Goal #1: Ensure that the EPI has prepared candidates to be effective classroom teachers through exposure to content and pedagogy.
Describe how your EPI has prepared candidates to utilize their content knowledge to design high quality learning experience for students (age appropriate and content rich experiences in which learners can make meaning and understand). Identify and describe how candidates are prepared to connect content with key ideas within the content area (discipline) and use and apply this knowledge in their teaching. Describe the key assessments used by the EPI to gauge a candidate’s ability to connect content knowledge with key ideas and use this knowledge to create high quality learning experiences. Additionally, provide a continuous improvement plan highlighting how the EPI’s programs will continue to improve in this area. This plan must include a one year analysis of how your programs will improve in this area and data indicators/benchmarks that indicate continuous improvement one year from now. This continuous improvement plan will be used the following year for credit toward this category. The response must include specific, data metrics and expectations. This prompt is based on the following Michigan Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium Model Core Teaching Standards (MI-InTASC): 4a, 4j, 4n, 4r, and 8e.
Representative responses from Content Partners1 (70kB) (CPs) reveal candidates’ content learning is tied to key ideas: e.g., problem solving, scientific method, the experiences/perspectives of diverse people, the distinction between evidence-based knowledge and opinion, chemistry as endemic to students' lives, and geography’s importance in understanding human cultural characteristics. The content and assessments provided by CPs well-prepare candidates to design rich learning experiences for students. Assessments include papers, essays, presentations, reviews, exhibits, exams. CPs assess candidates’ knowledge, critical thinking skills, and ability to relate knowledge to key themes and to world/local contexts. Two specific examples follow. History tracks data from its assessments with the goal that 80% of students are ranked proficient or better. Winter 2014, History will analyze the subset of that data which pertains to COE candidates. Geography, in winter 2013, piloted an essay exam, testing candidates’ knowledge of key concepts of human and physical geography. Analysis of the data, so far, has resulted in suggested changes in the testing itself and in a continuation of the pilot.
In COE’s Professional Level Courses (PLC), faculty model research-based, pedagogical practices that engage learners with content/key ideas. Candidates, in turn, design age-appropriate, content rich lessons and units which link content to key ideas, and they present these in the field work that accompanies every PLC. Key written assessments in Elementary are the lesson plan and reflection (120kB), their common rubrics (which evaluate age/developmentally appropriate lessons), and the unit plan (224kB) and rubric; key experiential assessments are field observations some of which are Danielson-based rubrics. The Danielson student teaching rubric (109kB) addresses the necessity of “solid” or “extensive” knowledge-infused lessons/units. COE’s Elementary Content Knowledge Addendum (89kB) to Danielson evaluates developmental appropriateness, addresses teaching and applying major concepts, and makes it clear that to rank “acceptable” or “target” such application is essential. Secondary assessments include the lesson plan2 (42kB) (taught in 2 courses) and the unit plan (one taught in TEMS 308; one created for student teaching). Rubrics used to assess these are currently under analysis. Danielson is used to assess all student teaching field observations. Three years’ data from the Lesson Plan and Reflection and the Unit Plan assessments are available as is faculty data analysis. Yearly, each program submits data analysis as well as goals for change to the Provost, via the (APA); this analysis is used to inform changes to programs to ensure continuous improvement.
Identify and describe how all candidates are prepared to think critically about the content areas in which they are prepared to teach. In the narrative, include a clear definition as to what it means to think critically in the content area(s). Additionally, describe the key assessment(s) used to ensure candidates are able to demonstrate their ability to think critically about the content. Finally, provide a summary/plan for continuous improvement for this area. This plan must include a one year analysis of how your programs will improve in this area and data indicators/benchmarks that indicate continuous improvement one year from now. This prompt is based on the following MI-InTASC: 3g, 3h, 3m, 4g, 5a 5d, and 8g.
Our Content Partners2 (55kB) (CPs) define critical thinking in a variety of discipline-specific ways, but common elements are “the ability to analyze and interpret, imagine, hypothesize, problem solve, synthesize, determine the validity of a proposition, apply a concept to new contexts, question, evaluate, and differentiate.” A sample of CPs’ responses reveals that critical thinking comprises a key component of content classes, whether students analyze an audience to shape a persuasive argument, interpret an artistic work, apply said work to real-world problems or apply the theories of a historical figure to a contemporary issue, reason inductively or deductively to determine a valid answer through logic and computation, or complete laboratory tests and reports which analyze results and apply them in new ways. CPs have varied means of assessing critical thinking at the individual student level. Yet, they all participate in two key assessments, the General Education Assessment and the Academic Program Assessment (APA).
The goals of General Education, thinking critically, reasoning logically, and communicating effectively are assessed each year by departments using a full set or representative samples of student work which are evaluated using rubrics. Yearly, following data collection and analysis, departments discuss how to capitalize on strengths and address weaknesses. A compilation of the above is sent to the General Education Committee who give feedback and use said data to aid in determining the continuance of departments’ General Education offerings.
The annual APA (407kB), regularly completed by all programs and submitted to the Provost, highlights data-informed program improvement. Student learning data, often measured by the very means CPs use to assess critical thinking on an individual level, are aggregated and analyzed, the results forming the basis for programs’ continuous improvement plans.
CPs’ methods classes and COE methods classes assess critical thinking as candidates complete lesson plans and unit plans, field reflections, fieldwork, and student teaching. In CPs’ methods classes (English 380 and 482), such assessment is based on the choices made by candidates as they create lesson and unit plans, set long and short-term goals for students, determine what and how to teach, and create assessments of students’ learning. In COE, all assessments address critical thinking, some directly, some indirectly. A key direct assessment, the Elementary Common Lesson (184kB) Planning Rubric, aligned to ACEI and InTASC standards, speaks to the “development of critical thinking and problem solving.” Candidates are assessed as to whether they “integrate critical thinking…throughout the lesson with questions/tasks/activities that require…problem solving….” COE faculty review data from this assessment and make course adjustments needed to better promote candidates’ critical thinking and to better assist candidates as they promote critical thinking by their students.
COE/CP faculty will:
Identify and describe how all candidates are prepared to utilize and apply content knowledge to solve real world problems and connect the content knowledge to local and global issues. Essentially, this means the candidate is able to connect the content to relevant issues. In the narrative, identify and describe the key assessment(s) used to explain the assertions that candidates are able to use content to solve real world problems and connect content to local and global issues. Finally, provide a summary/plan for continuous improvement for this area. This plan must include a one year analysis of how your programs will improve and data indicators/benchmarks that will indicate continuous improvement one year from now. This prompt is based on the following MI-InTASC: 2j, 3b 3g, 5b, 5d, 5m, 8f, 8h, and 8j.
CPs give ample evidence that content knowledge (37kB) is linked to local and global issues and that student ability to make such linkage is assessed. While it is doubtful that these linkages solve problems as the prompt suggests, they provide students with knowledge of critical issues. Examples follow. Economics assigns two papers, one on the present “State of the U.S. Economy” and one on the impact of global trade on the state of the economy. In Math, candidates “learn to formulate conjectures about real-world situations, which they translate into a mathematical form…and obtain results which are interpreted in the context of the original problem.” In Chemistry “service learning is a growing initiative,” and “water quality testing relevant to the Saginaw-Bay watershed will be included in the laboratory portion of courses.” Political Science students write policy memos, represent a nation at a Model UN, and present briefs about current Supreme Court cases. Physics’ “in-class demonstrations and discussions of real-world phenomena are used as a means of emphasis.” In English, “literature often addresses current social problems such as racial prejudice…, gender norms…, and the distribution of wealth.”
Papers, essays, presentations, exhibits, individual and group projects are means of individual candidate assessment. In addition to the APA and General Education Assessments discussed previously, departments conduct assessments. Political Science surveys students to gauge their self-reported experience in applying concepts to practical problems in new situations. The results are examined, assignments revised, course outcomes clarified, and syllabi altered if needed. Biology reviews aggregated assessments at an annual retreat and makes program and course adjustments for improvement. The economics papers noted above form a key program assessment. Evaluated on an analytic rubric, they measure improvement in student learning outcomes between the sophomore and the senior year.
COE gauges candidate success at applying knowledge to local/global problems. The Danielson-based rubric#3 (109kB) used in student teaching assessment speaks to “activities [that] engage students in making connections beyond the classroom (global connections).” The Common Lesson Planning Rubric for Elementary candidates expects connections between “prior knowledge and out-of-school experiences.” Social Studies’ adaptation of that rubric measures whether “Elementary students (k-8) are engaged in activities that promote…the abilities to make informed decisions as citizens of a culturally-diverse democratic society and interdependent world.” Middle/Secondary’s TEMS Unit Plan (126kB) asks candidates to state why their units are “important for U.S. Citizenship” and “for Global citizenship.” A Follow-Up Survey for Completers (35kB) states, “I was well-prepared to relate classroom learning in my content areas to the real world.” Data from the above are analyzed to inform course and program change.
COE will review/revise its Unit and Lesson assignments/rubrics ensuring the application of content knowledge to local/global issues is directly assessed and collaborate with CPs to ensure explicit application and assessment in one key assignment/rubric.
COE/CP faculty will:
Identify and describe how your EPI has aligned practices with the National Education Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS-T). Specifically, provide examples of how your EPI utilizes the NETS-T to prepare candidates to utilize technology to impact student learning. In the narrative identify and describe the key assessment(s) used to explain the assertions regarding how candidates are able to utilize technology to enhance student learning. Additionally, identify one of the NETS-T standards in which you are working toward continuous improvement. Please indicate how over the next year your EPI will work to meet this goal and identify indicators/benchmarks for what meeting these goals will look like one year from now.
Elementary and Middle/Secondary (TEMS) methods courses have emphasized the use of technology for the past ten years; candidates at both levels have been required to “design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments (Nets-T 2)” incorporating technology components “facilitating and inspiring student learning and creativity (NETS-T 1)” into lessons and units. This semester, COE faculty are aligning the technology components of their syllabi with Nets-T standards. Faculty are committed to technology inclusion in their courses and to exploring its use to best assist students. TEMS’ candidates take TEMS 303 (54kB), which focuses on “the effective application of technology for informing instruction.” Elementary and TEMS faculty model technology applications for candidates (NETS-T 3). Included are: “smart” podiums, power point, web quests, Epson or Smart Boards, TED lectures, YouTube, Prezi, virtual field trips, blogs, v-space (Sakai), calculators, GIS and GPS use, i-Pads, and Wiki. Faculty teach responsible digital citizenship (NETS-T 4). Candidates learn to cite online resources and, as early as pre-admittance meetings, are taught to blog and use social media professionally and ethically. Faculty “engage in professional growth and leadership” (NETS-T 5): they attend and present at professional conferences (246kB) and stay abreast of technological advances. TEMS has piloted virtual field observations and this winter will pilot virtual interactive field experiences through Michigan Virtual University. In the past two years, faculty have attended 11 COE Professional Development (723kB) technology sessions; COE has purchased 30 i-Pads for individual candidate use in COE classrooms. Currently, COE is transitioning to TK-20 from V-space for data storage and online portfolios; faculty and candidates have been trained to use this system. A majority of COE faculty have taken SVSU’s 8-week training imperative for instructors who teach hybrid and on-line classes.
Lesson and unit plan rubrics and student teaching’s Danielson-based rubric#4 (109kB) assess candidates’ use of technology to impact and enhance learning. Elementary’s lesson and unit plan assessments align with NETS-T standards as do its TE 311 (48kB) Technology Facilitator assignment and TEMS 312 (2,250kB) syllabus and Classroom Application (56kB) Paper*. Completers’ Follow-Up survey queries: “I was well-prepared at SVSU to integrate technology into classroom instruction” and “I was well-prepared at SVSU to support my students’ use of technology to demonstrate conceptual understanding.” Completers’ employers are asked if graduates “demonstrate knowledge of educational software with the aim of bringing new learning opportunities into the school district.” Data gained from surveys and assessments is compiled and reviewed, with an eye to changes needed for continuous improvement.
Prompt 4 Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP):
To promote consistent technology instruction/assessment, COE will focus on NETS-T 2a: “Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity.” COE faculty will:
Identify and describe how all candidates are prepared to address the learning needs of diverse learners. For this prompt, “diverse learners” are defined as English Language Learners, students with varying learning abilities, and students from underrepresented populations. Additionally, the narrative should include clear descriptions of the key assessment(s) used to explain how the EPI is able to ensure their candidates are able to address the learning needs of diverse learners. Finally, provide a summary/plan for continuous improvement for this area. This plan must include a one year analysis of how your programs will improve in this area and data indicators/benchmarks that indicate continuous improvement one year from now. This prompt is based on the following MI-InTASC: 1g, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2i, 3l, 3i, 4f, 4i, 4k, 5h, 6u, 7i, 7m, 8m, 9e, and 9m.
All candidates learn to accommodate the needs of diverse learners. Strategies for working with English Language Learners are addressed in Developmental Reading K-8 (elementary) and in Teaching Reading in the Content Areas for middle/secondary candidates (TEMS 312). Candidates learn to design activities for students with varying learning abilities and students from underrepresented populations in specific courses: Differentiation and Diversity K-8 (TE 344), where candidates focus on types and characteristics of disabilities and which requires a field component; Managing the Diverse Classroom K-8 (TE 343), which features cultural and linguistic diversity; and TEMS 301 (120kB), Community Culture & Change, wherein candidates tutor students from underrepresented populations. In professional methods (Elementary: TE 341,331,310,330, TEMS 302, 308) courses, candidates become familiar with classroom diversity, learn to assess students to discover their varying learning abilities, design lessons that make adaptations so all students can be engaged and successful. In the field experiences that accompany each of these methods classes, each elementary candidate works in an urban, a rural, and a suburban school. TEMS’ 302 field experience has a specific “special needs component.” In later TEMS courses, candidates observe and teach in their minors in an urban school and, in their majors, in either a rural or a suburban school. Thus, candidates observe professional teachers working with diverse learners and learn to accommodate students with varying abilities and those from underrepresented populations. In one field placement, all elementary candidates observe and teach in an urban school, where students come from homes where 46 (!) languages are spoken, giving them first-hand ELL experience. Data on field Diversity (71kB) is analyzed each semester, and placement sites (204kB) changed, where possible, to maximize experience with diverse learners.
Lesson plan and reflection (71kB) assessments from methods courses rate candidates on “mak[ing] adaptations for diverse students.” The student teaching rubric#5 (109kB) has three items related to diverse learners: “Knowledge of students’ interests, cultures,” “Knowledge of students’ development and skills,” and “Varied approaches to learning.” The Professional Behavior Rubric (61kB), applied 3-4 times per candidate, also assesses each on his/her ability to “Recognize and acknowledge contributions of diverse perspectives of individuals and groups,” and “Reflect on the ways their behaviors, interactions, and decisions impact the culture and climate of the learning environment.” The annual Follow-Up Survey (335kB) asks employers to rate SVSU education graduates on their “Knowledge and use of a variety of research-based instructional methods to meet the needs of all students.” Faculty compile and review this data and make adjustments to promote continuous improvement.
Prompt 5 Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP):
COE faculty will:
Identify and describe how candidates are prepared to create learning environments that support individual and collaborative learning, positive social interaction, and active engagement for their students. Additionally, identify and describe the key assessment(s) used to explain how the EPI is able to ensure candidates are able to meet the assertions made in the narrative. Finally, provide a summary/plan for continuous improvement for this area. This plan must include a one-year analysis of how your programs will improve in this area and data indicators/benchmarks that indicate continuous improvement one year from now. This prompt is based on the following MI-InTASC: 3d, 3k, 3c, 3o, 3p, 8d, and 8c.
All elementary and secondary candidates receive consistent instruction and modeling throughout all their method courses to enable them to create learning environments that support individual and collaborative learning, positive social interaction, and active engagement for students. Endorsement programs (ESL, Early Childhood, Special Education) provide further emphasis on those skills via additional instruction, modeling, and field experience. In TE 100: Exploring Teaching K-12, pre-candidates spend time in field observing varied teaching strategies and responding to prompts about classroom environment, management techniques, classroom routines, and positive teacher behaviors that support learning. In the professional sequence courses, faculty introduce, model, and display (via videos of master teachers’ lessons in TEMS 312; Eng. 380), techniques for creating positive learning. Among the practices faculty model (in TE 301, 318, 341, 310, 331, 330/TEMS 301, 302, 308, 312) and expect application of in lessons, units, and field teaching are questioning strategies and wait time; peer group work, discussion, and report-out; pair shares; whole class discussion; quick writes; integrated technology use; independent and group presentations; direct teaching strategies in maxi-and mini-lessons; the effective use of visuals; universal design. English 380, taken by all elementary candidates and English major/minor secondary candidates, stresses the integration of all the language arts, writing process approaches, peer critique and expects use of the same in lessons and units. Thus, candidates are well-prepared to design lessons/units that incorporate procedures for positive engagement, social interaction, and individual and collaborative learning.
Field, lesson, and unit plan assessments measure candidates’ ability to create engaging learning environments; faculty, field supervisors, and host teachers provide feedback on candidates’ field performance. The InTASC-aligned, Danielson-based rubric#6 (109kB) used to evaluate student teaching experience in Elementary, Special Education, and Early Childhood, and in Middle/Secondary (TEMS) rates candidates’ facility at “encouraging students to interact positively;” keeping “students engaged at all times;” orchestrating “group work [that is] organized; using materials that “routinely engage students” meaningfully; providing “cooperative learning activities that communicate high expectations;” and constructing lessons that “provide opportunity for independent learning and problem solving.” Elementary lesson plan (93kB)/unit plan rubrics assess candidates’ creation of a “positive learning environment where students engage in decision making through collaborative (whole class, small group) and independent learning….” TEMS’ unit assessment TEMS 308 (35kB) includes “Uses a variety of methods…; methodology encourages student interaction,” and their lesson planning assignment expects candidates to provide for small group work, independent work, and the use of a variety of instructional strategies.
Prompt 6 Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP):
To ensure more consistent evaluation, across COE, of candidates’ ability to support individual and collaborative learning, promote positive social interaction, and actively engage students in learning, COE faculty will:
Identify and describe how all candidates are prepared to assess student learning and use data to diagnose student needs (e.g. understanding of literacy as it relates to the content) and plan for/differentiate instruction. Additionally, identify and describe the key assessment(s) used to explain how the EPI is able to ensure their candidates are able to assess student learning, utilize data and diagnose student needs, and plan learning activities and differentiate instruction utilizing student data. Finally, provide a summary/plan for continuous improvement for this area. This plan must include a one year analysis of how your programs will improve in this area and data indicators/benchmarks that indicate continuous improvement one year from now. This prompt is based on the following MI-InTASC: 2d, 5c, 5k, 6g, 6l, 7l, 7q, 8b, 8g, 8o, 9k, and 10a.
SVSU candidates have experience assessing student learning. In TEMS 310 (525kB), Intro.to Classroom Assessment, secondary candidates learn to “use assessment appropriately,” “construct assessments for use in the classroom,” “modify assessments to meet the needs of all learners,” and “use assessment and evaluation results for informed decision making.” For TEMS 312-2 (18kB) Application Paper, candidates create an assessment, then, state how the assessment measures student progress, what data analyzed from the assessment tells about student learning, and how to use insights gained to plan instruction/differentiation. Elementary introduces candidates to assessment in its methods courses (TE 301, 318, 341, 331, TE 330 (200kB), and 311). Candidates learn to pre-assess prior to teaching lessons, to assess student progress during lessons, to design post-lesson assessment(s) aligned with the lessons, goal(s), to use results from pre-assessments to design/select appropriate learning strategies and instructional materials, and to use post-assessment data to plan differentiated instruction for future lessons and/or for re-teaching. In TE 482 and 489, Early Childhood candidates complete additional assessments of both individual students’ performance and of programs (PQA). COE faculty demonstrate area K-12 partners’ use of data systems to collect formative and summative student performance data and discuss how this data can be used to plan effective, differentiated instruction. During field experiences, candidates observe teachers assessing students and using data to diagnose student needs. Candidates incorporate assessment techniques into their lesson/unit planning, and they evaluate their impact on student learning in their field and student teaching lessons.
Key assessments include the lesson and unit plan assignments/rubrics and the Danielson-based rubric which rates student teaching performance. TEMS 310 and 312 also play key roles in gauging secondary candidate knowledge and application of assessment. The elementary lesson plan and reflection rubrics require “an analysis of student performance” to plan further student instruction and the integration of “formal and informal assessment techniques…for formative and summative assessment that inform…knowledge of students’ progress…” The unit plan (224kB) rubric includes items related to assessment: alignment of assessment to learning goals, pre-assessment, instruction based on assessment results, checking for understanding while teaching, post-assessment, and analysis of student achievement. The field rubric#7 (109kB) addresses assessing learning and differentiating instruction; giving high-quality feed-back; tracking and assessing student learning via technology; and soliciting and using information about students’ experiences, learning behavior, needs, and progress via informal assessments. Employers rate SVSU graduates on their “Essential skills to assess student learning” on the Follow-Up Survey (335kB). As COE faculty reviewed data on candidates’ performance, they found that, while candidates effectively design and administer assessments, many need to better use assessment data to inform instruction.
Prompt 7 Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP):
Thus, COE set the following goal: Improve candidates’ use of assessment data to inform/plan/differentiate instruction. COE faculty will: