The vision of the Augustana College Department of Education is...
- Construct knowledge
- Connect new ideas with prior understandings, and
- Reflect on their professional and personal development as they prepare to meet the needs of all learners.
We are fortunate to offer our teacher education programs in an environment that is supportive of this vision and our task of developing teachers. The founders of Augustana College recognized the importance of preparing educators. Almost a century and a half later, the preparation of teachers remains one of the most important commitments of the College.
The mission of the Augustana Education Department is to guide and nurture the professional development of pre-service teacher candidates by providing them with experiences that enable them to:
- purposefully explain and redefine the process of learning;
- actively develop the ability to generate and use a wide range of general and subject-specific methodologies for effective teaching;
- critically investigate the ethical, historical, political, philosophical and social dimensions of schooling, thus developing thoughtful, innovative, engaging and reflective practitioners.
From our mission, it follows that we envision future teachers who are best described as "reflective constructivists." The constructivist perspective on learning and teaching has become a focal point in our program. One of our foremost goals is to help our candidates to help their students actively construct, connect and reflect as they, too, engage in the learning process. As part of their own learning process, we strive to immerse our own candidates in a constructivist learning experience as they progress through our program. Specifically, the department focuses on helping students to answer three guiding questions that flow from our mission statement. These questions are:
- What does it mean to learn?
- What does it mean to teach?
- What are schools for?
Our purpose as a Teacher Education unit is to help our teacher candidates prepare for productive, effective, and rewarding careers as teachers. We are in the business of facilitating the formation of professional educators! This is a complex and extremely important task for the department, as it is challenging, and rewarding, to help candidates develop the requisite knowledge, skills and dispositions that are needed to earn teacher certification.