Author Archives: Diana Lys

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CAEP Prep: What is the ECU Provost’s Council?

First established in 2006, the ECU Provost’s Council on Teacher Education unites educator preparation efforts at the University. Coming out of the Teachers for New Era movement, the original focus of the Council was developing collaboration between teacher education and the arts and sciences. Today, the Provost’s Council’s focus has broadened to include all educator preparation programs at ECU, yet still centers on collaboration across the campus to prepare candidates.

The Provost’s Council on Teacher Education includes the Provost, the deans of the colleges which house Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) programs, the dean of the ECU Graduate School, and key faculty and administrators in the College of Education, including the Executive Director of Teacher Education and the Director of Assessment and Accreditation.

Educator preparation programs at ECU reside in the following colleges:

  • College of Allied Health Sciences
  • College of Fine Arts and Communication
  • College of Human Ecology
  • College of Education
  • College of Health and Human Performance
  • Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

The Provost’s Council meets quarterly to address EPP issues related to accreditation, enrollment, funding, and planning. More information is available on the Provost’s Council and EPP Leadership and Authority webpage.

The Provost’s Council is evidence of how the EPP at ECU meets NCATE Standard 6: Unit Governance and Resources.

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What is an AFI? Areas for Improvement from NCATE 2006

During the 2006 NCATE accreditation visit, the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) unit at ECU received three AFIs or Areas for Improvement. According to the NCATE Glossary, an Area for Improvement is:

A statement cited by the Board of Examiners or the Unit Accreditation Board indicating that a unit has not met expected levels of achievement in one or more elements of a standard. The Board of Examiners may cite one or more areas for improvement and still recommend that the standard is met.

The EPP at ECU received one AFI in Standard 2: Assessment System and Unit Evaluation, and two AFIs in Standard 4: Diversity. Specifically, they are:

AFI in Standard 2: Assessment System and Unit Evaluation:

  • The assessment system does not certify that faculty regularly and systematically analyze data composites in order to improve programs and unit operations. (ITP and ADV)

AFI for Standard 4: Diversity:

  • Commitments to diversity are not consistently aligned in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. (ITP only)
  • Candidates have limited opportunities to interact with faculty members from diverse backgrounds. (ITP and ADV)

Since 2006, the EPP has worked diligently to address each AFI and reports on its progress to date in the CAEP Annual Report. Future 2015 CAEP Preparation Blog posts will address how the EPP has tackled each AFI.

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ICYMI: Implementing edTPA in Small Teacher Prep Programs

In small teacher preparation programs, the issue of implementation and scale-up of using a standardized performance assessment, like edTPA, can be challenging.  Peck and McDonald (2013) found one of the most significant outcomes of implementing a standardized performance assessment was faculty-initiated change. In small teacher preparation programs – those with five or fewer faculty and approximately 30 graduates annually – how do faculty lead systemic change in an edTPA implementation with fidelity and rigor?

At the 2013 edTPA Implementation Conference in San Diego, four ECU teacher education faculty shared their experiences and how each is initiating change through their edTPA implementation.

  • Barbara Brehm, Birth through Kindergarten Education
  • Ann Bullock, Middle Grades Education
  • Sharilyn Steadman, English Education
  • Michele Wallen, Health Education

Faculty shared models of communication, the development of common signature assessments, content-specific sticking points, and early successes as part of the session.  These programs proved that big change can be had with a small, committed team of faculty focused on a common goal.

Learn more about their experiences through video interviews posted on the ECU Pirate CODE-edTPA website or on the national edTPA website at 2013 National edTPA Implementation Conference.

edTPA is a teacher candidate performance assessment used in all initial teacher preparation programs at ECU, supporting the EPP’s efforts to meet NCATE Standards 1 and 2.

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ICYMI: Now What? Using edTPA Data to Drive Program Improvement

With edTPA implementations growing nationwide, it is imperative that teacher preparation programs explore meaningful ways to feed that data back to faculty for program and unit improvement.  Key to this work is engaging faculty in edTPA data analysis and examining issues and trends across content areas, program pathways, and portfolio components.  Peck and McDonald (2013) found one of the most significant outcomes of implementing a standardized performance assessment was faculty-initiated change; therefore, creating venues for faculty to engage with, analyze, and dialogue about edTPA data is critical.

At the 2013 edTPA Implementation Conference, ECU faculty—Drs. Diana Lys, Kristen Cuthrell, and Ellen Dobson—highlighted how the large teacher preparation program at East Carolina University uses edTPA data to inform program-level and unit-level decision making.  Presenters shared two models of data use: 1) at the program level with a focus on student learning outcomes and continuous program improvement; and 2) a data summit at the unit level where faculty from across teacher education programs examined collective issues and identified action items for to drive unit improvement.

Conference organizers approached Drs. Diana Lys, Kristen Cuthrell, and Ellen Dobson to interview them about their session and related edTPA experiences. Video clips from these interviews are available on the ECU Pirate CODE-edTPA website or on the national edTPA website at 2013 National edTPA Implementation Conference.

edTPA is a teacher candidate performance assessment used in all initial teacher preparation programs at ECU, supporting the EPP’s efforts to meet NCATE Standards 1 and 2.

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ICYMI – Co-Teaching, “A New Model for Student Teaching.”

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Sarah Young ‘13 leads a group of kindergarten students in Amy McGregor’s classroom at Wintergreen Primary School in Greenville. She was one of two ECU students assigned to that classroom for their spring semester internship as part of the Co-Teaching Program in ECU’s College of Education.

The fall 2013 issue of ECU’s East magazine featured the Co-Teaching initiative in the ECU College of Education as an exciting and innovative new practice, “A New Model for Student Teaching.”

Co-Teaching provides a comprehensive and rigorous experience for interns and enhances the quality of learning for P12 students. The Co-Teaching partnership enables clinical teachers to provide consistent mentoring, giving interns the time and support necessary to gain skills and the confidence required to teach successfully.

Since this article was published, the Co-Teaching initiative has grown from a few interns to 111 interns in 91 classrooms, representing seven teacher preparation programs at ECU. Such growth would not be possible without strong public school partnerships.  Greene County Schools liaison to the Latham Clinical Schools Network at ECU, Gwen Smith, says her teachers are:

“just beginning to understand what a wonderful model (co-teaching) could be.”

“Over the past years, (fear of relinquishing the classroom) has been the biggest (deterrent),” Smith said. “They tell me ‘I can’t take an intern this year.’ But anytime you’ve got more than one teacher in the classroom, the students are certain to benefit.

“We want to get our best teachers for these interns—our master teachers. This 2-1 model works better.”

The Co-Teaching initiative’s team of lead faculty—Judy Smith, Liz Fogarty, Christina Tschida, and Vivian Covington—is actively working not only to improve and expand the initiative, but also to study its impact on clinical practice, the focus of NCATE’s Standard 3. Early co-teaching research is focusing on candidate learning outcomes and candidate efficacy in co-teaching settings. Preliminary findings indicate:

  • Co-Teaching interns significantly outperformed non-Co-Teaching interns on two rubrics on the edTPA: Subject-Specific Pedagogy and Using Assessment to Inform Instruction.
  • When surveyed, Co-Teaching interns indicated a higher degree of self-efficacy in their ability to differentiate instruction than that indicated by non-Co-Teaching interns.

For more on Co-teaching and NCATE Standard 3, see the ECU TI IR, Standard 3.

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CAEP Prep: Meeting Standard 1 – Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions

Since the 2006 NCATE visit, the ECU EPP developed several of its Pirate CODE innovations as specific enhancements to current curricula to improve program quality and address significant issues in the field. Several Pirate CODE innovations influence how the EPP meets Standard 1: Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Disposition. This post highlights two Pirate CODE innovations supporting the EPP’s efforts to meet Standard 1 as part of ECU’s Transformation Initiative. For more detail visit ECU’s online exhibit room for Standard 1.

The VGR model introduces a conceptual framework for novice teacher candidates’ observations by using video clips as common and shared texts that are a standardized and efficient means for guiding classroom observation experiences. VGR requires teacher-candidates to: (1) view a series of four classroom-based videos (one video per week); (2) complete a structured observation protocol in Taskstream™ after watching each video; and (3) participate in a full-class debriefing discussion with classmates and one faculty member following each video observation. During these debriefing sessions, faculty intentionally model how classroom teachers may or may not think about the events shown in the video. Through prompting questions and comments, faculty encourage candidates to see classrooms from the perspective of a teacher, rather than through the lens of a P-12 classroom student, a position that teacher candidates have occupied for most of their academic careers. The overarching goal of the VGR model, then, is to provide teacher candidates with structured opportunities to develop the observation skills necessary to focus on elements of quality instruction.

The need to develop student understanding at the declarative, procedural, and conditional levels is a cornerstone of the TQP grant. This type of module series facilitates a developmental progression of knowledge and understanding in a consistent and coherent manner in baccalaureate coursework (PT3 Group at Vanderbilt, 2003; Schwartz, D. L., Lin, X., Brophy, S., & Bransford, J. D. ,1999b ; Bransford, J. D., Vye, N., Bateman, H., Brophy, S., & Roselli, B. J., 2004; Brophy, S. P., 2000). There are three ECU ISLES modules addressing ten research-based strategies. The strategies were identified from a list of 28 strategies currently being implemented by TQP grant partner districts. The goal of the first module—ISLES 1—is to teach pre-service candidates what exactly the strategies are (which is deemed “declarative knowledge”). The second module—ISLES 2—is designed to teach pre-service candidates how to use these strategies (which is considered “procedural knowledge”). The third module—ISLES 3—guides candidate development about when to use certain strategies (otherwise referred to as “conditional knowledge”). Each ISLES module is embedded in program coursework within ELMID and Special Education programs. The end result is a comprehensive series of online modules designed to build pre-service candidates’ understanding and use of research-based instructional strategies. Assessments collected in Taskstream™ provide data from the modules that are available to lead faculty for practice-based research.

 

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CAEP Prep: ECU’s Pirate CODE Process

The ECU Pirate CODE features a set of seven coordinated innovations linked throughout the teacher education curriculum and clinical practice. Each innovation is evolving through a series of carefully planned stages, to institutionalize each innovation in the Department of Elementary Education and Middle Grades Education. Once refined and data analysis proves it an effective model, the innovation is scaled up and implemented in other teacher preparation programs across the EPP.

TIThe stages of the ECU Pirate CODE begin with small scale, squishy pilots and more through a carefully planned set of stages to refine, study, and expand the innovation.

Since the submission and approval of the Pirate CODE, the Research on Practice model has evolved within the unique and complete context of the ECU EPP. The language of the model has morphed into an implementation language from the original descriptors rooted in the R&D research literature. The Pirate CODE TI and model have been presented in multiple venues across the EPP and at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division K Research Summit as well as at an invited session to the 2014 AERA Annual Meeting.

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COE Faculty Engaged at NC-ACTE Fall Forum

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On September 25-26, 2014, the NC Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators held its annual fall Teacher Education Forum in Raleigh, NC. 

The Teacher Education Forum is a wonderful opportunity for teacher educators engaged in all aspects of preparation–from recruitment to curriculum, to clinical practice, to induction–to convene annually.

College of Education faculty presenting sessions at the 2014 Fall Forum included:

  • Patricia Anderson (ELMID)
  • Jamin Carson (ELMID)
  • Kristen Cuthrell (ELMID)
  • Laura King (SEFR)
  • Diana Lys (OAA)
  • Linda Patriarca (Dean’s Office)
  • Lora Lee Smith Canter (SEFR)
  • Michael Vitale (SEFR)
  • Karen Voytecki (SEFR)
  • Kathi Wilhite (SEFR)
  • Jennifer Williams (SEFR)

To learn more about NC-ACTE, visit their website.

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CAEP Prep: Welcome to the Pirate CODE

The College of Education is one of only a few teacher education institutions nationwide to receive approval from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) to implement a transformation initiative called Pirate CODE (Continuum of Developing Expertise) as the framework for its spring 2015 CAEP accreditation visit.

Pirate CODE brings seven research-based teacher education assessment initiatives that have previously operated independently throughout the college under one umbrella to strengthen and develop teacher candidates.

CAEP chose ECU’s transformation initiative because it “provides research on teacher education and elements of teacher education programs that lead to the preparation of effective teachers who help students learn,” said Deborah Eldridge, the senior vice president of CAEP, in her letter announcing the selection.

caepStudents enrolled in the college’s elementary education and middle grades education programs begin working with the first component of Pirate CODE during their sophomore year and experience different components throughout their junior and senior years. Each component is designed to improve and assess teacher preparedness using different but complementary methods.

Learn for about the ECU Pirate CODE online.

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CAEP Prep: ECU Conceptual Framework

Conceptual FrameworkThe East Carolina University Conceptual Framework is a guiding document for the programs within the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) unit at the institution. It applies to all programs which prepare candidate to work in PK-12 school settings and all faculty who contribute to those programs. The current ECU Conceptual Framework was approved by the Council for Teacher Education in 2005.

“Aligned with the mission statements of East Carolina University, the College of Education, and the Educator Preparation Provider unit, the conceptual framework represents the vision that drives the work of all administrators, faculty, and candidates. Through our commitment to excellence through partnership, our efforts to prepare reflective education professionals dedicated to democratic principles and practices, including the empowerment of all learners in all aspects of educational decision-making, define the core of this vision. The conceptual framework is responsive to the changing needs in education and allows for adjustments in the unit’s priorities without altering the entire framework. Current priorities include enhanced emphasis on the areas of diversity, assessment, technology, and research.”

Follow this hyperlink for more information on the ECU Conceptual Framework.

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