OUR TEACHING AND LEARNING PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING
The conceptual framework, “Why UDL? Because every child deserves access to a personalized education,” drives the mission of the Institute to prepare highly qualified and effective professional educators equipped to meet the diverse learning needs of all students. Since learner variability is as unique as the human fingerprint, we effectuate our mission by preparing beginning educators to link current cognitive and neuroscience research to classroom instructional practices through
Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
UDL is a research-based, teaching and learning framework that harnesses the power and flexibility of modern technology to eliminate instructional barriers and promote inclusive classrooms. For example, the design of web pages for users with low vision make it easier for all to read. UDL drives our online course delivery design and enhances personalized learning. We encourage teacher candidates to select their preferred format for reviewing and completing tasks, such as using text, audio, video, and/or graphics across desktop, mobile, and tablet platforms. Since UDL fosters a sense of social, cognitive, and teaching presence within each course, our teacher candidates discover that we “practice what we preach.”
Texas Standard Teacher Certificate Course
Texas and US schools continue to grow, and certified classroom teachers are in high demand. Teacher candidates who complete our teacher certification program earn the highly coveted Texas Standard Teacher Certificate. This certificate transfers to all states through the Interstate Reciprocity Agreement.
Our programs include self-paced modules that offer an assortment of live and recorded webinars, face-to-face workshops, interactive exercises, readings, case studies, self-assessments, and school observations to help you develop 21st century teaching skills. Instructor-led webinars provide qualitative context and connect you to a network of professional colleagues for career support. All instructors are veteran educators who hold advanced degrees in their academic specialties.
MODULE 1: INTRODUCTION TO PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION
This learning module examines evidence-based instructional planning. The module explores the Texas K-12 curriculum (the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) and the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework.
MODULE 2: INTRODUCTION TO INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
This learning module emphasizes the importance of instructional practice that reflects a deep belief that all children, including students with disabilities and English language learners, can achieve if provided with cognitively demanding learning tasks
that fairly and equitably optimize student learning.
MODULE 3: INSTRUCTIONAL PLANNING AND ASSESSMENT THROUGH UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING
This learning module introduces educational neuroscience as the foundation of instructional planning and assessment practices for teachers. Classroom assessment drives instructional quality and effectiveness through
data-driven educational practices.
MODULE 4: CONTENT PEDAGOGY ACROSS
ALL CURRICULUM AREAS
This learning module introduces evidence-based pedagogy across all school curriculum areas. Cross-disciplinary pedagogy is examined in light of research findings of the national Institute for Education Sciences.
MODULE 5: FIELD OBSERVATIONS AND
This module includes a school-based observation component and preparation for the TExES examinations. This module must be completed at the Pass Level in order to qualify to sit for the TExES Content and PPR exams.
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICUM SELECTION
To earn the Texas Standard Teacher Certificate, teacher candidates must complete one professional practicum. Candidates may complete a year-long professional practicum as a Probationary/Intern Teacher earning a full teacher salary and benefits or an unpaid Clinical Teaching practicum. Clinical Teachers are basically “Student Teachers” who complete a 14 week internship under the supervision of a certified, veteran educator. Many school paraprofessionals select the 14 week practicum.