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D-TALE/PEP Conceptual Framework (abridged)

The Distributed Teacher and Leader Education program (D-TALE) evolved from  the University's Professional Education Program (PEP). PEP faculty published a comprehensive  Guide to Education, from which this Conceptual Framework was excerpted.


Our goal is to become a global leader in the professional development of educators by creating diverse learning environments that underscore the symbiosis of research, teaching, life-long learning, community service, and leadership. Our vision is rooted in three major themes that are deeply embedded within our practices and provide the principles that outline our structure. They provide the bases for our pedagogical research; they guide our reflective practices; and they support our partnerships, both within the university and within the broader community. Our three themes are  Professional Excellence and Growth Community and Diversity, and  Leadership and Service.

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Professional Excellence and Growth

Candidates develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions essential for a successful career in the field of education. These skills include, but are not limited to, mastery of subject matter and pedagogical theory, instructional design and assessment, approaches for motivating learners, inquiry, reflective practice, leadership, classroom management strategies, and, for our leadership candidates, the ability to design and implement a strategic vision that involves all stakeholders in creating a positive learning environment in which all students can achieve their potential.

Community and Diversity

Candidates learn that students construct knowledge in a myriad of individual ways that are influenced by such factors as ability, ethnicity, social environment of home and school, primary language, and gender. It is important for candidates to learn to recognize such individual student differences and adapt their instruction and strategic vision to individual student needs and to do so in a variety of diverse communities and classroom settings.

Leadership and Service

Candidates develop qualities that prepare them for further professional development and leadership roles in the school, profession, and community, where they will serve and act as advocates for all students.




Stony Brook University's well-established reputation of excellence in research within and across disciplines provides teacher candidates with environments rich in myriad opportunities for professional growth and life-long learning within and across academic departments and centers at the University. Teacher candidates engage in a broad range of experiences that include research-based discourse, scholarly investigations, and professional development activities with colleagues and with peers.


D-TALE faculty are reflective practitioners and principled role models who are committed to teaching excellence, professional development, service, and scholarship. Reflective practice is integrated into all aspects of the teacher education program and is designed to enhance teacher candidates' professional growth and life-long learning. Reflection, in the form of discussion, observation and journals, allows teacher candidates to improve and develop performance-based skills as well as more general awareness of self, students, and classroom decision-making. Videotapes and portfolios provide additional channels for reflection and evaluation.


Teachers construct knowledge by sharing experiences, ideas and concerns about teaching and learning with peers through collaborative conversations. Partnerships provide peer support and raise awareness of multiple perspectives. Cooperative learning enhances construction of knowledge within communities of learners who engage in activities that include posing questions, formulating hypotheses, and discussing issues. These contribute to both learning and teaching. The student body at Stony Brook is widely diverse, with close to one-third of its undergraduates, including many teacher candidates, coming from homes in which a language other than English is spoken. Comfort with linguistic, social, ethnic, racial, and individual differences, and flexibility to teach and learn within diverse contexts, is intrinsic to our educational context. Our teacher candidates do their fieldwork and clinical practice in the nearby diverse community, including schools with students from 27 language backgrounds in a single building. In such settings, our teacher candidates learn to build partnerships with students from diverse backgrounds, and learn to lead them on their own pathways to growth and learning.


Vision and Mission

D-TALE's vision has emerged from collaboration across disciplines through a meeting of minds, diverse academic perspectives, and cumulative professional expertise and experience. It encapsulates the diverse perspectives that forge our professional community and delineates our shared vision and goals that drive our practices at Stony Brook University. Our vision incorporates the knowledge and experience of our colleagues in P-12 schools, our alumni, and our candidates across disciplines. 

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To realize our vision, we have identified a number of concrete mission objectives:

  1. Provide discipline-based professional education of the highest quality for undergraduate and graduate teacher and leadership candidates.
  2. Integrate research and theories of the disciplines with diverse field experiences, and create educators who will continue to grow and synergistically combine evolving expert knowledge with pedagogy that exceeds state, national, and professional standards.
  3. Integrate diversity into the academic and clinical experiences to enhance the continuous cross fertilization of ideas.
  4. Build and strengthen partnerships within the University and with the regional community. 
  5. Provide leadership and professional development for the educational community of the region and beyond. 


Candidate Proficiencies

An essential precondition for achieving our mission is to translate our vision into concrete measures or standards that can be used to inform our instruction and assess the achievements of our candidates and the effectiveness of our programs. However, to successfully operationalize these abstract principles, it is necessary to individualize them and adapt them to the specific needs of our candidates. PEP is divided into two broad sub-units -- the one relating to teacher education, the other relating to the education of educational leaders and administrators -- and we have developed two roughly parallel sets of candidate proficiencies that express a shared vision, but that do so in a way appropriate to the needs of each group. The teacher education candidate proficiencies are closely aligned with the Model Core Teaching Standards (2011) of the Interstate Teacher Assessment Support Consortium (InTASC).

Read our specific aims for teacher and leader education below.


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The aim of our teacher education programs is to prepare candidates who:

  1. Understand how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
  2. Understand the individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
  3. Work with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.
  4. Understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) s/he teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
  5. Understand how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
  6. Understand and use multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher's and learner's decision making.
  7. Plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills and pedagogy as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
  8. Understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
  9. Engage in ongoing professional learning and use evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the learning community), and adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.
  10. Seek appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth and to advance the profession.


The aim of our educational leadership programs is to produce candidates who:

  1. Develop and demonstrate the skills needed to work with a board of education to facilitate the development of a vision of learning for a school district that promotes the success of all students.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to plan programs to motivate staff, students, and families to achieve a school district's vision.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to bring together and communicate effectively with stakeholders within the district and the larger community concerning implementation and realization of the vision.
  4. Develop a sustained approach to improve and maintain a positive district culture for learning that capitalizes on multiple aspects of diversity to meet the learning needs of all students.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to assist school and district personnel in understanding and applying best practices for student learning.
  6. Collaborate with families and other community members.
  7. Respond to community interests and needs.
  8. Demonstrate a respect for rights of others with regard to confidentiality and dignity and engage in honest interactions.
  9. Demonstrate the ability to combine impartiality, sensitivity to student diversity, and ethical considerations with their interactions with others. 
  10. Make and explain decisions based upon ethical and legal principles.
  11. Espouse positions in response to proposed policy changes that would benefit or harm districts and explain how policies and laws might improve educational and social opportunities for specific communities.

Both sets of proficiencies are aligned with the D-TALE (formerly PEP) and Stony Brook University missions, the D-TALE themes, New York State standards, and INTASC/ELCC standards (respectively).


SBU-PEP Abridged Conceptual Framework: Revised 10/14 and edited 9/17 to reflect the D-TALE name change.

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