Program Tenets

The IB/M program is built upon a foundation of program tenets that reflect state-of-the-art practice in teacher education.

  • Tenet 1: A broad liberal arts background with a specific subject area major is part of each pre-professional student’s university program.
  • Tenet 2: A common core of pedagogical knowledge is required of all education majors, regardless of their area of specialization.
  • Tenet 3: Subject and grade-level specific pedagogical knowledge is tailored to the certification area toward which students are working.
  • Tenet 4: Teaching competence is built across six semesters of progressively challenging clinical experiences.
  • Tenet 5: Every student participates in clinical experiences in a variety of environments.
  • Tenet 6: Analysis of and reflection on the interplay between student characteristics, teacher practices, and the broader issues and concerns of parents and society are essential in preparing educators to be decision makers, leaders, and innovators for the twenty-first century.

Freshman and Sophomore Years: A Liberal Arts Education

All students applying to the program must have a strong grounding in the liberal arts and also complete a subject area major.

Junior Year: A Common Core of Pedagogical Knowledge

In the Junior Year, centered on “Student as Learner,” all students, regardless of grade level and content area specializations, take core courses designed to help them learn about students as learners (e.g., learning theory, assessment, issues of exceptionality, etc.) and about schools as social institutions. These courses are designed to build a solid knowledge base that will be useful to prospective teachers of special and regular education, of elementary and secondary students, and of any content area.

The clinic assignment in the initial phase of the program is four-six hours each week spent in a Professional Development Center (PDC) school, where students can learn firsthand about student learning. Students participate in a seminar course designed to bridge the gap between the core courses and the clinic placement.

Senior Year: Subject and Grade-Level Specific Pedagogical Knowledge

During the Senior Year, termed “Student as Teacher,” students begin to specialize their studies and their clinic experiences in their certification area. Core courses are centered on methods of teaching specific content and specific grade levels.

During the fall semester, students spend at least six hours per week in a PDC school, in a classroom that corresponds with their certification area. In the spring semester students are involved in a full semester student teaching experience, working closely with a cooperating teacher and a university supervisor. During the senior year, seminar courses are centered on aspects of teaching and the student teaching experience.

Master’s Year: Professional Inquiry and Leadership

In the Master’s Year, termed “Teacher as Leader,” there is a significant change in the level of responsibility and autonomy assumed by the IB/M student as they become graduate students working toward their Master’s degree. The twin themes of the final year of the program are leadership and inquiry. The IB/M program in the fifth year encourages students to take on leadership roles in their schools and prepare them to serve as innovators and change agents in the education profession.

The clinic experience in the Master’s Year is known as the internship. Students work 18 hours per week in their internships for the entire academic year. Internships have been designed and proposed by school district personnel to meet the needs and interests of the school district in which the internship takes place. Typically, internships place IB/M students in leadership roles, working collaboratively with teachers and administrators in designing and implementing curricula and special programs.

In addition to functioning as a teacher leader in an educational setting, the internship provides an opportunity for the IB/M student to conduct a significant piece of professional inquiry in the form of an inquiry project. Ideally, inquiry projects address issues of genuine concern to teachers and administrators working in the internship site. University faculty guide the students in the conceptualization, development, implementation, and writing of their inquiry projects. Through the process of completing the inquiry project, students learn how, when, and why to use inquiry as a tool for professional growth.