The mission of our Teacher Preparation Program is in harmony with the goals and objectives of the University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla Strategic Plan. This innovative teacher preparation program is committed to the development of elementary and secondary highly qualified educators with sound knowledge in general education, in the principles, concepts, and processes of the discipline they plan to teach and in the effective and creative use of educational technology for the development of powerful teaching and learning strategies.
In accordance with the vision of the University of Puerto Rico in Aguadilla, this Teacher Preparation Program responds to the commitment of being a model of excellence. The program completers will be recognized as knowledgeable, reflective, and transforming professionals in continuous learning, with the capacity to modify educational processes within a global and democratic society. In addition, they will model social responsibility, respect, commitment, ethics, and sensitivity towards human beings, their environment, and their culture.
Philosophy and Goals
The philosophy of the Educator Preparation Program – UPRAg contextualizes the goals and objectives of the unit by providing diverse experiences that enable the teacher candidates to demonstrate their knowledge through critical analysis, inquiry, and synthesis. As a result, they will develop ethical values that will allow them to fulfill their potential in significant ways. The faculty of the Educator Preparation Program -UPRAg empowers teacher candidates to build connections between content areas and field experiences, integrating the principles established in our conceptual framework.
The program is grounded in the philosophical foundation that integrates the cognitive, humanistic, and constructivist principles and is committed to develop a knowledgeable, reflective, and transforming teacher. These theoretical foundations are based on the ideas, schools, and research of Piaget, Dewey, Vygotsky, and Brooks and Brooks, among others.
The philosophical principles that the Educator Preparation Program – UPRAg embraces are the following:
- Knowledge is an active process where the students are not just passive recipients of information, but active participants (Brooks and Brooks, 1999; Vygotsky, in Dunn, 2005).
- Cognitive process a result of the construction and interaction of the individuals with their environment (Piaget in Driscoll, 2000) to transform the teaching and learning experience in response to diverse cultural backgrounds and learning styles (Gardner, 2002)
- Awareness of ethical and aesthetic values (Kohlberg, in Santrock, 2006) and appreciation of the Puerto Rican society and its relationship with other cultures to promote social commitment and responsibility (Hostos, 1903).
- Educational technology, as an innovative tool for education, empowers the individual; therefore, the teacher candidates are skilled in using a variety of technologies in instruction, assessment, and in their own research and professional development (Wiens, 2005).
- Life-long learning is ingrained in the teacher candidates so that they are committed to pursue knowledge, reflect, inquire, and generate changes that will contribute to the student’s learning experiences (Stronge and Tucker, 2004).
- Cognitive development occurs as the individuals act on their ideas in societal settings and reflect on their own learning experiences (Dewey, in Gutek, 2004).
Competencies for Teacher Candidates
The competencies of the teacher candidate of the Department of Education and Physical Education of the University of Puerto Rico in Aguadilla are the following:
- Knowledge of the principles, concepts and processes that represent and integrate the area of education to serve a diverse population.
- Knowledge of current philosophies and the social and psychological repercussions on students and school communities.
- Ability to interact effectively as a learning facilitator, demonstrating ethical and professional behavior.
- Mastery of methodologies, strategies and techniques that demonstrate an effective teaching and learning process.
- Knowledge and application of planning practices and development of educational tasks, as well as the assessment of learning in the classroom.
- Ability to obtain, analyze, evaluate and use information effectively in research and decision making.
- Mastery of language and communication skills.
- Knowledge and effective use of multimedia as a tool in the learning process.
- Awareness of ethical and aesthetic moral values and respect for diversity and inclusion.