College of Education Mission and Conceptual Framework

The College of Education at Wilmington University prepares students for a professional career in teaching children in the stages from birth to adolescence. Students have experiences that provide knowledge, theory and opportunities for teacher candidates to work with children from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds, ethnic groups and education settings. Translating theory into practice is the primary purpose of the professional education programs. The programs center on the understanding of the structure and sequence of the content taught, the characteristics of the student population being taught, and the application of basic principles of learning that reoccur in the research on effective teaching.

The conceptual framework for the College of Education is grounded in current research on best practices for the preparation of education personnel. Each degree program has a conceptual framework that flows directly from the College of Education Conceptual Framework. Preparation programs for initial and subsequent teacher certification include competencies based on recommended teacher standards from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), National Center for Restructuring Education, School, and Teaching (NCREST), and the Delaware Professional Teaching Standards.

The framework for degree programs in the Wilmington University College of Education is based on the proposition that the defining property of effective programs should be relations with a school context, i.e., programs must stress practical experiences in living classrooms and schools. This framework is particularly suited to the mission of Wilmington University, which emphasizes "practical applications in the field of study," and to the mission of the College of Education, which has, as its primary purpose, "the translation of theory into practice."

Our belief in the centrality of context dictates that competent teacher-practitioners be directly and broadly involved in the design and delivery of college course content. Our adjunct faculty, who have extensive prior and current field experience, bring students face to face with the realities and challenges of today's school culture. Theory is translated into best practices, not by theorists, but by the people who know how to do it and who actually do it everyday with real people in authentic educational settings. Their work, enhanced by collaboration with a core group of full-time faculty who have extensive teaching and administrative experience, constitutes the backbone of our programs.

We chose to organize our programs around the combined themes of professional partnerships and learning environments. We believe this approach to be central to a context-embedded program. We believe in the concept of gemeinschaft, or schools as learning communities, characterized by shared vision, shared rules, shared values, shared expectations, and a shared commitment toward interpersonal caring. Our organizing theme is Professional Partners Creating Environments for Learning.

Program Attributes

  1. Programs are knowledge-based.
  2. Programs view teachers as learners.
  3. Programs are sensitive to context and culture.
  4. Programs stress inquiry, analysis and reflection.
  5. Programs stress participation, collegiality and collaboration.
  6. Programs are on-going and developmental.
  7. Programs are standards-driven.
  8. Programs promote the effective use of technology.

This information applies to students who enter this degree program during the 2014-2015 Academic Year. If you entered this degree program before the Fall 2014 semester, please refer to the academic catalog for the year you began your degree program.