Middle Childhood License (4-9) Major
Grounded in the liberal arts, the Teacher Education Unit is organized around three themes: Content Knowledge, Teaching and Learning, and Character and Professionalism. These themes are supported by current research and address the Standards for the Teaching Profession as developed by the Educators Standards Board and adopted by the State of Ohio, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and various nationally recognized professional organizations, such as the National Middle School Association (NMSA). Additionally, content knowledge is aligned with the Ohio Academic Content Standards which, in turn, are aligned with the various professional organizations related to each content area, such as NCTE, NCTM, NSTA, and NCSS. Graduates attain the qualities of a competent, committed, professional teacher for a diverse, democratic society by meeting the Ohio Wesleyan University Teacher Education Unit’s learning outcomes. The three themes provide the framework for organizing the 10 learning outcomes. A brief description of each theme follows:
- Theme One: Content Knowledge
First, we believe that a strong liberal arts focus, coupled with an in-depth understanding of subject matter knowledge, is a vital prerequisite for successful teaching. This knowledge helps teachers conceptualize content so that it is comprehensible and cognitively engaging to all their students. Thus, successful teaching requires a broad, vigorous, and integrated liberal arts education.
- Theme Two: Teaching and Learning
However, knowledge of subject matter is not enough. We believe teachers must also possess a thorough knowledge of learners and the learning process. They need to master pedagogical skills and understand human development so they can make complex ideas and concepts accessible to all learners. They must know how to evaluate what they do so they can adjust their teaching to meet the ongoing needs of their students. They learn to value the necessity of developing an instructional context that is supportive and nurturing, yet filled with high expectations for student achievement. The judicious use of technology undergirds this process.
- Theme Three: Character and Professionalism
Finally, we believe teachers must be reflective practitioners who are convinced that all students can learn. They believe that the future of our society requires them to embrace a democratic mission founded on multi-ethnic, multiracial, multinational, and multi-ecological relationships. They also are confident that they possess the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions to ensure this mission is fulfilled.
Thus, to fulfill the Unit’s goals as delineated in the Unit Conceptual Framework, the Middle Childhood Licensure Program develops preservice teachers' knowledge, skills, and dispositions as they relate to the Unit’s overall mission of preparing competent, committed, professional teachers for a diverse, democratic society.