Accreditation at the national level has been an integral part of science teacher preparation programs for many years. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is the national accreditation organization for K-12 teacher education programs. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) serves as the Specialized Professional Association (SPA) collaborating with CAEP to establish content-specific standards for Secondary Science Teacher Preparation (SSTP) for the evaluation of science teacher education within Educator Preparation Programs (EPP). The NSTA-SSTP were specifically developed to prepare candidates to possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that research indicates first-year teachers need. NSTA-SSTP provide a baseline for candidates’ preparation to implement policies, standards, and pedagogy to positively impact PK-12 student learning.
Seventeen states have signed partnership agreements with CAEP, requiring all teacher education programs within those states to report program data for this external review. Hundreds of universities outside these partnership states choose to submit SPA Reports for CAEP Program Review with National Recognition. Dissemination of accurate and timely information about the NSTA SPA Standards is well aligned with the ASTE mission. This workshop will contribute to the ASTE mission to promote leadership is science teacher education, by supporting program coordinators in collecting and reporting candidate data as an ongoing process of program improvement. ASTE scholars led the 2012 revision of the NSTA/SPA Standards. ASTE is the first and most logical choice of a professional association to assist science teacher educators in ongoing program evaluation.
The purpose of this workshop is to provide support for science teacher educators who lead candidate and program assessment efforts at their respective institutions. We will help participants understand the NSTA-CAEP Standards for Science Teacher Preparation through analysis of sample program data reports. Suggestions on how to prepare a report for submission are included with helpful advice for developing an assessment system and presenting data. This workshop will build on participant feedback and instructional experience from the ASTE 2017 NSTA/CAEP Report Writers Workshop. This workshop, when offered at ASTE 2017, was well-received but attendance was quite low (8 participants). I will be recruiting new reviewers from the pool up upcoming report writers and will invite them to attend this free workshop. All participants of the ASTE 2017 NSTA/CAEP Report Writers Workshop strongly agreed or agreed that the content of this workshop was appropriate for the ASTE membership and matched the description given in the program. All respondets indicated that they learned from the workshop and found the content of the workshop applicable to their work. Participants found me prepared, qualified, and responsive to their needs and questions. I have deleted some of the content of the workshop, to allow more time for analysis of sample data, and have developed a more efficient pacing for leading collaborative teams through the analysis of data for the six standards.
Rationale and Relevance of the Workshop
As of July 1, 2013, CAEP became the sole organization for accrediting teacher education programs in the United States. After several years of development, the former national organizations for accreditation (NCATE and Teacher Education Accreditation Council [TEAC]) combined into one organization. As part of the restructuring, new unit standards were developed (CAEP Board of Directors, 2013). Schools, institutions, and colleges of education, hereby known as Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs), are now expected to focus on outcome-based performances or learning outcomes. Previous to 2000, the emphasis in accreditation was on inputs, such as curriculum, faculty, and resources, rather than outputs (Eldridge, 2013). The focus then shifted to become more outcomes-based with the development of a conceptual framework and a system to assess whether or not EPPs were producing quality teachers. The CAEP organization is based on the idea that EPPs undergo continuous improvement, implement transformative initiatives, and provide evidence and inquiry with the purpose of assuring quality and motivating improvement. The new shared conceptual framework involves assessing whether candidates have met the learning outcomes with data to support them. This shift focuses the new standards on how teachers positively impact student learning while encouraging the EPPs to continually evaluate and improve their programs.
In order to receive accreditation from CAEP, an EPP must provide sound empirical evidence from assessments and a foundation or system where continuous improvement and innovation are required. The new CAEP standards are founded on “four critical points of leverage”: 1) Build partnerships and strong clinical experiences; 2) raise and assure candidate quality; 3) include all providers; 4) and insist that preparation be judged by outcomes and impact on P-12 student learning (Eldridge, 2013). Partnerships are the cornerstone of a professional development system in which candidates learn from EPPs and the teachers and schools in which they will teach. Candidate quality is vital to ensure that the best and brightest university students are attracted to the teaching profession. The acceptance of a quality candidate must also reflect America’s diverse population. EPPs should be encouraged through accreditation to become innovative in how candidates learn to teach. Ultimately, it is the impact that these candidates have on the P-12 students that will define how well a candidate is prepared to teach.
Content and Organization of the Workshop
The workshop will last two hours and allow attendees to work through sample assessments that are aligned with the NSTA-SSTP. Suggestions for developing an assessment system in general and how to collect data related to science education standards will be presented. Science education professors who must develop an assessment system specific to CAEP or to state standards can attend. Even if the CAEP standards are not required by a state, the information can be used to help science education professors develop an assessment system that is aligned with standards using the NSTA-SSTP as a model.
1. understand relationship between NSTA and CAEP
Present background info about CAEP and NSTA Standards
Participants listen, ask questions, respond to prior knowledge probes.
2. recall the types of assessment data that are prescribed for CAEP/NSTA SPA accreditation
3. analyze program assessments in relation to the six standards and 18 elements of NSTA/CAEP
Present/Explain Standard 1 and Assessment Design
For each standard, participants will work in groups to analyze sample assessments from three reports* (data and narratives) in relation to NSTA-SSTP.
For each standard, 2-3 different groups report-out, then instructor affirms and otherwise guides participant thinking.
Present/Explain Standard 2 and Assessment Design
Present/Explain Standard 3 and Assessment Design
Present/Explain Standard 4 and Assessment Design
Present/Explain Standard 5 and Assessment Design
Present/Explain Standard 6 and Assessment Design
4. distinguish between report options
5. recall four types of program report decisions
Present/Explain Report Options and Program Decisions
Participants listen, ask questions, and review final decisions on representative reports.*
Summarizing / Review
Participants respond to review questions, ask question and complete workshop evaluation.
*Blind review of sample reports; program and reporter identities are not revealed
The workshop leaders will conduct a Level I and II evaluation (Guskey, 2002) to determine the effectiveness of this professional development workshop. Participants’ reactions to the workshop materials and format will be collected using a questionnaire administered at the end of the session. Participants’ learning will be determined throughout the workshop as they demonstrate their knowledge and skills for analyzing sample assessment reports (data and narratives) in relation to NSTA-SSTP. Additional items on the questionnaire will also ask participants to reflect on what they learned.
Michael Dias will be the presenter of the workshop. Dr. Dias is the current Chair of the NSTA/CAEP Audit Team and has reviewed NSTA SPA Reports for six years. He has presented these workshops twice a year for the past 2 years. He is the current trainer for audit team members and reviewers, and is charged by NSTA to implement the standards. Dr. Dias is the incoming Chair of the NSTA/CAEP Audit Team. He is the senior Audit Team member and has reviewed and audited program reports for 5 years. Dr. Dias is available via email, phone or skype to all participants for post-workshop needs related to SPA Reports.
The workshop is offered free of charge to ASTE conference attendees. The workshop can accommodate 24 people. Handouts will be provided via dropbox folder and USB drive. A projector and screen are requested with a room that has round tables so participants can read, analyze, and work in groups. Wifi access for internet connection is requested but not required for this workshop.