The process of National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) accreditation may be viewed as continuous self-reflection and improvement by the unit. The development of this perspective is established in the NCATE standards and is guided by a vision of quality. This quality is embedded across the standards and is reflected in the seven NCATE themes. The themes are:
Conceptual Framework ~
the School of Education maintains quality professional education programs that are derived from a conceptual framework(s) that is knowledge-based, articulated, shared, coherent, consistent with the unit and/or institutional mission, and continuously evaluated.
the School of Education is committed to recruiting, admitting, and retaining a diverse student body as well as recruiting, hiring, and retaining a diverse faculty.
Intellectual Vitality ~
the School of Education provides resources and opportunities that support faculty professional development and an organizational climate that fosters learning, encourages creativity, and facilitates continuous professional development.
the School of Education assures the integration of technology into its teacher preparation programs as it prepares teachers for the challenges of in the 21st century.
Professional Community ~
the School of Education shares a collaborative vision of the teaching profession with Oregon schools (public and private), governing boards and policy makers (state and national), other schools of education, teacher candidates, Liberal Arts and Sciences Faculty, Teaching Research Faculty, and its Consortium and Advisory Councils.
the School of Education is committed to continuous improvement by internal and external evaluation of its programs, processes, procedures, candidates, and faculty.
Performance Assessment ~
the School of Education uses multi-dimensional processes and developmental criteria which reflect what a prospective teacher should know and be able to do.
The prospectus for each theme that follows reflects the efforts of multiple authors and editors, hence, the variance in writing style. The messages contained therein, however, are significant.
Conceptual Framework..................................................................... 1
Intellectual Vitality.......................................................................... 11
Professional Community................................................................. 21
Performance Assessment................................................................. 29
“A vision without a task is but a dream,
a task without a vision is drudgery,
a vision with a task is the hope of the world”
inscription on a church in Sussex, England, 1730
The Conceptual Framework of the teacher preparation programs is aligned with the mission of Western Oregon University and the School of Education.
Mission of the University: Western Oregon University provides a comprehensive higher education experience, including teaching and research activities, personal growth, cultural opportunities and public service. Campus-based, outreach and continuing education programs prepare students to make personal and professional contributions to the economy, culture and society of Oregon, the nation and the world.
Mission of the School of Education: The School of Education serves the children of Oregon through the preparation of teachers who are academically strong, competent in all aspects of teaching, and prepared to contribute to the continuously evolving state of education.
Western Oregon University has been accredited by NCATE since 1956. Prior to the establishment of NCATE, the School of Education was accredited by American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education. The knowledge base of the School of Education has been founded in the standards espoused by NCATE and other professional organizations such as the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education; the Council for Exceptional Children; the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; the International Reading Association; the National Association for the Education of Young Children; the National Associa-tion of Bilingual Education; and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.
The organizing theme of the knowledge base for the 1993 visit was:
“Teacher preparation for school improvement:
Assuring the productivity and professionalism of teachers.”
That theme is aligned with national directions on school reform and with the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century passed by the Oregon legislature in 1991. The evolving demands of teaching in standards-based schools have had a number of implications for redesigning the curriculum, the model of delivery, and the evaluation process. Western faculty have pioneered the incorporation of teacher effect on student learning as a central feature of teacher preparation and licensure decisions. Western faculty have taken a lead role in Oregon in researching and applying the implications of the standards movement to the preparation of teachers. The contribution Western faculty have made to the national debate around the preparation and licensure of teachers, and around the professionalization of teaching generally, is shown in below:
Evidence that the teacher can use knowledge in practice
Teacher effect on
In response to the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century, Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC) changed the licensure rules for initial and advanced licensure. The School of Education has been redesigning its programs to align curriculum, field experience, and assessment of candidates with the new requirements. The first program to be redesigned was the general education program. The new legislation adopted four levels of authorization to include early childhood and middle level education to the elementary and secondary areas of focus. After two years of restructuring, the new program was implemented in September, 1997. For the past two years the Special Education Division has been redesigning to comply with anticipated new rules that will be final this year. Last year the graduate programs initiated a comprehensive effort that will be the focus of redesign efforts in the 1998-1999 academic year. Although the conceptual framework for each of these three major activities are similar, there are natural differences because of the three different emphases.
1. Redesign of the Elementary and Secondary Education Programs
In December 1995 the elementary and secondary faculty began to discuss the implication of the new licensure requirements on the School of Education. As the discussion progressed, the faculty decided to use the reforms as an opportunity to redesign the education program at Western. Tinkering with the existing program would not provide teacher candidates the training they would need to teach in Oregon’s 21st century schools. The faculty restructured the elementary and secondary divisions into one professional core with a new model of delivering instruction, integrating curriculum, and evaluating progress of candidates through a proficiency-based system. The heart of the curriculum would continue to be the work sample methodology which linked teaching to pupil outcomes.
In the fall of 1997, after two years of redesign activities that aligned the professional core with Oregon's school improvement legislation, the redesigned program for early childhood, elementary, middle level and high school was implemented. The key concepts upon which this new initial licensure program has been built include:
The current emphasis from the Oregon Department of Education and the Governor's Office is to minimize the traditional lines among early childhood, elementary, middle level, high school, and community college/university education and to focus on values related to life-long learning with proficiency-based outcomes. In the new program, candidates have coursework in human development and learning that ranges from early childhood to young adult. Every candidate has some portion of field experience in each of the four authorization areas and will qualify for a license in two authorization areas (early childhood/elementary, elementary/middle, middle/high).
Coursework that is integrated and is taught and assessed by teams of faculty.
In the past, faculty have taught their courses individually, perhaps inviting other faculty as guest speakers to present information on areas such as cultural diversity or special education. In the new program faculty teach in teams to integrate information and also to contribute to their own professional growth. Assessment of student competencies is evaluated by student peers, faculty teams, and professionals from the field.
Emphasis on continuing professional development.
First term students receive a description of the 14 proficiencies for beginning teachers. Attainment of the proficiencies is documented through coursework, field experience, work samples, portfolios, and the integration/capstone projects. A mentoring component of the program insures that each student's strengths and weaknesses are individually reviewed, and students are assisted in developing their own areas of interest.
A teacher education program that is closely tied to school districts.
Western has made a commitment to form partnerships with and to assist school districts as they restructure to accommodate their own school improvement plans and the changing nature of teachers' work. In the redesign, one-third of the 48-hour professional core is field experience. The students are placed in a district for the four terms of field experience as part of a partnership agreement between the district and Western Oregon University. These partnerships provide settings where students along with school and university faculty may work collaboratively to improve their teaching. In addition, every faculty member is involved in a public school, the Department of Education, or an education-related community service program.
The three-year process of the redesign. In the first year, a task force comprised of elementary, secondary, and special education faculty met frequently to design the overall framework of the new program. At critical times faculty from the Teacher Effectiveness Project at Western’s Division of Teaching Research and professionals in the field were brought in to work with the task force.
In the second year, 12 teams were established to work on the transition from the current program through the establishment of the new program. They also prepared material for the on and off-campus approval processes. A key decision was made to separate the redesign of the professional core from the redesign of the new majors so faculty would have more time to work with the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
By the end of the second year, the professional core was redesigned and had received approval from the Divisions, Consortium, Faculty Senate, Oregon University System, and Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. The program was also reviewed in the spring of 1996 and the fall of 1997 by the national advisory panel for the Teacher Effectiveness Project.
The third year began with a cohort of 48 students in the new program and at the same time the current program was in its final year. After two terms, the approval rating of the effectiveness of the new curriculum from students and faculty is high. Although the first cohort students have been frustrated by the many “midstream” changes they have had to accept as faculty make adjustments, they clearly see the value of the new program. The field experience partnerships are generally working well, and faculty are discovering where the flaws are as they proceed through each new term. A team of faculty will be given summer stipends to work through these concerns before fall term 1998.
The final cohorts of elementary and secondary students will be student teaching in the spring of 1998. There are 49 students in the elementary program and 29 in the secondary program. At the completion of these two groups, only the new program will be offered.
Redesign of the academic majors. The last step in the redesign was the restructuring of the academic majors to:
1) align with the new authorizations:
· Early childhood education
· Early childhood and elementary education
· Elementary and middle level education
· Middle level and high school education
2) increase the requirements in the core academic content areas of math, science, social
studies, and language arts/humanities.
A team of School of Education faculty met for over a year to develop a framework for the new majors and to work with the liberal arts divisions on selecting courses for the new majors. University approval will be completed in time for students to register for fall term 1998.
2. Redesign of the Special Education Program
The specialization in teaching students with mild to severe disabilities has been designed based on a set of values that are reflected in readings, course assignments, class discussions, and practicum experiences. They include the following:
That special and general educators work together toward all students achieving the high standards of the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century.
That effective special educators in Oregon are familiar with Oregon Common Curriculum Goals and Scoring Guides.
That special and general educators work together toward a supported education model that fosters quality education in neighborhood schools for all children and youth.
That delivery of special education is a collaborative process involving parents, general educators, special educators, related services providers, and parents, and that all members of the team are important to this process.
That special education teachers work closely and effectively with parents to assure effective communication and to promote involvement.
That instruction be implemented using the most current technologies and proven best practices in all aspects of education and services.
That special education teachers work cooperatively with local and state agencies to develop the full range of services needed by their students.
That special educators develop instructional goals that are functional, age-appropriate, culturally-relevant, and of high priority in the student's life.
That students who have disabilities be given opportunities to make decisions, have choices commensurate with their abilities, and that they be encouraged to advocate for themselves.
That special educators strive for professional excellence through on-going professional development in areas of best practice, membership in professional associations, and action research related to instruction.
Redesign prior to TSPC licensure changes. The redesign of the special education programs actually began several years before the licensure changes were instituted by TSPC. Enrollment in the handicapped learner (HL) basic endorsement program dropped significantly following TSPC action to allow this endorsement to be added to an existing license by taking the Praxis Exam. Students admitted to the program would take one or two courses, take the test, and then renegotiate their program plans to include a standard HL endorsement. Continued shortages in the field, along with a move to more inclusive special education programs prompted district administrators to ask their teachers holding severely handicapped learner (SHL) endorsements to return to school to add handicapped learner endorsements so they could support students having either mild or severe disabilities. After numerous requests of this type, Western developed a dual endorsement program leading to both the HL and SHL endorsements. This program, which did not require prior licensure, was approved by TSPC in 1994. The advisory councils for the HL and SHL programs participated in the program design, and also gave input on the modifications needed after the program was underway. A major recommendation for improvement was to add a requirement for coursework and practicum in general education. The dual endorsement program is completing preparation of its fourth cohort of students.
New TSPC licensure requirements. Initial changes in TSPC licensure requirements for special education mandated three major changes for special education programs:
· Collapse SHL and HL endorsement programs into one special educator endorsement;
· Change from one authorization PP-12 to two authorizations (ECE/elementary and MS/HS);
· Add general education content and practicum to programs for non-licensed teachers.
Although the third requirement has apparently been dropped in the latest version of the TSPC Guidelines, it is included in the revised program due to advisory council input for needed changes in the dual endorsement program. No major changes were mandated for other special education endorsements such as hearing impaired and early intervention/special education.
Process for design of the special educator endorsement. Western’s design of the new special educator endorsement began with the 1994 proposal to TSPC for a dual endorsement program preparing special educators who would hold both the handicapped learner and severely handicapped learner endorsements. This program provided the opportunity to pilot many aspects of the new special educator endorsement later mandated by TSPC. All special education faculty in the HL, SHL, and EL/SE programs were part of the team designing the new special educator endorsement programs. In addition, several adjunct faculty provided input and reviewed and commented on various drafts. The design team also incorporated knowledge and skills listed in the guidelines published in the 1996 International Council for Exceptional Children Standards for the Preparation and Certification of Special Education Teachers.
The advisory committees for the HL and SHL endorsement programs played a major role in designing the new special educator curriculum. These groups included both elementary and secondary special educators, administrators, parents, and students. Following a series of revisions from the advisory groups and the completion of a Western Oregon University campus review process, the proposed program was approved by the School of Education Consortium, and on March 13, 1998, was approved by TSPC. The new special educator endorsement and program will begin in summer 1998. The final students in the basic HL, SHL, and dual endorsement programs will complete their program by student teaching in 1998-99.
An outside evaluation of the deaf education program surfaced a weakness in the reading curriculum. A revised program has been drafted to submit to TSPC to strengthen the curriculum and to meet redesign requirements.
3. Redesign of the Graduate Program
In January 1997 the Graduate Studies Committee began the process of initiating the redesign of the graduate programs. At that time the committee developed a time line which included two stages:
1) January 1997-April 1998
· Work collaboratively with the undergraduate redesign process.
· Revise the exit requirements and develop a portfolio option.
2) May 1998-June 1999
· Realign graduate programs with the new undergraduate teacher preparation program at each of the four authorization levels.
· Revise the content areas for each of the endorsement areas.
· Review the courses in the professional education core.
The redesign of the professional education programs has been a dynamic and vigorous process over the past three years. The faculty have worked collaboratively and with a great deal of courage, creativity, and integrity to assure that Western Teachers are well-prepared with the knowledge and skills to work in 21st century schools. The undergraduate and graduate programs have been redesigned to align with state and national goals for the future of teaching.
“A just community is a place where diversity is aggressively pursued.”
Diversity is both a process and a goal as reflected in the ubiquitous affirmative action statements: “Western Oregon University, a member of the Oregon University System, prohibits discrimination based on race, marital status, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, or national origin.” and “As an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer, Western Oregon University, encourages applications from women, members of minority groups and individuals with disabilities.” Most would acknowledge that there is strength and richness in diversity, however, it is a philosophical concept in search of ethical commitment. We may affirm, in words, equal opportunity, but that does not necessarily guarantee the “will” of fairness on the pragmatic playing field of higher education. Commitment asserts and must seek change in the social fabric of an institution. The consequence of such commitment is a diverse administration, faculty, staff, student body, and curriculum. The late Ernest Boyer reminded us:
“Higher learning builds community out of the rich resources of its members. It rejects prejudicial judgments, celebrates diversity, and seeks to serve the full range of its citizens in our society effectively. In strengthening campus life, colleges and universities must commit themselves to building a just community, one that is both equitable and fair.”
Frederick Douglas, the great African American statesman, writer, and orator agrees:
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand.
The Oregon University System (OUS) has publicly stated its commitment to cultural/ethnic diversity both in terms of student recruitment and retention as well as the link between student success and recruitment and retention of minority faculty and staff (1994, 1997 Oregon State System of Higher Education report on Student Perceptions of Campus Climate by Race/Ethnicity and Valuing Diversity: Student Perceptions of Campus Climate in the Oregon State System of Higher Education, respectively). The above report directs campuses to develop policies on diversity which are deliberately planned and thoughtfully implemented.
Western Oregon University has also publicly committed to diversity as stated in Strategic Planning: The First Year (April 1997), “Western Oregon University will recruit and retain a qualified and diverse student, faculty, and staff population by the year 2000.” Examples of specific indicators include:
· Retention levels of all students will be at or above the national average for comparable institutions.
· Eleven percent (11%) of total enrollment will comprise students of color as defined by OSSHE—American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, and Hispanic/Latino.
· Twenty percent (20%) of new faculty and staff hires will be people of color as defined by OSSHE.
The university plays a significant role and “...serves a valuable purpose through accessibility in advancing minorities into the American economic mainstream, so too, the university is a pacesetter in shaping the attitudes of America’s future citizens.” (ASSCU Statement on Access, Inclusion and Equity, April, 1997, p. 8). In the fall of 1997, 9.2% of the Western student body was comprised of students of color. This is significantly higher than the 5% during the last NCATE/TSPC visit. These data, however, are not representative of the state K-12 public schools which enroll 10.22% minority students. Furthermore, the diversity of the university faculty is too low, 3.7% as of the fall of 1997.
Specific action plans are being developed by campus groups to meet the major goal of recruiting and retaining a qualified and diverse student, faculty, and staff population. For example, all faculty searches must have a plan for diversifying the candidate pool prior to posting positions. Furthermore, our community college transfer agreement with Chemeketa Community College has specifically targeted minority students. On February 20, 1998, a team of faculty (Mr. Leo Rasca-Hidalgo, Dr. George Cabrera, Dr. Dovie Treviño, and Dr. Maureen Dolan) spent the day at Chemeketa Community College sharing information with students of color and making two panel presentations.
The School of Education supports the OUS and university summons by its Goals for the School of Education 1995-98. Goal #4 reads, “The School of Education will actively promote diversity through hiring, recruitment of students, and in its curriculum.” The School of Education minority student data have paralleled the university’s statistics: 3.1% during the 1992-93 academic year and 9.1% for 1996-97 academic year. The trend data on faculty diversity in the School of Education show an increase of 2.2% in 1993 to 12.5% in 1997. Although OUS does not recognize “disabilities” as a minority category, the School of Education has identified two full-time tenure track faculty in this category and seven fixed term or part-time faculty. Inclusion of this group into the OSSHE data would significantly increase the above percentages.
The School of Education has employed the following strategies in its efforts to diversify the student body, the faculty, and the curriculum:
· collaborating with the Office of Admissions to recruit culturally diverse students
· continuing support for the Student Enrichment Program (SEP) and the tutoring/study skills center
· commitment by faculty to serve as mentors in SEP
· collaborating with Western’s Community College Transfer Specialist to create a pipeline of minority students who are interested in teaching as a career
· sponsoring a class on Multiculturalism in the Collegiate Experience for SEP
· placing practicum students in culturally diverse settings
· proposing a grant to support Bilingual/Bicultural Instructional Assistants currently employed in public schools to earn a degree and qualify for initial licensure
· supporting the Multicultural Student Union’s conferences and activities
· commitment by faculty to serve on financial aid and scholarship committees
· supporting and soliciting the help of the Office of Disability Services
· participating in workshops and conferences on multicultural perspectives
· committing OUS funds for minority faculty
· commitment by School of Education faculty and affirmative action officer to ensure that qualified minority candidates are included in final search pools
· commitment by Western President Dr. Betty Youngblood in establishing a new tenure track position in bilingual/ESOL education
· supporting an Hispanic doctoral candidate at the University of California at Berkeley; she will return as a full-time faculty member on tenure track
· providing research and publishing opportunities and mentoring for minority faculty
· recruiting faculty of color and those with disabilities through personal contact by phone and e-mail
· supporting and creating a community which accepts diversity as the norm
· collaborating with the Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty to identify and require 6 hours of coursework that emphasizes cultural diversity
· infusing multicultural perspectives in the redesign, particularly in ED 432 Role of the Teacher and ED 438 Foundations
· providing three on-site training programs for graduate students in bilingual/ESOL
· releasing a bilingual specialist .25 FTE to consult with the faculty on multicultural curriculum and to provide class presentations
· creating a multicultural strand within the redesign similar to special education and information technology
· identifying education courses as diversity courses, especially undergraduate course in bilingual/ESOL
· proposing and establishing a bilingual/ESOL endorsement, ASL teacher education certificate, interpreting degree, and a rehabilitation counseling program
The above activities demonstrate commitment to diversity by the School of Education. Although the unit is more focused now than during the previous NCATE/TSPC visit, it must continue to develop a diverse faculty, infuse the curriculum with multicultural perspectives, and provide students with multicultural, field-based experiences. In addition, the unit must overtly plan to create a diverse student body. We must be vigilant in these endeavors because, “At the very moment that America most needs to embrace its diversifying culture, it is in danger of being held back by historic biases...” (ASSCU, 1997). Ultimately, the faculty and administration within the unit are responsible for creating a diverse educational environment. We are responsible for the planned evolution of the curriculum, and the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body and faculty. We are the agents of change as well as the stabilizing influence. It is in our hands to create and nurture a just community.
"Organizations learn only through people who learn"
Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline
Intellectual vitality is defined by the activities and opportunities that support faculty professional development and productivity. Intellectual vitality includes not only the time and budgetary resources for faculty research, publication, and development of curriculum, but also of an organizational climate that fosters learning, that encourages creativity, and that facilitates continuous professional development. In the School of Education these efforts are characterized through several primary activities: The Teacher Effectiveness Project, funds for professional development, sabbatical and other leaves, on-campus symposia, teach/study internationally, support for pursuing outside funding, technology support, and work with visiting professors.
Teacher Effectiveness Project. In 1991, the Oregon legislature passed the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century to assure higher standards in all academic areas and to provide a clear emphasis on what graduates of Oregon's K-12 system should know and be able to do before they make the transition to higher education, to the workforce or to professional/ technical schools. At that time the faculty in the School of Education and Teaching Research had embarked on a course of research to link the effectiveness of student teachers with the gains made by their pupils. The discussions in the education community and the evolving work of the Teacher Effectiveness Project stimulated the intellectual work of the teacher preparation faculty in many ways.
The faculty have debated, engaged in long-term dialog, conducted research, written and reflected on their work in the preparation of teachers. They have assisted the Oregon Department of Education, advised the Oregon legislature, participated in the state's redesign of licensure and continuing professional development requirements and redesigned their own curriculum to effectively prepare teachers for 21st century schools (Figure 1).
The most intense period of work on the Teacher Effectiveness project began six years ago. For the first three years, faculty focused on the development of a “work sample methodology”. The work included monthly meetings of School of Education faculty from elementary, secondary and special education with staff from Teaching Research, an annual meeting with a national advisory panel and the development of sets of materials to use in the field with student teachers. The next two years the Teacher Effectiveness Project members worked closely with the teacher preparation faculty to redesign the elementary and secondary professional core using the work sample methodology as a core for teachers' work.
These activities are dynamic as they move from research to practice and from the campus-based activities in teaching and learning to application in the field (See Figure 2. Intellectual vitality derived from the Teacher Effectiveness Project). In addition to the general activities seen in the day to day work of the faculty, there are times specifically devoted to intellectual vitality in this area. The annual symposia and the Teacher Effectiveness seminars conducted every term for the faculty have engaged the entire faculty through reviews of the literature, presentation of best practices, analysis of the data, discussions of implications of the theory underlying the methodology to the art and science of teaching, and the generation of sets of materials to improve teaching and learning.
This project has provided many opportunities for faculty to publish and to make presentations at national conferences. Currently 12 faculty members are writing a book on teacher work sample methodology with four faculty members from Teaching Research.
Figure 1 Intellectual vitality derived from the Teacher Effectiveness Project
Although the Teacher Effectiveness Project provides a major source of intellectual vitality activities, the faculty have a variety of other opportunities to develop their professional interests. These opportunities include:
· Access to funds for professional development
· Availability of sabbatical and other leaves
· Attendance at on-campus symposia
· Opportunities to teach/study internationally
· Support for pursuing outside funding
· Availability of technology resources
· Opportunity to work with visiting professors
Funds for professional development. There are three major funds for professional development:
1. Division travel funds. Over the past five years each division has received $800 to $2,000 of travel funds in addition to the travel included in their services and supplies budget to support travel to conferences, workshops and other professional development travel. Tenured/tenure track faculty members generally receive about $800 per year for travel.
Faculty conference attendance/presentations at the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, National Conference of Teachers of English, Council for Exceptional Children, Oregon Women of Color Conference, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Conference on Childhood Deafness.
2. Foundation faculty development funds. For the past three years the foundation has allocated $7,100 to faculty in the School of Education for faculty development. The awards are competitive with a priority on research. Awards range from $500 to $1,000.
· Research on American Sign language to Deborah Duren
· Athletic prevention programs and leadership education to Jon Carey and Allyson Sandigo
· Research on literacy to Dr. Susan Wood
· Counseling Center biofeedback project to Dr. Jerry Braza
3. Provost faculty development funds. For the past 5 years the Provost has allocated approximately $80,000 a year for faculty development funds. Faculty apply competitively for awards of approximately $400 to $3,000. The priorities are research/professional enhancement, release time to work on a research-related projects or funds for a major research project and professional travel to meetings.
A longitudinal study of Western teacher education graduates
Sabbatical and other leaves. Faculty may apply for sabbatical leaves in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 21, section 3. No one has been denied a sabbatical leave in the past five years. Seven School of Education faculty have taken sabbatical leaves. To support areas of critical need faculty have also been given leaves to complete a doctorate and/or pursue further education in a high-need area (e.g., technology, American Sign Language).
Examples of sabbaticals
· Dr. Norm Eburne ~ Research in Hawaii on the development of coursework in the multicultural dimensions of health (1997-98)
· Ms. Sandra Gish ~ Oregon State University to work on her doctorate in linguistics (1996-97)
· Dr. Gwenda Rice ~ Research in Great Britain on the implementation of the National Geography Curriculum (1996)
· Ms. Judy Lovre ~ Oregon State University to examine coaching styles and philosophies (1995-96)
· Dr. Bonnie Staebler ~ post-doctoral work in technology at the University of Kentucky (1993-94)
· Dr. David Wright ~ University of Oregon Law School to study children and family law (1993)
Examples of leaves
· Ms. Esperanza Alcalá-Collins has been granted a leave to complete her doctorate in multicultural/bilingual education at the University of California at Berkeley
· Ms. Laurene Gallimore has been granted a leave to complete her doctorate in special education at Arizona State University
On-campus symposia. The School of Education and university regularly bring outside experts to campus to lecture on various subjects.
· Lorin Hollander “Creative imagination: Its nature, its importance and its nurture” Fall, 1997
· Richard Arends, Boeing Visiting Professor, University of Seattle “What matters most in school reform: Standards, choice, neither, both?” Spring 1997
· Roger Soder, Co-director Goodlad Center, “Public education and moral direction” Spring 1997
Teach/study internationally. Since 1992, there has been a significant increase in opportunities for School of Education faculty to participate in international study and teaching. In 1996 Western entered into an agreement with the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad and with the Oregon State System of Higher Education Global Graduates program. Faculty have been encouraged to apply for Fulbright fellowships, to take students abroad, to teach abroad and to present at international conferences.
Dr. Gwenda Rice
• Sabbatical in Wales
• Took two groups of students to study in Ghana
• Awarded Fulbright fellowship
Dr. Meredith Brodsky
Dr. Gary Welander
Dr. Paula Bradfield-Kreider
Dr. Susan Dauer
• Four faculty members studied in Mexico, took groups of students to visit schools and set up sites for student field work
Dr. Susan Dauer
• Serves as faculty liaison to the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad
• Taught in Cambridge, England
Dr. Helen Woods
• Attended International Congress on Reading, Prague
Dr. Meredith Brodsky
• Presented a paper at the International Innovations in Education Conference in Wales and worked on an exchange program with the University of Bangor
Support for pursuing outside funding. Another avenue to supporting intellectual vitality comes through opportunities to work on grant projects. Faculty are encouraged and given support to respond to proposals. The establishment of the Office of Continuing Professional Development in 1995 has provided assistance to faculty in applying for and obtaining state and federal funds. Grants awarded to faculty in the School of Education invariably stimulate research, development of new practices and publications.
· Bilingual Education grant to train bilingual education teachers.
· Eisenhower grant to improve teaching of math and science to preservice and inservice teachers.
· Goals 2000 grants in literacy, teaching math, and mentor teacher programs.
· Boyer Technology grant to improve curriculum for preservice teachers.
· Teacher Effectiveness Project to buy out faculty to conduct research, develop materials and publish results.
Technology support. In the past several years the technology resources available to faculty have increased significantly. All faculty have desktop computers, access to the Internet, opportunities for increasing their technology skills, the support of academic computing and the opportunity to utilize one of several “state of the art” lab settings.
Currently the university maintains six student computer labs. Three of these labs contain PC Windows-based machines. Two additional labs are equipped with Macintosh computers. These labs are funded and maintained from student technology fees. The faculty are aware of the momentous impact that technological innovations are having on society. Educators must begin to look beyond the use of textbooks as the primary source of information in classroom settings. This, of course, requires that our faculty receive ongoing support in learning about new technological developments. It also requires that they be aware of and able to access training in tools that enhance instruction.
Even though the School of Education currently has over 36 “technology” course offerings, the faculty are constantly seeking ways in which to improve the preparation that our students receive for their role as teachers in the 21st century.
Dr. Randall Engle
Four faculty members participated in the Ernest Boyer Technology Summit for Educators. They wrote and received a grant to provide further funding for the “Global Schoolhouse Project.”
Dr. Randall Engle
Employed the Internet for the dissemination of class materials in ED 451, Reading/writing in the secondary school
Dr. Robert Ayres
Dr. Jannice Link-Jobe
Dr. Paula Bradfield-Kreider
Dr. Randall Engle
Currently involved in delivering the information technology instruction to over 100 master's level students through the Office of Continuing Professional Development.
Work with visiting professors. In the Fall of 1997 two teachers were awarded a visiting professorship, the Gentle Professorship, for the 1997-98 academic year. They are working with faculty and with students in the areas of standards-based teaching and learning using integrated curriculum, technology in the 21st century classroom, applying the Internet to the curriculum, contextual learning through local action and community education, and global collaboration. The School of Education also received an artist-in-residence grant to have artists work with students in the redesign program on approaches to integrating Oregon's content standard for the arts in the curriculum and assessment course.
· 1-day workshop on the Global Schoolhouse for local teachers, Western students and faculty, Fall, 1996
· 1-week Environmental Summit held in Monmouth and Salem with student delegates and their teachers from 5 countries. August, 1997
· 1-week summer institute for 100-150 teachers planned for Summer 1998 with the “Gentle professors”
· 4 workshops for students in the redesign with two artists-in-residence
In addition to the above activities, the administration and faculty support a climate of openness and collaboration that leads to intellectual vitality on a daily basis. This occurs through a commitment to team teaching and learning, conversations in the halls, and a belief on the part of all faculty in life-long learning.
“The voices of all the teachers, not just the technophiles,
must inform the debate about effective use of technology in the classroom.”
Larry Miller and John Olson, 1995
The School of Education at Western Oregon University offers a comprehensive range of opportunities for students to become more familiar with current, emerging, and appropriate technologies. In addition, it strives to prepare students for the integration of technology into diverse classroom settings.
Undergraduate students completing initial licensure requirements are required to complete a four hour technology integration sequence as part of their professional preparation in which they are introduced to basic computer applications, instructional media, and classroom multimedia strategies.
For undergraduate students wishing to further enhance their technological skills and backgrounds, a technology strand is currently being developed to augment the existing courses in computer science education (CSE) in which students can take an additional 12 hours of coursework that will prepare them for roles as “technology leaders” in public school settings. These courses will concentrate on the areas of information design, internet integration, HTML programming language, authoring tools, and CD portfolio production.
This strand will also be available for graduate students seeking more in-depth training in the area of technology, along with a broad offering of additional coursework designed for students seeking the degree of Masters of Science in Education, with an emphasis in information technology, and students seeking both basic and standard endorsements in the area of educational media.
In an attempt to keep abreast of new and innovative technological developments, the School of Education has recently initiated a process of curricular alignment. Four new courses have been designed and submitted for approval for inclusion in the 1998-99 university catalog. In addition, two courses that have been offered as seminars will receive regular courses numbers. These courses are designed to benefit both undergraduate and graduate education students in the areas of teaching, technology, and instructional media.
Faculty in the information technology program are aware that the nature of computing and information technology are undergoing dramatic and monumental changes. This means that students prepared to integrate “today’s” technologies may not be fully prepared to integrate “tomorrow’s” technologies into classroom settings. For this reason, we are making concerted attempts to look at the future of computing and technology, and insure that students receive the most comprehensive and thorough preparation possible. As mentioned earlier, we are attempting to integrate several new courses into the curriculum in which students are provided with opportunities to engage in sophisticated computing and technology integration.
Strategies for today and the future. The faculty in the School of Education at Western think it is imperative that we develop and implement effective strategies which will integrate new technologies, enhance critical thinking, and emphasize current thought in educational pedagogy. These strategic planning efforts are consistent with and support the Oregon Department of Education technology goals:
1. All Oregon students and teachers will have access to appropriate technology including modern computers.
2. Every school and classroom in Oregon will be connected to the internet.
3. Effective software and on-line learning resources will be an integral tool to support the school curriculum in Oregon.
4. All Oregon K-12 teachers, administrators, and staff will have the immediate and specific education and support they need to help students learn through technology including computers and the internet.
Western Oregon University is fully cognizant of the dynamic nature of technological development and is constantly in the process of upgrading faculty and student hardware.
Currently, the university maintains six student computer labs. Three of these labs contain PC, Windows based machines. Two additional labs are equipped with Macintosh computers. In addition, a small Mac lab resides in the Instruction Curriculum Lab. These labs are funded and maintained from student computer funds. All of the technology classes taught in conjunction with the School of Education (ED, CSE, LIB courses) are taught in these labs. Every faculty member and administrator in the School of Education is also equipped with a desktop computer in his/her office.
Innovative activities in technology. Faculty members in the School of Education have been intimately involved in a number of activities associated with the implementation of computers and technology into instructional settings. Recently, a team of four Western faculty were invited, after a competitive application, to participate in the Earnest Boyer Technology Summit for Educators, held in Los Angeles, California. In conjunction with this conference, the team crafted a second grant that is currently being used to support efforts in the School of Education to further integrate technology into the redesigned program, as well as supporting a collaborative partnership between faculty at Western and teachers at South Salem High School in nearby Salem, Oregon.
For the last two years, the two teachers have been involved in designing and implementing an innovative curriculum called the “Global Classroom.” This is an integrated curricular project in which students move beyond the classroom walls and participate in authentic activities related to both science and social science activities. In addition to traditional in-class activities, student instruction is embedded within thematic projects related to science and social science. Students initiate and participate in community services projects, design and coordinate public displays/educational activities, and collaborate with other students throughout the world in collaborative problem-solving activities via internet technologies. Currently, this project involves cooperative efforts between schools in Australia, Brazil, Israel, Japan, Oregon, and South Africa. Each site has developed a home page in which students are able to communicate and share ideas related to social equity, economic prosperity, and ecological integrity. Multi-national teams of students jointly participate in creating a solution-based quarterly journal, communicate via e-mail, and contribute to the ongoing creation of a Global Library. Recently, high school students from all of the participating countries congregated on the Western Oregon University campus to participate in an International Global Environmental Summit, in which they crafted legislative proposals to present to leaders in their respective countries.
Although faculty members have numerous responsibilities, some have attempted to fully integrate technology into their courses. One such past effort involved the employment of the internet for the dissemination of class materials. In ED 451 Reading/Writing in the Secondary School, the instructor posted all course materials, lectures, and quizzes on a local area network, as well as the main university server. All class assignments were collected via e-mail transmission.
Currently, the faculty of Western are involved in delivering information technology instruction to over 120 master’s students in Alaska, through the Office of Continuing Professional Development.
Technology is a salient and seamless feature of the new redesigned program at Western. As students progress through the program, regardless of their levels of authorization, they will be introduced to age-appropriate technological applications that may serve as invaluable tools for classroom teachers. The proficiencies that have been developed reflect the Oregon Department of Education technology goals. They progress from the discrete skills of formatting textual/graphic information, successfully employing e-mail communications, and conducting internet searches, to analyzing and evaluating various instructional media, creating and effectively employing internet strategies into classroom settings, and employing authoring tools to produce interactive CD-based portfolios.
Strategies for change. The faculty at Western are aware of the momentous impact that technological innovations are having on our society. Educators must begin to look beyond the use of textbooks as the primary source of information in classroom settings. This, of course, requires that our faculty receive ongoing inservice training in new technological developments. It also requires that they be award of, and be able to access, training tools that can enhance instruction. Recently, a small faculty computer lab was funded and instituted which introduces and supports the use of technology for instruction purposes. Faculty now have access to a number of applications including Claris Homepage and Photoshop that were formerly unavailable to them. For this reason, the members of the technology faculty have attempted to design procedures for addressing the needs of their colleagues in the School of Education. The following format enable faculty to make requests at their own discretion. When need is perceived to be significant, the technology faculty attempts to address particular problems in a systematic fashion.
elective coursework in technology
“Quality is working together. I mean really working together,
not just working in the same building, but in the real sense...”
Cheny and Cotter, 1991
The School of Education at Western Oregon University is committed to preparing teachers to teach in the standards based schools of the 21st century. The School of Education theme, Teacher preparation for school improvement: assuring the productivity and professionalism of teachers, guides all that we do. The commitment to a strong teacher preparation program and to outstanding graduate programs cannot be accomplished without a strong professional community. To meet the goals of the School of Education, professional partnerships must be formed that are beneficial not only to our institution, but to the partner as well.
To this end, the School of Education at Western is strongly linked with Oregon schools (public and private), governing boards and policy makers within the State of Oregon, other schools of education at various colleges and universities as well as faculties from the Liberal Arts and Sciences at Western. It is our belief that the stronger the partnerships and the more diverse the professional community, the stronger our teacher education program will be. Our work is not only in service to the educational community, but also to strengthen our faculty, our teacher education program, and to contribute to the knowledge base of effective teaching and teacher preparation.
Professional Community: School of Education Guidance
The School of Education is governed and guided by a Consortium which was inaugurated in 1983, two years prior to the Teacher Standards and Practices mandate. The Consortium is comprised of school administrators, public school teachers, students within the School of Education, Western faculty, and business community members. The role of the Consortium is to review and evaluate the elementary/secondary, special education, and health/physical education programs leading to Oregon licensure and endorsements. The Consortium, in essence, serves as an advisory board for the School of Education. This partnership is essential in the development and maintenance of quality education programs at Western. This advisory board is one of action and decision making. Major program changes and revisions are put before the Consortium for discussion and approval.
In addition to the Consortium, each division within the School of Education including Elementary, Secondary, Special Education, Health/PE, and the Office of Continuing Professional Development has an advisory council. These councils work on specific issues within each division and the decisions made are directed to the Consortium for final approval. The combination of the Consortium and the advisory councils expand the professional community and provide the necessary connections for improvement of the teacher education program.
The School of Education is an integral part of the Teacher Effectiveness Project through Western Oregon University’s Division of Teaching Research. Faculty members from the School of Education are assigned work on the project. The project’s members report to a national advisory board. This board includes education leaders from Cornell University, Stanford University, Michigan State University, University of Connecticut, University of Chicago, Boston University, the New Standards Project, and the National Board for Professional Teacher Standards. The School of Education uses this board as a review panel for any major changes to the education programs at Western. These educational leaders provide faculty with a national perspective on teacher education which strengthens the teacher education program.
Professional Community: Educational Policy Partnerships
An essential element of the professional community is the educational policy makers at the local, state, and national levels. Dr. Meredith Brodsky, Dean of the School of Education considers one of her priorities to be a professional partner with educational policy makers. Dr. Brodsky and Dr. Martin Morris, Director of the Office of Continuing Professional Development, are commissioners on Oregon’s Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. This board governs teacher licensing in the State of Oregon and monitors teacher education programs throughout the state. Their role as TSPC commissioners assists Western in the improvement of teacher education statewide. These two outstanding educators from Western provide TSPC with additional expertise in the development of educational policy decisions.
In addition, Western faculty serve in a variety of capacities that contribute to educational policy. These include, but are not limited to:
Dr. Robert Ayres Member of State Advisory Council panel for Oregon Department of Education Special Education
LaNaya Ritson President of Oregon Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
Dr. Meredith Brodsky Governor’s School Transformation Advisory Council;
Consultant to Oregon Department of Education on the CAM project
Dr. Dovie Treviño Consultant for Oregon Department of Education on Bilingual/ESOL career ladder;
President’s Committee on Diversity and Retention; and
The Commission on Hispanic Affairs
Dr. Susan Wood Board Member of Oregon 21st Century Schools Advisory Committee
Dr. David Wright Early Childhood Initiatives Advisement Committee;
Childhood Care and Education Career Development Advisory Committee
Professional Community: K-12 Partnerships
The School of Education at Western has always recognized that an essential component of effective teacher education is a strong partnership with public schools. The partnership is now stronger and more essential than ever. Public schools need the support of our institution in retooling teachers to teach in standards-based schools and the university needs school districts to provide teachers who can mentor our preservice teachers and model standards-based schooling.
Western preservice teachers are placed in their field experience in a geographic region for all four terms of their teacher education program. Although they do not spend all four terms in one school, in most cases they are connected to a single school district. This model provides a framework for one faculty member to work with a region to assist and support placement of students. The commitment from the region is to provide one person to coordinate all placements. This district faculty member becomes the liaison between the building administrators and Western faculty. As these partnerships develop, the intent is that a growing pool of master teachers will be identified and structures will be in place for a smooth transition into the field experience for Western students.
This model for field services also provides for a close working relationship between school districts and Western faculty. As these relationships develop, Western faculty will work with school districts to provide continuing professional development for their teachers. This service to schools provides school districts with access to consultation and collaboration for their staff development programs, and it also builds upon the knowledge and expertise of school reform and public education for Western faculty. It is mutually beneficial for Western faculty and school districts.
Beyond the partnerships between the School of Education and school districts in the education of preservice education, there is a growing partnership in the development of graduate programs and continuing professional development of licensed teachers. The Office of Continuing Professional Development coordinates off-campus endorsement and master’s programs for Woodburn, Salem/Keizer, Beaverton, and McMinnville School Districts in Oregon and Northstar Borough School District in Fairbanks, Alaska. The relationship with school districts also includes partnership in Goals 2000 grants. Currently, Western is partnering in 11 Goals 2000 grant projects which include Beginning Teacher Mentoring, the improvement of Reading, Writing, and Science instruction and student performance, and Action Research. In addition to the staff development for teachers through the Goals 2000 projects, Western faculty serve on the advisory boards for the administration of the grants with school district members.
The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty are an integral part of the education of preservice teachers on this campus. Students enter their professional core with 63 to 69 credits from an academic major. It is essential to work hand-in-hand with all faculty members on the campus so that all faculty know the School of Education programs and we know their academic majors. As a result of the redesigned teacher education program, the academic majors have also been revised. The School of Education faculty worked with the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty in this revision process.
In an effort to keep the lines of communication open across campus, several faculty members share joint assignment between both schools on the university campus. This cross-campus link of faculty creates knowledge and understanding of both worlds. For example, Dr. Helen Woods can speak about the education program at science division meetings and in turn speak about science majors at the education faculty meetings. This can be said of all faculty members who share teaching responsibility between the two schools. The School of Education brings cross-campus faculty members into the School of Education’s decision making process as well. Represented in the division meetings are members from Math, Science, Social Studies, Health, and Physical Education.
For Western Oregon University’s School of Education, the professional community is an essential component of effective teacher education. The professional community extends beyond the campus to programs, governing agencies, and public schools within the state, nationally, and internationally. The professional community pushes the faculty at Western to achieve higher standards of teacher education. The faculty provides the professional community with resources and knowledge on teacher effectiveness and teacher preparation. A strong professional community strengthens the programs offered at Western and strengthens the teachers entering the field and those currently teaching our children. As educators, we believe that all children deserve well-educated, well-trained teachers. The professional community helps us reach this goal.
Peter Senge page
Systems of quality management "require consistent effort by the entire team working together toward common objectives based on an accepted vision and mission, using quantitative and qualitative data to measure how well the system is meeting the needs of all stakeholders inside and outside the organization."
Schools of Quality, 1992
The evaluation system of the School of Education has been built on a philosophy of continuous quality improvement. A multiple perspective approach to collecting assessment and evaluation information provides a picture of all of our programs and assists us in setting priorities for improvement.
The School of Education uses a variety of evaluation systems to assure 1) continuous quality improvement of the curriculum, 2) the competence of students being admitted, continued, and recommended for licensure and/or for program completion, 3) the quality of teaching, research, and service of the faculty, 4) improvement of the processes used in the functioning of the unit (e.g., secretarial, technological, field services, summer session), and 5) feedback from the professional community on the quality of Western's education program. In addition, information is collected at the end of each quarter to describe faculty professional activities in relationship to the Goals of the School of Education.
Curriculum reviews by faculty, students, and the professional community provide a multiple perspective approach to maintaining a relevant and effective curriculum.
Faculty. Faculty are involved in curriculum review, revision, and development through the governance process. Changes are generally initiated from graduate follow-up data or from faculty recommendations. Suggestions for improvements may be initiated at division meetings, carried forward to the Division Curriculum Committee, to the School of Education Consortium, to the Senate Curriculum Committee, and to Faculty Senate with approval from the dean and the provost. In the redesign a team approach was used to design the curriculum framework, to develop syllabi, and to assure that the course content was integrated within and across terms.
Students. Courses are reviewed by students through course informal and formal Student Instructional Report (SIR) evaluations, through student participation on the Consortium and Faculty Senate and through follow-up surveys sent to graduates.
Professional Community. Each division has an advisory committee which reviews the data from follow up studies and makes recommendations for curriculum change. Those recommendations are taken up by the division curriculum committees and the Consortium before being forwarded through the curriculum approval process. In the redesign of the elementary and secondary professional core, additional meetings were held to have faculty from community colleges, as well as local teachers, principals, and superintendents make recommendations for the new program.
Redesign of the Elementary and Secondary Program. This major activity which restructured the curriculum and model of delivery for the elementary and secondary professional core involved a task force of 14 members. At critical points representatives from Western’s Division of Teaching Research, community colleges, and K-12 education were also invited into the process. Each of the three years of redesign has been characterized by a major set of activities and continuous evaluation processes:
Year 1. The Task Force worked on their vision for an excellent professional core and developed approaches to overcome barriers to implementing the vision and produced an overview of a new program. Periodically the faculty assessed their progress toward implementing the vision and overcoming the barriers.
Year 2. Twelve teams were established to develop syllabi, admission procedures, implementation processes, transition plans, advisement strategies, and other activities to move toward implementation of a new program. The teams reported to the task force at least once each term. Implementation activities were evaluated by faculty, the professional community, and students primarily through presentations and discussions.
Year 3. The new program is being implemented, proposals for new majors are proceeding through the approval process and plans are being made to overcome problem areas that have occurred during the first year of implementation. Students have been an important and critical part of the improvement process.
Redesign of the Special Education Program. The Special Education Division has a long history of continuous improvement based on review of graduate follow-up data, summaries from the work samples of students, and involvement with professionals in the field as well as information on teacher shortage areas. Review of the curriculum changes over the past five years demonstrates the responsiveness of special education faculty to needs assessment data. The student teachers evaluate their program through an exit self-assessment of their perceived competencies.
Redesign of the Graduate Program. One of the functions of the Graduate Studies Committee is to establish standards for graduate programs. All new programs and changes in current programs must be approved by this group. During the past two years, the Graduate Studies Committee has been involved with the development of the redesign process for the graduate programs. During the next 15 months, the committee, with input from other faculty, will establish evaluation methods for the new programs. Currently, students evaluate graduate faculty and courses during the winter term, and students evaluate faculty teaching in the off-campus Continuing Professional Development graduate programs each term.
Field Services. Quantitative and qualitative evaluations are conducted on the various aspects of field experience including student evaluation of the placement procedures, evaluation of the three-way relationship among student teachers, cooperating teachers and faculty, monitoring of the qualifications of cooperating teachers, and evaluations of the work samples of the student teachers. Summary data from these evaluations are used to analyze overall strengths and weaknesses of the field experience part of the professional core. The field services team uses the information to work on policy issues, to adjust the calendar of field services activities, and to provide improved communication among students, faculty, the field and the Office of Field Services. A three-way evaluation of student teachers, cooperating teachers, and supervising faculty is conducted at the end of each student teaching term. Demographic information about cooperating teachers is collected to assure that they have the appropriate amount of experience and the appropriate license/ endorsement to supervise the student teacher. In collaboration with Teaching Research, surveys are disseminated each term to analyze the effectiveness of the work samples. The surveys are completed by student teachers, cooperating teachers, and supervising faculty. Results are analyzed to measure quantitative and qualitative aspects of the teaching effectiveness of student teachers.
Results are used to improve the curriculum, instructional strategies, and assessment of students in relationship to the field experiences.
Evaluation of students falls into four major categories: admission, follow-along, completion, and follow-up.
Admission. Student are admitted to the School of Education using a variety of criteria that include GPA, recommendations, test scores, and interviews.
Follow-along. In addition to grades and completion of courses, students are evaluated on their abilities in field experience and their progress toward requirements for licensure and/or endorsements. In the elementary/secondary redesign, a team of faculty meets with each student at the end of teach term to review progress on the 14 proficiencies. Students not making satisfactory progress are given a plan to guide their work into the next term. Occasionally a student needs to repeat a term or is encouraged to withdraw.
Completion. Before being recommended for a degree and/or licensure, student transcripts are evaluated against and TSPC criteria for licenses and endorsements. The evaluations may include their work sample, sign off on TSPC criteria by the cooperating teachers and supervising faculty, and/or approval of a thesis, field study, or professional project, by a graduate thesis committee or final comprehensive exams.
Follow-up. Follow-up studies of graduates have been conducted on both undergraduate and graduate students through surveys, renewal days and focus groups.
· Surveys. Graduates are sent surveys to assess the relevance of their undergraduate or graduate program to their work as teachers. Surveys are also sent to their principals (and to their mentor teachers).
· Renewal Day. In 1995 and 1996 graduates were invited to return to campus with a paid day for a substitute teacher. Renewal Day was designed to be a day of professional development with activities selected through a needs assessment of recent graduates. The day was also designed to give faculty an opportunity to discuss with recent graduates their perceptions of the adequacy of their preparation.
· Focus groups. In 1997 focus groups were held for special education, elementary education, and secondary education graduates to assess the implication that the work sample methodology had on their teaching practices after one or more years in the field.
Faculty are evaluated in several ways. Each year the faculty and administration of the university engage in the following personnel review actions: 1) annual review of tenure-track faculty; 2) triennial post-tenure review of tenured faculty; 3) review relative to promotion in rank; and 4) review relative to advancement towards tenure. The purpose of professional evaluations is to encourage the improvement of individual professional performance and to provide a guide for decisions on salary, merit, reappointment, tenure, and promotion. The process of promotion through the academic ranks and the granting of indefinite tenure is determined by appropriate provisions of Western's union contract. In addition to the evaluations relative to promotion and tenure through evaluation of teaching and promotion portfolios, faculty have opportunities to evaluate their division chairs and to self-evaluate their experience as a member of the School of Education faculty.
Courses and field supervision. Faculty evaluations by students are conducted through the Student Instructional Reports once a year for each faculty member. Faculty are also evaluated by colleagues and by their division chairs.
Promotion and tenure. Faculty are evaluated through the promotion and tenure process with the traditional categories of teaching, research, service to the institution, and service to the community.
Faculty activities in relationship to the Goals of the School of Education. Each term faculty report their activities under the five goals’ categories.
Faculty evaluations of division chairs. Each year faculty evaluate division chairs using a protocol developed by the Personnel Review Committee.
Faculty satisfaction. A new evaluation instrument is being field tested in the spring of 1998, the Faculty Satisfaction Survey. The aim of the survey is to identify areas of improvement related to quality of life for faculty in the School of Education.
The faculty, administrators, and advisory groups use data to identify strengths and weaknesses in the School of Education. In addition to traditional governance processes, teams are used to work on specific improvement projects. Continuous quality improvement tools such as flow charts, surveys, or tree diagrams are used to combine use of data with creative problem solving to improve curriculum, processes and quality of faculty, and staff and student life throughout the unit.
“Teacher knowledge and skill are critical factors in improving student achievement”
The Honorable James B. Hunt,
Governor, North Carolina
Chair, National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, 1996
The recommendations for licensure of preservice teachers or a master’s degree in our graduate programs are a decision that faculty within the School of Education at Western Oregon University take seriously. Faculty understand the complexity of teaching and learning and of assessing children in Oregon’s public schools. Just as teaching is a complex task, so too, is the assessment of Western Teachers. No one assessment or one performance can give reliable data for determining whether a person will be an effective teacher. It is the combination of assessment, both traditional and performance, which provides reliable data for making licensure decisions.
Assessment framework for preservice teachers in elementary/secondary education. The assessment framework that guides Western School of Education in evaluating the proficiency level of preservice teachers is driven by a standards-based system of education. There are 14 teaching proficiencies that Western recognizes as essential skills for teachers leading education in the 21st century. The 14 teaching proficiencies as found in “Assessment Framework for a Proficiency-Based Teacher Education Program” are as follows:
1. Plan instruction that supports student progress in learning and is appropriate for the developmental level of students.
2. Establish a classroom climate conducive to learning.
3. Engage students in planned learning activities.
4. Evaluate, act upon, and report student progress in learning.
5. Exhibit professional behaviors, ethics, and values.
6. Exhibit professional leadership and development.
7. Develop an understanding and ability to apply knowledge of developmental psychology at the level of authorization.
8. Demonstrate knowledge of subject matter and ability to organize curriculum and instruction to support student understanding of subject matter.
9. Articulate and apply a philosophy of education which is appropriate to the students in the authorization level.
10. Exhibit technological literacy both in teacher productivity and integration of technology in classroom learning.
11. Communicate effectively through professional speaking.
12. Communicate effectively in professional writing.
13. Work collaboratively with others.
14. Function as a reflective practitioner.
Established levels of performance have been set on a developmental continuum for each of the proficiencies at the final evaluation (recommendation for licensure). In addition, checkpoints have been developed along the way to review progress toward proficiency attainment. Western Teachers are required to provide evidence that they are at or beyond specified proficiency level at each of the checkpoints, or benchmarks, and for the final evaluation. The faculty within the School of Education have developed scoring guides for each proficiency and sources of evidence that Western Teachers can use as they document their proficiency in each of the 14 teaching proficiencies.
The sources of evidence combine more traditional types of assessments which measure knowledge and comprehension of effective teaching, and performance assessments that measure Western Teachers’ ability to foster learning gains in students. As students move through the four terms of their teacher education program the assessments become increasingly authentic. That is, they assess Western Teachers’ ability to teach.
At the conclusion of each term in the redesigned teacher preparation program, each student is expected to present to his/her peers and colleagues an integrated project, reflecting that student’s development and integration of coursework and field experiences. The method of presentation is optional but must, throughout the terms, incorporate professional oral, written, and visual proficiencies as well as demonstration of content knowledge, pedagogy, and ability to teach. Presentation itself is made to a panel of peers and teacher education faculty. At the conclusion of the fourth and final term, each student is expected to present a capstone project that will depict and document his/her growth, development and integration of experiences across four terms of rigorous preparation. Again, the method of presentation is open, with creativity encouraged. A panel of peers, faculty, and public educators will comprise the audience to whom this project is presented. Projects are expected to become the students’ beginning professional portfolios.
The progress and competence of special education candidates is monitored through a comprehensive packet of observation and evaluation data. The general framework follows Teacher Standards and Practices Commission requirements related to planning for instruction, establishing a classroom climate conducive to learning, implementing instructional plans, evaluating student progress and demonstrating professional skills. Evidence of ability in these areas is documented across developmental levels, with children/youth who have mild and severe disabilities and in self-contained, consultant teacher and itinerant teacher models.
One major component in the performance assessment of Western Teachers is the completion of work samples. The work sample is an integrated unit of instruction that requires Western Teachers to document learning gains in their students. The work sample consists of a description of the teaching context, goals and objectives, lesson plans, pre and post assessments, analysis of the data from the pre and post assessment and a reflective essay. Western Teachers in the undergraduate program are required to develop and implement two work samples, one at their primary and one at their secondary authorization level. Western Teachers in the graduate programs, which include special Education, are also required to complete a minimum of one work sample, which again must document the learning gains of the students. Although work samples for special Education are different in focus, they contain the same components and the requirements to document student learning gains. Work samples are a requirement in all graduate programs, completed at a higher level, and implemented in classroom and practicum experiences.
The ultimate performance for Western preservice, special education, and graduate students is the ability to work with children in schools. The field experience of Western Teachers is one of the most important experiences in their development. During the field experience Western Teachers collaborate in the learning process with both a Western faculty member and a cooperating teacher. The partnership between the Western Teachers, Western faculty and the cooperating teachers is developed to not only guide, but also to assess Western Teachers. During the field experience, Western Teachers progress to the point of assuming full responsibility for planning and instructing as if they were the classroom teacher. Also during the field experience, Western Teachers develop and implement work samples. Students have opportunities to try methods and strategies that have been modeled in the teacher training program. Throughout this training, all students in the teacher education program continue to be assessed on each of the 14 proficiencies by both the cooperating teacher and Western faculty. Observations and analysis of learning gains serve as assessment information. Western Teachers are required to provide the following evidence of success in the field experience:
1. Formal observations
2. Completed work samples which documents learning gains
3. Three-way conference with Western faculty and cooperating teacher/supervisory
4. Portfolio of evidence which documents level of proficiency in each of the teaching proficiencies (undergraduate and special education)
The faculty within the School of Education believes that children deserve teachers with strong content knowledge. Oregon has high standards for passing the PRAXIS content specialty and professional knowledge exams. The strength of these exams is that they provide a level of common knowledge among all teacher candidates. These exams are one portion of the assessment of Western Teachers. All Western Teachers are required to pass the CBEST and the PRAXIS Professional Knowledge exam. In addition, middle and high school authorizations and special Education majors must pass content specialty exams. Early childhood and elementary authorizations must pass the MSAT.
Assessment of master’s degree candidates
The assessment of candidates in the graduate programs in the School of Education at Western Oregon University is both formative and summative. Formative evaluation occurs term by term in coursework and in the ongoing meetings with an advisor as the candidate prepares for the summative evaluation. In graduate coursework, students are required to demonstrate not only their knowledge of the subject but also ability to review and apply research.
The summative evaluation is either in the form of comprehensive exams, a field study or a master’s thesis. The comprehensive exams are essay exams in which the candidate responds to questions that require integration of the literature in philosophy and psychology of education. Additionally, candidates answer questions related to their specialty. For example, special education candidates respond to questions relating to their endorsement areas in special education. A master’s thesis is a research project which requires the candidate to conduct research, integrate, and apply learning from the research. The field study also has a research component, but the research may not be as comprehensive as that of a thesis. The field study could relate to areas not as easily researchable such as curriculum design. Both the field study and the thesis require ongoing, individual work with an advisor/committee.
Authentic assessment of Western Teachers
Authentic assessment which employs actual classroom application through practical, measurable, and criterion-based lessons, is an integral part of the assessment process. The faculty in Western Oregon University’s School of Education believe that all children and youth have a right to well-prepared, qualified teachers. To reach this goal a strong assessment system is needed. The combination of each piece of assessment provides valid and reliable evaluation of Western Teachers. As Western Teachers (graduate and undergraduate) develop more knowledge and skills, performance and authentic assessments occur. Application of what Western Teachers have learned occurs in their student teaching or practicum experience. For Western Teachers in the graduate program the authentic application may be a work sample that is designed and implemented for the students in their classroom. Regardless, this authentic application of the knowledge and skills is an essential component of the assessment system. Without the authentic application, the assessment system would not be complete nor would Western Teachers be ready to teach.