An Integrative Approach to Preparing Educators

To ensure the future of the students, parents seek for the best educators. Education students should learn how to think like professional educators as early as possible. This begins in schooling. They have to learn how to address the multiple demand of schooling in effective ways. How to make this possible? Here is a professionalize course that uses integrative approach to prepare the education students and teach them think like professional educators described by Veronica Boix Mansilla and Robert Kegan from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The course was introduced in the fall of 2004 and presented complicated challenges to integrate different views using different disciplines like psychology, economics and pedagogy and the perspectives of people that are engaged in children’s education. The course begins with the planning process. The faculty in- charged with the design of the course met regularly in a complete year before introducing the course to plan and talk about their work and its relation to schooling. This process enabled them to understand each others specialties and let them put substance in the course.

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They were able to extract the most important message for educators (http://www. gse. harvard. edu/hfrp/eval. html). Then the method and practice of teachings is introduced. The faculty members have written a case with different issues. This includes the student social responsibilities, school reform, organizational relationship and problems in teachings. This is the main part of the case interrelated with different activities that will make the students analyze and deal the problems they encounter in different ways.

In the case, a fictional school principal is placed in a real school district in Massachusetts and supplemented by data from the district level. Then the students should come up with two or more perspectives as they analyze the case. They are finally asked to do a project solving the problem for the fictional school as teams. They are required to come up with many perspectives to address issues productively and to propose a well-designed action plan (http://www. gse. harvard. edu/hfrp/eval. html).. Finally, the course aims to develop the students’ understanding.

From the evaluation of the course that was conducted, it revealed that the students showed development in their capability to integrate different views. Students develop their skills in analytic perspectives. They were able to produce concepts and reasons and learned to set criteria for selecting perspectives. They were also able to understand the issues using integrated approaches. They stayed aware of the responsibilities, purpose and limitations of the individual (http://www. gse. harvard. edu/hfrp/eval. html).. The course is in the process of refinement and will be repeated and focus on elementary and secondary education.