As a faith-based institution, the purpose of the Credential Program is to enable students to become excellent teachers who integrate faith into teaching, learning, and living.
The program is designed to enable candidates to:
experience effective teaching strategies so that they can implement them in their own classrooms.
discover and develop their own unique God-given teaching abilities.
move along the continuum of teaching competence, based on identified teacher performance expectations.
help each child, regardless of language, culture or background, to reach his or her highest spiritual, intellectual, social, and physical potential.
use tools to examine and test ideas and teaching practices so that he or she can become a life-long learner.
Elaboration of the Education Department Purpose Statement
As a faith-based institution, both candidates and professors approach all of life from the perspective of the Bible. This includes why they teach and the way they teach. For example:
The Bible teaches that all people have intrinsic worth and are valuable. So graduates of the credential program teach all students.
The Bible teaches that everything should be done in a way that brings glory to God. So graduates desire to be excellent teachers.
The Bible teaches that authority and governments were established to restrain evildoing. So graduates desire to train students who will become responsible, contributing citizens.
The Bible teaches that Jesus increased in wisdom, stature and in favor with God and man. So graduates want to help students develop in all areas of their lives.
Since God gave people minds and expects they will use them, a number of important things have been discovered about learning. The program has adopted a few as foundational. These are:
Developmental stages occur in all aspects of being (physical, language, social, emotional, ethical, spiritual and intellectual) and they affect how learning occurs and what kind of teaching is effective. (various)
Teaching practices need to be used that are compatible with what we are learning about how the brain works. (specifically Jensen, Teaching with the Brain in Mind)
Assessment should guide instruction. (specifically Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding with the Brain in Mind)