What Is A Faculty Practice?
Exemplary faculty practices are innovative methods of conveying both knowledge and experience to teacher candidates in such a way as to prepare them to excel as leaders in the classroom.
Such practices may be the work on one faculty member, a group of faculty members or a department-wide practice in a teacher preparation program.
Exemplary faculty practices help teacher candidates translate learning into knowledge, knowledge into practice (pedagogy), and pedagogy into classroom student understanding.
The effectiveness of faculty practices in bridging these three areas of cognition is often enhanced when they are used in conjunction with a field-based component of teacher candidate training.
What Is Exemplary?
Exemplary faculty practices are those that provide teacher candidates a deep understanding of both content and the ability to put that content into classroom practice.
The ability to effectively translate knowledge into student learning helps make the difference between ordinary teachers and exceptional teachers.
Thus, exemplary faculty practices are keyed to helping teacher candidates excel in the classroom through content and competency.
Exemplary faculty practices are also creative, innovative, and focused on providing teacher candidates the method to translate knowledge into student learning in their role as classroom leader.
What Are Key Elements of Exemplary Faculty Practices?
Exemplary faculty practices share a common thread of creativity and innovation in their design.
These practices are intended to provide the optimum environment for teacher candidates to put learning theory into practice. Often, exemplary faculty practices sharpen one or more of these key teaching competencies:
Developing Deep Content Knowledge - Developing deep content knowledge in teaching candidates so that they will be exceptionally well prepared to teach in their chosen level and area of education.
Learning Distinctive Models of Teaching - Modeling teaching in distinctive ways so as to demonstrate content knowledge and research-based pedagogy in order that teaching candidates may replicate best practices when they assume a teaching role.
Using Technology Innovatively - Engaging teaching candidates in using technology that is current, appropriate to subject areas and a wide variety of learners.
Deepening Understanding of Classroom Diversity - Demonstrating approaches that increase teaching candidate understanding of—and ability to teach to—students from a variety of cultural, socio-economic, and language backgrounds. Provide examples of methods to promote diversity and equity in the classroom.
Practicing Experiential Learning - Providing experiences that allow teaching candidates to practice teach prior to student teaching or internship. Demonstrate methods that help teaching candidates learn from their practice teaching experiences so that they progressively develop their teaching skills.
Maturing Problem-Solving Skills - Teaching candidates to identify, investigate, analyze, and solve problems that they will encounter when they teach in the field. Provide illustrations that reveal how to teach problem-solving, from data gathering to solutions.
Using Assessment Effectively to Inform Instruction - Demonstrating innovative ways to conduct formative and summative assessments, and to use data from these assessments to inform instruction.