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Additional Evidence Report for Secondary Education - History (B.A./RITE)

This report is designed to include additional information not already included in SPA reports. Begin your program review with the latter.

FIELD EXPERIENCES

The Secondary Education program at Rhode Island College prides itself on a field based curriculum. The candidates in the History Secondary Education program at Rhode Island College complete a variety of field experiences prior to their capstone student teaching experience. The expectations for candidates increase developmentally from early field experiences to the student teaching semester. Field experiences are aligned with educational courses and students are required to take them in a progressive order. The program reflects the Conceptual Framework centered on Planning, Action, and Reflection. The field experiences combine on site and in class evaluation and includes, peer review, review by clinical instructors and the professors of record. Prior to advancing to the professional sequence of courses students must take FNED 346: "Schooling in a Democratic Society" and pass the course with a minimum grade of B- in order to be considered for entry into the Feinstein School. As part of this experience students have a pre-professional experience spending 15 to 25 hours working with children. The primary aim of the pre-professional experience is for teacher candidates to develop an understanding of working with adolescent learners, and the application of behavioral, developmental, and motivational strategies and theories addressed in the Foundations course. Candidates must receive a positive recommendation from the supervisor. Most candidates begin the Secondary Education Professional Sequence in their junior year. By this time they are well grounded in history/social science content completing the upper level courses required for the History Secondary Education majors and take CEP 315: "Educational Psychology" in tandem with their first course in the sequence and thus are well prepared to begin making more detailed observations and actively participating in a history/social studies classroom. Students begin their clinical experience in SED 406: "Instructional Methods, Design, and Technology" where they spend four hours observing a history/social studies classroom and are required to write reflections on their observations and make connections to classroom content. This course is followed by SED 407: "Instructional Methods, Design, and Literacy." Candidates are required to spend ten hours observing and consulting with the cooperating teacher (clinical instructor) in a history/social studies classroom and teach one reading and one writing lesson in the content field. Candidates are evaluated by the clinical instructor on site. To ensure that candidates are well grounded in the content they will teach and well prepared in the theoretical aspects of teaching they are required to pass the Praxis II Content Social Studies Exam with a minimum score of 157 and the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching with a score of 167 prior to entry into SED 410: History/Social Studies Practicum. Further, all candidates must maintain a minimum 2.75 GPA in History courses and a separate 2.75 in social science cognate courses to remain in good standing in the program. The Practicum includes two three week field experiences, or approximately 60 -70 hours in a High School and Middle School setting. Candidates build a strong knowledge base associated with the NCSS themes. For example, candidates write lesson plans and teach lessons aligned to the NCSS standards that are observed and evaluated by both the clinical instructor and college supervisor. An historian or social scientist on the faculty is present at one of the sites on a rotating basis for the two three week periods. The candidates are evaluated on their ability to effectively plan, teach, and reflect on content associated with the NCSS themes. In addition, candidates are prepared to create units aligned to the NCSS standards. All clinical experiences are set in history/social studies classrooms under the direction of a highly qualified social studies certified clinical instructor. All candidates are supervised by College faculty who are experienced certified social studies teachers. Overall direction and supervision of candidates is performed by faculty who are either professional historians or social scientists. The capstone experience for all teacher candidates is SED 421: "Student Teaching" where students spend 14 weeks (490 contact hours) teaching in a social studies classroom. Candidates teach three classes (two preps) and prepare units and lessons aligned to the NCSS standards. All candidates enroll in SED 422 "History/Social Studies Seminar." During this semester the teacher candidates apply the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they have been developing through study in the secondary education program and in the History program. It is at this point that candidates are assessed on their ability to teach history/social studies to secondary students over a sustained period of time. The candidates are evaluated on their ability to effectively plan, teach, and reflect on the content associated with the NCSS themes over 14 weeks. All cooperating classroom social studies teachers (clinical instructor) are certified and highly qualified. All candidates are supervised by college faculty who are either certified and experienced social studies teachers. Rhode Island College is located in Providence Rhode Island and all candidates are placed in public schools located in urban, urban ring, or suburban settings. These settings are diverse in regard to: socio economic status, special needs, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds, and new immigrant cultures. Candidate field placements are arranged through the Office of Partnerships and Placements located in the Feinstein School. All contacts with the schools, teachers, and supervisors are made through this office. The History Secondary Education program works only with highly qualified certified cooperating teachers (Clinical instructors) and preferably those with an MA History degree. Cooperating teachers and sites are selected by the Office of Partnerships and Placements based on the criteria set by the Department of History in combination with the criteria set by the Feinstein School that includes institutional commitment to the Conceptual Framework, RIDE standards, and standards set by NCATE/NCSS. To ensure high standards Cooperating teachers are now required to receive professional development training through the Office of Partnerships and Placements. Evaluation forms are sent to this office with a file, open to faculty and students, regarding each candidate's performance while at the college. The History/Social Studies Programs jointly invite cooperating teachers to attend informational sessions on their duties and responsibilities. These sessions include workshops on how to assess candidates using the assessment instruments developed by the Feinstein School and the History/Social Studies Programs. In addition to the general informational meetings, cooperating teachers participated in several seminars supported by an Eisenhower Grant and RITER Grant. RITER seminars started in Fall 2005 and continued each semester until Spring 2009. Programs focused on both content and pedagogy and included a three part series on Central Asia, 1965 Turning Point, Vietnam/Civil Rights, The US on the World Stage, Sex Greed, and Lies: The World of the Great Depression, Jazz and the Shaping of American Popular Culture, Myth and Memory: The American War in Vietnam and Civil Rights, Alexis Tocqeville, Historical Film Narratives, The United States in an Age of Globalization, and War Crimes and International Law. Schools participating in these seminar/workshops included Warwick Vets, Lincoln, Classical, North Providence. Hope, Riverside Middle School, Shea (one year). North Providence High School and Classical High School created courses based on the information and materials they received at the seminars. Beginning in Spring 2010, plans have been developed by the Feinstein School to conduct common seminars for all cooperating teachers. This will be implemented on a pilot in Spring 2011.

CONSISTENCY OF ASSESSMENT DECISIONS

History/Social Studies faculty meet periodically to discuss program changes. Adjunct faculty who assist in the supervision of Practicum and Student Teachers work with all full-time faculty. New Cooperating Teachers meet beforehand with the Practicum and Student Teaching Supervisors. At each site visit discussions take place between the Cooperating Teacher and the College Supervisor, where each share their perception of the Teacher Candidate's progress. At least once per semester during student teaching the Cooperating Teacher and the College Supervisor observe the same class and rate it using the same instrument. They then conference regarding any significant discrepancies. A trial section of the Cooperating Teacher Seminar will be offered in Spring 2011, during which time assessment and inter-rater reliability will be addressed.

DIVERSITY

The History Teacher Candidate is introduced to the significance of unequal educational outcomes and the importance of addressing the needs of all students from their very first class in the professional sequence. That understanding is a cornerstone of the program, and as the TC progresses through their professional sequence they deepen and build upon this understanding. They explore ways to better meet the needs of all students in schools, develop and teach lessons that have this as a central objective, and reflect upon their successes and challenges as they continue to adapt their lessons.

FNED 346: Prior to enrollment in the Feinstein School, students take FNED 346: Schooling in a Democratic Society. The course examines the historical roots of inequality in U.S. society, how schools have contributed to unequal outcomes, and how educators can work to ensure that all students have opportunities to succeed in schools.

Catalog Description, FNED 346: The social and cultural forces that affect schools are examined.  Fifteen hours of field-based experience is required.

Students, as part of their experience, spend 15 + hours tutoring in urban diverse schools.  They research data available online (e.g., NECAP scores, InfoWorks data on ELLs, free lunch as a proxy for social class etc.) for the schools and communities they will be tutoring in, in order to better understand their students. Students are asked to reflect, journal, and blog on their readings and classroom experiences, and to relate what they are learning in the classroom to what they are observing and experiencing in the schools. Educational practices that address the needs of all students are examined through readings, films, school experiences etc. Students also attend Promising Practices, a conference for educators and teacher candidates held annually at Rhode Island College, which offers a keynote speaker, workshops, and a media and curriculum fair that focus on making schools and teachers more responsive to the needs of all students.

RITER Cultural Competency Assessment Tool. FNED 346 instructors are piloting the introduction and integration of aspects of the RITER Cultural Competency Assessment Tool (which was developed by a RITER grant and involved participants from all universities in RI with teacher preparation programs) into their classes. The Cultural Competency Assessment Tool, which is used for formative purposes, is intended to assist the Teacher Candidate to understand, develop, and ultimately practice what constitutes culturally competent teaching.

This formative instrument was designed as a means of assessing whether the teacher candidate … is able to incorporate culturally competent teaching practices into his or her teaching experience…. The instrument is broken down into five areas or categories (Planning and Instruction; Assessment; Professional Behavior; Collaboration; Communication).  These categories have been generally accepted by researchers and clinical practitioners as embodying the scope of culturally competent teaching.  The term “sociocultural” is used to represent differences in ethnicity, race, gender, class, language, ability, sexual orientation, social class and religion. (RITER Cultural Competency Assessment Tool)

SED 406: Instructional Methods, Design and Technology. Teacher Candidates are introduced to basic lesson planning and design, and in the process examine educational practices that address the needs of diverse learners. Topics for instance include Universal Design for Learning, building community in the classroom, RIPTS, and the use of technology to maximize learning. They also spend 4 hours in their content area observing in two different schools, one of which is ideally in an urban or urban-ring setting.
SED 407: Instructional Methods, Design and Literacy. Several of the course outcomes specifically address aspects of diversity, for instance:

  • Develop lesson plans that … engage all learners, scaffold and differentiate instruction, incorporate student interests and literacy practices, assess student learning in multiple ways…
  • (Implement two lesson plans that) draw upon students' funds of knowledge and literacy practices to engage in academic learning in meaningful and authentic ways.
  • Explore current political and philosophical issues surrounding secondary schools, teachers and students.

Course topics/themes relevant to diversity include Differentiated Instruction; English Language Learners' Needs; and Multiple Forms of Assessment. Teacher Candidates spend 10 hours in public school classrooms, observing initially and then teaching the two literacy-based lessons they developed. Teacher Candidates identify how their lessons differentiate instruction for all learners, and how they address standards such as WIDA; they also utilize strategies that work effectively with second language learners (addressed in the Zwiers text that students use). In terms of specific groups, content addressed and assignments incorporating that content include:

Students from different racial and ethnic minority groups

Instructional strategies discussed in terms of diverse cultural practices and values.
Different language practices discussed in relation to reading and writing of texts and classroom discourse practices.
Students address these issues in lesson plans and in reflective writings.
Strength-based (aka “assets-based”) perspective on home culture.

English Language Learners

Concepts of BICS & CALP in relation to literacy teaching and learning and classroom discourse. Instructional strategies for promoting English language use, combined with a strength-based approach to L1.

Students with disabilities

Strength-based perspective taught in relation to assessment issues; concept of differentiated instruction, differentiated texts, vocabulary instruction (with focus on SPED 433 as providing in-depth knowledge and practice).

Economically disadvantaged students 

Relations between language and social class are discussed; distinction between everyday and academic language and discourse. Students assigned to use this distinction in writing up observations of students' oral and written discourse.

SED 411: Content and Pedagogy In Secondary Education and SED 412: Field Practicum In Secondary Education (Formerly SED 410)

SED 411: Students examine principles, methods, content, and curriculum in the content area and prepare lessons and units that incorporate the needs of diverse learners and effective assessment strategies.
SED 412: Teacher candidates, under the supervision of college and clinical instructors, plan, develop, and implement lesson plans within middle/secondary clinical settings, drawing on content developed in SED 411.

Objectives and Assignments. Several objectives and assignments address aspects of teaching with diverse populations in mind:

  • Select and integrate knowledge from history and the following:

    Process 1:  Contextual Factors
    The candidate uses information about the learning-teaching context and student individual differences to set learning goals, plan instruction and assess learning.

    • Demonstrates knowledge of district, community, school, and classroom factors
    • Presents knowledge of characteristics of class members
    • Describes knowledge of students' skills and prior learning
    • Demonstrates knowledge of characteristics of specific students and approaches to differentiate learning
    • Includes implications for instructional planning and assessment.

    They also assess student learning, and subsequently adapt their lessons to better meet the needs of their students:

    Process 5:  Instructional Decision-Making
    The candidate uses ongoing analysis of student learning to make instructional decisions.

    • Rethinks plans for a group of students
    • Modifies plans for a group of students based on analysis of student learning
    • Explains the modifications made for a group of students (re: learning goals & unit objectives)
    • Rethinks plans for an individual student
    • Modifies plans for an individual student based on analysis of student learning
    • Explains the modifications made for an individual student (re: learning goals & unit objectives)

    Observation and Progress Report. Student Teachers are formally observed at least three times by the College Supervisor and three times by their Clinical Supervisor, using the Observation and Progress Report.  The Student Teacher is assessed on their ability to design, implement, and reflect upon meeting the needs of diverse students:

    • The content of the lesson is appropriate for the developmental levels of the students in this class
    • High quality implementation of all indicators (Planning, Action, Reflection): The candidate knows and consistently demonstrates the methods, skills, and strategies needed to meet students' diverse needs and interests.

    Seminar Reflections. Student Teaching Seminar integrates current educational debates into the class discussions and blogs; these typically raise issues around unequal educational outcomes and proposals to address them.

    TECHNOLOGY

    (All students applying for entrance into FSEHD take and pass either a Technology Competency Exam or take and pass with a C or better INST 251, to ensure that they have technology skills prior to beginning their professional sequence.)

    INITIAL (GENERIC) METHODS COURSES
    Teacher Candidates take SED 406: Instructional Design, Methods, and Technology initially in their professional sequence and are introduced to the potential of technology to enhance student learning and motivation. They utilize the Web for resources, evaluate resources online, and develop and teach mini-lessons to their peers that are assessed on their integration of appropriate technology into the lesson. The expectation that they will utilize technology in their teaching carries through into SED 407: Instructional Design, Methods, and Content Literacy.

    HISTORY/SOCIAL STUDIES PRACTICUM
    In the History/Social Studies Practicum (formerly SED 410, now divided as of Fall 2010 into two distinct courses, SED 411 and SED 412, Teacher Candidates routinely utilize technology in their teaching. One objective of the course that directly addresses technology is #12:

         Utilize a broad range of technology in the classroom to foster student learning and enhance 
          motivation. Evaluate online materials for their accuracy and usefulness.

    (The possibilities for doing so in the field are at times circumscribed by available resources at the schools they work in, but given that they teach in both urban and suburban/ rural schools they have opportunities to access a greater range of technology.) The course was formerly taught on WebCT, and has now moved to BlackBoard.  As part of the course design, Teacher Candidates themselves routinely utilize Internet resources and technological possibilities such as blogs and wikis that can be useful for their own future practice.  Technology is practiced as a tool that makes it possible to serve the needs of students not only for access to content, but also to accomplish other objectives (e.g., differentiating instruction, addressing ELL needs, fostering active learning, etc.)

    Lesson Planning and Delivery in Practicum. The College Supervisor utilizes the Observation and Progress Report (that Teacher Candidates will be rated on in the subsequent semester of student teaching) at least once at each of the two practicum sites. The Teacher Candidate's use of technology in lesson planning and delivery is given a rating from 0 – 6 (see Observation and Progress Report for rating descriptions) on the indicators below:      

    LESSON PLANNING

    4. The instructional strategies, activities and technical resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) in this lesson plan demonstrate attention to students' experience, preparedness, and/or learning styles.
    5. The instructional strategies, activities and technical resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) in this lesson plan demonstrate attention to issues of access, equity, and diversity for students.

    ACTION

    3. The teacher candidate designs or adapts relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) to promote student learning and creativity.
    5. The teacher candidate customizes and personalizes learning activities using digital tools and resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology).

    Electronic Portfolios. Finally, students model technology design skills through construction of an electronic portfolio designed to follow the student into the student teaching experience the subsequent semester. (This has moved from Department of Educational Studies-created portfolios to Chalk and Wire.)  The potential of electronic portfolios for student learning and assessment in the future classrooms of teacher candidates is discussed at relevant points throughout the class.

    STUDENT TEACHING (SED 421) and STUDENT TEACHING SEMINAR (SED 422)
    College Supervisor and Clinical Instructor Observations. Both the College Supervisor and the Clinical Instructor (a minimum of 3x each = 6) evaluate the teacher candidate's use of technology in specific lessons that they observe, giving them a rating from 0 – 6 (see Observation and Progress Report for rating descriptions) on the indicators below:

    LESSON PLANNING

    4. The instructional strategies, activities and technical resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) in this lesson plan demonstrate attention to students' experience, preparedness, and/or learning styles.
    5. The instructional strategies, activities and technical resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) in this lesson plan demonstrate attention to issues of access, equity, and diversity for students.

          

    ACTION

    3. The teacher candidate designs or adapts relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) to promote student learning and creativity.
    5. The teacher candidate customizes and personalizes learning activities using digital tools and resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology).

    Student Teaching (SED 421) Technology and Overall Lesson Planning and Delivery.

    Clinical Instructors in the OPR section entitled “Ongoing Progress” are asked to rate their student teachers on their use of technology three times over the course of the student teaching semester.  At each time, they evaluate the teacher candidate on their “ongoing” utilization of technology in their lessons, using the rating scale below:

    Use the following rating scale to rate the Technology Indicators.


    0
    Unacceptable

    1-2
    Developing

    3-4
    Acceptable

    5-6
    Target

    Not present.

    The candidate does not include the indicator in his/her planning, action, or reflection.

    Elements of the indicator are clearly present but are partially or ineffectively carried out.

    The candidate is developing an awareness and may be beginning to meet the knowledge, skills, and competencies needed to meet the needs of some learners.

    Elements of the indicator are of good quality, but there is room for improvement.

    The candidate knows and demonstrates the methods, skills, and strategies needed to meet the needs of most learners.

    High quality implementation of indicator.

    The candidate knows and consistently demonstrates the methods, skills, and strategies needed to meet students' diverse needs and interests.

    Technology Indicators

    Rating

    1. The teacher candidate designs or adapts relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology) to promote student learning and creativity.

     

    ____

    1. The teacher candidate develops technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress.

     

    ____

    1. The teacher candidate customizes and personalizes learning activities using digital tools and resources (e.g. manipulatives, adaptive or assistive technologies, electronic technology).

     

    ____

    1. The teacher candidate demonstrates fluency with available technology systems.

    ____

    1. The teacher candidate communicates relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, and peers using a variety of digital-age media and formats.

    ____

    1. The teacher candidate models and facilitates effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.

     

    ____

    K-12 STANDARDS and STATE INITIATIVES

    Describe and provide evidence of assignments and candidate work (e.g., lesson plans) related to explicitly teaching candidates about:

    GLEs, GSEs, AAGSE and ELPS.

    Common Core Standards

    ELPS = English Language Proficiency
    Standards

    AAGSE  = Alternative Assessment Grade Span Expectations

    SED 406.  Standards: SPA/Common Core/GSE/GLE/NETS/
    Standards assignment.  See syllabus and explanation of unified lesson plan format in http://ricsecondaryedinfo.wikispaces.com/ .

    SED 407. Discussed all (except AAGSE) in terms of lesson planning: students integrate standards into their lessons (relevant GSEs, WIDA/ELPS, and content standards as appropriate).   See http://ricsecondaryedinfo.wikispaces.com/ (especially the ELL PowerPoint Assignment).

    SED 411/412.  Students integrate standards into their lessons and are assessed on their ability to align standards appropriately. See lesson plans listed below.

    SED 421/422.  Students integrate standards into their implemented lesson and unit plans and are assessed on their ability to align standards appropriately. See lesson plans listed below.

    NECAP

    SED 407. NECAP is explained in relation to standards.
    Students are assigned to find materials on web, analyze test items, discuss test-prep strategies.

    Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements (PBGR)

     

    SED 407. Students read, discuss, and reflect on the RI HS Reform Plan that implements PBGR, PLP, Advisory, etc. Students discuss these issues with their field-based teacher and submit report.

    Personal Literacy Plans (PLPs)

    See above (same as PBGR)

    Response to Intervention (RTI)

    RTI is introduced in SPED 433.

    Race to the Top at RI

    SED 406/SED 407/SED 411/SED 422. Discussion of Current Education Topics in classes and seminar. Teacher Candidates discuss these issues with their field-based teacher and either submit in report or report out in discussion.

    New teacher evaluation system

    SED 411/SED 422. Discussion of Current Education Topics in seminars.

    Any other state-wide and community program or initiative you can think of, e.g. students attendance at regional and national conferences, etc.

    FNED 346/SED 406/SED 407/SED 411/SED 412/SED 422. Students attend Promising Practices or Dialogue on Diversity and write report on the sessions attended and materials collected. At Promising Practices they meet local representatives of RISSA (Rhode Island Social Studies Association) to find out what they can offer teachers and are encouraged to join. When the regional NCSS conference is held locally (e.g., Boston) students attend.  Teacher candidates are asked to join NCSS at student rates and utilize the Social Education journal and website.

   
Core Standards

ELPS = English Language Proficiency
Standards

AAGSE  = Alternative Assessment Grade Span Expectations

SED 406.  Standards: SPA/Common Core/GSE/GLE/NETS/
Standards assignment.  See syllabus and explanation of unified lesson plan format in http://ricsecondaryedinfo.wikispaces.com/ .

SED 407. Discussed all (except AAGSE) in terms of lesson planning: students integrate standards into their lessons (relevant GSEs, WIDA/ELPS, and content standards as appropriate).   See http://ricsecondaryedinfo.wikispaces.com/ (especially the ELL PowerPoint Assignment).

SED 411/412.  Students integrate standards into their lessons and are assessed on their ability to align standards appropriately. See lesson plans listed below.

SED 421/422.  Students integrate standards into their implemented lesson and unit plans and are assessed on their ability to align standards appropriately. See lesson plans listed below.

NECAP

SED 407. NECAP is explained in relation to standards.
Students are assigned to find materials on web, analyze test items, discuss test-prep strategies.

Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements (PBGR)

 

SED 407. Students read, discuss, and reflect on the RI HS Reform Plan that implements PBGR, PLP, Advisory, etc. Students discuss these issues with their field-based teacher and submit report.

Personal Literacy Plans (PLPs)

See above (same as PBGR)

Response to Intervention (RTI)

RTI is introduced in SPED 433.

Race to the Top at RI

SED 406/SED 407/SED 411/SED 422. Discussion of Current Education Topics in classes and seminar. Teacher Candidates discuss these issues with their field-based teacher and either submit in report or report out in discussion.

New teacher evaluation system

SED 411/SED 422. Discussion of Current Education Topics in seminars.

Any other state-wide and community program or initiative you can think of, e.g. students attendance at regional and national conferences, etc.

FNED 346/SED 406/SED 407/SED 411/SED 412/SED 422. Students attend Promising Practices or Dialogue on Diversity and write report on the sessions attended and materials collected. At Promising Practices they meet local representatives of RISSA (Rhode Island Social Studies Association) to find out what they can offer teachers and are encouraged to join. When the regional NCSS conference is held locally (e.g., Boston) students attend.  Teacher candidates are asked to join NCSS at student rates and utilize the Social Education journal and website.