INTASC: Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium
(Principles of Model Standards for Beginning Teacher Licensing and Development)
The process for evaluating the student teacher’s performance involves the cooperating teacher, a Rider University Supervisor and the Seminar Leader. Each utilizes the INTASC standards shown below to structure conversations and written evaluations about teaching and learning with the student teacher around a set of common principles. The evaluative process is designed to establish the habit of self-reflection and encourage continued professional growth on the part of the teacher education student.
The Professional Educator...
- Understands Content: The professional educator understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry and the structures of the discipline(s) and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of the subject matter meaningful for students. For example, you take initiative to locate and teach information beyond the traditional text; you try to keep abreast of new ideas in the field; you incorporate interdisciplinary strategies on a regular basis; you strategically introduce resources and experiences that challenge the learner’s beliefs and assumptions; you select content to encourage diverse perspectives, and thereby create an environment where critical thinking is a habit.
- Understands Development. The professional educator understands how children learn and develop and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal development. For example, you have knowledge of the developmental characteristics of your students, and you plan activities that are age-appropriate. You also make every effort to assess and activate students’ prior knowledge. You give students opportunities to make connections between new topics and their life experiences.
- Understands Difference: The professional educator understands how students differ in their approaches to learn and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted for diverse learners. For example, you make every effort to learn about each individual student and his/her learning style, strengths, interests, and needs. You use a variety of “diagnostic” tools to learn about students so that you are able to provide instruction that is responsive to students’ needs. (You design individualized instruction understanding that “one size doesn’t fit all.”) For this reason, you provide opportunities for student choice in activities and assignments. Finally, you actively seek out resources within the school, the community, or professional organizations and you use these resources for the benefit of varied learners.
- Designs Instructional Strategies: The professional educator understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students’ development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills. For example, you seek out and use resources from professional organizations or through community speakers, courses, and commercial materials. You use these resources when planning and make every effort to fully integrate them into a comprehensive curriculum. You also do your best to foster “active learning” (e.g., facilitate inquiry whereby students are engaged in questioning concepts, developing learning strategies, seeking resources, collaborating, and problem solving). You also capitalize on “modeling” –demonstrating & “thinking out loud” to show students how to perform a given strategy of skill.
- Manages and Motivates: The professional educator uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction in the classroom. For example, your transitions from one lesson/activity to another are seamless with students assuming some of the responsibility for efficient operation. You handle TIME and MATERIALS smoothly and efficiently without closing student attention or interest. Your directions and procedures are clear to students. It’s obvious that you’ve anticipated any possible misunderstandings by planning ahead and then carefully monitoring. Your pacing of the lesson is smooth, timely, and appropriate –allowing for reflection and closure. You create a positive classroom climate of openness, mutual respect, and support. Your standards for conduct for various situations are made clear to students.
- Communicates: The professional educator uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom. For example, your oral and written language is correct and expressive with well-chosen vocabulary that enriches the lesson. You know how to ask questions and to stimulate discussions in different ways for particular purposes. You promote risk-taking, divergent thinking, and curiosity through classroom discussions, conferences, small-group work, etc. You create opportunities whereby students assume considerable responsibility for the success of discussions. You ensure that all voices are heard in discussions. Finally, you take initiative to integrate new technology into the curriculum as a tool for thinking, learning and communicating.
- Plans and Integrates: The professional educator plans instruction based upon knowledge of the students, the subject matter, the community, and curriculum goals. For example, you plan learning activities that follow a well-organized progression and that address school/district curriculum objectives. Your planning is clearly well thought out; you consider short-and long-term goals, as well as students’ needs and performances. You connect current topics to past/future units of study. Your plans are consistently ready in time and often prepared well in advance. Finally, you are flexible and willing to make adjustments to plans to meet student need, interest, and motivation.
- Evaluates: The professional educator understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social and physical development of the learners. For example, you gather data on student progress in multiple ways: observations, portfolios, performance-tasks, teacher-made tests, student-self assessments, etc. You involve students in the assessment process to foster an awareness of their own strengths and needs and to help them set learning goals. Students might set criteria for a task, help create a rubric, etc. Moreover, you deliberately use assessment to guide instruction.
- Reflects on Practice: The professional educator is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally. For example, you are able to critically analyze a lesson and offer alternative actions. You seek and act on constructive criticism. You interact with colleagues to discuss pedagogy, to share materials, resources, and ideas. You take initiative to participate in professional dialogues and to use these collegial exchanges to foster your ongoing development as a teacher.
- Participates in the Professional Community: The professional educator fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well being. For example, you volunteer for activities outside of your own classroom; you create new avenues for communicating and connecting with families (e.g.; newsletter).