1b. Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates
[Note: In this section, institutions must address both (1) initial teacher preparation programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels and (2) licensure and non-licensure graduate programs for teachers who already hold a teaching license.]
1b1. What data from key assessments indicate that candidates in initial teacher preparation programs demonstrate the pedagogical content knowledge and skills delineated in professional, state and teacher institutional standards?
Pedagogical content knowledge is specifically assessed as part of WTS 4, 7 and 8:
- Teachers know how to teach. The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies, including the use of technology, to encourage children's development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.
- Teachers are able to plan different kinds of lessons. The teacher organizes and plans systematic instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, pupils, the community, and curriculum goals.
- Teachers know how to test for student progress. The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the pupil.
These standards are specifically assessed in our program as part of our portfolio process in both the undergraduate and graduate initial licensure programs. An examination of these portfolios shows distinct growth in average scores as students move through the program, an average of .35 points growth per standard per phase. Students tend to do equally well in all three standards. In addition, cooperating teacher final evaluations utilized in the Curriculum and Instruction Department’s programs are designed to assess these standards. Sample data gathered from Spring 2007 semester (n=111) indicate a mean ratings of 3.40, 3.46 and 3.44 for WTS standards 4, 7 and 8 respectively. A 3.0 on this rating scale indicates “proficient.” (Please refer to support data for question 1b1). Student teacher exit surveys from 2003 to 2007 (n=177) also suggest that candidates are well prepared in pedagogical content knowledge. Average ratings on the question “I believe I have attained an appropriate level of proficiency to be expected of a beginning teacher in terms of pedagogical knowledge ” are 4.31 out of 5 possible points.
1b2. What data from key assessment indicate that advanced teaching candidates know and apply theories related to pedagogy and learning, including the use of a range of instructional strategies and the ability to explain the choices they make in their practice? (Institutions that have submitted advanced teaching programs for national review or a similar state review are required to respond to this question only for programs not reviewed.)
Please refer to the SPA reports, state program reports, and audit and review reports for information on advanced teaching candidates’ abilities. Whole unit data, as stated in question 1 above, also provides information about advanced programs.
1b3. What data indicate that candidates can integrate technology into their teaching?
All elementary, special education and early childhood majors take a one-credit course that provides authentic practice of various technology and information literacy skills used in education. This course, LIBMEDIA 201: Individualized Learning System in Educational Media, is a modular individualized learning system designed to present students with exploratory and hands-on practical experiences at the introductory level with classroom technologies for print, graphics and visual communication, and related software and web-based resources. Students in other programs meet this requirement in a variety of ways. The dual licensure program utilizes electronic portfolios (through the company Chalk & Wire). Physical education students are assessed in their technology use through their field study instrument where they are given a basic score on the use of technology in physical education. Music education students take, MUSIC 290: Technology for Music Educators. This course includes aspects of music technology essential to music educators, such as the use of software in notation and composition, MIDI-based sequencing and sampling, digital recording and production, and basic live sound techniques. Our graduate programs have each passed technology competencies in their respective national accrediting bodies (CACREP, NASP, CEC, CAA).
The most comprehensive data on our students’ technology competence has come from four primary sources: the student assessment portfolio, the alumni and employer surveys, and the cooperating teacher evaluation instrument. WTS 4 (Teachers know how to teach) specifically includes the use of technology as a teaching tool. Portfolios collected between 2002 and 2006 indicate a mean score of 2.94 and 3.26 (0 to 4 scale) on Phase 3 and Phase 4 assessments of WTS 4. Question number seven in the 2006 Alumni Survey and the 2007 Employer Survey specifically asked how well prepared our graduates were to integrate technology into teaching. On a scale of 1 to 5 (not at all to very well/advanced), Alumni and Employers ranked their preparation at approximately 3.4 and 3.7 – above the middle scale score (Please also refer to the next section for more detailed analysis of this question). A sample (n=111) of Phase 4 Cooperating Teacher Evaluations for the question “Uses technology to enhance learning” the average score on a scale ranging from 1 “minimal” to 4 “advanced” was 3.36. A 3.0 on this scale indicated “proficient.” (Please refer to support data for question 1b3.). In addition, student teacher exit surveys from 2003 to 2007 (n=177) also suggest that candidates are well prepared to use technology. Average ratings on the question “I believe I have attained an appropriate level of proficiency to be expected of a beginning teacher in terms of technology” are 4.03 out of 5 possible points.
Finally, the 2003-05 NSSE student survey data asked the following question:
To what extent has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in using computing and information technology? (Scale: 1=Very Little, 2= Some, 3=Quite A Bit, 4=Very Much).
Results for COE students were:
|Year||Comm. Dis.||Early Child.||Education||Elem. Ed.||Phys. Ed||Special Ed.|
1b4. What do follow-up studies of employers and graduates indicate about graduates’ preparation in pedagogical content knowledge and skills? If survey data are being reported, what was the response rate? (A table summarizing the results related to student learning could be attached here).
There is no significant difference between Employer and Alumni overall mean rating for WTS 4 (Teachers know how to teach). For standards 7 (Teachers are able to plan different kinds of lessons) and 8 (Teachers know how to test for student progress), alumni rate themselves significantly higher (better prepared) than the employers rate our alumni. This could be due to the high demands employers face for continuous school assessment and has been discussed in our CoPRA meetings.
There are also significant differences between how the alumni and employers rate our graduates in the use of technology in their teaching (from survey question 7). Employers rate our graduates as being significantly better prepared to use technology than our alumni rate themselves (question 7). However, the alumni rate themselves significantly better prepared to provide varied instruction than the employers rate our alumni (question 6). Alumni and employers rated our program “How well prepared are you/they to use various media forms?” the same (question 14). This has also been discussed at our CoPRA meetings. One comment that CoPRA has observed is the fiscal constraint the College has been under to fund additional technology hardware in the university (see section Standard 6). Because the alumni surveyed were taught prior to the onset of PI34, it was decided to wait until the next alumni survey is undertaken before significant program revision is made based on this finding. This survey process is anticipated to begin in Spring, 2009 (Please refer to support data for question 1b4.)