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MSU Teacher Education Unit (TEU)

Standard 1

Element 1: Content Knowledge for Teacher Candidates
Element 2: Content Knowledge for Other Professional School Personnel
Element 3: Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Teacher Candidates
Element 4: Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates
Element 5: Professional Knowledge and Skills for Other School Personnel
Element 6: Dispositions for All Candidates
Element 7: Student Learning for Teacher Candidates
Element 8: Student Learning for Other Professional School Personnel

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."

Teacher as Reflective Decision-Maker is the organizing theme which best integrates TEGUís philosophy, beliefs, mission, and goals. The ARK model has been developed to help implement this theme and is an appropriate guide for both faculty and students in the Teacher Education programs at Minot State University. The theme and model overarch the ten INTASC standards that guide the program.

With the adoption of the INTASC standards as goals for the Teacher Education program, MSU attempts to ensure that all licensure candidates have the necessary knowledge and skills relative to the subject area they are to teach, and the pedagogical knowledge necessary to help students learn in their discipline. Faculty and the Unitís P-12 partners have also identified eight dispositions that are critically important to good teaching. Self-assessments and faculty observations are used to determine how candidates demonstrate these dispositions. These data are collected as part of the Unitís assessment system. Candidates who demonstrate behavior that strongly conflicts with these dispositions enter into an individualized process whereby the candidate either remedies the problem behavior or is dropped from the program. (Assessment Data Reports)

The Unitís assessment system including the requirements set for admission to Teacher Education, retention in Teacher Education, and graduation from the program all work together so that all candidates are competent in meeting the standards. Each of the programs in Teacher Education currently meets state accreditation requirements. Specialty programs also meet accreditation standards by their respective national accreditation agencies.

Element 1: Content Knowledge for Teacher Candidates Top

1.1.1 Teacher candidates have in-depth knowledge of the subject matter that they plan to teach as described in professional, state, and institutional standards.

Initial Programs

The Unitís admissions standards require that candidates maintain a 2.5 GPA in the major and overall in order to be admitted into a Teacher Education program, and they must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA in order to be retained in Teacher Education. Additionally, no Teacher Education candidate will be allowed to graduate with a grade lower than a "C" in any of the courses within their major that require admission to Teacher Education and courses in the required core of the professional program. Programs are designed to meet North Dakota standards as set by the Education Standards and Practices Board (ESPB). Methods course work allows candidates to learn how to apply the knowledge from their content courses to school planning, teaching, and assessment.

Advanced Programs

Each advanced program has adopted or is regulated by both their professional organization standards and by State accreditation standards.

1.1.2 Candidates demonstrate their knowledge through inquiry, critical analysis, and the synthesis of the subject.

Initial Programs

While a review of student grades gives us some indication of how much knowledge a candidate has acquired within their discipline, it is the application of this knowledge in a teaching and learning situation that is of greatest concern. Candidates are expected to demonstrate content knowledge as they complete required coursework within the Teacher Education sequence. Prior to student teaching faculty will rate each candidate on how well he or she applies content knowledge in a variety of required performance assessments based upon the ten INTASC standards and the eight teaching dispositions. The measure of content knowledge for each of the Unitís candidates is part of the assessment system and is reviewed on an individual and an aggregate basis. During the methods classes and during student teaching there is a strong emphasis on candidate knowledge of the discipline. Candidates who demonstrate a weakness on this standard before or during their student teaching would be required to remediate their problems and to repeat or extend the student teaching experience. TEGUís assessment system also follows up on recent graduates by asking them and their employers if they feel that Minot State has provided them with a solid background in content knowledge to enable them to be proficient as a classroom teacher. (Assessment Data Reports)

Emphasis is placed upon reflection in a self-assessment process as well. In all methods classes, in addition to rating systems that measure competence in application of subject matter, candidates are required to reflect upon their knowledge and performance through the use of journals, discussions with peers, conferences with university and clinical faculty, etc.

Advanced Programs

Each of the graduate programs has an exit requirement that requires either; a thesis, a project and report, two major papers, an oral examination, a written examination or successful completion of a national standardized test. These requirements ensure that all candidates can demonstrate their knowledge through enquiry, critical analysis, and synthesis.

Element 2: School Personnel Top

1.2.1 Candidates for other professional school roles have a thorough understanding of the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of their fields as delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards, as shown through inquiry, critical analysis, and synthesis.

Minot State Universityís professional school programs have sought and obtained national accreditation. The School Psychology Program is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology programs are accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

Element 3: Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Teacher Candidates Top

1.3.1 Candidates have a thorough understanding of pedagogical content knowledge and have an in-depth understanding of the subject matter that they plan to teach.

Initial Programs

All candidates are required to have a minimum 2.5 GPA in their major including their methods class and may not have a grade below a C in the required professional sequence including methods classes. Appendix D, page 95, indicates the courses where the candidates are assessed on standards related to pedagogy.

Advanced Programs

All graduate programs require previous experience, or related experience, or licensure as a teacher, or they build these requirements into their programs. Those entering the MS in Special Education without a previous teaching license will be required to obtain needed pedagogical skills as part of their program of study.

1.3.2 Candidates can provide multiple explanations and instructional strategies so that all students learn.

Initial Programs

The professional sequence includes ED 320-Curriculum, Planning, and Assessment in which candidates are introduced to a variety of teaching strategies. These strategies are enhanced in the more advanced methods classes within each discipline. In another required course, ED 470-Teaching Diverse Learners, candidates build on skills acquired in SPED 110-Intro to Exceptional Children and SS 283-Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in America. In each of these classes and in subsequent field experiences, candidates are assessed on how well they can provide multiple explanations and strategies to meet individual needs. This is measured directly on an instrument designed to measure mastery of the INTASC Standards following completion of student teaching. INTASC Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 address the ability of candidates to provide multiple explanations and instructional strategies. Surveys completed by 108 cooperating teachers in the spring of 2003 assessed our candidates as they completed student teaching using a four-point rubric (see page 35). The mean scores on our candidates ability to apply these standards were 3.36 (St. 1), 3.34 (St. 2), 3.18 (St. 3), 3.28 (St. 4), 3.27 (St. 5), and 3.28 (St. 6). This data provides evidence that candidates do have the ability to provide multiple explanations and use effective instructional strategies. (Appendix E, page 96) (Assessment Data Reports)

Advanced Programs

Graduate programs that focus on professional development of teachers do focus on improving a teacherís ability in teaching and learning. As the great majority of candidates in these advanced programs are currently teaching in the field, course assignments often relate to the immediate application of new concepts in their classrooms. In internships, practicum assignments, and required projects, candidates focus on implementing new pedagogy and innovative techniques.

1.3.3 Candidates present the content to students in challenging, clear, and compelling ways and integrate technology.

Initial Programs

Methods classes require candidates to spend at least 60 hours working with students in a classroom situation where they are observed and guided by candidate colleagues, university faculty, and clinical teachers. University faculty, in consultation with cooperating teachers, collects data on candidatesí application of pedagogical content knowledge. One of the most valuable aspects of the Unitís program comes in the student teaching experience where all initial candidates will spend a minimum of 12 weeks in a classroom. Candidates are rated on their ability to present content knowledge through the candidateís self-assessment, the university supervisorís assessment, and the clinical teacherís assessment. Valuable data are collected from the Unitís recent graduates through an evaluation of the Teacher Education program.

Technology in teaching is reinforced by requiring all Teacher Education majors to successfully complete the Ed 380-Technology in Teaching class. The pre-requisite for this class is an introductory level computer course or a satisfactory demonstration of computer skills by the candidate, which allows the instructor to focus on the application of technology. In ED 380 candidates are introduced to a variety of ways to use technology in the classroom and are required to complete authentic performance tasks that allow the instructor to measure their ability to apply this technology. The use of technology is also enhanced in discipline-specific methods classes where technology applicable to a specific discipline is introduced. One example would be the uses of graphing calculators that are specifically taught in Math 391 ≠ Teaching Mathematics.

Advanced Programs

Graduate programs focus on the improvement of teaching skills and the implementation of new methodologies and a substantial portion focuses on the application of new technologies. For example, the M Ed program has Ed 521-Technology in Teaching as a part of the required core. In internships, practica, and in classroom projects, candidates introduce new technology learned in course work to students at all levels.

Element 4: Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates Top

1.4.1 Candidates reflect an understanding of professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills.

Initial Programs

All Teacher Education candidates at Minot State University are required to take a sequence of course work designed to provide knowledge and skills necessary to becoming effective teachers. The application of the INTASC Standards to evaluate this sequence illustrates how the Unit ensures that each candidate learns the necessary skills to be successful as a teacher. Professional and pedagogical skills are the specific study of each course. Required coursework includes the following:

Special Education 110 Introduction to Exceptional Children 3 cr.- A survey course examining exceptionalities of learning with a focus on understanding the current social and educational responsibilities. (INTASC #2)

Education 201 Introduction to Teaching 3 cr. - An orientation to the teaching profession and the Minot State Universityís Teacher Education policies and procedures. (INTASC #9)

Psychology 255 Child and Adolescent Psychology 3 cr.- (elementary, P-12, or secondary areas) Overview of theories of human development from conception through adolescence including the physical, cognitive, language, social, and educational aspects of the individual development. Special emphasis will be given to individuals learning capabilities.
Psychology 352 Human Development Adolescence 3 cr.- (secondary area majors) Study of physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and behavioral parameters of the adolescents from preteen to young adulthood. (INTASC #2)

Social Science 283 Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in America 3 cr.- This course provides an overview of the historical and contemporary situation of Americaís principal ethnic minority groups. Native American (with a special emphasis on North Dakota), Latino, African-American, and Asian-American cultural experiences are examined. (INTASC #3)

Education 310 Foundations of Education 3 cr.- Study of the historical, philosophical, Social logical, and psychological concepts that have impacted the development of American public schools. (INTASC #2, 5)

Education 320 Curriculum, Planning, and Assessment 3 cr. -The development of curriculum for the public schools and strategies for the planning, delivery, and assessment of instruction. (INTASC #4,6,7,8)

Education 380 Technology in Teaching 2 cr.-Strategies for the instructional uses of technology including multimedia presentation, e-mail, Internet, spreadsheets, databases, and emerging technologies. (INTASC #6)

Methods Classes (2-4cr.)- Methods of teaching within the disciplines. (INTASC #1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)

Education 460 Managing the Learning Environment 2 cr. - Strategies for successfully creating a positive learning environment in the classroom; strategies for dealing with the disruptive student, strategies for treating positive parental involvement in student learning. (INTASC #2, 5)

Education 470 Teaching Diverse Learners 2 cr. -Adapting teaching strategies to cultural, ethnic, linguistic, developmental and physical differences in the classroom. Collaborating with related professions and individualizing instruction. (INTASC #3)

Education 491/492/493/494/495 Student Teaching (4-16 cr.) in kindergarten, elementary, secondary, k -12, and special areas settings. (INTASC #1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)

1.4.2 Candidates develop meaningful learning experiences to facilitate learning for all students.

Initial Programs

In the core courses candidates complete performance-based self-assessments that allow for collection of data on how well they help all students learn. This is emphasized in the field experiences that candidates have prior to and including student teaching (Appendix A, page 90). During student teaching each candidate is also required to produce evidence that they have helped students to learn. Evidence is submitted with student teaching materials for the candidate to be eligible for licensure. INTASC Standard 3 is especially important in assessing this skill, and the student teaching evaluation forms were designed to collect data based on the INTASC Standards. The mean score from the cooperating teachersí ratings on this Standard was 3.26 in terms of understanding individual differences and 3.18 in terms of adapting instruction to meet these needs.

Advanced Programs

Developing meaningful learning experiences for all learners is the focus of these programs while they also focus on how to accomplish this within their respective disciplines. One of the most revealing ways of assessing this comes through the exit requirements in each program where the candidates must be able to articulate in either written or oral fashion how they can apply new strategies to meet the learnersí needs.

1.4.3 Candidates will reflect on their practice and make necessary adjustments to enhance student learning

Initial Programs

Candidates have the opportunity to review the assessments of their pedagogical skills each semester through access to an online database that allows them to see data in their respective files. (Sample Student File)

During the practicum in each methods class, candidates are asked to write about their experiences in the classroom and to focus on how they adjust their instruction to meet the needs of individual learners. Student teachers must produce evidence that the students in their classrooms have learned.

Advanced Programs

As almost all graduate students in the professional development programs are currently teaching in school classrooms this part of the standard is met by class discussion of how these principles are used in everyday situations. The collaborative discussions among teaching professionals allows candidates to expand their own perspectives on issues of this type.

1.4.4 Candidates know how students learn and how to make ideas accessible to them.

Initial Programs

In preparing the candidates to meet INTASC Standard 3 the Unit requires the following courses: SPED 110 - Intro to Exceptional Children, Psych 252 or 255 - Human Growth and Development, SS 283 - Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in America, and ED 470 - Teaching Diverse Learners. Each of these courses specifically discusses how students learn and develop. In these courses faculty assess students on their ability to complete projects or performances designed to simulate real classroom experience. The faculty members report these assessments to the Unit for an overall review in the annual retreat. Upon completion of the candidateís student teaching experience the clinical teacher rates the candidateís success in guiding students to learn using a form that reflects the INTASC Standards. (Appendix)

Advanced Programs

While each graduate program in the Unit is unique in its focus there is a common emphasis on preparing quality professionals who can help all students learn. For example, in the M Ed the core requires all candidates to complete a course called Models of Teaching and Learning where the emphasis is on meeting this aspect of Standard 1.

Element 5: Professional Knowledge and Skills for Other School Personnel Top

As indicated above in Element 2, the programs in School Psychology, Education of the Deaf, Speech-Language Pathology, and Audiology are all accredited by the national bodies accrediting their respective disciplines.

Element 6: Dispositions for All Candidates Top

1.6.1 Candidates work with students, families, and communities in ways that reflect the dispositions expected of professional educators.

Initial Programs

As indicated in the Unitís conceptual framework, Minot State has identified eight dispositions that TEGU feels are essential to good teaching. These eight dispositions include the expectations that the candidates will be: motivated/dedicated, caring/sensitive, ethical, responsible, open-minded, collegial, resourceful, and poised. Candidates are introduced to these dispositions in ED 201 - Introduction to Teaching. As part of the admissions process, each candidate is required to submit two references from individuals, other than family, who can provide an assessment of the candidateís character. The reference form has been constructed to reflect the dispositions identified by the Teacher Education faculty and provides an initial assessment of each candidate relative to those dispositions. In addition each candidate completes a self-assessment of the eight dispositions at the time of admission, when applying for student teaching, upon completion of student teaching, and at the end of their first year of teaching.

Advanced Programs

The process of applying these teaching dispositions at the graduate level is not yet complete as many of the advanced programs are new to the Unit. All of the advanced programs require that applicants supply references as to character and ability to perform in a graduate setting. (See pages 127-136 in the 2002-2004 Graduate Catalog)

1.6.2 Candidates recognize their own dispositions may need to be adjusted and are able to develop plans to do so.

Initial Programs

Candidates do periodic self-assessments of the program dispositions and reflect on the kind of behavior that a professional teacher should exhibit. The candidates complete a self-assessment at the time of admission to Teacher Education, as part of the student teaching application, when they complete student teaching, and after they have had a yearís teaching experience. The self-assessments and the reference forms give the Unit formative data. The eight teaching dispositions are used to help identify inappropriate behavior in Teacher Education candidates.

An "Inappropriate Dispositions Form" (Appendix C, page 94) has been developed so that faculty and colleagues in the field may report candidate behavior requiring action by the Unit. In most cases the candidateís advisor simply brings to the candidateís attention the concern about the candidateís behavior and seeks a solution. If the behavior continues to be a problem or if it illustrates a flagrant disregard for professional behavior, TEAC reviews the candidateís case and either prescribes remediation or drops the individual from Teacher Education.

The dispositions are explained to candidates in Education 201 and they have the opportunity to observe professionals in action as they go through a shadowing experience in a school classroom. Another part of the Education 201 experience is an exploration of the Unitís conceptual framework. The theme of Teacher as Reflective Decision-Makers is explained and the ARK conceptual model introduced. Representative school professionals provide guest lectures to introduce candidates to the dispositions required in the teaching profession.

Advanced Program

The process of applying these teaching dispositions at the graduate level is not yet complete as many of the advanced programs are new to the Unit. All of the advanced programs require that applicants supply references as to character and ability to perform in a graduate setting and they also require each candidate to submit a written autobiography that the admissions officer can use in determining suitability for the program. (See pages 127-136 in the 2002-2004 Graduate Catalog)

Element 7: Student Learning for Teacher Candidates Top

1. 7.1 Candidates accurately assess and analyze student learning, make adjustments to instruction, monitor student learning, and have a positive affect on learning for all students.

Initial Programs

INTASC Standards 3 and 8 focus specifically on this skill, and data collected from cooperating teachers yield a score of 3.18 and 3.21 respectively in preparing our candidates to meet this Standard. In Ed 320 students learn to assess student learning, to use research-based teaching strategies, and to plan on a yearlong, a unit, and a daily lesson basis. Candidates are given opportunities in their methods class and student teaching to apply this knowledge with students. A requirement of all candidates during their student teaching is to provide evidence that students under their direction have been able to learn new material or new skills. This evidence usually includes pre-/posttest data supplied from candidates as they complete their student teaching experience. Cooperating teachers and university supervisors evaluate candidates on their ability to help all students learn. Data from the student teaching report forms, data provided by methods classes relative to the INTASC standards, and candidateís self-assessments all provide data to help the Unit measure the candidateís ability to help students learn. (Assessment Data Reports)

Element 8: Student Learning for Other Professional School Personnel. Top

The national accreditation bodies that review the School Psychology program, the Speech-Language Pathology program, the Audiology program and the Deaf Education program also require evidence that the school professionals are effective. Each program has a substantial amount of in-school or clinical experience that gives candidates ample opportunity to demonstrate and practice their professional skills. Each of these programs is currently accredited.