effect the achievement and emotional health of all students.
- to recruit qualified candidates who are representative of the diversity in our community into the fields of education and counseling, beginning with students in the public schools;
- to be at the cutting edge of the application of best practice models and educational technology;
- to prepare education professionals who have a command of content knowledge and pedagogy and who continuously strive to improve their practice;
- to support the lifelong development of practicing professionals with services and programs, including the doctorate;
- to prepare professionals who are committed to leadership and service in diverse community settings;
- to integrate the assessment system which includes performance assessment as a key evaluation technique in each of our programs;
- to sustain a university work environment that is exemplary in its humanity, ethics, effectiveness, and intellectual vitality;
- to secure, through advancement efforts, the supplemental funding needed to provide the margin of excellence for programs and special initiatives; and
- to be the higher education partner of choice for the public schools and other relevant institutions of the five counties we serve in the Central Valley.
Conceptual Framework Graphic:
The conceptual framework graphic was designed to visually represent the essence of the framework. Components collectively support the unit’s desired outcome – the initial and continuing preparation of teachers, administrators, counselors, and other education professionals who are leaders for today’s diverse communities.
Knowledge Base and Assessment System:
Fundamental to each program is a knowledge base that, along with the vision, mission, goals, and dispositions, guides the design of coursework and fieldwork in the professional programs. The unit is committed to providing programs that are based on appropriate standards, that expand the knowledge base of candidates, and that incorporate effective uses of technology.
In order to make informed decisions about candidate competence, program quality, and unit effectiveness, a central component of the conceptual framework is the Kremen Learning Assessment System for Sustained Improvement (KLASSI). KLASSI represents a unit-wide assessment and accountability system that is built upon a continuous improvement model. Astin’s (2002) input, processes, output conceptual model for assessment provides the frame for presenting KLASSI as depicted in the Unit Assessment graphic.
KLASSI is a cyclical process aimed at improving teaching and learning. The system follows the Nine Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learningadopted by the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE). Assessment is an on-going, goal-oriented process, viewed as a vehicle for continuous improvement. Our Unit assessment attends to not only outcomes, but to the experiences that lead to achievement of those outcomes. Since learning is a complex process, unit assessment includes not only what candidates should know, but also what they can do with what they know. Input from various stakeholders guides the assessment process, and they are involved gathering and interpreting data that helps inform and guide continuous improvement.
Professional Commitments and Dispositions:
Both initial and advanced programs are committed to providing leaders who have a command of the content in their field, who will be reflective, collaborative leaders for our schools, and who are prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities of working with diverse communities. The professional education unit fosters the development of the following professional dispositions among candidates. Candidates increasingly reflect these dispositions in their work with students, families, and communities.
- Critical thinking
- Professional ethics
- Valuing diversity
- Life-long learning
Alignment of Proficiencies with Professional and State Standards: Course and fieldwork syllabi are aligned with standards such as the California Standards for the Teaching Profession, California Teacher Performance Expectations, national standards for professional organizations where applicable, and, in the case of teacher preparation programs, with state content standards. Evidence of the conceptual framework is also evident in the commitment of program faculty to provide instruction that expands candidates’ pedagogical and content knowledge base and that incorporates technology to enhance learning. Each unit program has a knowledge base, consistent with the unit’s conceptual framework while unique to the research, standards, theories, and wisdom of practice particularly appropriate to that program.