Teacher education has been a primary endeavor of Tuskegee University since its founding in 1881 as Alabama’s first Normal School for the Training of Negro Teachers. Baccalaureate degree programs in education were established in 1927 and over the years, Tuskegee University’s teacher education graduates have served the profession in every region of the country and abroad. Now, as in the past, the School of Education maintains a strong commitment to improve education in the public schools through the field-based experience program and service activities.
The School of Education is the academic unit that prepares professional educators through its two departments: the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Physical Education. The School offers a total of five (5) degree programs. A coordinator is assigned to each degree program within the two departments with responsibility for monitoring each program’s goals and objectives to ensure consistency with local, state, and national standards.
The School of Education at Tuskegee University is accredited under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education NCATE), a subsidiary Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), until such time it comes up for accreditation under CAEP. All programs are approved by the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) for Alabama teacher certification. Regionally, the University is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Goals and Objectives of the School of Education
The primary mission of the School of Education is to develop liberally educated, well-rounded individuals who are knowledgeable in their fields of specialization, proficient in the application of professional skills, and capable of identifying and adjusting to future professional requirements. More specifically, graduates of the School of Education’s programs are expected to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the content and content-related pedagogy of their teaching field.
- Organize a student-centered and democratic classroom.
- Apply principles of human growth and development and constructivist learning.
- Adjust teaching methodology as a result of reflection, critical thinking, and sound reasoning.
- Work with the community within and outside the school environment.
- Become lifelong learners who seek new knowledge and experiences.
- Engage in professional development and scholarly endeavors that improve teaching and student learning.
- Engage in professional development and scholarly activities that improve schools and the profession.
Teacher education majors at Tuskegee University are educated within a Constructivist Reflective Conceptual Framework first adopted by the School of Education in 1992 and revisited in 1997, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2015. The framework’s research and philosophical bases expand the more traditional concept of “knowing,” and support: critical and reflective pedagogy, inquiry-oriented teaching, and a problem-solving view of learning. In summary, a constructivist reflective teacher:
- Encourages and accepts student autonomy and initiative.
- Uses raw data and primary sources, manipulatives, interactive and physical materials.
- Uses words such as classify, analyze, predict, and create when framing learning tasks.
- Allows student responses to drive lessons, shift instructional strategies, and alter content.
- Inquires about students’ understandings of concepts before sharing their own understandings of those concepts.
- Encourages students to engage in dialogue, both with the teacher and with one another.
- Encourages student inquiry by asking thoughtful, open-ended questions, and encourages students to ask questions of each other.
- Seeks elaboration of students’ initial responses.
- Engages students in experiences that might engender contradictions to their initial hypotheses and then encourages discussion.
- Allows wait time after posing questions.
- Provides time for students to construct relationships and create metaphors.
- Nurtures students’ natural curiosity through frequent use of the learning cycle (inquiry or problem-based) model of teaching.
A constructivist teacher reflects on how best to:
- Create curricula materials and other resources that are clearly linked to the intent or goal of an instructional event.
- Monitor students’ understanding of content, provide feedback, and adjust learning activities as needed.
- Monitor and accommodate students’ individual interests, developmental levels, and cultural resources through a variety of learning activities.
- Create a safe and positive classroom climate with good student/teacher rapport and respect which promotes equity.
Degree Granting Areas
Each teacher candidate who completes program requirements will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in one of the following academic areas:
English Language Arts Education
General Science Education
Students majoring in English Language Arts Education must declare and complete a second degree in English; General Science Education majors must declare and complete a second degree in Biology; and majors in Mathematics Education must declare and complete a second degree in Mathematics.
Instructional and Research Support Services
Campus facilities and resources are offered through the main library and other facilities throughout the University. Also, resources are available in Huntington Hall, which houses the School of Education as well as community school-based sites.
All Tuskegee University teacher education majors are required to complete field-based experiences in state approved schools. Students must make arrangements for transportation to field-based sites. The School of Education has a special cooperative relationship with t h e Macon County School System, Auburn City School System, Lee County School System, and Tallapoosa School System and other surrounding school systems in Alabama.
Huntington Hall is equipped with state-of-the- art technology for teacher education that includes two major types: (1) utility tools and (2) teacher preparation tools. Utility tools include voice-over IP phone systems, desktop computers, notebook computers, color printers, black/white printers, scanners, and LCD projectors. Inclusive of utility tools, additional teacher preparation tools include overhead projectors, slide projectors, smart boards, mimeo pads, and student response system devices. Software includes standard office suites, web development software, Microsoft Publisher, Adobe Photoshop, various presentation software systems, video production software, and multiple education software systems and suites.
Curriculum Resources Laboratory
The Curriculum Resources Laboratory (CRL) is also located in Huntington Hall. The CRL is a satellite of the University’s main library which provides teacher education students, professional education faculty, and program specialists with professional publications, current children’s literature collection, manipulatives for teaching, study guides for PRAXIS II Content Knowledge Tests and study guides for the (ETS PRAXIS Core Tests). The CRL also provides materials and resources to develop bulletin boards, manipulatives, posters, identification cards, video tapes and presentations. Laboratory equipment includes overhead and LCD projectors, portable document camera (Elmo), a lettering machine, cameras and desktop computers.
Media and Technology Laboratory
The Media and Technology Laboratory (MTL) provides teacher education candidates and faculty with a variety of equipment including computers, smart boards, an Elmo, scanners, etc. to enhance teaching and learning.
Student Professional Organizations and Clubs
The School of Education sponsors departmental clubs and student chapters of several national and international professional organizations, including:
- Golden Key International Honor Society
- International Reading Association
- Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society in Education
- Phi Delta Kappa Honor Society
- Student Alabama Education Association (SAEA)
- Student National Education Association (SNEA)