MiT Conceptual Framework
Social Justice and Multicultural Theory and Practice
The curriculum of teaching and teacher education is rooted in Evergreen’s strong commitment to diversity because we believe that both teaching and learning must draw from many perspectives and include a multiplicity of ideas. Future teachers must provide K-12 students with culturally relevant, equitable learning experiences, and opportunities to develop critical consciousness. Rather than erasing or marginalizing differences, we examine and consciously act on differences such as ethnicity, race, class, gender, culture, religion, language, ability, sexual identities, and gender expression. Master in Teaching candidates examine the underlying assumptions of their cultural perspectives and worldviews in order to develop equity mindsets and critically conscious teacher identities. By doing so, we reveal that education is both a cause and a cure for systemic racism and educational inequity. Teachers have a moral and ethical responsibility for dismantling systemic racism and educational inequity. Activism and advocacy must be rooted in effective teaching for all students.
Democracy and Schooling
We believe democracy is a multi-dimensional concept. We guide teacher candidates to reflect on and enact a) democratic classroom learning environments that are learner-centered, collaborative, and empower student voices; and b) democratic, school-based decision-making that is inclusive of families, community members, school personnel, and students. We analyze the ways in which power and privilege reproduce and maintain opportunity gaps in a democracy operating within a state-supported, advanced capitalist economy. We help candidates to understand the evolution of our current democracy and to critique practices that exclude particular groups from equitable participation in society. We also consider what it means to work and learn in various communities, avoiding the notion of neutrality in place and context, because we believe teachers are transformative intellectuals whose work disrupts dominant ideologies for the purpose of building and maintaining a healthy democracy.
Developmentally and Socioculturally Appropriate Teaching and Learning
We know that teachers need multiple strategies to respond fully to the complex, culturally situated, cognitive processes associated with learning. Yet, we also understand that all students benefit from teachers who facilitate rigorous, meaningful, and relevant instruction that provides equitable access to learning opportunities. We recognize and honor the cultural wealth that students and families bring to school. We believe instruction must be built on that wealth. From this foundation, teachers need to develop culturally relevant, integrated, developmentally appropriate curriculum that invites active engagement and expands learner interests, perspectives, and worldviews.