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Conceptual Framework

College of Education The University of Texas at Brownsville Our conceptual framework provides guidance for the coherent development and consistent implementation of all COE programs. The multilayered framework revolves around the COE’s mission to prepare highly skilled professionals to assume roles and positions in teaching, research, educational leadership, service and human development. The COE carries out its mission through the collaborative interaction among departments within our college, and through collaborative efforts with other academic colleges and PK-12 schools.

Intersecting the framework’s center are our four guiding principles: inquiry, interculturalism, pedagogical leadership and interrelatedness, around which the unit develops policies and practices. These principles articulate our expectations for all unit administrators, faculty, students and graduates. These principles also serve as the foundation for innovative, interdisciplinary and research-based curricula, as well as for cutting-edge research that is responsive to diverse community needs.

Forming the outer perimeter of our framework are arrows (see Figure 1) labeled professionalism, knowledge in practice, reflection, diversity and collaboration. These arrows represent the COE’s categories of standards related to knowledge, skills and dispositions that are addressed and assessed across programs, and which operate in dynamic reciprocity with our four guiding principles. As candidates matriculate through programs, they are expected to demonstrate key proficiencies and dispositions associated with these standards. These key proficiencies are expressed as COE categories of standards and were developed by COE faculty in alignment with our guiding principles, state standards and INTASC standards.

This conceptual framework represents a commitment to a coherent common vision, shared goals and consistent outcomes across programs. Our framework continues to be developed with flexibility in mind, so as to give rise to innovations that meet the particular needs of individual courses and programs as well as the needs of faculty and students as individuals. Our guiding principles allow us to pull these particularities together in innovative and educationally meaningful ways that support individual development and vitalize the unit as a whole (Rooney, 2010).

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