School of Education
Brenda Fyfe, dean
School of Education website (external to catalog)
The School of Education at Webster University provides its students with the knowledge, experiences, and practical tools that enable them to guide both themselves and others toward lifelong learning. The School of Education is a community of teacher-scholars who apply critical reflections and creative energies to enhance learning in schools and other educational settings. The faculty strives to do this by modeling effective teaching practices based on sound theory and research. The personalized approaches make for a challenging, yet supportive environment that permits the risk-taking necessary for learning and growth. The School encourages its faculty and students to work actively toward this end, keeping in mind that the actions must be rooted in visionary yet realistic thinking. This thought and action process underscores the development of an inner-directed self-understanding, an outer-directed global perspective, and an appreciation of human diversity that arises from both.
"...We all must work to make this world worthy of its children." (Casals, 1970)
Developing a world of learners through knowledge, leadership, and lifelong learning.
This graphic represents the conceptual schema of the School of Education.
The outer circle is the "world of learners" in cultural settings. Each quadrant represents one of the school's four goals for its candidates: to develop knowledgeable learners, informed instructors, reflective collaborators, and responsive educators. The two axes represent the theme components of knowledge, leadership, and lifelong learning. These lines are broken to emphasize the fluid relationship of the goals and integrated concepts.
1. Education candidates will demonstrate knowledge of the subject matter, knowledge of the learner, and knowledge of pedagogy based on inquiry and scholarship.
The knowledgeable learner:
- knows content that supports conceptual understanding;
- applies tools of inquiry to construct meaningful learning experiences;
- identifies developmental factors in student learning; and
- understands theoretical principles of effective instruction to plan learning experiences.
2. Education candidates will incorporate multiple assessment and instructional strategies to support effective educational practices based on research and theory.
The informed instructor:
- designs curriculum based on students' prior knowledge, learning styles, strengths, and needs;
- understands and uses a range of instructional strategies;
- uses a variety of communication modes, media, and technology to support student learning; and
- employs a variety of formal and informal assessments to monitor learning and modify instruction.
3. Education candidates will reflect on the roles educators take as leaders of change through collaboration with colleagues, students, and families in schools and communities.
The reflective collaborator:
- values and integrates reflection to grow as a professional;
- promotes communication and collaboration with colleagues, families, and community leaders;
- seeks relationships with families and students to support student learning; and
- initiates change that benefits students and their families.
4. Education candidates will demonstrate respect for diversity through responsive teaching and learning that values individual differences.
The responsive educator:
- understands and responds appropriately to issues of diversity;
- acknowledges social and cultural contexts to create effective teaching and learning environments;
- adapts instruction to the learner's knowledge, ability, and background experience; and
- identifies resources for specialized services when needed.
There are various definitions of dispositions. The dictionary suggests that dispositions are the combination of traits revealed by one's habitual ways of behaving or thinking. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education defines dispositions as "the values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues, and communities and affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator's own professional growth." (Professional Standards, p.53) Interpreting and assessing dispositions is often more intuitive than it is descriptive and measurable. Regardless of the difficulty of assessment, there is significant value in focusing attention on qualities that make an effective teacher. Students must demonstrate satisfactory competency in regard to the knowledge, skills, and dispositions identified in the School of Education Conceptual Framework.
- Understands and Respects Self
- Understands and respects that s(he) may be different from others
- Embraces an openness to change (adaptability, flexibility)
- Exhibits curiosity
- Engages in reflection
- Understands and Respects Others
- Understands, respects, and responds appropriately to diversity in a variety of settings
- Exhibits empathy
- Commits to fairness and honesty
- Listens respectfully to other points of view
- Understands and Respects Professional Communities
- Commits to professional behavior in university and school cultures
- Practices informed decision-making in university and school cultures
- Communicates and collaborates in university and school cultures
- Accepts academic rigor (willingness to work/high expectations)
- Effects change with courage and confidence
Assessment Policy of School of Education
All programs in the School of Education use key assessments in specific courses to evaluate and promote student achievement of specific learning outcomes. In all courses that use key assessment assignments, students will see on each syllabus the standards that are used for assessing their academic performance. In addition, all faculty and students are expected to use the web-based TK20 Assessment System for the submission and evaluation of key assessment assignments; TK20 serves as the school’s electronic assessment system. Students may contact their advisors, if they have further questions.
Ted Green, chair
Majors and Degrees Offered
- Education (BA) with Certification in the following areas:
- Early Childhood (Pre-kindergarten-Grade 3)
- Elementary (Grades 1-5)
- Middle School Education (Grades 5-9) with Emphases in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, or Social Studies
- Art (Grades K-12)
- English (Grades 9-12)
- Foreign Language (French, German, or Spanish) (Grades K-12)
- Math (Grades 9-12)
- Music (Choral) (Grades K-12)*
- Music (Instrumental) (Grades K-12)*
- Social Studies (Grades 9-12)
- Unified Science (Grades 9-12)
- Special Education (Mild/Moderate/Cross-Categorical) (Grades K-12)
- Educational Studies (without certification)
*BMEd offered through the Department of Music in the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts
Special Study Opportunities
Within the School of Education students may pursue traditional education courses and activities, including supervised practica, independent studies, and reading courses, or explore issues in the field of educational philosophy, theory, and methodology through a variety of professional activities. Other options may include experiences in varied educational settings at Webster University's international campuses, conferences, study tours, Student Literacy Corps, and other service learning opportunities and field experiences in inclusive schools, all of which prepare students for teaching in an increasingly diverse society.
The Beatrice and David Kornblum Institute for Teaching Excellence
The Beatrice and David Kornblum Institute for Teaching Excellence is an integral part of Webster University's School of Education. The Institute supports innovative education, program development, community service, and improved teaching and learning with emphasis on economically disadvantaged minority, immigrant, and/or disabled public school children from the urban setting.
Admission to the Major
Students may be fully admitted to the major when the following criteria have been met:
- A B or better in EDUC 3150 Education in a Diverse Society
- A B or better in EDUC 3155 Early Diversity Practicum
- A completed Candidate Responsibility Form
- A departmental GPA of 3.0, based on all EDUC courses taken
- Students pursuing teacher certification will be dropped from EDUC methods courses if all sections of the C-Base Exam have not been successfully completed upon earning 64 college-level credit hours. Transfer students must complete the C-Base during the first semester following transfer to Webster.
- Students must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in the education major. A cumulative GPA of 2.75 in all college-level coursework for students pursuing initial teacher certification is required.
- Students must demonstrate satisfactory competency in regard to the knowledge, skills, and dispositions identified in the School of Education Conceptual Framework.
- Courses completed with a grade of D do not count toward fulfilling specific course requirements of the major.
NOTE: Policies and procedures governing the education major and Teacher Certification are available on the School of Education website.
Because students enrolled in the education major pursue initial Teacher Certification as part of their degree, a Program of Study (POS) is designed to meet the general education requirements of both the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the degree requirements of Webster University.
Teacher Certification Programs
- Early Childhood Education (birth-3)
- Elementary Education (1-6)
- Middle School Education (5-9)
- English (9-12)
- Foreign Language (K-12) (French, German, Spanish)
- Mathematics (9-12)
- Social Studies (9-12)
- Unified Science/Biology (9-12)
- Art (K-12)
- Music (K-12) (Instrumental, Vocal)
- Special Education (K-12) (Mild/Moderate/Cross-Categorical)
Students seeking Secondary Education certification choose a second major in their specialty area. Advisors from the specialty area work closely with the School of Education to assure that students meet the requirements of both their majors and Teacher certification. Students pursuing a Secondary School Certificate in a specialty area must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in all professional education and content coursework required by DESE.
Admission to Teacher Certification
Admission to Teacher Certification requires the following:
- successful completion of all sections of the C-BASE Exam by 64 credit hours of college-level coursework (transfer students must pass all sections of the C-Base during the first semester following transfer to Webster University);
- written Program of Study (POS) outlining the degree and program requirements developed by completion of 64 credit hours;
- completion of a college composition course with a grade of B- or better;
- completion of a college mathematics course (appropriate to the area of emphasis) with a grade of B- or better;
- completion of EDUC 3150 with a grade of B or better;
- completion of EDUC 3155 with a grade of B or better;
- a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 in college-level coursework from all post-secondary institutions attended.
A 3000-level practicum is required as a prerequisite to apprentice teaching. To enroll in a practicum, Students must make formal application to the Office of Apprentice Teaching and Field Experience. Practica applications for Spring placements are due by mid-September. Practica applications for Fall are due mid-February.
Apprentice teaching is a requirement for all initial certifications. To enroll in apprentice teaching, students must make formal application to the Office of Apprentice Teaching and Field Experience at least one semester prior to the semester in which they plan to practice teach. Application must be filed during periods designated and posted.
Note: The application for practicum and apprentice teaching will not be accepted if the student has not been formally accepted to teacher certification status.
Students should contact the Office of Apprentice Teaching and Field Experience to obtain an application for apprentice teaching. Apprentice teaching and practicum placements will be made in the St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Fox, and Francis Howell School Districts. Students should not contact school officials or teachers about placement, but they should contact the office of the Coordinator of Apprentice Teaching and Field Experience for such information. The Apprentice Teaching Handbook will be issued at the apprentice teaching orientation meeting. All students enrolled in apprentice teaching must participate in a mandatory seminar.
All undergraduate candidates for certification must complete either their practicum or apprentice teaching in a diverse setting.
Application for Certification
All students seeking initial certification are required to present a Teacher Work Sample demonstrating competency in teaching as identified by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
All students seeking Teacher Certification must achieve the Missouri minimum score on the PRAXIS II, which is administered at least six times a year. Information on this test may be obtained online at ets.org or in the Office of Teacher Certification. Students must have a passing score on the appropriate Praxis II exam prior to the start of the Apprentice Teaching semester.
Undergraduate Registration into Graduate Courses
Courses in the 5000 series are graduate courses. An upper-division undergraduate student may enroll in them with the written permission of his or her advisor and the appropriate dean.
In addition, undergraduate students are not eligible to register into graduate courses until graduate pre-registration is completed. Then, if open seats are available in a particular course, the student may consult with his or her advisor regarding registration in graduate courses.
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