Preparing Teachers as Agents of Change
The Wheaton College Teacher Education Program Conceptual Framework
The Department of Education (the unit charged with teacher preparation) at
Wheaton College envisions the teacher as an agent of change. This conceptualization of
teaching has a spiritual and historical foundation as well as a theoretical framework. The
role of teacher as an agent of change is tied closely to the college’s mission, “to produce
whole and effective Christians to serve Christ and His Kingdom” (Wheaton College
Catalog, 2002, p. 4). This mission, which calls Wheaton students to integrate their faith
with learning and living, reflects the view that all are to be faithful servants of Christ in
whatever form of service their vocations lead them. For those who are called to service
in our state’s, nation’s, and world’s public and private schools, this mission charges the
candidates to devote their lives wholly to Christ by faithfully teaching all of His children
to the best of their abilities while continually working to improve conditions in the
Jonathan Blanchard, Wheaton College’s first president and a strident abolitionist,
believed strongly in preparing Christian young men and women to fight injustice and
improve life for those in need. Under Blanchard’s leadership, Wheaton College was the
first four-year college in Illinois to graduate an African American and to enroll women on
an equal basis with men (Maas, 1996). As an advocate for social reform, Blanchard’s
activist role and nineteenth century ideals still guide the Wheaton teacher education
program as it develops educators for an increasingly diverse nation.
The unit’s current conceptual framework was originally developed in 1993. The
first effort involved the collective efforts of the faculty members in the Education
Department and several teachers and principals in the local public and private schools.
These initial consultative efforts evolved into... [continues]
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