In order to develop inspired teachers, higher education institutions must build the fundamental concepts into their educator preparation courses. National University is the pioneer in integrating Inspire at the Sanford College of Education. Here’s how:
Starting with the End in Mind
Every good movement is driven by vision. When first evaluating Sanford Inspire, National University teacher education faculty wondered how it could help graduating teachers to truly make a difference in every classroom. This required engaging in rigorous dialogue around the true meaning and goals of inspired teaching and learning.
National University engaged PK-12 stakeholders in discussions about Sanford Inspire concepts, core beliefs, and initiatives, and received guidance regarding program improvement plans. Through a series of formal and informal conversations, during various faculty meetings, National University teacher education faculty determined they needed to further explore exemplary programs and teachers who reflected inspired teaching and learning. Based on this decision, workgroups were formed to gather evidence.
Identifying Candidate Skills
The faculty determined Sanford Inspire teachers would need to demonstrate a combination of student-centered and inquiry-based pedagogy, with a focus on building meaningful relationships with students through research-based socio-emotional skills.
Conducting Gap Analysis
The faculty identified curricular and instructional gaps between the current program and identified candidate attributes, program themes, and key professional standards.
Designing New Curriculum
The faculty formed a 12-member team charged with using evidence-based resources to create a proposal for linked revisions of the initial credential and advanced teacher education programs based on candidate attributes and major programmatic conceptual themes.
Implementing Curriculum Changes
Based on the gap analysis results, National University is revising the Program Learning Outcomes, Course Learning Outcomes, instructional strategies, assignments, field experiences, and clinical practice placements to align with Sanford Inspire.
Facilitating Feedback Groups
While progressing through the curricular revision process, there will be a series of focus groups targeting feedback from the PK-12 educational community members. Educational colleagues will influence the direction of any revisions as National University moves forward.
Conducting Ongoing Research and Review
The teacher education faculty will continually review candidate performance to ensure relevant and aligned data is gathered based on the program’s revised Program Learning and Course Learning Outcomes.
National University’s experience with Sanford Inspire is just an example. The implementation process will develop similarities across universities, with some variation, as more is learned.