The conceptual framework model developed, adopted, and implemented by the UAFS unit
faculty is based on essential knowledge, professional standards, research, and sound
The conceptual framework model developed, adopted, and implemented by the University
of Arkansas - Fort Smith (UAFS) unit faculty is based on essential knowledge, professional
standards, research, and sound professional practice. The original conceptual framework
was developed and implemented by the Arkansas Tech University unit when Westark College
served as a branch site.
At that time Arkansas Tech and Westark College offered a joint teacher education program at the University Center on the campus of Westark College so teacher education programs could be offered in Fort Smith. The program was identical to the program offered on the ATU campus and was covered from the ATU main campus. In 1999 the Westark College branch was visited and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) along with the main campus program. In effect the program structure, policies and procedures, and requirements at the University Center were identical to those on the main ATU campus.
In 2001 the Arkansas General Assembly created UAFS with Westark College and the University Center forming the core so that upper-level programs could be offered in Fort Smith without support from other institutions. The existing teacher education program was transferred to the approved offerings of the newly created UAFS. The original conceptual framework model jointly established by ATU and the UC was analyzed and revised in spring 2002 and spring/summer 2003 to better reflect the institutional mission/purpose for general studies, specialty areas, and professional studies of the newly created UAFS.
Following a critique by NCATE reviewers, the conceptual framework underwent further refinements in December 2003. Since the conceptual framework is a living document, it is reviewed annually and revised when deemed appropriate by the UAFS School of Education (SOE) faculty, staff, and stakeholders. The conceptual framework emphasizes candidate knowledge of content and students in addition to skills in the areas of pedagogy, reflection, and partnership. The works of Bloom, Danielson, Dewey, Gardner, Goodlad, Levine, Rogers, and Vygotsky are among those who have guided the development of the model.