School of Education Conceptual Framework
The vision of the Seattle Pacific University School of Education is to influence the region, the nation, and the world through the equipping of educational leaders for public and private schools.
The mission of the Seattle Pacific University School of Education is to equip educators for service and leadership in schools and communities by developing their professional competence and character, to make a positive impact on learning.
The School of Education's mission statement and the mission statement and education plan of Seattle Pacific University share a common commitment to themes, informed by our Christian faith and values as articulated in Micah 6:8: And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
The themes include the commitment to leadership and service in the community, and the commitment to character and competence. All of these commitments are focused on the professional and personal growth of our graduates, and speak to the conception of educator as master of a particular discipline, but also as a person who finds meaning and hope in a professional vocation, a "calling."
For this reason, the commitments include professional competence, and leadership in one's area of responsibility, but they also include a commitment to character and to a larger vision of service to the educational community and beyond. Through its integration of service, leadership, character, and competence, the School of Education's mission captures the distinctiveness of a Christian university that prepares educators who are capable and committed to have a positive impact on the learning of a diverse community of K–12 learners.
Effective educators are committed to service, an idea that is deeply imbedded in the language of education. The goal at Seattle Pacific 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.
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 in order to share learning, and to construct meaning and knowledge collectively and collaboratively.
Effective educators demonstrate competence in carrying out their respective roles in learning communities. As competent practitioners, SOE 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.
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.