Photo by Werner Du Plesis on Unsplash
The future may seem like a distant time period inhabited by people yet unborn. The reality is that the children of today are our future. They are with us now and we share an obligation to prepare them for a future of opportunity. To direct the learning of the young is to influence or determine the future.
As a society and nation, citizens are connected through common beliefs, values, and institutions. These have been formulated through our shared experiences and articulated through the processes of conversation and debate. Through our families, communities, and societal institutions, these values and traditions are passed on to new generations.
Whole communities educate children and youth. The public schools have a vital role in the responsibility to educate because they bring the communities' children and youth into specific environments for the purpose of preparing them for their future. Schools are places where adults consciously shape the next generation.
Education and schooling must be viewed as fostering, nurturing, and cultivating processes. Knowing what our intended outcomes are will shape and mold learning experiences and environments to those ends.
Five specific commitments unify and focus the efforts of the BYU-Public School Partnership (BYU-PSP) in preparing youth. The commitments provide dear and compelling guidance for the decisions, actions, and activities of the Partnership. These commitments enable every member of the Partnership to develop strength and confidence regarding their own personal responsibilities and the overall purposes of the Partnership. They are so named because they identify how members of the partnership will always act.
The BYU-PSP, comprising five school districts, the university colleges of arts and sciences, and the David O. McKay School of Education, exists to simultaneously renew public schools and educators preparation through consistent collaborative inquiry, mutual reflection, and positive change involving both university and public schools.
WE BELIEVE THAT
- public education is the cornerstone of a civil and prosperous democratic community;
- education is a public imperative, a moral endeavor, and a shared responsibility for all members of society;
- public schools exist to provide access to education for all, which includes both academic mastery and personal development for the purpose of maximizing students' potential to participate fully and productively in society;
- the university supports schools by preparing educators who master their disciplines and who understand and implement curriculum and instruction that support their students' learning and development through ongoing research and inquiry leading to dialogue and action that directly benefit schools.
THE PARTNERSHIP IS COMMITTED TO THE FOLLOWING:
Civic Preparation and Engagement: the Partnership prepares educators who model and teach the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required for civic virtue and engagement in our society.
Engaged Learning Through Nurturing Pedagogy: the Partnership develops educators who are competent and caring, and who promote engaged learning through appropriate instructional strategies and positive classroom environments and relationships.
Equitable Access to Academic Knowledge and Achievement: the Partnership develops educators who are committed to and actively provide equitable access to academic knowledge and achievement through rigor and mastery of curriculum content and instructional skills.
Stewardship in School and Community: the Partnership assists educators in becoming responsible stewards in their schools and communities by dedicating themselves to shared purpose, renewal, and high standards of educator competence and learner performance.
Commitment to Renewal: the Partnership fosters in educators a commitment to renewal through consistent inquiry, reflection, and action within their professional practice, resulting in continuous improvement.
BENEFITS THAT RESULT FROM THE COMMITMENTS ARE:
- a feeling of stewardship and responsibility
- a sense of pride in this challenging work,
- mutual trust,
- honesty in communication,
- courage to meet new needs and challenging situations and problems together, and
- quality relationships.