Setting Ourselves Apart

Teacher preparation at UNC Charlotte offers a distinctly engaging experience that prepares individuals to be highly competent educators. Toward this goal, all of our teacher preparation programs are undergirded by four foundational pillars to promote program coherence.

At the Cato College of Education, each program promotes a set of focus (i.e, core) instructional practices. These focus practices, based on existing research on good instruction, form the bedrock for what our teacher education candidates should know and be able to do when they enter the profession. To support the uptake of these practices, candidates in our teacher education programs engage in a version of practice-based teacher education. Though how it is enacted differs across programs, common components include modeling and breaking down of focus practices; opportunities to rehearse practices; and early field experiences where candidates can familiarize themselves with focus practices prior to their student teaching internship.

Our programs align with the most recent scholarship on instruction and student learning—including evidence-based decision-making. Candidates are taught how to articulate their instructional decision-making so that they are informed, reflective practitioners. Bolstering this work, teacher preparation at UNC Charlotte centers equity and diversity. Candidates are intentionally exposed to wide-array of educational contexts, so that they are prepared to work in diverse school settings. Moreover, future teachers are encouraged to teach and reflect critically on how diversity and community assets contribute to learning.

Collectively, these four pillars drive our program trajectories and offer a unique teacher education experience.

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