Additional Evidence Report for Physical Education (B.S.)
This report is designed to include additional information not already included in SPA reports. Begin your program review with the latter.
Teacher Candidates (TC) are given multiple opportunities in program courses to extend learning and apply theory or teaching strategies beyond the college classroom. Early in the program, in PED 206: Fundamental Movement and its Analysis (motor development) and PED 243: Foundation of Movement (motor learning)TC work with elementary school children from Henry Barnard School (RIC's Laboratory School) to evaluate fundamental skills and develop cue words to help children attain more efficient motor patterns. In PED 301: Principles of Teaching Activity, K-8th grade children from a nearby school come to RIC to take part in six to eight two hour long sessions where TC teach a 10 minute activity to a small group (8-10 children) as they rotate to different stations. During each session TC teach the activities using a different teaching style (e.g. task, problem solving, conceptual) after it is discussed in class. In PED 323: Experiential Education, TC prepare and implement lessons for 5th-12th graders with problem solving initiatives to gain experience in using the indirect teaching style, developing children's critical thinking and posing in depth questioning techniques.
TC are required to take three practicum courses in sequence. Each practicum (team activities, rhythmical activity and dance, and individual/dual activity) has a different emphasis where TC get first hand experience with preparing developmentally appropriate activity and modifying activity to fit the needs of the children. Each practicum includes two teaching experiences: One at the elementary level where TC teach 6 lessons (6 hours) to an intact physical education class in a public school. The second experience is the same in length but at the secondary school level. TC are required to observe the classes they will be teaching prior to their first lesson (1-2 hours) and must observe then provide feedback to at least two peers during each placement (4 hours) . The Cooperating Teacher observes each lesson, completes daily and summative evaluation forms and provides feedback to the TC after each lesson. The College Supervisor observes selected lessons, completes lesson evaluations and conferences with the TC at the conclusion of each lesson observed. The College Supervisor also meets with each TC at the end of both experiences to discuss overall performance and areas for further development.
PED 302: Practicum in Team Activities emphasizes teaching using the Tactical Games Model (lessons based on solving tactical problems), which is a conceptual approach to teaching physical activity. TC gain experience in planning and executing an indirect teaching style, classroom management and in-depth questioning technique.
PED 413: Creative Rhythms and Dance emphasizes both the indirect (movement education) and direct style (choreographed dance) of teaching. This practicum focuses on unit planning and assessment.
PED 414: Practicum in Individual and Dual Activities emphasizes teaching using the direct style of teaching (practice/task style). This practicum focuses on lesson planning, providing appropriate feedback and developing stations for maximal participation.
PED 426: Student Teaching in Physical Education requires TC to complete two 8 week assignments (elementary and secondary), consisting of five full days per week (30+ hours a week). TC are expected to participate in programs offered outside the normal instructional program (e.g. noon-hour activity programs, after school activities). They are required to participate in special events in the school program, in meetings and in other activities which the school community is involved. Daily supervision is provided by the cooperating teacher at the clinical site. College supervision is provided by a physical education faculty member who makes 2-3 visits per assignment (total visits 4-6). The cooperating teacher completes a midterm and final evaluation while the supervising professor evaluates the TC on each visit made. The assessment tool used is a common assessment used by the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD).
The Health and Physical Education Department recognized the need to recruit and retain exceptional cooperating teachers as mentors for our TC. A workshop was initiated to introduce and discuss their roles and responsibilities specifically for our program. The workshop served to share program expectations and keep cooperating teachers informed about changes in the program, the Rhode Island Professional Teacher Standards (RIPTS), the FSEHD Conceptual Framework and assessment requirements. The cooperating teachers were asked to provide feedback about how to better prepare the TC. Time was dedicated during the workshops to allow cooperating teachers to ask questions of concern and interact with each other to discuss strategies for being an effective cooperating teacher. Program graduates were invited to the workshop to talk about what the cooperating teacher could do to make student teaching the most positive of experiences.
Prior to the semester, practicum instructors often have meetings with their group of cooperating teachers either individually or as a cohort to discuss expectations for specific instructional models or points of emphasis for each practicum.
Cooperating teachers must have at least three years of teaching experience, be licensed in Rhode Island, and must complete a Cooperating Teacher's Workshop in order to work with a TC. A new initiative by the FSEHD is being piloted Spring Semester 2011 to have cooperating teachers take a hybrid course to replace existing workshops. Cooperating teachers are screened by a physical education faculty member who observes the cooperating teacher at unannounced times to ensure their philosophy matches that of the physical education department.
A file card is kept on each practicum and student teaching placement to ensure each TC has teaching opportunities in the inner city, suburban and rural communities as well as a wide range of grade levels. It is the goal of the department to secure practicum and student teaching placements that provide the TC practice in teaching intact classes for the majority of the PK-12 grade levels. A file card for each TC is given to the current practicum instructor, prior to the scheduling of placements, to aide in providing diverse experiences.
The TC have an opportunity to evaluate their cooperating teachers at the end of each teaching experience in practicum and student teaching. This information is shared with the cooperating teachers to let them know what they can change or improve. It helps the program faculty determine if TC will continue to be sent to a certain cooperating teacher. In addition, program faculty base decisions on continuing a relationship through observing the cooperating teachers interact with the TC, read the evaluation forms they complete and by formal and informal conversations.
The program faculty have had to discontinue using a few cooperating teachers. The most prevalent reasons include that the cooperating teacher was not a good match for the program's philosophy. Their program was more recreation versus a teaching situation. The teacher had poor management and no clear expectations for the lessons taught which made it impossible for the TC to teach their lessons.
CONSISTENCY OF ASSESSMENT DECISIONS
The faculty of the RIC Physical Education (PE) department has been continually working to further develop instruments used during assessment. The modifications being made to the department's assessment instruments demonstrate the PE department's ability stay current with the newest assessment techniques. As a department, it is acknowledged that consistency within assessments is valuable and that the program strives to develop the most accurate form of assessment for the teacher candidates. The Preparing to Teach Portfolio (PTTP) Reflection Artifact used to be a written assessment. In the past the evaluators were required to attend workshops and training sessions to prepare for the assessments. During these sessions, all evaluators were given example artifacts and rubrics to review. Lastly, the inexperienced evaluators were partnered up with knowledgeable, veteran evaluators to make sure that everyone had a unified understanding of the artifact, rubric, and assessment techniques. At the end of each workshop or training session the participants were asked to complete an evaluation pertaining to the training process and assessment techniques.
The RIC PE department has used this feedback, other forms of feedback and research to revise the PTTP Reflection Artifact to an oral reflection interview process. This new system will be piloted this semester (Fall 2010). To maintain consistency, several assessment evaluators have been working together to develop a solid, easy to use rubric for assessment. All evaluators will be provided with this rubric and a video of a mock interview prior to the assessment date. Again, before the interview process begins, the rubric, video, and evaluator's assessment of the mock interview will be used to develop an overall understanding of the system and comprehension of the criteria that the PE department is looking for. Every interview will have multiple evaluators present and will be videotaped in an effort to keep record of student reflection. The videotapes can also be used as a form of evaluation and method of checking consistency within the system of assessment.
In addition to modifying instruments, the RIC PE department is constantly recruiting new evaluators to get a fresh perspective and maintain our standard of excellence through development. Evaluators are often RIC Health Education and Physical Education faculty, cooperating teachers, and faculty from the Dean's Office. Every evaluator is familiar with the RIC Physical Education department's goals and objectives, as well as, the RI Professional Teaching Standards. It is not uncommon to see RIC Physical Education graduates as evaluators and cooperating teachers. To set our cooperating teachers up for success and to maintain consistency throughout the practicum, student teaching experience and assessment process, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development has recently developed a course: PED 519. This course is titled Professional Development for Cooperating Teachers. As the name suggests, it has been designed as a resource to enhance the cooperating teacher's abilities to help prepare our teacher candidates to meet professional standards within our field.
The RIC PE department maintains consistency with assessment decisions by developing sound assessments, thorough rubrics and assessment tools, and ample training for our assessment evaluators. The department's philosophy is upheld by using evaluators that have experienced or are familiar with our program and can use this knowledge when making assessment decisions. To finish, as a department we are constantly reviewing feedback on the systems that are in place to better develop the instruments used within assessment.