Conceptual Framework for Teacher Education

Plymouth State University
Council of Teacher Education
Conceptual Framework



The teacher education programs at Plymouth State University strive to develop visionary educators who will take the lead in transforming education in the state, the region, and the nation to better serve all students and their families.  Our vision is rooted in Plymouth State’s tradition of service, emphasized in the university motto, “Ut Prosim—That I May Serve.”  At the same time, we seek to anticipate and respond to changing demographics and societal expectations by reaching into communities with programs that will educate and inspire.  Through collaborations with area schools and community organizations, we aim to emphasize our shared commitment to the education and well-being of all students.  Above all, we endeavor to prepare competent and caring educators who exemplify the qualities of Commitment, Service, Vision, and Leadership, and who, in turn, will cultivate these qualities in the students they teach.


Plymouth State carries on a long-standing commitment to serve communities, the state, and the region, by preparing thoughtful, reflective educators who envision a better future for all students and willingly accept the responsibilities and challenges of leadership.  Beyond the initial certification level, the university offers programs in a variety of educational specialties which provide educational professionals with opportunities to enhance their personal and professional growth and development.  The Council of Teacher Education builds on the university’s mission to provide learning experiences that promote understanding and respect for all people and to foster the constructive, open-minded discourse that is so necessary in a democracy.

Conceptual Framework for Teacher Education

The conceptual framework for teacher education at Plymouth State University is a shared set of beliefs and attitudes that serves as the foundation for each teacher education program. The framework clearly identifies for faculty, staff and students the core values that we share as a community. These core values-Commitment, Holism, Experience, Collaboration and Knowledge-are meaningfully integrated into all teacher education coursework, service learning and practice teaching experiences. In brief, the underlying assumptions of the conceptual framework are as follows:


We define commitment as dedication, perseverance and individual and social responsibility. Our candidates are committed to lifelong learning and to increasing self-knowledge. They are committed to the beliefs that all students can learn and that education has the power to transform individuals and the greater society. Our candidates recognize the responsibility of educators to take a thoughtful and critical stance towards themselves and their profession.


Our holistic perspective involves affirming diversity and understanding the “whole child” within the family, community and cultural context. It includes working towards an integrated curriculum and recognizing how we as educators are shaped by our own experiences and culture. This holistic perspective shapes our larger vision.


Experience allows us to put theory into practice. We provide opportunities for experiential learning that serves communities and schools so that our candidates can do the same for their students. Experience also involves constantly renewing skills and knowledge within one’s discipline.


Collaboration involves working with students, families and colleagues effectively towards shared goals, showing respect and openness towards diverse perspectives, and confronting and resolving conflicts effectively and respectfully. Collaboration enhances both teaching and learning, and is an essential part of developing the capacity to lead.


Knowledge refers to understanding the theory, content, methods and materials, and technologies of one’s field, and understanding child and adolescent development, learning processes and motivation as these are shaped by culture. Teaching that engages all learners combines a knowledge of students and one’s subjects within the cultural, social and institutional context.

Teacher education candidates are introduced to the Conceptual Framework in their introduction to education courses.