The Four Commitments
The programs of the SPU School of Education are distinguished by a vision for igniting hope through four commitments: to service and leadership in the community, and to the growth of competence and character as educators. These commitments speak to the idea of an educator as the master of a discipline and as someone who finds meaning and hope in a professional vocation or "calling."
As a student in the School of Education, you'll learn in a program shaped by these four commitments. The goal is to prepare you to positively influence diverse learners, families, and communities.
A Commitment to Service
Effective educators are committed to service, an idea that is deeply imbedded in the language of education. The goal at SPU is to integrate the idea of "vocation" and Christian service in a winsome and appropriate way in the predominantly secular field of education.
This need has prompted such terms as "servant leadership," an approach to leadership and service in which serving others is emphasized, and "service learning," a form of experiential education that combines occupational and/or academic learning with service to community. Both of these aspects of service shed light on ways in which SPU candidates can fulfill their mission of service in an ever-changing world.
A Commitment to Leadership
Effective educators acknowledge the responsibility of each educator for the learning and growth of children. It is inspirational, but also participatory. It includes demonstration of the ability to motivate and direct others, to create and support principle-based ideas, to accomplish tasks in group situations, to help teams work toward goals, and to manage them to completion. Leadership involves bringing groups together to share learning, and to construct meaning and knowledge collectively and collaboratively.
A Commitment to Competence
Effective educators demonstrate competence in carrying out their respective roles in learning communities. As competent practitioners, School of Education graduates are expected to demonstrate excellence and mastery in their ability to plan and deliver instruction, use technology to support the learning of all students, and address the diverse needs of all students and their communities.
A Commitment to Character
Effective educators demonstrate character, which acknowledges the dispositional implications of teaching and learning. Graduates will be able to motivate and lead people, they must have a heart for service to students and the community, and they must be able to demonstrate significant professional expertise ― all within a framework of strong personal values and support for the explicit and implicit ethical standards for professional educators.
Read the School of Education’s entire Conceptual Framework.
Serving the Urban Community
Margaret Hanscom hadn't pictured herself teaching in a low-income, urban school until her senior internship. "I enjoyed it and hope to ... teach in that type of school. It is extremely challenging, but also rewarding and fulfilling."