Urban Teaching Competencies

Four strands of research-based competencies in urban teaching are infused in specified coursework and fieldwork in the Urban Teacher Enhancement Program (UTEP).  These strands include:

  • Sociocultural competence—competencies designed to help candidates better understand the students and families with whom they will work, and the communities in which they will teach. 

  •  Affirming attitude—attitudes necessary to foster high student achievement, such as  belief in urban students’ ability to excel, and resilience in the face of challenges. 

  • Collaborative skills—strategies for building effective relationships with the variety of persons with whom urban teachers must work in order to be effective; including those within schools (e.g., administrators, counselors, other teachers in general, special, bilingual, and remedial education), as well as those external to schools (e.g., parents/families, social service agencies, community groups, businesses).

  • Pedagogy for diversity—research-based strategies shown to be effective with diverse populations, including students from culturally diverse backgrounds, English language learners, and students with disabilities.

These four strands complement, rather than replace, the teacher education competencies included in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s traditional teacher education programs.