Early Childhood/Special Education Purpose and Overall Goals of the Degree Program
Preparing the next generation of teachers is the mission of the School of Education. As the population in this region grows along with an increasing number of veteran teachers approaching retirement, there will be strong demand for qualified teacher candidates. In developing a program that produces teachers with certification in Early Childhood Special Education General Curriculum, Gordon State College meets the growing need in the community it serves for these highly qualified professionals. Mentor teachers and administrators in neighboring school districts play important roles in this partnership. Through field experiences and teaching internships, Gordon teacher candidates in the Bachelor of Science programs develop confidence in their chosen career path. They also learn what it means to "touch the future" through the lives of school children.
The unit’s vision is to prepare teachers who will make a difference in the lives of the children and in the communities they serve. Their careers will build on the foundations of competence and dispositions of character which were initially guided in their professional preparation at Gordon. In this regard, our vision is to provide a program recognized among educational leaders for the distinctive quality and capability of a “Gordon” teacher.
Who is a Gordon teacher? A Gordon teacher is one who possesses the abilities, skills, knowledge and confidence to inspire and enable each student to become a lifelong learner and reach his/her full potential.
Outcomes for Successful Teacher Candidates
The ten outcomes listed below describe the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required of candidates. They are organized within the categories of the InTASC & Teacher Keys.
Content and Curriculum
- The candidate demonstrates an accurate understanding of elementary curriculum within the contexts of central concepts, tools of inquiry, structures and engagement of learners.
Knowledge of Students
- The candidate demonstrates knowledge of educational foundations within the contexts of, law, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and technology.
- The candidate demonstrates knowledge of learning theory within the contexts of child development, family and parent dynamics, human exceptionalities and diversity.
Learning Environments, Planning and Instruction
- The candidate is an advocate for the success of all children in their care and provides nurturing guidance appropriate to their development.
- The candidate demonstrates simplicity in articulation of the curriculum based upon understanding the complexity of learner needs and the systemic nature of assessment, planning, and accommodations in teaching strategies.
- The candidate demonstrates an effective utilization of technology and curricular resources in the implementation of learning plans.
- The candidate models expectations held for students in his/her communication, demeanor, commitment to personal growth, and sense of empathy.
- The candidate collaborates with parents, other educators, and members of the community to improve the learning process for all students.
- The candidate utilizes analysis of the individual student’s assessment to make adjustments in teaching to improve performance.
- The candidate encourages students to take responsibility for their learning and provides multiple opportunities for them to develop proficiency.