Standard 3 Exhibit Room » Standard 3 Institutional Report
The unit and its school partners design, implement, and evaluate field experiences and clinical practice so that teacher candidates and other school professionals develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn.
|How does the unit work with the school partners to deliver field experiences and clinical practice to enable candidates to develop the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions to help all students learn?|
|Standard on which the unit is moving to the target level
This section details how the RSA SOE is accomplishing target level for this Standard.
The RSA SOE and school-based faculty (also referred to as clinical faculty) are involved in designing, implementing, and evaluating the unit’s Conceptual Framework and the school (P-12) program to ensure that teacher candidates develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all P-12 students learn. This work is supported by the RSA SOE Office of School and Community Partnerships (OSCP); an organizational chart is shown in Exhibit 6.3.b.
A developmental approach to field experiences in pedagogical coursework is used in initial programs, where candidates first observe, then conduct small-group work, and finally full-class lessons. The Field Liaison (part of OSCP) helps support work between RSA SOE and school-based faculty. Exhibit 3.3.a offers documented examples across programs of field experiences that have enriched our candidates’ learning experiences as they begin to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to help all children learn.
The RSA SOE works with its school partners to jointly determine placement of candidates for clinical practice and practica. Placement criteria are established by the program faculty in consultation with the OSCP and University Supervisors. The RSA SOE and its partners share expertise and integrate resources to support candidate learning. Meetings and conferences between the unit’s University Supervisors and Teacher Mentors (P-12 classroom teachers) are held each academic year. Topics range from feedback on the program and the quality of the candidates, to discussion of assessments for teacher candidates (Teacher Work Sample [TWS], dispositions and the Pathwise rubric, addressed in Standard 1) to ideas to improve partnerships. Another example of shared expertise is an annual alumni/student event centered on early career challenges and successes, entitled “Inside the Teacher’s Classroom.”
The RSA SOE has a unit-wide policy requiring that candidates demonstrate content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge and skills to gain admission to clinical practice. As follows, we offer proof that our candidates perform at target level and successfully master the knowledge and skills for teaching P-12 students, positively affect student learning, and meet professional, state, and institutional standards.
Candidates in the RSA SOE participate in a variety of field experiences before clinical practice. Field hours for the initial programs range from 100 to 150 hours; advanced programs require a minimum of 100 hours (Exhibit 3.3.b offers a summary of programs hours by program).
During fieldwork experiences candidates have multiple opportunities for collaborative and individual reflection through discussion and writing assignments, such as action research and analyses of P-12 student work samples for evidence of student learning. Candidates critically examine the student-teacher relationship and the role of the teacher within the context of the classroom, school, and community. Candidates observe and are observed by others and regularly interact with teachers, P-12 students, families, administrators, University Supervisors, and other candidates about their practice, and they continually reflect on their own practice. Within classrooms, candidates collaborate and analyze data on student development and learning, co-teach, work with individual students or small groups, design lessons, and assess student performance. They are members of instructional teams and are active participants in professional decisions. Examples of candidates’ field experiences in schools and P-12 field placements are listed in the document, “Candidate Sample Field Experiences Spring 2011” in Exhibit 3.3.b, Data on Candidate Placement.
At the Fall 2010 retreat, the Fieldwork and Educational Preparation Committee (Fieldwork Committee) led a discussion about candidate development and the value and use of evidence to inform programs about the effectiveness of fieldwork. A summary of program responses is offered in a document titled, “Summary of Fieldwork Data Utilization” in Exhibit 3.3.b (Data on Candidate Placement). This has helped programs streamline their fieldwork experiences and allowed the Fieldwork committee to create support materials such as a revised evaluation tool for Teacher Mentors (Form A, Exhibit 3.3.f, Initial Programs, Instruments & Scoring Guides).
Strengthening accountability can only occur within the context of extensive and intensive clinical preparation and strong partnerships. NYSED requires the equivalent of a full-time, semester-long clinical practice experience for teacher certification and for most advanced programs for professionals in other school roles. The clinical practice, or student teaching, is full time for 16 weeks with 480 hours of student teaching divided equally between two placements, selected by faculty and school leaders, and supervised by on-site certified teachers (Teacher Mentors) in collaboration with University Supervisors. During clinical practice, all candidates are enrolled in a weekly seminar. Candidates in the Educational Leadership program are also in a full-time, semester-long internship in two placements, supervised by certified school administrators and University faculty. Literacy candidates undertake two semesters of practica for a minimum of 60 supervised hours at the grade levels at which they are seeking certification. School psychology candidates have a full-year, full-time internship experience supervised by certified school psychologists.
The Model Program, a collaborative effort between the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and school district personnel, gives teacher candidates the opportunity to work over the course of an entire school year, rather than just one semester, first as participant observers for 100 hours and then as student teachers (Exhibit 3.3.b, the Student Placement file lists Model Program sites). Coursework, including the student teaching seminar, takes place at the school site whenever possible. Candidates are involved in a variety of school-based activities. They begin in the fall, participating in all aspects of school life, including new teacher orientation programs, professional development opportunities, faculty meetings, staff development sessions, collegial circles, etc. and gradually begin working with individual and groups of students and progress to teaching entire class lessons, and finally planning units of instruction. Approximately half of teacher candidates in the initial programs completed a year-long experience in the Model Program. Teacher Mentors are given the opportunity to conduct professional development workshops and co-teach University courses as agreed to by the school and the University.
Acceptance into clinical practice requires candidates complete an application, meet all program requirements with no outstanding incomplete grades, hold a B average, and receive recommendations from two faculty members. Candidates for the Model Program must interview with University Supervisors and representatives from the partner schools and submit a writing sample. Field experiences, required assignments, and key assessments in the clinical practice seminars reflect RSA SOE’s Mission and Conceptual Framework, and take into account the specific SPA requirements (Exhibit 1.3.c, Key Assessments by Program). Sample syllabi for these seminars are offered in Exhibit 1.5.b. Multiple assessments (Pathwise and TWS, described in Standard 1) from University Supervisors and Teacher Mentors provide strong evidence across programs that more than 90% of all candidates meet or exceed the target level for the Standard upon exit from their clinical practice (student teaching for the initial programs; practicum or internship for the advanced programs); see Exhibit 1.3.d for data.
The RSA SOE clinical faculty have extensive experience in P-12 education. Exhibit 3.3.c addresses the criteria for the selection of clinical faculty, both University Supervisors and Teacher Mentors. Based on a survey of 40 clinical faculty across programs, 41% have had multiple roles in the P-12 education system and, 28% have been teachers as well as higher level administrators (Part-time Faculty Survey, Exhibit 3.3.c). These faculty have strong connections with schools and are selected to prepare candidates with content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge and skills to be effective teachers. Through the OSCP, clinical faculty develop their professional expertise and professional development on the use of technology-based assessments related to candidates’ field-based work (examples are offered in Exhibit 3.3.d).
Clinical faculty give candidates feedback about their performance to ensure they understand the requirements of field experiences, including the Participant Observer role. Handbooks and other sources regarding initial and advanced programs are available in Exhibit 3.3.e. Multiple orientation sessions are held each year for applicants for clinical practice placements. Records of candidates’ placements, hours, and Teacher Mentor feedback are recorded on an electronic platform (Moodle) to facilitate reflection, online interaction, and timely recording and accessibility of data. A laptop initiative was piloted to facilitate University Supervisors’ ability to communicate, collaborate, and work efficiently with candidates (Exhibit 3.3.h). The fieldwork record is an integral part of candidate assessment, affecting eligibility for clinical practice.
RSA SOE assessments are linked to proficiencies in the Conceptual Framework and professional standards. For the initial programs, multiple assessments used to evaluate candidate performance and student learning include a modification of Charlotte Danielson’s (1996) Pathwise rubric and the TWS, addressed in Standard 1. University Supervisors and Teacher Mentors use the Pathwise rubric to assess teacher candidate progress in proficiencies that support learning by all students. Both University Supervisors and Teacher Mentors submit four formal observation reports (two for each placement) and corresponding summary reports. They confer about candidates’ progress during the clinical practice experience. Exhibit 3.3.f (Data Summaries) shows the aggregated scores for the programs across the four domains of Pathwise in 2010-2011. Teacher candidates demonstrate proficiency in the domains of Planning and Preparation and Professional Responsibility. Candidate performance in Classroom Environment and Instruction (Domains 2 and 3), showed over 90% met or exceeded proficiency.
The TWS is the other assessment administered in all initial programs during clinical practice. Exhibit 3.3.f includes the TWS scoring guides and rubrics in one folder, and summarized data in a second folder. Aggregated data on the TWS for 2010-2011 show that across programs and locations, 80% or more of the candidates met or exceeded the standard in 30 out of 38 elements on the TWS. Field experiences and clinical practice allow candidates to apply and reflect on their content, professional, and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions in a variety of settings with students and adults. The scoring of the TWS has led to important reflective work with candidates to strengthen their teaching, with support from University Supervisors.
Field and clinical placements enable candidates to develop and demonstrate proficiencies that support learning by all students as shown in their work with students with exceptionalities and from diverse ethnic/racial linguistic, gender, and socioeconomic groups. The listing of placements that are high need, inclusion settings or for students with special needs is offered in Exhibit 4.3.f. Recent developments in the assessment of candidate dispositions are described in Standard 1; data are shown for the past 3 years (Exhibit 1.3.f).
Candidates in the advanced programs in Literacy, School Psychology, and Educational Leadership apply coursework to classes, analyze data, and use technology and research in their field experiences. They are required to critique and synthesize educational theory related to classroom practice based on their own applied research. In addition to observational protocols during the practicum and internship experiences, 90% of candidates in the programs during 2010-2011 met or exceeded the standard based on the assessments represented in Exhibit 3.3.f, (see data summaries for advanced programs). It is notable that candidates in the advanced programs had clear mastery of planning and implementation (both at the classroom or school level). Several of the assessments focus on technology use, such as a technology plan or technology literacy (covered in Standard 1). The same is true for research, which underlies much of the advanced programs’ e-folios (also addressed in Standard 1).
An acknowledgement of the strength of the P-12 school partnerships on which the Model Program is based, was the awarding of a New York State Race to the Top Grant entitled, “Learning to Teach Science in a Bilingual Classroom: A Clinically Rich Teacher Preparation Program” (BEST) to the RSA SOE in July 2011. This was a highly competitive process, and Adelphi is the only grant recipient on Long Island, receiving $816,000 over a three-year period. This grant includes a collaboration between the RSA SOE and two high-needs school districts in Nassau county where teacher candidates will be placed as teacher residents.
An area of emphasis for the RSA SOE to reach target performance in candidate development has been candidates’ use and integration of technology in their field experiences and clinical practice, which was cited for improvement in our initial accreditation in 2006. In order to address this goal and ensure that candidates can help all students learn, the RSA SOE undertook a unit-wide assessment of the integration of technology competencies based on the City University of New York-Hunter College model, which was coordinated by the Technology Committee in 2009 (see Exhibit 3.3.h). These competencies allow for a curriculum “mapping” of the integration of technology in course work, including those requiring field experiences. An outgrowth of this process, as well as the results of a revised technology survey (Exhibit 3.3.h), led to several program-based innovations in the field with partner districts.
The implementation of Smartboard workshops ensures our candidates are trained in the use and integration of Smartboards in curriculum and instruction. A total of 211 candidates during clinical practice participated in this pilot project, along with 30 University Supervisors (Fall 2010-Spring 2011). Another 30 candidates participated in the first session (Fall 2010) as part of their coursework. Four Smartboard P-12 specialists were recruited from our partner schools to run the workshops. Over 100 notebook lessons were produced from this initiative with exemplars available in Moodle. Candidates entering clinical practice are now mandated to complete two Smartboard training workshops. An iPad project in curriculum development for candidates in Adolescent and Childhood Education has involved candidates in working with teachers and students (Grades 4-12) to create curriculum that is application-based. The Spring 2011 pilot included 30 graduate students, three RSA SOE faculty members and an administrator with a strong technology background from the partner school district. This initiative strengthens candidates’ use of digital technologies to support student learning.
In another innovative project begun in 2011 that supports the unit’s Core Value of reflective practice, candidates in the Childhood and Adolescent programs are videotaped and then review and discuss their classroom performance with their peers, Teacher Mentors, and University Supervisors in relation to their instructional planning. Thirty-five student teachers and seven University Supervisors are participating in this pilot program. The RSA SOE obtained funding of approximately $10,000 from the University to support this project. Building upon the 2011 pilot program, a core group of faculty is working to refine the policies and procedures for the use of hand-held videos during student teaching, and the use of a Web-based interactive platform.
During 2010-2011, the Fieldwork Committee focused on ways to implement more effective communication among Teacher Mentors, University professors and candidates, leading to greater support of our candidates. This involved developing a letter to Teacher Mentors detailing expectations for candidates and improving the Teacher Mentor evaluation of candidate performance in the classroom (through the use of Form A, see Exhibit 3.3.f, Instruments and Scoring Guides, Initial Programs) in order to inform the University professor about the candidate’s strengths. The improved evaluation also alerts the professor to any concerns early enough in the candidates’ fieldwork experience to provide specific feedback and assistance.
The RSA SOE, in conjunction with its school and community partners, is focusing on the development of three key strategies to promote more effective clinically based educator preparation and ensure that target level is maintained. Broadly based, these strategies are: 1) extending and intensifying fieldwork and clinical practice; 2) shifting paradigms from placements to partnerships; and 3) strengthening accountability for continuous improvement. These strategies are an outcome of the RSA SOE’s long history of community engagement, the deliberations of faculty and school partners in each professional preparation program, and ongoing work of the RSA SOE’s standing committees on Fieldwork and the Office of Assessment and Research, the Continuous Improvement Advisory Team (CIA), the newly formed Community-School Liaison Committee, and Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 retreats for all RSA SOE faculty.
In 2006, the RSA SOE faculty identified early field experiences as a key component which allows candidates to apply and reflect on their content, professional, and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions. Faculty in all of the programs have sought to embed field work into required courses throughout the professional preparation process. The Model Program places candidates in P-12 school sites earlier and for more extended hours using a participant observer model, designed to provide an introductory classroom experience in the area of certification. Several of our programs (notably, Childhood, Adolescent and Physical Education) place students in cohorts for their field experience and classes within partner schools during their pedagogical coursework. The experience provides teacher candidates the opportunity to examine the student-teacher relationship, and the role of teacher within the context of the classroom, school, and community.
This commitment to early field experiences reflects increased focus on candidates’ field experiences and clinical practice by the RSA SOE Fieldwork Committee. During this past academic year, the Committee reviewed communications to partner schools, Teacher Mentors, University Supervisors, and candidates about early fieldwork (Exhibit 3.3.b, Policies & Practices, Candidate Placement), reviewed the hiring policies for University Supervisors and the selection of Teacher Mentors (Exhibit 3.3.c), and examined the structural support for full-time faculty to serve as clinical supervisors to strengthen the continuity between the academic programs and clinical practice Along with the participation of the Director of Research and Evaluation, increased access to reliable data has contributed to the Fieldwork Committee’s effectiveness.
Aside from the Smartboard training, other extensions of candidates’ learning during Fall 2011 included mandatory workshops on second-language learners, and resume writing/interviewing skills. University Supervisors have increased their participation in faculty meetings and retreats. For example, they took part in the Spring 2011 faculty retreat to review program findings from the SPA program reports and to articulate plans to address areas of concern (see Exhibit 2.3.h for a chart listing plans). They participated in professional development on the national Common Core Standards during the Fall 2011 semester, to be addressed with the candidates during the Spring 2012 semester.
The RSA SOE has made progress toward the target level through greater collaboration between unit and school-based partners. The Spring 2011 faculty retreat involved an in-depth articulation of the elements constituting successful partnerships. The shift to partnerships is evidenced by the effort to place more teacher candidates in cohorts for their field work in fewer sites, both to support effective supervision of their experiences and to allow for more collaborative learning and reflection among the candidates in those sites. With 20 school sites now participating each year in our Model Program, as many as half our Spring candidates are teaching at these sites. The growth of our Model Program is a prominent example of this shift. The Physical Education Practicum and Internship courses are held at school sites for six to eight weeks to allow extended teaching experience in cohort groups. In 2010-2011, the meetings with Model Program school representatives were broadened to include a separate meeting of non-model site representatives to promote an exchange of ideas. During Fall 2011, these two groups will be brought together in a single meeting.
The Community-School Liaison committee includes University Supervisors, school partner representatives, faculty and candidates and was recently formed as a subcommittee of the RSA SOE Advisory Council. Members have provided feedback on the dispositions and reviewed Teacher Mentor survey feedback. Minutes of the Community-School Liaison committee are available on-site in the Dean’s office.
As of 2010-2011, a wide range of fieldwork and clinical practice assessments and evaluations are submitted electronically to facilitate communication between the partner sites and the University, and to track and analyze data for candidate and program evaluation. The video project in 2011 Childhood and Adolescent candidates’ classroom teaching is an effort to focus on candidate’s impact on student learning with the goal of improving practice. There is unit-wide emphasis on systematically organizing and documenting fieldwork experiences to maximize their value to candidates early in their career development.
During 2010-2011 a new position, Fieldwork Liaison, was created to address the gap in monitoring our candidates during their early field experiences and to ensure open lines of communication between University faculty, candidates, and partner schools. The Fieldwork Liaison works with University faculty to review fieldwork requirements, evaluations, and processes for candidates across programs and courses and also visits and observes candidates in their school placements. The Fieldwork Liaison reviews all Teacher Mentor evaluations (Exhibit 3.3.b) to alert University faculty of exemplary as well as problematic candidates so that developmental discussions can occur as close to the behavior as possible. A sample list of school visits and observation notes is provided in Exhibit 3.3.b (Data, Candidate Sample Field Experiences Spring 2011). A Partnership Liaison is currently being recruited in order to foster the continued quality of our partnerships.
A broad set of accountability and data integrity activities are in progress, in collaboration with the Director of Research and Evaluation, the Fieldwork Committee, and the Dean’s Office, including testing the new dispositions assessment, collecting baseline data evaluating clinical practice preparation from the Teacher Mentors, strengthening of the Pathwise rubric to provide more detailed evidence of candidate performance, and review and revision of the OSCP staff roles in response to candidate and faculty feedback.