Research Competencies in Teacher Education

Expected by NCATE

Excerpts from:

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Professional Standards for the Accreditation of Schools, Colleges, and Departments of Education. 2006.

CHAPTER ONE: Mission and Scope

A Vision of the Professional Teacher for the 21st Century

CHAPTER TWO: NCATE STANDARDS

NCATE Unit Standards

Conceptual Frameworks

Standard 1: Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions

Standard 2: Assessment System and Unit Evaluation

Standard 3: Field Experiences and Clinical Practice

Standard 4: Diversity

Glossary of NCATE Terms


CHAPTER ONE: Mission and Scope

A Vision of the Professional Teacher for the 21st Century

  • Accredited schools, colleges, and departments of education should

    • ensure that new teachers attain the necessary content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge and skills to teach both independently and collaboratively;
    • ensure that all new administrators and other professional specialists attain the knowledge and skills to create an environment for student learning;
    • administer multiple assessments in a variety of forms, engage in follow-up studies, and use the results to determine whether candidates meet professional standards, and whether graduates can teach so that students learn;
    • commit to preparing teachers for a diverse community of students;
    • prepare candidates who can integrate technology into instruction to enhance student learning;
    • encourage collegiality, reflective practice, continuous improvement, and collaboration among educators, learners, and families; and
    • view teacher preparation and development as a continuum, moving from preservice preparation to supervised beginning practice to continuing professional development.

  • Likewise, the new professional teacher who graduates from a professionally accredited school, college, or department of education should be able to

    • help all pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade (P–12) students learn;
    • teach to P–12 student standards set by specialized professional associations and the states;
    • explain instructional choices based on research-derived knowledge and best practice;
    • apply effective methods of teaching students who are at different developmental stages, have different learning styles, and come from diverse backgrounds;
    • reflect on practice, and act on feedback; and
    • be able to integrate technology into instruction effectively.

  • This teacher has gained those abilities through

    • a broad liberal arts education;
    • in-depth study of the teaching field;
    • a foundation of professional knowledge upon which to base instructional decisions;
    • diverse, well-planned, and sequenced experiences in P–12 schools; and
    • ongoing assessments of competence to practice, through an array of performance measures.
(3-4)

CHAPTER TWO: NCATE Standards

NCATE Unit Standards

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK(S)

A conceptual framework(s) establishes the shared vision for a unit’s efforts in preparing educators to work in P–12 schools. It provides direction for programs, courses, teaching, candidate performance, scholarship, service, and unit accountability. The conceptual framework(s)5 is knowledge-based, articulated, shared, coherent, consistent with the unit and/or institutional mission, and continuously evaluated. The conceptual framework(s) provides the bases that describe the unit’s intellectual philosophy, which distinguishes graduates of one institution from those of another.

Faculty members in the unit are expected to collaborate with members of their professional community in developing a conceptual framework(s) that establishes the vision for the unit and its programs. The conceptual framework(s) provides the basis for coherence among curriculum, instruction, field experiences, clinical practice, assessment, and evaluation. It makes explicit the professional commitments and dispositions that support it, including the commitment to acquire and use knowledge on behalf of P–12 students. It reflects the unit’s commitment to diversity and the preparation of educators who help all students learn. It reflects the unit’s commitment to the integration of technology to enhance candidate and student learning. The conceptual framework(s) also provides a context for aligning professional and state standards with candidate proficiencies expected by the unit and programs for the preparation of educators.

The conceptual framework(s) provides the following structural elements:

    • the vision and mission of the institution and unit;
    • the unit’s philosophy, purposes, and goals;
    • knowledge bases, including theories, research, the wisdom of practice, and education policies;
    • candidate proficiencies aligned with the expectations in professional, state, and institutional standards;
    • the system by which candidate performance is regularly assessed.
(12)

Evidence of the Conceptual Framework(s) throughout the Standards

Candidate Proficiencies Aligned with Professional and State Standards: The unit’s conceptual framework(s) provides the context for developing and assessing candidate proficiencies based on professional, state, and institutional standards.

(13)

Standard 1: Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions

Candidates preparing to work in schools as teachers or other professional school personnel know and demonstrate the content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates meet professional, state, and institutional standards.

Content Knowledge for Teacher Candidates

Content Knowledge for Other Professional School Personnel

Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Teacher Candidates

Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates

Professional Knowledge and Skills for Other School Personnel

Unacceptable Acceptable Target
Candidates for other professional school roles have not mastered the professional knowledge that undergirds their fields and is delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards. Lack of knowledge is shown in their inability to use research or technology or to understand the cultural contexts of the school(s) in which they provide professional services. Candidates for other professional school roles have an adequate understanding of the professional knowledge expected in their fields and delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards. They know their students, families, and communities; use current research to inform their practices; use technology in their practices; and support student learning through their professional services. Candidates for other professional school roles have an in-depth understanding of professional knowledge in their fields as delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards. They collect and analyze data related to their work, reflect on their practice, and use research and technology to support and improve student learning.
(16)

Dispositions for All Candidates

Student Learning for Teacher Candidates

Student Learning for Other Professional School Personnel

Supporting Explanation:

Teacher licensure standards adopted by most states require that teachers demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions that enable them to address the needs of all learners. Therefore, candidates preparing to teach or work as other professional educators in P–12 schools are expected to demonstrate the learning proficiencies identified in the unit’s conceptual framework(s), which should be aligned with standards for P–12 students, the standards of national professional organizations, and state licensing standards.

To help institutions better prepare teacher candidates to meet state licensing requirements, NCATE has aligned its unit and program standards with the principles of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC). First and foremost, NCATE and INTASC expect teacher candidates to know the content of their disciplines, including their central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures.

(17)

In addition, NCATE and INTASC expect teacher candidates to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and dispositions to provide learning opportunities supporting students’ intellectual, social, and personal development. Teacher candidates are able to create instructional opportunities adapted to diverse learners. They encourage students’ development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills. They are able to create learning environments encouraging positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. Teacher candidates foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom. They plan instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, families, the community, and curriculum goals. Teacher candidates evaluate students’ academic achievement as well as their social and physical development and use the results to maximize students’ motivation and learning. They are able to reflect on and continually evaluate the effects of choices and actions on others and actively seek out opportunities to grow professionally. They also are able to foster relationships with school colleagues, parents and families, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well being.

Candidates preparing to work in schools as teachers or other school personnel need a sound professional knowledge base to understand learning and the context of schools, families, and communities. They understand and are able to apply knowledge related to the social, historical, and philosophical foundations of education, professional ethics, law, and policy. They know the ways children and adolescents learn and develop, including their cognitive and affective development and the relationship of these to learning. They understand language acquisition; cultural influences on learning; exceptionalities; diversity of student populations, families, and communities; and inclusion and equity in classrooms and schools. They are able to appropriately and effectively integrate technology and information literacy in instruction to support student learning. They understand the importance of using research in teaching and other professional roles and know the roles and responsibilities of the education profession.

(18-19)

Throughout the program, teacher candidates develop the knowledge bases for analyzing student learning and practice by collecting data and assessing student learning through case studies and field and other experiences. They might examine student work samples for evidence of learning and develop lesson plans to help students who are having problems understanding the concepts being taught. Student learning should be demonstrated directly by all teacher candidates during clinical practice.

(19)

Candidates preparing to work in schools as other school personnel demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to meet professional, state, and institutional standards. These roles include the positions of

    • educational technology specialists
    • instructional technology specialists
    • reading specialists and supervisors
    • school administrators, including principals and curriculum and instruction specialists
    • school counselors
    • school library media specialists
    • school psychologists
    • school superintendents
    • other professional school roles.

Candidates in these graduate programs develop the ability to apply research and research methods. They also develop knowledge of learning, the social and cultural context in which learning takes place, and practices that support learning in their professional roles. Candidates might assess the school environment by collecting and analyzing data on student learning as it relates to their professional roles and developing positive environments supportive of student learning.

(20)

Standard 2: Assessment System and Unit Evaluation

The unit has an assessment system that collects and analyzes data on applicant qualifications, candidate and graduate performance, and unit operations to evaluate and improve the unit and its programs.

Assessment System

Data Collection, Analysis, and Evaluation

Use of Data for Program Improvement

(21-22)

Supporting Explanation:

Assessment systems include plans and timelines for data collection and analysis related to candidates and unit operations. Assessment systems usually have features such as these:

    • Unit faculty collaborate with members of the professional community to design and implement the system.
    • Professional, state, and institutional standards are reference points for candidate assessments.
    • The unit embeds assessments in the preparation programs, conducts them on a continuing basis for both formative and summative purposes, and provides candidates with ongoing feedback.
    • The unit uses multiple indicators (e.g., 3.0 GPA, demonstrated mastery of basic skills, general education knowledge, content mastery, and life and work experiences) to identify candidates with potential to become successful teachers or assume other school personnel roles at the point of candidate entry (as a freshman, junior, or postbaccalaureate student).
    • The unit has multiple decision points, e.g., at entry, prior to clinical practice, and prior to program completion.
    • The unit administers multiple assessments in a variety of forms and aligns them with candidate standards. These may come from end-of-course evaluations, written essays, or topical papers, as well as from tasks used for instructional purposes (such as projects, journals, observations by faculty, comments by cooperating teachers, or videotapes) and from activities associated with teaching (such as lesson planning, identifying student readiness for instruction, creating appropriate assessments, reflecting on results of instruction with students, or communicating with parents, families, and school communities).
    • The unit uses information available from external sources such as state licensing exams, evaluations during an induction or mentoring year, employer reports, follow up studies, and state program reviews.
    • The unit has procedures to ensure credibility of assessments: fairness, consistency, accuracy, and avoidance of bias.
    • The unit establishes rubrics or criteria for determining levels of candidate accomplishment and completing their programs.
    • The unit uses results from candidate assessments to evaluate and make improvements in the unit, and its programs, courses, teaching, and field and clinical experiences.
    • In the evaluation of unit operations and programs, the unit collects, analyzes, and uses a broad array of information from course reviews, clinical practice opportunities, and faculty about diversity, unit governance, and leadership.
(23-24)

Standard 3: Field Experiences and Clinical Practice

Collaboration between Unit and School Partners

Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice

Unacceptable Acceptable Target
Field experiences are not linked to the development of proficiencies delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards. Field experiences and clinical practice do not reflect the unit’s conceptual framework( s) and do not help candidates develop the competencies delineated in standards. Clinical practice does not provide opportunities to use information technology to support teaching and learning. Clinical practice is not long or intensive enough for candidates to demonstrate their ability to take full responsibility for the roles for which they are preparing.

Criteria for clinical faculty are not known. Clinical faculty do not demonstrate the knowledge and skills expected of accomplished school professionals. Clinical faculty do not provide regular and continuing support for student teachers and other interns.

Field experiences facilitate candidates’ development as professional educators by providing opportunities for candidates to observe in schools and other agencies, tutor students, assist teachers or other school personnel, attend school board meetings, and participate in education-related community events prior to clinical practice. Both field experiences and clinical practice reflect the unit’s conceptual framework(s) and help candidates continue to develop the content, professional, and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and dispositions delineated in standards. Clinical practice allows candidates to use information technology to support teaching and learning. Clinical practice is sufficiently extensive and intensive for candidates to demonstrate proficiencies in the professional roles for which they are preparing.

Criteria for clinical faculty are clear and known to all of the involved parties. Clinical faculty are accomplished school professionals. Clinical faculty provide regular and continuing support for student teachers and other interns through such processes as observation, conferencing, group discussion, email, and the use of other technology.

Field experiences allow candidates to apply and reflect on their content, professional, and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and dispositions in a variety of settings with students and adults. Both field experiences and clinical practice extend the unit’s conceptual framework(s) into practice through modeling by clinical faculty and well-designed opportunities to learn through doing. During clinical practice, candidate learning is integrated into the school program and into teaching practice. Candidates observe and are observed by others. They interact with teachers, college or university supervisors, and other interns about their practice regularly and continually. They reflect on and can justify their own practice. Candidates are members of instructional teams in the school and are active participants in professional decisions. They are involved in a variety of school-based activities directed at the improvement of teaching and learning, including the use of information technology. Candidates collect data on student learning, analyze them, reflect on their work, and develop strategies for improving learning.

Clinical faculty are accomplished school professionals who are jointly selected by the unit and partnering schools. Clinical faculty are selected and prepared for their roles as mentors and supervisors and demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and dispositions of highly accomplished school professionals.

(26)

Candidates' Development and Demonstration of Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions to Help All Students Learn

Supporting Explanation:

Field experiences and clinical practice are characterized by collaboration, accountability, and an environment and practices associated with professional learning. Field experiences represent a variety of early and ongoing school-based opportunities in which candidates may observe, assist, tutor, instruct, or conduct applied research. Clinical practice includes student teaching and internships that provide candidates with experiences that allow for full immersion in the learning community so that candidates are able to demonstrate proficiencies in the professional roles for which they are preparing. Clinical practice provides for candidates’ use of information technology to support teaching, learning, and other professional responsibilities.

Accountability for clinical practice includes (1) the application of both entry and exit requirements for candidates; (2) candidates’ demonstration of content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge aligned with standards; (3) candidates’ demonstration of proficiencies in early field experiences; (4) candidates’ application of the skills, knowledge, and dispositions defined by the unit, including the capacity to have a positive effect on P–12 student learning; and (5) candidates’ demonstration of skills for working with colleagues, parents and families, and communities. The unit and its school partners use diverse assessment approaches to evaluate candidates.

(28)

Standard 4: Diversity

The unit designs, implements, and evaluates curriculum and experiences for candidates to acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. These experiences include working with diverse higher education and school faculty, diverse candidates, and diverse students in P–12 schools.

Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Curriculum and Experiences

(29)

Glossary of NCATE Terms

Candidate Performance Data. Information derived from assessments of candidate proficiencies, in areas of teaching and effects on student learning, candidate knowledge, and dispositions. Candidate performance data may be derived from a wide variety of sources, such as projects, essays, or tests demonstrating subject content mastery; employer evaluations; state licensure tests; and mentoring year “portfolios” as well as assessments, projects, reflections, clinical observations, and other evidence of pedagogical and professional teaching proficiencies.

Conceptual Framework. An underlying structure in a professional education unit that gives conceptual meanings through an articulated rationale to the unit’s operation, and provides direction for programs, courses, teaching, candidate performance, faculty scholarship and service, and unit accountability.

Dispositions. The values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues, and communities and affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator’s own professional growth. Dispositions are guided by beliefs and attitudes related to values such as caring, fairness, honesty, responsibility, and social justice. For example, they might include a belief that all students can learn, a vision of high and challenging standards, or a commitment to a safe and supportive learning environment.

Field Experiences. A variety of early and ongoing field-based opportunities in which candidates may observe, assist, tutor, instruct, and/or conduct research. Field experiences may occur in off-campus settings such as schools, community centers, or homeless shelters.

Knowledge Bases. Empirical research, disciplined inquiry, informed theory, and the wisdom of practice.

Pedagogical Content knowledge. The interaction of the subject matter and effective teaching strategies to help students learn the subject matter. It requires a thorough understanding of the content to teach it in multiple ways, drawing on the cultural backgrounds and prior knowledge and experiences of students.

Pedagogical knowledge. The general concepts, theories, and research about effective teaching, regardless of content areas.

Performance Assessment. A comprehensive assessment through which candidates demonstrate their proficiencies in subject, professional, and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and dispositions, including their abilities to have positive effects on student learning.

Performance-based Licensing. Licensing based on a system of multiple assessments that measure a teacher candidate’s knowledge, skills, and dispositions to determine whether he/she can perform effectively as a teacher or in another school specialty.

Performance-based Program. A professional preparation program that systematically gathers, analyzes, and uses data for self-improvement and candidate advisement, especially data that demonstrate candidate proficiencies, including positive effects on student learning.

Performance-based Accreditation System. A practice in accreditation that makes use of assessment information describing candidate proficiencies or actions of professional education units as evidence for determining whether professional standards are “met” or “not met.” It contrasts with accreditation decisions based solely on course offerings, program experiences, and “inputs” as the evidence for judging attainment of professional standards.

Performance Criteria. Descriptions or rubrics that specify qualities or levels of candidate proficiency that are used to evaluate candidate performance.

Performance Data. Information that describes the qualities and levels of proficiency of candidates, especially in application of their knowledge to classroom teaching and other professional situations. Sometimes the phrase is used to indicate the qualities and levels of institutional practice, for example, in making collaborative arrangements with clinical schools, setting faculty professional development policies, or providing leadership through technical assistance to community schools.

Portfolio. An accumulation of evidence about individual proficiencies, especially in relation to explicit standards and rubrics, used in evaluation of competency as a teacher or in another professional school role. Contents might include end-of-course evaluations and tasks used for instructional or clinical experience purposes such as projects, journals, and observations by faculty, videos, comments by cooperating teachers or internship supervisors, and samples of student work.

Proficiencies. Required knowledge, skills, and dispositions identified in the professional, state, or institutional standards.

Scholarship. Systematic inquiry into the areas related to teaching, learning, and the education of teachers and other school personnel. Scholarship includes traditional research and publication as well as the rigorous and systematic study of pedagogy and the application of current research findings in new settings. Scholarship further presupposes submission of one’s work for professional review and evaluation.

Technology, Use of. What candidates must know and understand about information technology in order to use it in working effectively with students and professional colleagues in the (1) delivery, development, prescription, and assessment of instruction; (2) problem solving; (3) school and classroom administration; (4) educational research; (5) electronic information access and exchange; and (6) personal and professional productivity.

(52-57)


Last modified February 8, 2007
by Boris Teske, Prescott Memorial Library,
Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272