The Teacher Education Program at Shepherd University is committed to the idea that knowledge enables one to make informed choices, to actively participate in the shaping of one’s own life and the shaping of the social, cultural, political and economic structures of a democratic society. Education should empower all students and teachers to do this. Our purpose is to facilitate the development of prospective teachers who demonstrate the willingness and capacity for a pedagogy that truly empowers all P-12 students.
The schooling context is very complex and characterized by a significant degree of ambiguity. This ambiguous complexity of the teaching context precludes a formulaic approach to teaching. The emphasis is on the prospective teacher developing a philosophy and a set of principles that guide practice in the reflective process of problem solving. The teacher must be able to function in this complex and ambiguous context in a reflective manner: identifying problems, framing them, considering alternative solutions, and choosing and implementing courses of action. The criteria for the assessment of effective teaching must include not only curricular and pedagogical concerns but also the ethical dimensions of teaching/learning. Schooling is not done to students; it is done with students.