View From the Top: Webster University thought leaders tell us what's trending now

Feb. 14, 2013

View From the Top: Webster University thought leaders tell us what's trending now

We're asking our deans, faculty, staff and other thought leaders from throughout the world of Webster to tell us what's happening in their area of expertise. We'll feature these thoughts and predictions regularly on the website.

School of Education Dean Brenda Fyfe says these are the most important trends impacting teacher education today:

  • Growing numbers of English language learners, inclusion of children with identified special needs and growth in racial and ethnic diversity in our school systems require Pk-12 educators to deepen their understandings of differentiated instruction, linguistically and culturally responsive teaching, and global citizenship.
  • Technology advances will continue to impact learning processes and methods of teaching.
  • We are seeing a shift from a national focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives toward STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) initiatives. We hope this will result in a stronger integration of the arts in education.
  • In initial teacher preparation we'll see a continuing trend toward redefining the roles of practicum students and student teachers as educational resources who are trained to support school improvement plans. Apprentice teachers are becoming co-teachers with their cooperating teachers, rather than novices who gradually take on sole responsibility for a classroom, thereby doubling teacher impact on children's learning.
  • Here at Webster, the School of Education will be expanding partnerships with Pk-12 schools, strengthening partnerships with the arts and sciences, and enhancing the clinical components of programs. In addition, we will integrate practices and principles of environmental and social sustainability in both our initial and graduate education programs.