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Teacher Education
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Teacher Education

Standards > Teacher Education Standards at Teachers College

Teacher Education Standards at Teachers College

Consistent with the College’s long tradition of serving the needs of urban and suburban schools in the United States and around the world, the vision and purpose of professional education at Teachers College is to establish and maintain programs of study, service, and research that prepare competent, caring, and qualified professional educators (teachers, counselors, psychologists, administrators and others). This vision is based on three shared philosophical stances that underlie and infuse the work we do:

Inquiry Stance

We are an inquiry-based and practice-oriented community. We and our students and graduates challenge assumptions and complacency, and embrace a stance of inquiry toward the interrelated roles of learner, teacher, and leader in P-12 schools.

Curricular Stance

Negotiating among multiple perspectives on culture, content, and context, our graduates strive to meet the needs of diverse learners, both students and other adults, in their school communities.

Social Justice Stance

Our graduates choose to collaborate across differences in and beyond their school communities. They demonstrate a commitment to social justice and to serving the world while imagining its possibilities.

Expectations of Teacher Education Candidates at Teachers College

Our candidates are inquirers/researchers who have breadth of knowledge and a variety of tools to ask questions about educational environments.  They reflect on and continually evaluate the effects of their choices on others (children, families, and other professionals in the learning community).

Lifelong Learners

Our candidates are continually engaged in learning and research. They take responsibility for their professional growth and seek/create learning opportunities for themselves and others.

Advocates of Social Justice and Diversity

Our candidates are familiar with legal, ethical and policy issues. They provide leadership in advocating for children, families, and themselves in a variety of professional, political, and policy-making contexts.

Learner-Centered Educators

Our candidates understand their subject matter/disciplines, learners and learning, and curriculum and teaching. They create learning experiences that foster development and achievement in all students.

Effective Collaborators

Our candidates actively participate in the community or communities of which they are a part to support students’ learning and well being.

Expectations of Teacher Preparation Programs at Teachers College

Teachers College programs preparing teachers and other professional school personnel ensure that candidates have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for effective teaching.

The integration of content pedagogy, methods courses, and an intensive student teaching experience provide candidates seeking initial certification with a strong foundation for learning during the two required student teaching experiences.  To build a greater sense of understanding of the teaching profession and all of its intricacies, Teachers College utilizes the standards set forth by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) which are in alignment with the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) in addition to the teaching standards established by the College. These standards provide an overarching framework reflected in the dynamic and multifaceted student teaching experience.

Support for students is provided through prominent faculty in the area of teacher education, certified cooperating teachers, and field supervisors who conduct formative and summative assessments of the student teachers using the above standards. Aspects of classroom management, planning and preparation, instruction, and assessment are evaluated and discussed by supervisors constructively with the other major stakeholders.

Collaboration and reflection are at the heart of many of the teacher preparation programs; the vast majority of which require student teachers to surpass minimum requirements set forth by New York State to ensure that graduates are able to identify and meet students’ learning needs through skills developed during the course of their studies at the College. By the conclusion of the program, candidates demonstrate:

Knowledge and Understanding of:
  • Research and inquiry methods and the relationship between research and practice;
  • The continuum of lifelong learning and issues of professional concern;
  • Subject-matter/disciplinary content;
  • Learners and learning;
  • Curriculum and teaching;
  • Processes and strategies of effective communication and collaboration; and
  • Foundations of democracy, equity, and schooling.
Dispositions/Commitments to:
  • Inquiry and reflection;
  • The profession, ethics, and lifelong learning leadership;
  • The fullest possible growth and development of all students;
  • Cooperation and collaboration; and
  • Social justice and diversity.
Skills in:
  • Self-critique and reflection;
  • Use of research and inquiry methods and application of research to practice;
  • Planning, implementation, and evaluation of professional growth;
  • Planning, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum/services;
  • Communication and collaboration; and
  • Addressing inequalities in the classroom, school and society.