Conceptual Framework Draft

The Dewar College of Education Conceptual Framework Committee would like to encourage you to take a moment to provide feedback on the current draft of the conceptual framework. Please use the links on this page to access the draft and a brief survey. Thank you for your time and feedback.

Conceptual Framework Draft Spring 2013

Dewar College of Education Survey



Interpretive Summary of Graphical Representation

            The lighthouse metaphor was adopted as part of the conceptual framework by the Dewar College of Education’s (DCOE) stakeholders in 2005. Although the conceptual framework and the graphic have evolved through the years, the lighthouse still stands as a timeless symbol of our commitment to a clear vision, guiding principles, and performance-based standards. This metaphor represents the Dewar College of Education, in partnership with campus and community partners, as a beacon that assists a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, and administrators, enlightening and guiding educational progress in our region.

            The lighthouse is well grounded, based on a strong foundation of performance-based standards that are solidly rooted in evidence-based practices. This foundation of is designed to withstand the potentially hazardous storms created through unpredictable external factors.   The conceptual framework elements, the vision—to positively impact learning through evidence-based practices, the guiding principles--DEPOSITS, and the six standards common to all programs were developed through a systematic process that incorporated research, literature, and theory alongside the experiences, preferences, and commitments of our stakeholders. All actions, processes, and outcomes of the lighthouse demonstrate the linkage to evidence-based practices. All people, using the lighthouse as a reference point, are expected to make decisions based on what works, with consideration for learner, goal, and learning environment. They are also expected to build on and extend the evidence base through reflective practice and research. Each of the aforementioned ideas is represented in the statement at the bottom of the graphic; Building on Standards, Guided by Principles, Preparing Professionals: Together We Innovate and Use Evidence-Based Practices.

            The lighthouse is well constructed with a foundation of performance-based standards that represent categories of knowledge and skills and tower consisting of principles that we believe must guide the practices of effective educational professionals. Each principle is a touchstone that gives substance to decisions made about programs, curriculum, instruction, and assessment. The Principles lend equal and independent strength, and are laid out from top to bottom as a mnemonic device (DEPOSITS) to encourage frequent reference to the lighthouse by students, faculty, staff, administrators, and campus and community partners. The Standards and Principles are versatile, providing guidance to all program areas and levels; and lasting, extending guidance from candidate status through professional service.

            The lighthouse is well engineered; a system of practices, standards, principles, people and processes working together. The mechanism that keeps the lighthouse operating 7 days a week, 365 days a year, is a system of continuous assessment and improvement realized through the hard work of a highly dedicated and well trained crew of professionals. Vision, mission, goals, curriculum, instruction, field experiences, assessment, and evaluation describe the iterative work of the College of Education and its partners. The cycle is continuously illuminated by professional collaboration among the partners, standards, and evidence-based practices, with the goal of positive impact on learning.  The lighthouse is a technology; that is, it represents a system that provides for the needs of all constituents. Instructional, informational, and communications technologies are integrated extensively within the structure.