Our Vision

The UTTC Teacher Education graduates are prepared to embrace the joy and meet the challenges of teaching all children in the 21st century.

Preparing Competent, Caring Teachers

The conceptual framework of the UTTC Teacher Education program is based on the philosophy that a competent, caring teacher is prepared to teach all children. We believe that teaching from what was traditionally a Native perspective is the best way for all children to learn.

A Native perspective begins with recognizing the child in the context of family, community, and culture. Learning is a natural part of human growth, development, and socialization in all cultures. In many cultures, particularly Native American, the learning experiences that constitute education are based in cultural values of relevance, relatedness, respect, and responsibility – referred to in this framework as the “4 Rs”.


Relevance is demonstrated through meaningful and authentic learning experiences tied directly to state and national standards. Candidates learn and experience reflective practice through field placements in the classroom under mentor and instructor guidance. They are provided the opportunity to engage in opportunities that are meaningful and relevant to one’s life and interests.


Relatedness is believing and behaving as if you are a relative to another person or thing. It is demonstrated and reinforced through collaborations with children, families, colleagues and the community.


Respect is a very important traditional Native value. Respect is demonstrated through student contributions and their respect for others’ contributions. The disposition of respect is demonstrated through courtesy, kindness, and acceptance of individuals and their contributions.


Responsibility is a core value of Native cultures as well as the teaching culture. Candidates are expected to demonstrate accountability for their actions and decisions as they engage in their general education and teacher education curriculum.

The 4Rs are integrated throughout the UTTC Teacher Education unit and programs(s) and are placed in the context of a holistic world-view and global interconnectedness. These and other values will prepare teacher candidates, and in turn the children they will teach, to be productive members of society and have a good quality of life.