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Mission and Beliefs of the Teacher Education Program

The mission of the EMU Teacher Education Program is to prepare competent, caring, reflective practitioners who advocate for children and youth, develop caring learning environments, initiate and respond creatively to change, value service to others, and teach boldly in a changing world through an ethic of care and critical reflection.

The teacher education program envisions preparing informed lifelong leaders and learners who value the dignity of all persons and are ready and willing to share a pilgrimage of openness and continuous growth as they invite others to join them. These reflective educators will offer healing and hope in a diverse world.

The mission and vision are based on the following beliefs:

  • We believe in the integration of Anabaptist principles within the profession of teaching emphasizing community, caring relationships, service to others, peacebuilding and conflict transformation, and stewardship of resources.
  • We believe that candidates are best prepared through a rigorous liberal arts program that seeks connections across disciplines and cultures.
  • We believe in a reflective teaching model that cultivates inquiry in teaching, promotes an ethic of care, and ensures learning for each learner.
  • We believe in the integration of theory and critical reflective practice through purposeful and systematic experiences in university classrooms and field placements within P-12 settings.
  • We believe that candidates have the power to serve as collaborative change agents with an ethical obligation to meet the needs of each learner.
  • We believe that it is important for all candidates to respect and value cultural diversity, and to relate to students and communities in culturally appropriate ways.
  • We believe that faculty nurture, model, and enact the qualities expected of candidates through engagement with the departmental learning community and broader professional contexts.

Teacher Candidate Performance Outcomes

The following Teacher Candidate Performance Outcomes are designed to support the Teacher Education Conceptual Framework. The successful teacher candidate is able:


to acquire knowledge through the liberal arts, Core General Education Curriculum and specialty area studies and to organize and integrate that knowledge across disciplines and cultures.
  • demonstrate competency in general education knowledge and liberal arts
  • articulate major concepts, assumptions, debates, and methodologies of inquiry that are central to the discipline(s) s/he teaches
  • demonstrate awareness and apply meaningful connections across disciplines and cultures


to generate questions and to use critical thinking to self-assess, to view problems collaboratively and from multiple perspectives, and to make informed, research-based decisions to enhance student learning.
  • evaluate philosophies of education from multiple perspectives to articulate a personal philosophy that enhances student learning
  • use inquiry-based strategies to enable students to construct knowledge
  • analyze social contexts through critical reflection, problem-solving, and dialogue
  • demonstrate teaching as praxis by drawing upon personal and collegial reflections to evaluate and revise practice

Professional Knowledge

to demonstrate pedagogical and professional knowledge in order to create, manage, and assess diverse environments conducive to learning and setting high expectations.
  • plan appropriate instruction and assessment based on the knowledge of constructivist learning theory, subject matter, student development, instructional strategies, the learning context, and curriculum
  • adapt and/or create a variety of instruction to provide equitable opportunities for all learners including those from diverse cultural backgrounds and with exceptionalities
  • integrate informal and formal assessments into instruction, maintain records, and analyze data to inform teaching decisions and to monitor student progress
  • examine how educational legal and policy issues affect students’, caregivers’, and teachers’ roles and responsibilities
  • develop and design technologically mediated learning environments that are developmentally and task appropriate
  • identify, locate, evaluate, and use appropriate instructional hardware and software to support Virginia’s Standards of Learning and specialty professional associations standards


to acquire and use knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and technological communication strategies to support student learning, to solve problems, and to create peaceable climates.
  • demonstrate effective reading, writing, speaking, listening, and observation skills to enhance student learning
  • communicates appropriately with parents or caregivers of students and school personnel
  • use electronic technologies to access, manage and exchange information for sound problem-solving and decision-making


to develop a nurturing spirit that honors diversity, advocates for students, integrates Christian faith and ethics, and promotes peacebuilding in diverse settings.
  • plan and advocate for safe and just learning experiences for each student
  • evaluate the effects of his or her actions on students, colleagues, and supervisors
  • promote restorative approaches to peacebuilding in learning communities
  • model caring by treating students fairly and respectfully, promoting student feelings of self-worth, and creating a climate that allows access to appropriate learning opportunities for each student
  • value stewardship of self, community, ideas, and environmental resources by integrating Christian faith and ethics with professional responsibility


demonstrate high aspirations for themselves and their profession and to influence positive change in educational settings.
  • view teaching as a vocation
  • demonstrate resourcefulness and responsibility in creating just and equitable educational settings
  • build productive and collaborative relationships with colleagues
  • participate in opportunities for professional growth
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