The Teacher Education faculty at the University of Southern Maine (USM) are dedicated to instilling a commitment to equitable and engaged learning in its students and supporting students to be teachers who:
- Continually examine beliefs and practices and act upon findings to improve teaching and learning.
- Provide a variety of accessible learning experiences that attend fairly to learners' strengths, needs, and interests.
- Establish and communicate clear, challenging, and attainable standards for all learners.
- Support and refine teaching and learning through sharing diverse perspectives and understandings.
- Integrate teaching knowledge and disciplinary knowledge to foster and support professional expertise.
- Use multiple sources of information, including performance-based assessments, to make valid inferences about student learning and informed instructional decisions.
- Provide feedback and adjust teaching based on growing understandings about learners and learning.
- Create, study, critique, and apply research related to teaching, learning, and schooling.
Students must meet the Maine Department of Education and InTASC (Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) Model Core Teaching Standards. Undergraduate Teacher Education at USM uses a rubric that aligns to these standards to assess students for program completion and certification recommendation.
Standard #1: Learner Development
The teacher understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
Standard #2: Learning Differences
The teacher uses an understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
Standard #3: Learning Environments
The teacher works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
Standard #4: Content Knowledge
The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
Standard #5: Application of Content
The teacher understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
Standard #6: Assessment
The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.
Standard #7: Planning for Instruction
The teacher plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
Standard #8: Instructional Strategies
The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop a deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
Standard #9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice
The teacher engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
Standard #10: Leadership and Collaboration
The teacher seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.
Standard #11: ISTE Technology Standards for Teachers
Effective teachers model and apply the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards for students as they design, implement, and assess learning experiences to engage students and improve learning; enrich professional practice; and provide positive models for students, colleagues, and the community.