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Our mission for educator licensure programs at Bridgewater State University is to graduate creative, caring and skilled professionals who combine deep knowledge of content with rich understanding of how young people learn. Our graduates collaborate effectively with colleagues and families to apply their knowledge in schools throughout Massachusetts and the nation. The most crucial elements in students? education are the people who staff their schools. Therefore, we use the Growth of the Professional Educator model to incorporate the themes of student learning, effective practice and collaboration throughout programs offered at the university.
To foster meaningful learning, our candidates must understand and respect children and adolescents as holistic, individual learners, observe carefully their interests and needs, and help each one succeed at the highest level possible. Our candidates understand and value students as members of families and communities, each with a distinct social and cultural context that shapes his or her world. Our candidates recognize that the challenge and joy of working with children and adolescents lies principally in understanding each student as a unique learner with his or her own individual strengths, needs, and aspirations.
To work effectively with students, our candidates must learn to foster the curiosity, openness and risk-taking essential to meaningful learning. Our candidates create learning environments that encourage students to experiment, collaborate, practice and struggle in order to achieve their goals. They help students see learning as a complex, recursive and life-long process. Our candidates are guided by a rich theoretical understanding of how children construct knowledge, and they draw on an extensive research-based pedagogical skill-set, including a wide range of digital resources, to deepen learning. They are also skilled in thoughtfully adapting their practice to meet the needs of their students. Our candidates use on-going, relevant assessments aligned with state and national standards, drawing on a variety of data to evaluate student learning and continually refine their practice.
To further improve their practice, our candidates must draw on the many resources of their profession, from national organizations in the disciplines to current research in their fields. They graduate knowing how to work as part of a team, collaborating effectively with teachers, counselors, allied staff, and administrators to better foster student learning. They also work with parents and community members, sharing information and strategies that support students and schools. To help students learn and thrive in the twenty-first century, our candidates are active members in a community of educators. Bridgewater State University plays a key role in this community, drawing together people and resources from throughout southeastern Massachusetts and beyond to prepare the best possible educators for our rapidly changing and increasingly interconnected world.