Interdisciplinary Teacher Education
How can public education meet the needs of the diverse peoples who live in this democracy? That is the central question explored by the Master in Teaching program. We examine what it means to base teacher education and public education on a multicultural, democratic, developmental perspective and how evidence-based assessment can promote these values. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we address three major concepts throughout the Master in Teaching curriculum. We carefully explore the intersections of theory and practice in each conceptual domain in order to effectively support student learning.
Social Justice and Multicultural Theory and Practice
We construct curriculum based on Evergreen’s strong commitment to diversity because we believe that both teaching and learning must draw from many perspectives and include a multiplicity of ideas. Rather than erasing or marginalizing differences, we examine and consciously act on differences such as ethnicity, race, class, gender, gender expression, culture, religion, language, ability, and sexual identities. We expose Master in Teaching candidates to the consequences of their multicultural encapsulation to assist them in developing critical consciousness and equity pedagogies.
Future teachers must provide K-12 students with culturally responsive, equitable learning experiences, and opportunities to develop critical consciousness.
Democracy and Schooling
We believe democracy is a multi-dimensional concept. We guide teacher candidates toward professional action and reflection on the implications of the teacher’s role in enacting a) democratic classroom learning environments that are learner-centered and collaborative and that empower student voices; and b) democratic, school-based decision-making that is inclusive of parents, community members, school personnel and students. We analyze schooling in relationship to the structures of power and privilege and what it means to work and learn in a democracy operating within a state-supported, advanced capitalist economy. We help candidates to understand the evolution of our current democracy and to critique practices that exclude particular groups from equitable participation in society.
Developmentally and Socioculturally Appropriate Teaching and Learning
We know that no single instructional model or limited set of teaching methods fully responds to the complex, culturally situated, cognitive processes associated with learning. Student competence is located in cultural practices. Our curriculum reflects the varied cultural, social, emotional, physiological and cognitive growth processes that shape how children and youth receive, construct, interpret and act on their experiences. We believe instruction must be built on assessing students’ prior knowledge and interests and their communities’ funds of knowledge. From this foundation, teachers need to develop culturally relevant, interdisciplinary, developmentally appropriate curriculum that invites active engagement and expands learner interests.