|FSEHD Diversity Committee, these culturally competent teaching areas are being integrated into FSEHD curriculum and assessments. The objective is to improve what future teachers know and can do when serving diverse learners and their families.
When the Culturally Competent Teaching Areas were adopted by FSEHD in 2010, the unit committed to assessing and collecting data on candidates' performance in these areas. While the unit considered implementing an additional unit assessment, it was also concerned about burdening faculty, candidates, and cooperating teachers with having to complete another assessment. Consequently, the assessment committee examined existing unit assessments to investigate whether the indicators and performances they assessed aligned sufficiently with what would hypothetically be found in a Culturally Competent Teaching assessment. As it was subsequently determined that considerable alignment existed between the Culturally Competent Teaching Areas and the indicators in the Mini Teacher Candidate Work Sample and the revised Implemented Lesson Plan, no new instruments were developed for assessment of dispositions in field settings at the Preparing to Teach. Rather, the Mini Teacher Candidate Work Sample and revised Implemented Lesson Plan indicators are coded to the dispositions and reporting on dispositions in field settings at Preparing to Teach is now derived from these existing assessments. The same process is being used to assess candidates' Culturally Competent Teaching at Exit through aligned indicators in the Teacher Candidate Work Sample and Observation and Progress Report. The indicators used to assess the Culturally Competent Teaching areas are listed in the unit's alignment documents. Scoring guides for the revised Implemented Lesson Plan, Teacher Candidate Mini Work Sample, Observation and Progress Report, and Teacher Candidate Work Sample are available, as well. Please note that a descriptive rubric to complement the rating scale used throughout the revised Implemented Lesson Plan and the Observation and Progress Report is under development.
Diversity Data: Initial Programs
At admissions at the initial teacher preparation level, mean disposition ratings in diversity (from FSEHD 346 instructors and service learning supervisor evaluations) have been very high, particularly in the area of Advocacy for Children and Youth.
Preparing to Teach data on candidate diversity skills is derived from aggregated data from the Reflection Essay, (original version) Implemented Lesson Plan, Candidate Disposition Self-Evaluation, and Faculty Disposition Evaluations. Exit data on candidate diversity skills is derived from aggregated data from the Professional Development Reflection, Implemented Unit Plan, and School Analysis. Analyses show that candidates in the FSEHD furthermore demonstrate competency of RIPTS 4: Teachers create instructional opportunities that reflect a respect for the diversity of learners and an understanding of how students differ in their approaches to learning at the Preparing to Teach and Exit points. This RIPTS aligns closely with the FSEHD Conceptual Framework theme of diversity. Data reporting candidate performance on assessments measuring progress on the diversity RIPTS tell a story of success. While there is little difference between candidates' performance between Preparing to Teach and Exit, this is an area of strength for candidates prior to student teaching. While there is a very slight increase between the two gates during most years, the more important message is that FSEHD candidates perform well in this area before entering the student teaching experience.
A Teacher Preparation Program Evaluation has also been used to collect data from teacher candidates at the Exit point about their perceptions of preparation related to the FSEHD Conceptual Framework. Candidates report they were well prepared in skills related to the Conceptual Framework Theme of Diversity. A follow up survey of 2008-2011 initial programs graduates reported that they perceived their preparation to be adequate or better in diversity, as well. Furthermore, employers of recent initial graduates (2008-2010) reveal in the FHED employer survey graduate strengths in designing and implementing instruction that reflects respect for the diversity of learners.
Diversity Data: Advanced Programs
At the advanced level, there is very little variability in the diversity scores across three semesters of collected data at admissions. Performance on all diversity indicators in the Candidate Reference Form was rated at an average score in the Adequately Developing range. Patterns of strengths and weaknesses among faculty ratings were not clear but among self-assessments by candidates, indicator 6, “Engages families in collaborative decision-making” was consistently rated as the weakest skill related to diversity and indicator 2, “Reflects on issues of student development from a social or cultural perspective” was consistently rated as the strongest skill.
Advanced formative assessment trends reflect similar performance ratings from both candidates and faculty members. While there is little variability in the scores across the three semesters of collected data, performance on all diversity indicators was rated at an average score in the Adequately Developing range with lowest mean scores on a self-evaluation tool and a faculty evaluation instrument ranging between 3.12 and 3.38 on a scale of one to four. Patterns of strengths and weaknesses among faculty ratings were not clear but among self-assessments by candidates, indicator 6, “Engages families in collaborative decision-making” was consistently rated as the weakest skill related to diversity and indicator 2, “Reflects on issues of student development from a social or cultural perspective” was consistently rated as the strongest skill.
At the summative transition point, advanced candidates' competency in the diversity and professionalism standards are assessed through the self-evaluation tool and a faculty evaluation. Mean ratings range from 3.08 to 3.39 (on a scale of one to four) on the summative assessment of the diversity competency. Patterns among faculty ratings are not evident but self-assessment ratings by candidates reflect patterns similar to the formative point. Candidates report the lowest ratings in diversity indicator 6, “Engages families in collaborative decision-making” until the Fall 09 semester, where candidates report a higher degree of development in this indicator compared to others within diversity. Indicator 2, “Reflects on issues of student development from a social or cultural perspective” is still rated by candidates among the most developed skill.
The figure below highlights little change in faculty ratings between the formative and summative assessment points in the diversity competency. This lack of variability reflects an opportunity to focus on candidate weaknesses related to diversity and consider strategies to enable candidates make additional gains between the formative and summative assessment points.
Recent graduate follow up surveys of advanced candidates indicate that advanced programs graduates rated their preparation highest in areas related understanding diversity. However, they also felt they were less than adequately prepared to incorporate considerations of other professionals and/or stakeholders when determining a plan of action (mean=2.78) Employer survey data reveal perceived strengths of advanced graduates in diversity, although employer ratings of were slightly lower for the indicator focusing on graduates' demonstration of a comprehensive understanding of diversity as it relates to field specific content.
The unit is in the beginning stages of assessing the Culturally Competent Teaching Areas of its initial candidates. Comprehensive reporting on Culturally Competent Teaching Areas performance at Admissions, Preparing to Teach, and at Exit (via aligned indicators on existing assessments) will commence at the conclusion of Spring 2011.