Department Goals

Education Department Mission Statement

Prepare engaging teachers to serve a community of learners.

Education Department Goals

The Waldorf College Education Program has adopted  INTASC (Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) Principles. Each principle has three benchmarks: Knowledge(K), Performance (P), and Disposition(D). The Education Program also endeavors to incorporate the CEC’s (The Council for Exceptional Children) worldwide mission to improve educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities. Graduates of the Waldorf Teacher Education Program will demonstrate the following:

Principle #1

The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.

  • 1K - The teacher understands major concepts, assumptions, debates, processes of inquiry, and ways of knowing that are central to the discipline(s) s/he teaches
  • 1D - The teacher has enthusiasm for the discipline(s) s/he teaches and sees connections to everyday life.
  • 1P - The teacher can use multiple representations and explanations of disciplinary concepts that capture key ideas and link them to students' prior understandings.

Principle #2

The teacher understands how children learn and develop, and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal development.

  • 2K - The teacher understands that students' physical, social, emotional, moral and cognitive development influence learning and knows how to address these factors when making instructional decisions.
  • 2D - The teacher appreciates individual variation within each area of development, shows respect for the diverse talents of all learners, and is committed to help them develop self-confidence and competence.
  • 2P - The teacher assesses individual and group performance in order to design instruction that meets learners' current needs in each domain (cognitive, social, emotional, moral, and physical) and that leads to the next level of development.

Principle #3

The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.

  • 3K - The teacher understands how students' learning is influenced by individual differences, talents, and prior learning, as well as language, culture, family and community values.
  • 3D - The teacher appreciates and values human diversity, shows respect for students' varied talents and perspectives, and is committed to the pursuit of individually configured excellence.
  • 3P - The teacher identifies and designs instruction appropriate to students’ stages of development, learning styles, strengths, and needs.

Principle #4

The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.

  • 4K - The teacher understands the cognitive processes associated with various kinds of learning (e.g. critical and creative thinking, problem structuring and problem solving, invention, memorization and recall) and how these processes can be stimulated.
  • 4D - The teacher values the development of students' critical thinking, independent problem solving, and performance capabilities.
  • 4P - The teacher carefully evaluates how to achieve learning goals, choosing alternative teaching strategies and materials to achieve different instructional purposes and to meet student needs (e.g. development stages, prior knowledge, learning styles, and interests.)

Principle #5

The teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

  • 5K - The teacher understands the principles of effective classroom management and can use a range of strategies to promote positive relationships, cooperation, and purposeful learning in the classroom.
  • 5D - The teacher is committed to the continuous development of individual students' abilities and considers how different motivational strategies are likely to encourage this development for each student.
  • 5P - The teacher creates a smoothly functioning learning community in which students assume responsibility for themselves and one another, participate in decision-making, work collaboratively and independently, and engage in purposeful learning activities.

Principle #6

The teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.

  • 6K - The teacher understands communication theory, language development, and the role of language in learning.
  • 6D - The teacher values many ways in which people seek to communicate and encourages many modes of communication in the classroom.
  • 6P - The teacher models effective communication strategies in conveying ideas and information and in asking questions (e.g. monitoring the effects of messages, restating ideas and drawing connections, using visual, aural, and kinesthetic cues, being sensitive to nonverbal cues given and received.

Principle #7

The teacher plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.

  • 7K - The teacher understands learning theory, subject matter, curriculum development, and student development and knows how to use this knowledge in planning instruction to meet curriculum goals.
  • 7D - The teacher believes that plans must always be open to adjustment and revision based on student needs and changing circumstances.
  • 7P - As an individual and a member of a team, the teacher selects and creates learning experiences that are appropriate for curriculum goals, relevant to learners, and based upon principles of effective instruction (e.g. that activate students' prior knowledge, anticipate preconceptions, encourage exploration and problem-solving, and build new skills on those previously acquired).

Principle #8

The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social and physical development of the learner.

  • 8K - The teacher understands the characteristics, uses, advantages, and limitations of different types of assessments (e.g. criterion-referenced and norm-referenced instruments, traditional standardized and performance-based tests, observation systems, and assessments of student work) for evaluating how students learn, what they now and are able to do, and what kinds of experiences will support their further growth and development.
  • 8D - The teacher is committed to using assessment to identify student strengths and promote student growth rather than to deny students access to learning opportunities.
  • 8P - The teacher appropriately uses a variety of formal and informal assessment techniques (e.g. observation, portfolios of student work, teacher-made tests, performance tasks, projects, student self-assessments, peer assessment, and standardized tests) to enhance her or his knowledge of learners, evaluate students' progress and performances, and modify teaching and learning strategies.

Principle #9

The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.

  • 9K - The teacher understands methods of inquiry that provide him/her with a variety of self-assessment and problem-solving strategies for reflecting on his/her practice, its influences on students' growth and learning, and the complex interactions between them.
  • 9D - The teacher values critical thinking and self-directed learning as habits of mind.
  • 9P - The teacher uses classroom observation, information about students, and research as sources for evaluating the outcomes of teaching and learning and as a basis for experimenting with, reflecting on, and revising practice.

Principle #10

The teacher fosters relationships with colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students' learning and well-being.

  • 10K - The teacher understands schools as organizations within the larger community context and understands the operations of the relevant aspects of the system(s) within which s/he works.
  • 10D - The teacher is willing to work with parents and other professionals to improve the overall learning environment for students.
  • 10P - The teacher establishes respectful and productive relationships with parents and guardians from diverse home and community situations, and seeks to develop cooperative partnerships in support of student learning and well being.