Research Competencies in Elementary Education

Expected by ACEI

Excerpts from:

Association for Childhood Education International. Elementary Education Standards 1999 edition, revised 2003.

Association for Childhood Education International. Rubrics for ACEI/NCATE Elementary Standards 2002.

DEVELOPMENT, LEARNING AND MOTIVATION

STANDARD 1.   Development, Learning and Motivation

CURRICULUM

STANDARD 2.2. Science

STANDARD 2.4. Social studies

STANDARD 2.6. Health education

STANDARD 2.8. Connections across the curriculum

INSTRUCTION

STANDARD 3.1. Integrating and applying knowledge for instruction

PROFESSIONALISM

STANDARD 5.1. Practices and behaviors of developing career teachers

STANDARD 5.2. Reflection and evaluation


DEVELOPMENT, LEARNING AND MOTIVATION

STANDARD 1.   Development, Learning and Motivation--Candidates know, understand, and use the major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to development of children and young adolescents to construct learning opportunities that support individual students’ development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation.

Elements of Standard Unacceptable Acceptable Target
Candidates know and understand the major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to development of children and young adolescents Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates do not have a thorough knowledge of the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and linguistic developmental characteristics of children and young adolescents

  • Candidates do not understand that the ways in which cultures and social groups differ are important and affect learning
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates have knowledge of the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and linguistic developmental characteristics of children and young adolescents from a variety of theoretical perspectives

  • Candidates know that the ways in which cultures and social groups differ are important and affect learning

  • Candidates know a variety of ways to motivate students
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates draw upon an in-depth knowledge of the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and linguistic developmental and learning characteristics of children and young adolescents to understand students’ abilities, interests, individual aspirations, values, and social and cultural backgrounds

  • Candidates know a variety of approaches to adapt curriculum and teaching to motivate and support student learning and development

CURRICULUM

STANDARD 2. Central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of content—Candidates know, understand, and use the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of content for students across the K-6 grades and can create meaningful learning experiences that develop students’ competence in subject matter and skills for various developmental levels.

Elements of Standard Unacceptable Acceptable Target
Candidates know the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of content across the K-6 grades Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates do not demonstrate a general knowledge of central concepts in the following curriculum areas: English/language arts, science, mathematics, social studies, the arts, health education, and physical education

  • Candidates know a limited set of inquiry tools related to subject matter content (see 2b-2h)

  • Candidates lack awareness of how the subject matter is structured (i.e., organized) and/or concepts and principles that undergird K-6 curriculum
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates demonstrate a general knowledge of central concepts in the following curriculum areas: English/language arts, science, mathematics, social studies, the arts, health education, and physical education

  • Candidates know a variety of tools of inquiry related to subject matter content (see 2b-2h)

  • Candidates know how the subject matter is structured (i.e., organized) and can identify major concepts and principles that undergird K-6 curriculum
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates demonstrate a high level of competence in their knowledge of central concepts in the following curriculum areas: English/language arts, science, mathematics, social studies, the arts, health education, and physical education

  • Candidates are proficient in varied tools of inquiry related to subject matter content (see 2b-2h)

  • Candidates know how the subject matter is structured (i.e., organized) and can identify major concepts and principles that undergird K-6 curriculum
Candidates understand and use the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of content across the K-6 grades Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates develop and organize, but do not implement, instruction that provides connections across curriculum areas that represent concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures (i.e., organization) appropriate to the subject matter in: English/language arts, science, mathematics, social studies, the arts, health education, and physical education
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates develop, organize, implement, and reflect upon instruction that provides connections across curriculum areas that represent the major concepts, varied tools of inquiry, and structures (i.e., organization) appropriate to the subject matter in: English/language arts, science, mathematics, social studies, the arts, health education, and physical education
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates develop, organize, implement, assess, and reflect upon instruction that provides connections across curriculum areas that represent the major concepts, varied tools of inquiry, and structures (i.e., organization) appropriate to the subject matter in: English/language arts, science, mathematics, social studies, the arts, health education, and physical education

STANDARD 2.2. Science--Candidates know, understand, and use fundamental concepts in the subject matter of science—including physical, life, and earth and space sciences—as well as concepts in science and technology, science in personal and social perspectives, the history and nature of science, the unifying concepts of science, and the inquiry processes scientists use in discovery of new knowledge to build a base for scientific and technological literacy;

Supporting explanation

Candidates engage elementary students in the science inquiry process that involves asking questions, planning and conducting investigations, using appropriate tools and techniques to gather data, thinking critically and logically about relationships between evidence and explanations, constructing and analyzing alternative explanations, and communicating scientific arguments and explanations.

Elements of Standard Unacceptable Acceptable Target
Candidates know and understand the inquiry processes scientists use in the discovery of new knowledge Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates do not have an adequate understanding of the abilities needed to do scientific inquiry
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates demonstrate an understanding of the abilities needed to do scientific inquiry
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates demonstrate an in-depth understanding of and experience with the abilities needed to do scientific inquiry
Candidates use the fundamental concepts in the subject matter of science and the inquiry processes scientists use in the discovery of new knowledge to build a base for scientific and technological literacy Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates do not effectively engage students in the learning of science through inquiry; build the framework for understanding science as an activity; and/or effectively assess the learning of science
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates engage students with beginning proficiency in the learning of science through inquiry; build the framework for understanding science as an activity; and effectively assess the learning of science
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates engage students with practiced proficiency in the learning of science through inquiry; build the framework for understanding science as an activity; and effectively assess the learning of science

STANDARD 2.4. Social studies--Candidates know, understand, and use the major concepts and modes of inquiry from the social studies--the integrated study of history, geography, the social sciences, and other related areas--to promote elementary students' abilities to make informed decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse democratic society and interdependent world;

Supporting explanation

Candidates are able to help students read, write, listen, discuss, speak, and research to build background knowledge; examine a variety of sources (e.g., primary and secondary sources, maps, statistical data, and electronic technology-based information); acquire and manipulate data; analyze points of view; formulate well-supported oral and written arguments, policies, and positions; construct new knowledge and apply knowledge in new settings.

Elements of Standard Unacceptable Acceptable Target
Candidates know and understand major concepts and modes of inquiry from the social studies Evidence indicates that:
  • Candidates are not familiar with the themes, concepts, and modes of inquiry drawn from academic fields of the social studies
Evidence indicates that:
  • Candidates demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the themes, concepts, and modes of inquiry drawn from the social studies that address:
    1. culture
    2. time, continuity, and change
    3. people, places, and environment
    4. individual development and identity
    5. individuals, groups, and institutions
    6. power, governance, and authority
    7. production, distribution, and consumption
    8. science, technology, and society
    9. global connections
    10. ideals and practices
Evidence indicates that:
  • Candidates demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of how the major concepts and themes of social studies are integrated across academic fields

  • Candidates have knowledge and understanding of the themes, concepts, and modes of inquiry from the fields of the social studies and demonstrate an in-depth knowledge in more than one of those fields
Candidates use the major concepts and modes of inquiry from the social studies to promote elementary students’ abilities to make informed decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse democratic society and interdependent world Evidence indicates that:
  • Candidates do not use the major concepts and modes of inquiry from the social studies to foster K-6 student learning
Evidence indicates that:
  • Candidates use their knowledge of social studies to help students learn about the major themes that integrate knowledge across the social studies

  • Candidates develop experiences to help elementary students learn about the major concepts from the social studies

  • Candidates are able to help students read, write, listen, discuss, speak, and research to build background knowledge; examine a variety of sources; acquire and manipulate data; analyze points of view; formulate well-supported oral and written arguments, policies, and positions; construct new knowledge and apply knowledge in new settings

  • Candidates use formative and summative assessments in planning and implementing instruction
Evidence indicates that:
  • Candidates use their in-depth knowledge of the social studies to provide K-6 students with multiple explanations and highly integrated learning experiences

  • Candidates help K-6 students demonstrate an understanding of the integration across the academic fields of the social studies

  • Candidates plan and implement engaging learning experiences in which K-6 students are challenged to research, analyze, and evaluate real world situations and are able to demonstrate their competence

STANDARD 2.6. Health education--Candidates know, understand, and use the major concepts in the subject matter of health education to create opportunities for student development and practice of skills that contribute to good health;

Supporting explanation

Teacher candidates are alert to major health issues concerning children and the social forces that affect them, and of the need to impart information on these issues sensitively. They address issues in ways that help students recognize potentially dangerous situations, clarify misconceptions, and find reliable sources of information.

Elements of Standard Unacceptable Acceptable Target
Candidates use the major concepts in the subject matter of health education to create opportunities for K-6 student development and practice of skills that contribute to good health Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates lack the necessary understanding to impart information on health-related issues
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates teach students the major health issues affecting K-6 children and impart information on these issues sensitively

  • Candidates clarify misconceptions for children and help them recognize potentially dangerous situations
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates help students understand the benefits of a healthful lifestyle for themselves and others, as well as the dangers of diseases and activities that may contribute to disease

  • Candidates address health-related issues in ways that help children recognize potentially dangerous situations, clarify misconceptions, and find reliable sources of information

STANDARD 2.8. Connections across the curriculum--Candidates know, understand, and use the connections among concepts, procedures, and applications from content areas to motivate elementary students, build understanding, and encourage the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and ideas to real world issues.

Supporting explanation

In their instruction, candidates make connections across the disciplines and draw on their knowledge of developmental stages to motivate students, build understanding, and encourage the application of knowledge, skills, and ideas to lives of elementary students across fields of knowledge and in real world situations. Candidates help elementary students learn the power of multiple perspectives to understand complex issues. Through personal actions and teaching, they demonstrate scholarly habits of mind, including: (1) a desire to know, (2) constructive questioning, (3) use of information and systematic data, (4) acceptance of ambiguity where it exists, (5) willingness to modify explanations, (6) a cooperative manner in responding to questions and solving problems, (7) respect for reason, imagination, and creativity and (8) honesty.

Elements of Standard Unacceptable Acceptable Target
Candidates know and understand the connections among concepts, procedures, and applications from content areas Evidence demonstrates that:
  • Candidates do not recognize and/or fail to make connections among concepts, procedures and applications across the content areas (see 2b-2h)

  • Candidates do not demonstrate scholarly habits of mind
Evidence demonstrates that:
  • Candidates recognize and make connections among concepts, procedures, and applications across the content areas

  • Candidates demonstrate, through personal actions and teaching, scholarly habits of mind
Evidence demonstrates that:
  • Candidates apply connections among concepts, procedures and applications across the content areas (see 2b-2h) in K-6 classroom teaching

  • Candidates demonstrate scholarly habits of mind in their teaching

INSTRUCTION

STANDARD 3.1. Integrating and applying knowledge for instruction—Candidates plan and implement instruction based on knowledge of students, learning theory, subject matter, curricular goals, and community;

Supporting explanation

They use a variety of resources, including technology and textbooks, and look beyond their classroom to determine how numerous information resources in both print and electronic form might benefit their students. Candidates understand and use appropriate technology to help students become capable technology users through communication; through access, management, analysis and problem solving with information; and through collaborative and self-directed learning.

Elements of Standard Unacceptable Acceptable Target
Candidates implement instruction based on knowledge of students, learning theory, subject matter, curricular goals, and community Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates implement instruction based on subject matter content and curriculum goals

  • Candidates use a limited range of resources
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates implement instruction based upon the subject matter content, knowledge of students (e.g., developmental characteristics, interests, learning styles, and modalities), learning theories, and curriculum goals

  • Candidates utilize resources (e.g., print and electronic) within the classroom or school to benefit students
Evidence shows that:
  • Candidates foster students’ appreciation and engagement in subject matter content and ensure that students are competent and confident as users of technology and other resources

  • Candidates demonstrate that student development (e.g., developmental characteristics, interests, learning styles, and modalities) and the community are integral aspects for effective learning experiences that are meaningful for students

  • Candidates utilize informational resources (e.g., print and electronic) beyond the classroom to benefit students

PROFESSIONALISM

STANDARD 5.1. Practices and behaviors of developing career teachers—Candidates understand and apply practices and behaviors that are characteristic of developing career teachers;

Supporting explanation

While synthesis of knowledge is a lifetime process for a professional, by the end of teacher preparation candidates ready to enter the classroom as elementary generalist teachers should be: [1] working independently on a variety of disciplinary and pedagogical problems and responsibilities by combining as appropriate their knowledge and skills in (a) child development; (b) English language arts, science, mathematics, social studies, the arts, health and physical education, (c) instructional technique and learning technologies, and (d) assessment; [2] focusing and defending independent analyses and value judgments about disciplinary content and teaching methodologies, their various potential relationships, and their applications to specific circumstances; [3] acquiring the intellectual tools to work with evolving issues and conditions as time and situations change, including the ability to make wise decisions according to time, place, and population; [4] identifying, accessing, and using technology-based resources in support of their continuing professional development; [5] demonstrating awareness of and commitment to the profession's codes of ethical conduct; and [6] understanding basic interrelationships and interdependencies among the various professions and activities that constitute the disciplines, content, and processes of elementary education.

Elements of Standard Unacceptable Acceptable Target
Candidates apply practices and behaviors that are characteristic of developing career teachers Evidence indicates that:
  • Candidates cannot work independently on a variety of disciplinary and pedagogical problems

  • Candidates lack the ability to focus on independent analysis and value judgments about disciplinary content and teaching methodologies and applications to specific circumstances

  • Candidates are not adaptable to evolving issues and conditions as time and situations change
Evidence indicates that:
  • Candidates can work independently on a variety of disciplinary and pedagogical problems and responsibilities by combining, as appropriate, their knowledge and skills in child development, curriculum, instruction, and assessment

  • Candidates focus independent analysis and value judgments about disciplinary content and teaching methodologies and applications to specific circumstances

  • Candidates can adapt to evolving issues and conditions as time and situations change

  • Candidates can identify, access, and use technology-based resources

  • Candidates demonstrate a commitment to the professional codes of ethical conduct
Evidence indicates that:
  • Candidates can work independently on a variety of disciplinary and pedagogical problems and responsibilities by combining, as appropriate, their knowledge and skills in child development, curriculum, instruction, and assessment

  • Candidates focus and defend independent analysis and value judgments about disciplinary content and methodologies and applications to specific circumstances

  • Candidates can adapt to evolving issues and conditions as time and situations change and make wise decisions according to time, place, and population

  • Candidates can identify, access, and use technology- based resources in support of their professional development

  • Candidates demonstrate a commitment to the professional codes of ethical conduct

STANDARD 5.2. Reflection and evaluation—Candidates are aware of and reflect on their practice in light of research on teaching and resources available for professional learning; they continually evaluate the effects of their professional decisions and actions on students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community and actively seek out opportunities to grow professionally;

Supporting explanation

Candidates understand methods of inquiry that provide them with a variety of self-assessment and problem solving strategies for reflecting on their practice, its influences on K-6 students' growth and learning, and the complex interactions between them. They know major areas of research on teaching and of resources available for professional learning (e.g. professional literature, colleagues, professional associations, professional development activities). They use classroom observation, information about students, and research as sources for evaluating the outcomes of teaching and learning and as a basis for experimenting with, reflecting on, and revising practice. Candidates apply their knowledge of current research and national, state, and local guidelines relating to the disciplines taught in elementary school.

Elements of Standard Unacceptable Acceptable Target
Candidates are aware of and reflect on their practice in light of research on teaching and resources available for professional learning Evidence demonstrates that:
  • Candidates have not mastered the ability of reflecting on their practice in light of research on teaching and resources available for professional learning
Evidence demonstrates that:
  • Candidates use a variety of self-assessment and problem-solving strategies for reflecting on their practice, its influences on K-6 students’ growth and learning, and the complex interactions between them

  • Candidates know and use major areas of research on teaching and resources available for professional learning
Evidence demonstrates that:
  • Candidates reflect on their practice and consult with other professionals to grow professionally

  • Candidates seek out new sources of current research on teaching and resources of professional learning to continually update the level of their professional practice
Candidates evaluate the effects of their professional decisions and actions on students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community Evidence demonstrates that:
  • Candidates do not evaluate the effects of their professional practice
Evidence demonstrates that:
  • Candidates use classroom observation, information about students, and research as sources for evaluating the outcomes of teaching and learning and as a basis for experimenting with, reflecting on, and revising practice
Evidence demonstrates that:
  • Candidates develop a systematic process for evaluating the effects of their professional decisions and actions on students, parents, and other professionals and develop professional improvement plans based on the evaluation results

  • Candidates conduct professional inquiry into their professional practice and share the results of their inquiry with other professionals
Candidates actively seek out opportunities to grow professionally Evidence demonstrates that:
  • Candidates do not avail themselves of opportunities to grow professionally
Evidence demonstrates that:
  • Candidates actively seek professional growth by consulting with colleagues, reading current professional literature, and participating in professional organizations and professional development activities
Evidence demonstrates that:
  • Candidates actively seek new ways to expand and improve their professional knowledge and practice


Last modified February 21, 2007
by Boris Teske, Prescott Memorial Library,
Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272