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Core Values

Scholarship

The Benerd School of Education is committed to ensuring that students maintain high standards of competence in their academic and professional careers. This includes obtaining the broad and diverse general knowledge base of scholarship deemed essential to becoming a reflective professional, as well as the more specific content and skills of one’s particular educational specialty. The Benerd School of Education values faculty who hold themselves to a high standard of competence in both their academic and professional careers and their professional communities and who strive continually to enhance the collegiality, competence, and intellectual vitality of all faculty.

Integrity and Ethical Conduct

The Benerd School of Education values high professional standards and ethical conduct among its faculty and students. Students and faculty are expected to be honest, fair, and respectful of others. The cornerstone of the Benerd School of Education’s conceptual framework is the metaphor of the reflective practitioner. Reflective practice involves reflecting on and taking responsibility for one’s actions through the continuous planning and re-planning of professional practice. The philosophy we embed in this model advocates professional responsibility and individual awareness of one’s own belief systems and limitations, as well as those embodied in the diverse populations we encounter professionally. This involves adapting to the needs of different populations by analyzing and explaining problematic situations, testing hypotheses, and continually reformulating one’s understanding of practice through critical thinking, discussion, scholarship, and collaboration.

Diversity

The Benerd School of Education values diversity in its students, faculty, and curriculum. The School promotes awareness of and respect for cultural, individual, and role differences, including those due to age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, philosophical orientation, and socioeconomic status. The School is firmly committed to preparing professionals who can work effectively with all individuals and who realize learners have different capabilities and strategies for learning derived from their prior experiences and cultural backgrounds.

Social and Community Responsibility

The Benerd School of Education promotes awareness in its students and faculty of their professional responsibilities to the communities and society in which they work and live. The School accepts a responsibility to contribute to the renewal of schools, communities, and families by conducting research that strives to advance human welfare and by preparing professionals for leadership roles in their professions and communities. The Benerd School of Education values collaboration with members of the professional community to design, deliver, and renew effective programs for preparing all students. This core value also takes into account the socio-political role of education in the struggle for achieving an equitable society.

Collegiality

Faculty members in the Benerd School of Education recognize their responsibility to provide an atmosphere that engenders courtesy, respect, and genuine regard for others. In order to maximize the quality and effectiveness of students’ learning experiences, all interactions among faculty, students, field supervisors, and staff are expected to be collegial and conducted in a manner that reflects the highest personal and professional standards. Faculty model that learning is influenced by social interactions, interpersonal relations, and communication with others. Co-construction of knowledge among faculty and students allow learners to link new ideas and experiences with prior knowledge in meaningful, coherent ways that demand creative and critical thinking.

Teaching and Learning

The Benerd School of Education engages students in meaningful learning experiences that are designed to promote professional development and enhance academic inquiry. Teaching is a complex, intellectually challenging and moral activity in which learning is valued as the over-arching goal and meaning is socially constructed through professional collaboration. Faculty exhibit and promote learner-centered and technologically enhanced teaching characterized by intrinsically motivated tasks that combine novelty and challenge, are aligned with students’ interests, and allow for personal choice and initiative. Such an approach to teaching and learning takes into account each individual’s beliefs, goals, emotional makeup, styles of learning, cultural background, technology skills and habits of thinking. Both professors and students in the School hold to high standards that emphasize an ongoing pursuit of knowledge production, critical analysis, and reflective practice.