This program exhibits a holistic approach in education through the multitude of courses, learning approaches, and assessment it offers.
In the first two years of the program, the General Education (GE) courses focus on developing learner’s foundation skills, like critical thinking and reflection, through facilitation of liberal education content. General Education courses constantly engage learners into critical discussion. Moreover, the GE also includes university-innovative courses, Scholarly Inquiry, College Academic Skills (CASE), and Speech Communication, which are designed to develop key college study habits, research, and academics skills of students.
On the other hand, Professional Education (ProfEd) courses cultivate among students the foundational theories and concepts, pedagogical content knowledge, and experiential learning relevant in learning the art and science of the teaching profession. Building from the foundation skills of general education courses, ProfEd courses also engage students into critical discourse on issues and trends in education and thereby pave way to further discussion and research on implications to education theory, practice, and research.
Major / specialization courses of the program focus on mastering pedagogical content knowledge in instructing and managing students with additional needs. Through foundational concepts, pedagogical content knowledge, and education research of special education courses, students of the program are able to conceptualize their teaching and learning paradigms and translate it to relevant and effective education practices in the special education sector.
In conjunction with all of these courses, the Wellness and Recreation Program (WRP), which is a unique innovative-course feature of all programs in the university, is offered every semester to ensure that not only the cognitive faculties of students are developed but also their physical fitness and socio-emotional soundness.
Teaching and Learning Approaches
Recognizing the essentiality of knowledge generation and information navigation, the following approaches are embedded in the program to empower students in making informed choices as thinking teacher professionals in the future:
- Student-centered learning approach. In line with the university’s teaching and learning philosophy, the program makes use of student-centered learning approaches throughout its courses to enable students to collaborate and co-construct knowledge with their teachers and classmates. This approach, which is rooted on the learning paradigm of the university, makes use of various learning activities designed to initiate cognitive engagement among students through the practice of critical, reflective, creative, and problem-solving thinking skills.
- Interdisciplinary approach. Avoiding the pitfalls of atomistic learning and single-mindedness thinking, the program makes use of interdisciplinary approach where students explore and investigate educational and societal trends and issues using different disciplinal lenses. Through learning experiences, students can make sense of different perspectives and make connections of their learnings on different courses.
- Research-based approach. Method of teaching each course of the program is informed by research. Likewise, research on different areas of education as required readings are central to the discussions made inside the classroom. Moreover, course capstone projects come in the form of research-based outputs to instill to students the habit of making research-informed choices in teaching and learning.
- Technology-based learning approach. To promote and develop independent learning, as well as to provide flexibility in terms of learning space, selected courses of the program, in particular, four of the GE courses, utilize blended learning approach where a number of meetings allotted for the course are spent by the students in attending classes virtually through the use of the university’s learning management system. Likewise, students are exposed in different technological media in attending regular face-to-face meeting for each courses of the program.
Assessment and Research
Completion of courses under the program is dependent on the accomplishment of assessment tasks negotiated by the teacher and students for the semester. As the program values student learning not only as a product but also as a process, formative assessments which are conducted during the learning process are done to monitor and give feedback to students’ works. These formative assessments lead to summative assessments which focus on evaluating student learning at the end of instructional unit and course.
Gearing away from the traditional paper and pencil tests, the program also makes use of authentic or non-traditional assessment to better exhibit learning outcomes intended for the course and the program.
This authentic assessment comes in the form of creative capstone projects which serves as a culmination of all relevant learning experiences for the course. Moreover, most of these capstone projects come in the form of research-based outputs to instill to students the habit of making research-informed choices in teaching and learning.
Aside from research-based outputs as capstone projects, two courses of the program are dedicated for students to understand and do research works. The Educational Research and Research in Special Education and Inclusive Education courses focus on understanding and crafting research, broadly in education, and specifically in teaching special and inclusive education, respectively. Both courses aim for students to produce quality research paper and enable them to understand research as a way of life in the teaching profession.
Experiential learning courses immerse students in basic education teaching through the supervision of cooperating teachers from partner schools. Field Study 1 and 2 prepare students to full time internship by allowing them to observe, participate, and assist in the teaching and learning planning, implementation, and evaluation.
On the last semester of the program, students engage in full time teaching internship as pre-service teachers under the mentorship of a cooperating teacher from the partner basic education school and guidance of the course facilitator. Moreover, through the pre-service student teacher exchange program, selected and screened pre-service student teachers are given the opportunity to have their practice teaching in schools from other Southeast Asian countries.