Academic Standards and Requirements
Philosophy of the Education Department - Conceptual Framework
Founded in the Catholic tradition and committed to the Dominican ideals of truth, academic excellence and openness to diverse world-views, the Division of Education at Molloy College provides a value-centered experience that embraces intellectual, ethical, spiritual and social development in an environment where academic freedom, a spirit of inquiry and respect for each individual's worth and dignity prevail. The professional education unit at Molloy College is committed to the preparation of outstanding teaching professionals with the dispositions, skills and knowledge required to meet the needs of all students they will have the privilege to teach. It is the responsibility and goal of the faculty to guide students through pedagogically valid and intensely challenging learning and service experiences that empower teacher candidates to serve as leaders in schools and communities. Faculty recognize that effective teachers have a solid foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, aligned with national, state and institutional teaching and learning standards.
This Conceptual Framework relates directly to Molloy College's strategic plan and is supported by the four pillars of Dominican life: Prayer, study, preaching and community which we interpret as:
- Spirituality and reflection
- Research and teaching
The Molloy College Teacher Education faculty has derived its vision for the exemplary teacher from the College's mission statement, the four pillars of the Dominican tradition - spirituality and reflection, research and teaching, service, and community - and comments and input from the professional education unit's advisory boards.
The teaching professionals who complete Molloy's teacher preparation programs are distinguished by their ability to exemplify and promote core values in their own teaching. These values include:
- Belief that all children can learn
- Learner centered and value-centered curriculum and pedagogy
- Ethics and spirituality
- Intellectual curiosity
- Independence and risk-taking, while promoting collective identity and responsibility
- Diversity, multiculturalism and pluralism, including divergent thinking
- Passion for teaching
- Commitment to students and their communities
- Civic responsibility through the promotion of social justice and interdependence
- Commitment to democracy
For the Molloy community, teaching, when performed with integrity and compassion, is both spiritual and transformative.
Molloy teachers are characterized by their depth and breadth of knowledge in the academic content areas and in professional education, their ability to engage others as a community of learners, their enthusiasm for teaching and their commitment to become reflective practitioners, as well as life-long learners. Therefore, the Molloy graduate can be described as a values-based professional helping students or groups of students to:
- Clarify for themselves the nature of their own questions, in terms they can pursue
- Interpret their findings, in relation to other knowledge they have generated
- Pursue a course of action grounded in study, contemplation and reflection
To meet the vision of the Division of Education, Molloy College seeks to:
- Identify, recruit and retain faculty who are eager to represent, support and promote the shared vision and purpose of the professional education program
- Collaborate with arts and sciences faculty, who are committed to these proficiencies, in developing a strong content foundation for teacher candidates
- Partner with Pre-K to 12 schools to collaboratively design teacher education programs, coursework and field experiences
- Develop comprehensive opportunities for our candidates to assimilate the core values as they become exemplary teachers of knowledge, skills and values/dispositions
- Regularly assess core values and the programs based on them for continued growth and excellence
- Utilize the appropriate technology for data collection and strategic planning
- Embrace diversity and the quest for social justice
- Integrate relevant and responsible technology into all professional activities
The program goals of the Molloy College Division of Education are categorized as the knowledge, skills and dispositions which impact on student learning outcomes. The Molloy College Division of Education's benchmark performances and assessments are aligned with New York State Education Department standards for teacher performance as well as the specific standards of the following professional associations:
- Association for Childhood Education International
- National Council for Social Studies
- National Council of Teachers of English
- National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- National Council for Social Studies
- National Science Teachers Association
- Council for Exceptional Children
- TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
For candidates who are new to the teaching profession and who are enrolled in programs leading to initial certification, an innovative course of study which is sufficiently flexible to benefit the adult learner, is provided. These candidates who are changing careers or returning to teaching acquire a pedagogical knowledge base on which to continuously build effective teaching skills and strategies and learn how to become effective classroom facilitators who meet students' diverse needs. This program encourages learning from observation, participation and research in order to ascertain "best practices." Field experience culminating in full time student teaching is the capstone of this program.
The Division of Education views the candidates and faculty as interactive and supportive and has as its primary mission the success of candidates. A student-centered philosophy is the key to the Master of Science programs. This includes a one-on-one advisement process and closely monitored, individualized, in-depth field supervision which includes placement in high-needs schools with diverse settings.
The Molloy College mission statement directly impacts the Division of Education and provides the rationale for the Masters programs. The philosophy of the College states, "In an environment where academic freedom, a spirit of inquiry and respect for each individual's worth and dignity prevail, students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the challenges of modern life. Graduate education fosters a high level of scholarly inquiry for expansion of knowledge, self-enrichment and achievement of personal and professional goals."
Based upon this philosophy, Molloy College has an established and well-respected Division of Education committed to the preparation of knowledgeable, creative and challenging teachers.
To prepare teachers who are:
- Knowledgeable in all content areas of the elementary school curriculum or specialists in specific subject areas of the secondary school curriculum, cognizant of New York State Learning Standards and able to implement them in all subject areas
- Effective teachers of students with different learning styles, diverse abilities, varied ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds and students with learning disabilities and special needs, students for whom English is a new language, within inclusive settings which meet the needs of all students
- Efficient classroom managers who employ a variety of methods and techniques while successfully engaging students in their own learning
- Responsive observers of child/adolescent development, psychology and pedagogy in order to employ activities which motivate student learning at various levels of physical, psychological and social maturity
- Instructional designers who utilize various types of assessment, including performance-based and individually designed evaluation strategies, to improve curriculum and meet the needs of all students
- Innovative users of technology that enhances and supports curriculum
- Promoters of parental involvement, collaborators with other teachers, school administrators and cultural institutions, higher education partnerships and other entities who exert significant influence in students' lives
- Leaders in evaluating and improving curriculum, teaching techniques and school environments
- Reflective practitioners who study and evaluate educational research in order to implement best practices for student learning
- Life-long learners who engage in action research which will benefit the teaching/learning experience for all students