Graduate Initial Teacher Preparation
The opportunity to obtain a quality education is one of the most important points of access in our society. In many cases, and for many reasons, children and adolescents do not have access to an equitable education. To address this opportunity gap and at the same time meet the important national, state, and local goals for improving learning outcomes for all students, teachers require sophisticated professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions to have an impact on diverse learners in diverse settings. This in turn requires a comprehensive teacher education program that can prepare new teachers for this important work. The Teaching, Learning, and Leading with Schools and Communities (TLLSC) program at Loyola University Chicago is designed to do just that. View our comparison table (PDF) to see some of the way in which Loyola's TLLSC differs from traditional teacher preparation programs.
Partnerships with Schools and Communities
Teacher preparation requires an all hands on deck approach, where university, school, and community partners share the responsibility to prepare teachers to support student learning, achievement, and success. Rather than isolate teacher preparation off in the university, TLLSC sets teaching and learning in partner schools and communities. This site-based program provides teacher candidates with extensive opportunities to work alongside expert teachers in urban classrooms in high-need, high-performing schools and community organizations.
Teacher Preparation for Diverse Classrooms
Loyola faculty have partnered with schools and community organizations to ensure that teacher candidates gain extensive deep experiences engaging with diverse populations, including students with special needs and those labeled as English learners (ELs). TLLSC ensures that all teachers are prepared to serve all learners, including students from diverse social, emotional, behavioral, cultural, linguistic, developmental and academic backgrounds.
TLLSC is rooted in the belief that teachers must adapt practices, not only in response to classroom situations and student needs, but also to shifts in school wide curriculum and programs, as well as to changes in state and federal policies and procedures. TLLSC aims to prepare teachers to be responsive and adaptive, viewing teacher candidates as beginning professionals from the time they enter the program and fostering their development of reflective learning and leadership skills.
Participation in Professional Learning Communities
Teacher candidates transfer knowledge and skills when they experience authentic practice with guidance and mentoring. In addition to collaboration with teacher educators from the school, community, and university settings, TLLSC utilizes professional learning communities (PLCs) to foster meaningful collaboration among teacher candidates. Through PLCs within the teacher candidates’ specific areas of specialization (e.g., elementary, secondary and special education), guidance and collaboration among candidates and faculty in similar areas of interest and expertise come together to dialog and learn from one another
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