CETE was formed in 1983 when the first of the national education reports began calling for improvements in both the caliber of individuals entering the teaching profession and the education they receive. The initial goals of the Consortium were to create a support and exchange network for the teacher education programs at member colleges -- which enjoyed many common possibilities, yet shared certain common concerns -- and to explore ways to ensure that preparation to teach remained a compelling option for undergraduates at our institutions.
Our students represent an especially talented pool of prospective teachers, individuals who respond resourcefully to the challenges of the classroom and who act effectively in the larger process of educational reform. They are also the beneficiaries of tremendous academic and institutional resources. For these reasons we feel a strong sense of social responsibility to encourage and assist those who are interested in education and related human service fields.
The members of CETE view teaching as a moral craft, and our role as one of helping to integrate theory and practice and to cultivate thoughtful analytical practitioners. It is a humanistic, inquiry-oriented approach to teacher education that is informed by two principles: development and integration. A third tenet of many CETE institutions is the working assumption that "small is beautiful," especially in terms of the development and nurturance of a community of reflective practitioners. Because CETE members advocate high "standards without standardization," we also endorse multiple pathways to teacher preparation, and each of our programs has a distinctive thematic emphasis. Like all good preparation programs, CETE programs are informed by "best practice" as articulated by the education research community and carried out by effective teachers in the schools. Finally, the various Consortium member institutions are influenced by and must be responsive to the regulation and mandates of their particular state department of education or state legislature.
The above description was adapted from the following works:
- Travers, E. F. and Sacks, S. R. (1987). Teacher Education and the Liberal Arts: The Position of the Consortium for Excellence in Teacher Education. A CETE Publication.
- Dollase, R. H. (1992). Voices of Beginning Teachers: Visions and Realities. New York: Teachers College Press.