The Darden College of Education, the College of Arts and Letters, and the College of Sciences as a whole accept the responsibility of preparing professionals for the schools. These professionals are characterized both by their responsibility for making decisions in the context of the world of practice and by their increasing ability to make wise and informed decisions based on sound knowledge, guided by experience and scientifically-based research; thus, the theme of the conceptual framework of all professional education programs at Old Dominion University is the Educator as Professional.
The Evolution of the Conceptual Framework
During 1990-1991 the Commonwealth of Virginia proposed new regulations, which restricted the number of professional education courses offered within the College of Education with the exception of physical education and occupational and technical studies. With consent of college and university governance, fifth year and five year programs were developed for teacher candidates after completion of the baccalaureate in a discipline. Candidates in middle and secondary programs completed an undergraduate degree with a discipline in Arts and Letters or Sciences. The Council of Teacher Education was formed to work collaboratively on design of curriculum and determine policy and practice for the unit.
The unit developed the conceptual framework of "Educator as Professional" to reflect content as well as pedagogy. Revisions were made in 1998 and a fourth revision was completed in 2009. A coherent statement of the mission of the unit has continued to evolve.