Submitted Fall, 2005
Clearly, the desired outcomes (#1, #5, and #10) connected to the morally responsible teacher assessment are demonstrably achieved. The mean score of over thirteen during all three semesters shows that the five sub-criteria connected to the rubric for this assessment (see Appendix B) are being met. Among these criteria is a demonstration by the student that he or she has identified the grade level and subject areas for his or her teaching career. In addition, these sub-criteria ask the student to make a connection between personal philosophy and his or her future as a morally responsible teacher in a social and political democracy. A bold statement about this personal philosophy and his or her belief regarding the purpose of education is at the heart of this common assessment.
This morally responsible common assessment will be revisited on both Level II in TE 206 and again during Student Teaching in Level IV in TE 400. Follow up on this assessment should provide a strong measure of how well the evolution of the students’ philosophical commitment fares during the four years of the program. Of all the common assessments, this one is at the heart of the student’s commitment to the teaching profession and bears careful observation.
Five Looks Case Study of Schools
Table Two displays the means achieved by students on their case study of schools. The five looks or visits to five different schools in Central Nebraska are part of the introductory TE 100 course and highlight the themes of democracy (stewardship, access to knowledge, enculturation of youth in a democracy, and nurturing pedagogy), diversity, and technology. Means were consistently ranging from 23.94 to 26.36 on a 30-point scale. The Spring, 2005 mean was the highest value yet achieved and this would seem to point to the improvement of the TE 100 focus in the Five Looks assessment.
Of particular interest are some of the sub-score averages found in the appendix for the Five Looks. Belief statements supportive of diversity (sub-score 1.3) improved from 1.8 in the fall of 2003 to 1.9 in the spring of 2004. Belief statements about class management and organization (sub-score 1.1) improved from 1.85 in the fall of 2003 to 1.93 in the spring of 2004. Belief statements scored somewhat higher than Action statements which is what one would expect since these are students in an introductory teaching education class. Candidates still embryonically forming their beliefs would not yet have the experience to propose a course of action regarding their beliefs. The data demonstrate a steady but progressive improvement of scores over the whole range of belief, support, and action statements.
Beginning in the Fall of 2004, the rubric for the Five Looks was revised to make the rubric more explicit. Specifically, belief statements are now viewed in terms of their boldness, completeness, and evidential support. In addition, the candidate is to make specific Action/Application Strategies connections between what was observed in the school visits and his or her own grasp of how these strategies might be applied to the candidate’s own future classroom. This was intended to bridge the aforementioned gap between belief and action statements.
This assessment does a fine job of showing that the TE 100 course, Teaching in a Democratic Society, provides education candidates with the proper kind of structure to help students examine their own beliefs and begin to critically think about how education can be improved. The key themes of democracy, diversity, and technology are explored and placed in a proper perspective through the visits to the five different schools. In addition, the revision of the rubric forces the candidate to boldly and creatively think about applying these themes to the candidate’s future classroom.
Case Study of an Individual
Table Four contains the means for the case studies of individuals which is the major culminating assessment for students completing this TE 204 class, Typical and Atypical Development. The four semesters included in this data demonstrate an overall improvement in the means from the 104.95 (fall, 2003) to 111.17 (Spring, 2005). The rubric for TE 204 (Appendix A) measures the candidate’s mastery of observing and understanding the typical and atypical development of children in the areas of physical, behavioral/emotional, social, linguistic, and cognitive growth. In addition, the TE 100 themes of diversity, democracy, and technology are also revisited. Across all subcategories in these areas, candidates demonstrated a strong grasp of growth issues affecting their K-12 students (Appendix B)
Students in TE 204 work on developing observation skills regarding children in K-12 settings. These five visits deal with both typical and atypical aspects of child development in terms of physical, behavioral-emotional, social-moral, linguistic, and cognitive development. An examination of the sub-scores finds that the spring, 2004 scores are consistently improved from the fall, 2003 results. Admittedly, this is only a two-semester sample, but the date is most positive. Even the revisited themes of democracy, diversity, and technology show steady improvement from the fall, 2003 to the spring, 2004. Now that the rubric is close to being fine tuned, additional collection of data will be much easier to accomplish.
Case Study of a Lesson Plan
The first data on this Level Three assessment comes from TE 312, the Elementary Mathematics Methods course. Although only two semesters of data have been gathered, it is clear that the mean scores of 41.60 and 41.26 in the Fall of 2004 and the Spring of 2005 respectively indicate that candidates are meeting the expectations. The rubric for the Case Study of a Lesson Plan appears in Appendix A with the scores for the subcategories of the rubric in Appendix B. Among these subcategories for candidates studying elementary mathematics methods are (1) Learning Standards; (2) Assessment Strategy, (3) Instructional Sequence, (4) Management of Materials & Resources, and (5) Analysis/Reflection. Each of these subcategories represents key criteria for mastering the latest skills in mathematics methods. A perusal of the subcategory scores demonstrates that candidates are efficaciously meeting expectations.