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.”
Required Pre-Teaching and Professional Practicum Coursework
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.
Orientation covers TXITE and TEA policies/procedures for earning a Texas Standard Teacher Certificate.
MODULE 1: INTRODUCTION TO EDUCATION
This module examines evidence-based instructional planning. The module explores the state K-12 curriculum (the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) and the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework.
MODULE 2: INTRODUCTION TO INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
This module emphasizes the importance of instructional practice that reflects a deep belief that all children can achieve if provided with cognitively demanding learning tasks that fairly and equitably optimize student learning.
MODULE 3: UDL AND INSTRUCTIONAL PLANNING: EDUCATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE IMPLICATIONS OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
This module introduces educational neuroscience as the foundation of instructional planning.
MODULE 4: UDL AND INSTRUCTIONAL ASSESSMENT: EDUCATIONAL NEUROSCIENCE IMPLICATIONS OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
This module introduces formative and summative assessment practices for teachers. Classroom assessment drives instructional quality and effectiveness through data-driven educational practices.
MODULE 5: TEACHING LITERACY AND SOCIAL STUDIES TO STUDENTS WITH DIVERSE LEARNING NEEDS
This module introduces effective, evidence-based literacy and social study instruction for K12 students.
MODULE 6: TEACHING MATHEMATICS/SCIENCE TO STUDENTS WITH DIVERSE LEARNING NEEDS
This module explores effective, evidence-based mathematics and science instruction for K12 students.
MODULE 7: MULTI-DISCIPLINARY CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION: LINKING UDL TO K12 INSTRUCTION ACROSS ALL CONTENT AREAS
This module explores pedagogy and professional responsibilities for classroom educators teaching all content areas.
MODULE 8: FIELD OBSERVATIONS (30 CLOCK HOURS) AND TEXES PEDAGOGY AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES (PPR) EXAMINATION
This module includes a school-based observation component and preparation for the TExES examinations.
Module 9: TExES CONTENT AND PPR QUALIFYING EXAMS
This module must be completed at the Pass Level in order to qualify to sit for the TExES Content and PPR exams.
MODULE 10: PROFESSIONAL PRACTICUM
To earn the Texas Standard Teacher Certificate, teacher candidates must complete a professional practicum. Candidates may elect to complete a year-long practicum as a Probationary/Intern Teacher earning a full teacher salary and benefits. Candidates may also elect to complete a Clinical Teaching practicum. Clinical Teachers are basically “Student Teachers” who complete an unpaid, 14 week internship under the supervision of a certified, veteran educator.