Conceptual Framework




Excellence in Education:
100 years of Inquiry, Learning, Reflection, and Action

This conceptual framework describes a shared mission and vision for the preparation of educators and other school professionals to work with P-12 learners in schools. It is guided by the history and traditions of Kent State University, an institution built over a century ago upon a commitment to expanding access to and improving public education through research, teaching, and our engagement with public schools in the region and beyond. The conceptual framework defines the vision, mission, philosophy, candidate proficiencies, Unit Assessment System and knowledge bases. It articulates our professional commitments that serve to guide programs, curricula, candidate performance, faculty teaching, scholarship and service, assessment systems, involvement with schools, and support of all learners.  


The candidate:

  • Knows and understands discipline-specific content and pedagogy
  • Places knowledge in a broader context and integrates it with other content areas
  • Seeks and uses creative, innovative, and content-appropriate, research-based teaching methods
  • Knows key content of national and professional association standards
  • Understands and uses academic language


The candidate:

  • Understands the different ways in which students learn and uses knowledge of students and student thinking to inform teaching and learning
  • Creates an engaging learning environment that helps students build on prior knowledge
  • Facilitates inquiry-based learning and problem solving
  • Uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher's and learner's decision making
  • Uses technology in an ethical, critical, and creative manner as a means to acquire, provide, organize, and communicate knowledge
  • Develops an approach to classroom management that is inclusive, fair, and conducive to learning.
  • Knows how to read, interpret, and use research evidence to evaluate and modify teaching so that it meets the needs of all learners


The candidate:

  • Exemplifies the highest ethical standards of the education profession
  • Values the richness of human similarities and differences, and understands the implications of these differences in a socially stratified society and world
  • Adapts assessments, pedagogy, and educational programs to meet individual needs of learners
  • Advocates for learners and families in ways that are culturally sensitive and knowledgeable
  • Reflects on teaching practice and its effectiveness with respect to larger social, cultural, and ethical complexities


The candidate:

  • Understands the role of other professional educators and ancillary personnel
  • Demonstrates leadership for educating all children in collaboration with educators, agencies, families, and communities
  • Uses knowledge, diverse cultural frames of reference, and alternative perspectives to think critically and solve problems
  • Values and demonstrates commitment to on-going professional development

Our conceptual framework is aligned with the mission of Kent State University to “engage students in diverse learning environments that educate them to think critically and to expand their intellectual horizons while attaining the knowledge and skills necessary for responsible citizenship and productive careers.”

Developed and endorsed by faculty in teacher education and related disciplines from the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, the College of the Arts, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology. It has also been endorsed by the Clinical Experiences Advisory Committee representing the major placement sites for field and clinical practice and the Kent Educational Excellence Partnership.