The provider ensures that candidates develop a deep understanding of the critical concepts and principles of their discipline and, by completion, are able to use discipline-specific practices flexibly to advance the learning of all students toward attainment of college and career-readiness standards.
Content Knowledge and Pedagogical Knowledge
1.1 Candidates demonstrate an understanding of the critical concepts and principles in their discipline, including college and career-readiness expectations, and of the pedagogical content knowledge necessary to engage students’ learning of concepts and principles in the discipline.
1.2 Candidates create and implement learning experiences that motivate P-12 students, establish a positive learning environment, and support P-12 students’ understanding of the central concepts and principles in the content discipline. Candidates support learners’ development of deep understanding within and across content areas, building skills to access and apply what students have learned.
1.3 Candidates design, adapt, and select a variety of valid and reliable assessments (e.g., formative and summative measures or indicators of growth and proficiency) and employ analytical skills necessary to inform ongoing planning and instruction, as well as to understand, and help students understand their own, progress and growth.
1.4 Candidates engage students in reasoning and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local, state, national, and global issues, incorporating new technologies and instructional tools appropriate to such tasks.
1.5 Candidates use research and evidence to continually evaluate and improve their practice, particularly the effects of their choices and actions on others, and they adapt their teaching to meet the needs of each learner.
The Learner and Learning
1.6 Candidates design and implement appropriate and challenging learning experiences, based on an understanding of how children learn and develop. They ensure inclusive learning environments that encourage and help all P-12 students reach their full potential across a range of learner goals.
1.7 Candidates work with P-12 students and families to create classroom cultures that support individual and collaborative learning and encourage positive social interaction, engagement in learning, and independence.
1.8 Candidates build strong relationships with students, families, colleagues, other professionals, and community members, so that all are communicating effectively and collaborating for student growth, development, and well-being.
1.9 Candidates reflect on their personal biases and access resources that deepen their own understanding of cultural, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, language, and learning differences to build stronger relationships and to adapt practice to meet the needs of each learner.
- In this report, the term “candidate” refers to individuals preparing for professional education positions. “Completer” is used as a term to embrace candidates exiting from degree programs, and also candidates exiting from other higher education programs or preparation programs conducted by alternative providers that may or may not offer a certificate or degree.
- In Standard 1, the subjects of components are “candidates.” The specific knowledge and skills described will develop over the course of the preparation program and may be assessed at any point, some near admission, others at key transitions such as entry to clinical experiences, and still others near candidate exit as preparation is completed.
This standard asserts the importance of a strong content background and a foundation of pedagogical knowledge for all candidates. Teaching is complex and preparation must provide opportunities for candidates to acquire knowledge and skills that can move all P-12 students significantly forward—in their academic achievements, in articulating the purpose of education in their lives, and in building independent competence for life-long learning. Such a background includes experiences that develop deep understanding of major concepts and principles within the candidate’s field, including college and career-ready expectations.[i] Moving forward, college and career ready standards can be expected to include additional disciplines, underscoring the need to help students master a range of learner goals conveyed within and across disciplines. Component 1.6 refers “a range of learner goals,” and these would explicitly include interdisciplinary emphases as a complement to the disciplinary focus in component 1.1. Examples, among others, would be civic literacy, health literacy and global awareness.
Content knowledge describes the depth of understanding of critical concepts, theories, skills, processes, principles, and structures that connect and organize ideas within a field.[ii] Research indicates that students learn more when their teachers have a strong foundation of content knowledge.[iii] “Teachers need to understand subject matter deeply and flexibly, so that they can help students create useful cognitive maps, relate ideas to one another, and address misconceptions. They need to see how ideas connect across fields and to everyday life, and how ideas develop a foundation for pedagogical content knowledge[iv] that enables them to make ideas accessible to others.[v] These essential links between instruction and content are especially clear in Linda Darling-Hammond’s description of what the Common Core State Standards mean by “deeper learning:”[vi]
- An understanding of the meaning and relevance of ideas to concrete problems
- An ability to apply core concepts and modes of inquiry to complex real-world tasks
- A capacity to transfer knowledge and skills to new situations, to build on and use them
- Abilities to communicate ideas and to collaborate in problem solving
- An ongoing ability to learn to learn
Pedagogical content knowledge in teaching includes “core activities of teaching, such as figuring out what students know; choosing and managing representations of ideas; appraising, selecting, and modifying textbooks; . . . deciding among alternative courses of action, and analyz(ing) the subject matter knowledge and insight entailed in these activities.”[vii] It is crucial to “good teaching and student understanding.”[viii]
The development of pedagogical content knowledge involves a shift in a teacher’s understanding from comprehension of subject matter for themselves, to advancing their students’ learning through presentation of subject matter in a variety of ways that are appropriate to different situations—reorganizing and partitioning it, and developing activities, metaphors, exercises, examples and demonstrations—so that it can be grasped by students.[ix]
Understanding pedagogical content knowledge is complemented by knowledge of learners—where teaching begins. Teachers must understand that learning and developmental patterns vary among individuals, that learners bring unique individual differences to the learning process, and that learners need supportive and safe learning environments to thrive. Teachers’ professional knowledge includes how cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical development occurs.[x] Neuroscience is influencing education, and future educators should be well versed in findings from brain research, including how to facilitate learning for students with varying capacities, strengths, and approaches to learning.
The Commission’s development of this draft standard and its components has been influenced especially by the InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards, the Common Core State Standards Initiative[xi], and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ Five Core Propositions.
Examples of Evidence
On content and pedagogical knowledge
a. State licensure exams
- There should be a recommended specific and common cut-score across states, and a pass-rate of 80% within two administrations.
- CAEP should work with states to develop and employ new or revised licensure tests that account for college and career readiness standards, and establish a common passing score for all states. (Note: Recent reports from CCSSO, Our Responsibility, Our Promise: Transforming Educator Preparation and Entry into the Profession, and from AFT, Raising the Bar: Aligning and Elevating Teacher preparation and the Education Profession, address preparation and entry requirements, indicating growing support for vastly improved licensure assessments.)
b. Grade point average (GPA) and/or grades in relevant coursework
- This could be an overall GPA, GPA in the major, or GPA in supporting/integral content coursework related to the area of teaching (e.g. science coursework for early childhood educators).
On instructional practice and the learner and learning
d. Student performance on valid, reliable assessments aligned with instruction during clinical practice experiences.
h. Provider criteria that qualify candidates for completion, with program performance indicating that all completers have opportunities to reflect on their personal biases, access appropriate resources to deepen their understanding, can use this information and related experiences to build stronger relationships with P-12 learners, and can adapt their practices to meet the needs of each learner.
(NOTE: The provider would also monitor data on:
(1) Quality of candidates available in response to Standard 3 on Candidate quality, recruitment and selectivity, and
(2) P-12 student learning, observations and surveys that are available in response to Standard 4, Program Impact)
[i] Council of Chief State School Officers. [CCSSO]. (2011). InTASC model core teaching standards. Retrieved from http://www.ccsso.org/Resources/Resources_Listing.html?search=model+core+teaching+Standards National Board for Professional Teaching Standards [NBPTS]. (2002). What teachers should know and be able to do. Retrieved from http://www.nbpts.org/resources/publications
[ii] Ball, D. L., Thames, M. H., & Phelps, G. (2008). Content knowledge for teaching: What makes it special? Journal of Teacher Education, 59(5), 389-407.
Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4-14.
[iii] Schacter, J., & Thum, Y. M. (2004). Paying for high- and low-quality teaching. Economics of Education Review, 23(4), 411–430.
American Council on Education [ACE]. (1999). To touch the future: Transforming the way teachers are taught. An action agenda for college and university presidents. Washington, DC.: Author. Retrieved from http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~jossem/REF/115.pdf
Hill, H. C., Rowan, B., & Ball, D. L. (2005). Effects of teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching on student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 42 (2), 371-406.
[iv] Shulman, L. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 1–22.
[v] Darling-Hammond, L. (2008). Teacher learning that supports student learning. In B. A. Presseisen, (Ed).Teaching for intelligence (pp. 92-93). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
[vi] Darling-Hammond, L. Power Point presentation, “Supporting Deeper Learning.” personal communication to Emerson Elliott, January 29, 2013.
[vii] Ball, D. L. (2000). Bridging practices: Intertwining content and pedagogy in teaching and learning to teach. Journal of Teacher Education, 51(3), 241-247.
[viii] Cochran, K. F., DeRuiter, J. A., & King, A. R. (1993). Pedagogical content knowing: An integrative model for teacher preparation. Journal of Teacher Education, 44(4), 263-272).
[ix] Shulman (1987), p. 13
[x] CCSSO (2011) p. 8