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A VISION & PLAN for REDESIGNING TEACHER EDUCATION

"No problem can be solved from the same consciousness which created it."-- Einstein

Because strategic planning is ongoing, Vision and Mission Statements should be continuously refined and revised. This is, in part, an accommodation to the fast-forward pace of change. [Examples of and suggested readings in strategic planning using scenarios are given at the web site of The Global Business Network.]

"VISION-as-given"[Department should develop its own "Vision-as-Understood."]: Within 10 years, Teacher Education at [your college] will have self-regulating [via feedback and ongoing strategic planning], widely recognized coalition of programs that use strategic partnerships of human and technological resources, both in and beyond the college, to allow Teacher-Leaders to select from a diverse and continuously developing array of state-of-the-art resources throughout their careers. [We will have a clearer focus on individual teachers throughout their careers, seeing service to them and their students as an END and our own program development as a MEANS.]

POSSIBLE MISSION: To develop cadres of caring, committed, competent and resilient teacher-leaders, capable of reconceiving and renewing student and school effectiveness; and to participate productively in institutional reconception and strategic partnership building for pursuing excellence in the education of teacher-leaders.

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS pursue specific mission and project goals through forging alliances with selected faculty in other departments, among students, school personnel, human service agencies, and state Department of Education personnel. These and other partnerships need to be enhanced by technology, including web resources, e-mail, Discussion Forums, and Listserv communications.
1. We need to move toward HYBRIDIZATIONS of our institutions and departments, making walls between people and programs more porous, collaborating more, building partnerships through DISTANCE/DISTRIBUTED LEARNING, drawing on resources from other colleges and institutions. [Hybridization evolves through Strategic Parnerships, as described above.] This outward movement needs to be developed within departments and programs, among them and by the institution as a whole. At the same time, [Early Childhood, Elementary/Literacy, Middle and Secondary] Programs need to be re-articulated from the aggregate “EDUCATION,” so that they may seek natural alliances and spend more time in complete program development (not just curriculum). This provides an inward movement simultaneous to the outer movement into strategic partnerships, a model mirroring organic growth. "Shared Decision Making" thus centers in the specific program, rather than in the college as a whole. We should expect and nurture this process to enhance CREATIVITY and Resiliency in ourselves and our students.

Less time should be spent on Department “Meetings/Briefings”—which can better be accomplished via mail and interactive discussion forums over the Web; more time needs to be spent developing each program and its strategic partnerships and resources. A spirit of both collaboration and competition should be fostered among programs to enhance innovation and achievement.

Each program needs to search inwardly, relying on individual values and ingenuity, and touching on the roots of education--our own best thinking--to balance the input from business market strategies and other external models and political/bureaucratic pressures.

2. INCREASING ENROLLMENT requires increased emphasis on COMMUNITY, on PEOPLE, on CARING with current students. Because Strategic Planning is ongoing, students and other stakeholder groups can give feedback and input.
Each program should devise and explore ways of developing “cadre spirit,” of developing “community” based in common purpose and principles, and ways to put priorities on PEOPLE over rules and regulations.
Challenging students, assisting them in upgrading their skills and talents, goal setting, self-assessment are types of aims that each program might develop.

3. Enrollment OUTREACH to new groups: + to older students +to current 11th and 12th graders, especially through DISTRIBUTED/DISTANCE LEARNING credit-bearing courses and programs. Over 100,000 college courses are currently on the Internet. Many of these courses could be adapted for distance learning programs that would enroll and retain older students, career changers, and also explore developing 11th and 12th graders, who would take initial and/or specialty courses through our programs. Online courses could be developed as distance learning options. In time, online programs could attract people in foreign countries who are interested in American teaching practices, but are not able to come to the U.S. to study.

Teacher Education programs and colleges who move in these directions will find that their credit and certificate/degree granting prerogatives give them a decided advantage in the current market. The entire Middle and Secondary Teacher Certification Program at Worcester State College is now available entirely on line.

4. REINVENTING THE URBAN SCHOOL based on the increasing DIVERSITY and MLTICULTURAL demographics of the schools need to be the focus of am ongoing shared inquiry among faculty, students and schools.

5. GENERAL EDUCATION needs a clearer focus on

·What it means to be an educated citizen
·Global viewpoints in culture, ecology, and marketing
·Justice without prejudice
·Critical thinking, alternative planning and decision making
·Information that is different and that makes a difference
·Living Within Chaos with Order: the 21st Century

6. These themes should be developed through program courses as well, where relevant.

7. "Your College 101"should be developed/enhanced to introduce students to these General Education themes as well as to a specific departmental emphasis. Involving more faculty members in this course is more likely if it is tailored to departmental majors.
LITERACY needs to be embedded; separate remedial courses don’t usually work, they cause the college do the K-8 mission, and decrease motivation for K-12 schools to perform. WRITING-ACROSS-THE-CURRICULUM works, as does mature, college-level content.
Under-performing students, whether identified through testing or teacher or self-referral, need peer and Writing Lab assistance with a positive, caring tone.
Each program needs to develop its strategy for this retention effort.

8. The DISCIPLINES and EDUCATION need to stress KNOWLEDGE THAT MATTERS—INFORMATION THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. Teaching in depth yields more understanding AND HIGHER TEST SCORES than “coverage.” The idea some have that we should align OUR curricula to state or national K-12 Curriculum Frameworks and teach to those is asking us to be more a secondary school than college, as well as advocating an approach to curriculum that has NO grounding in BEST PRACTICES, EFFECTIVE SCHOOLS, or research on assessment.

9. We need to find ways to identify and reduce information overload and repetition. Information that is different and that makes a difference needs to be stressed.Essential Questions are key to organizing information in meaningful and motivated ways.

10. Certification regulations call for courses and other experiences to meet the Standards [in most states]. Each program needs to look at other experiences that develop knowledge that matters more in depth than course work alone, and then link course work to other experiences, e.g. expanded field work and practica.

11. FIELD EXPERIENCES, SERVICE LEARNING, and PRACTICA need to be expanded to include Charter Schools, Mentoring, and Cross-fertilization of graduate and undergraduate programs/courses and students, and strategic partnerships with non-profit organizations and community resources—as determined and developed by each program in consultation and competition with each other.

12. ASSESSMENT needs greater diversity. We know the value of multiple measures. High-stakes gateways need to include project and performance work, portfolios and self-assessment—as well as judicious standardized testing.
a. Accreditation, whether NEASC, Teacher Certification, or other—and future Board of Higher Education program reviews-- should be tailored to each program’s on-going development, in relation to whatever [changing] criteria these reviews involve.
b. In general, directions advocated herein are consistent with those advocated by both federal and state Departments of Education, higher education bodies, legislative commissions, and major national standards projects. Assessment and review of program development should be ongoing, done in a collaborative and competitive spirit.

13. PRODUCTIVITY and EFFICIENCY: More faculty should teach on three-day schedules to afford time to work on program revision, “other experience” development, and strategic partnership building with outside resources. Other models of student teacher supervision and mentoring using resources from elsewhere in the college and in the schools should be explored and developed by each program.

14. URBAN EDUCATION emphases within each program and partnership, USE and MODELING of BEST PRACTICE APPROACHES and INTELLIGENT, CREATIVE USES of TECHNOLOGY also need to be developed, monitored and documented in each program. Internet-based Discussion Forums need to be used within and between programs. The Internet has repeatedly shown its effectiveness in breaking down walls, and should prove highly useful in pursuing program and department/college aims, and empowering strategic partnerships among leading stakeholders and supporters.

15. MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE theory and EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE are two good examples of information that is different and that makes a difference. Both are part of Best Practices and show Standardized Test score improvement. Each program needs to examine where and how students are introduced to these areas.

16. TECHNOLOGY Goals for students should include:
·Constructing a Web Page of Assignments and Resources
·Developing Power Point presentation slides.
Implementing these and other goals should be developed through each program, using partnerships and collaboration where desired.

WHY DO WE NEED TO DEVELOP A HYBRID INSTITUTION/PROGRAM? [OR WHY A NINETEENTH CENTURY INSTITUTION & ORGANIZATION WON’T WORK ON 21ST CENTURY PROBLEMS]

The following is from an address by Dee W. Hock, Founder and CEO Emeritus of VISA:

Today, it doesn't take much thought to realize we are in the midst of a global epidemic of institutional failure. Not just failure in the limited sense of collapse, such as the Soviet Union or corporate bankruptcy, but the more pervasive, pernicious form: institutions increasingly unable to achieve the purpose for which they were created, yet, continuing to exist as they increasingly devour resources, demean people and destroy the environment.

Schools that can't teach.
Families far from familial.
Unhealthy health-care systems.
Communities far from communal.
Welfare systems in which few fare well.
Corporations that can't cooperate.
Police that can't enforce the law.
Governments that can't govern, and Judicial systems without justice.
Economies that can't economize.

Why are organizations, everywhere, whether political, commercial, or social, increasingly unable to manage their affairs?

Why are individuals, everywhere, increasingly in conflict with and alienated from the organizations of which they are a part?

Why are society and the biosphere increasingly in disarray?

The answer to the three questions has much to do with compression of time and events. Some of you will remember when a check took a couple of weeks to find its way through the banking system. We called it "float," and used it to advantage. Today, we're all aware of the incredible speed with which money moves and the profound effect on us all. However, we ignore much more important reductions of float. Consider information float. It took centuries for information about the smelting of ore to cross a single continent and bring about the Iron Age. When man landed on the moon, it was seen and heard throughout the world in a bit more than a second. The same is true of technology. It took centuries for the wheel to gain universal acceptance. Today, countless devices utilizing microchips sweep around the earth like the light of the sun into universal use.

It is no different with culture. Throughout history, it took centuries for the customs and language of one people to materially affect another. Today, that which becomes popular in one country sweeps through others in months, while English rapidly becomes a global tongue..
It is the same with space. In a single lifetime, we moved from the speed of the horse to the speed of interstellar travel. Men and materials now move in minutes where they previously moved in months. This endless compression of float, whether of money, information, technology, culture, space, or anything else, can be combined and thought of as the disappearance of change float; the time between what was and what is to be, between past and future. Today, the past is ever less predictive, the future is ever less predictable, while the present scarcely exists at all. Everything is change, with one incredibly important exception. Although their size and power have vastly increased, there has been no great, new idea of organization since the concepts of corporation and nation-state emerged three centuries ago.

Although there were many illustrious ancestors, those concepts were fathered by Newtonian science and Cartesian philosophy and mothered by the Industrial Age. Together they spawned the machine metaphor. It has dominated the mass of our thinking in the whole of society for more than two centuries to an extent none of us fully realize. It declared that the universe and everything in it, whether physical, biological or social, could only be understood as clock-like mechanisms composed of separable parts acting upon one another with precise, linear laws of cause and effect.
We have since structured society in accordance with that mechanistic belief, thinking that with ever more reductionist, scientific knowledge, ever more separability and measurement, ever more linear education, ever more specialization, ever more technology, ever more efficiency, ever more hierarchical command and control, we could learn to engineer organizations in which to pull a lever at one place and get a precise result at another, and know with certainty which lever to pull for which result; never mind that human beings must be made to behave like cogs and wheels in the process. For two centuries, we have been engineering those organizations and pulling the levers. Rarely, very rarely, have we gotten the expected result. What we have gotten is all too apparent -- obscene maldistribution of wealth and power, a crumbling biosphere and collapsing societies.

*Hock’s web site, The CHAORDIC ALLIANCE, gives a fuller context for thinking about the kinds of organization needed to prosper in the 21st Century.


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