Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education
Professional Education Unit Belief Statement
Consistent with our conceptual framework, the School of Education has adopted the following set of shared beliefs to help guide our work.
- A strong liberal arts background helps candidates to hone their intellectual skills and understand their chosen discipline more fully.
- Providing service to others is our civic responsibility.
- Commitment, dedication, and caring enhance student learning.
- Moral integrity and collegial, respectful conduct among the administration, faculty, staff, and candidates are necessary to provide an effective, professional, and cohesive educational experience.
- Self-determination, self-advocacy, and self-improvement are keys to lifelong learning.
- All students can and will learn when provided with the appropriate conditions, opportunities, and resources.
- Successful learning communities respond to the needs, interests, and backgrounds of each student.
- Professional educators should develop content knowledge and pedagogical skills concurrently and in the most authentic settings possible.
- Effective teaching and learning involves the transformation of understanding based on the depth, quality, and flexibility of the content being taught, and its applicability to the prior knowledge of the learner.
- Maximizing the relationship between technology and other resources enhances educational programs, faculty and staff development, and candidate learning.
- Understanding and respecting diversity enhances professional and personal development.
- Reflective practice is the foundation for career-long professional and personal growth.
- Embracing multiple perspectives expands our knowledge base and informs our decisions.
- The use of data collection, analysis, and evaluation informs decision making and guides program improvement.
- Continuous improvement is essential and most effective when it is informed by research, best practice, and internal and external assessment.
- Partnerships within our own institution and with other institutions are essential and mutually beneficial.
Social justice is the central philosophy on which the School of Education conceptual framework is based. This philosophy is deeply rooted in the Catholic tradition under which St. John Fisher College was originally founded and served as the central focus of the life of our patron, St. John Fisher. Consistent with this tradition, the School of Education seeks to provide our candidates, faculty, and staff with insights of a more “just” world in which people treat one another civilly, humanely, and honorably. To accomplish this noble purpose, our candidates must know how and be able to: (1) provide all learners with equitable access to knowledge about themselves and the world in which they live; (2) engage in caring and effective pedagogical practices that support the acquisition of new knowledge and skills; (3) help students become independent and lifelong learners, and active participants in a social and political democracy; and (4) advocate for the interests of the students that they serve. To these ends, the School of Education philosophy of social justice is characterized by five interlocking tenets: diversity, achievement, compassion, knowledge, and service.