Category Archives: COE in the News

Supporting Teacher Interns through Instructional Coaching

As part of the Teacher Quality Partnership, the College of Education recently worked with two local school districts to provide additional support for teacher interns.  In Pitt and Greene Counties, Instructional Coaches were hired to help interns make the transition from student to teacher.  These coaches worked with interns during both semesters of the internship, conducting in-class observations and providing targeted professional development.

A variety of instructional practices were developed with the assistance of the Instructional Coaches, including but not limited to:

  • Facilitating activities individually, in small groups and whole groups
  • Incorporating all levels of the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • Utilizing technology to engage students with content
  • Increasing the complexity of student engagement
  • Using more effective teaching practices and research-based strategies
  • Monitoring student learning outcomes

Multiple research measures indicate that the instructional coaching model has yielded statistically significant gains in teacher candidate edTPA performance assessment results, and increases in the use of best instructional practices.  This increases the potential to change the effectiveness trajectory of first year teachers while leading to positive gains in teacher candidate performance and K-12 student achievement.

Funding for the Instructional Coaches ended at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year; however, the benefits of coaching are compelling teacher educators to reconsider the traditional student teaching triad of intern, clinical teacher and university supervisor in order to include more elements of instructional coaching.  In tomorrow’s blog post, you will learn how candidates in the school principal preparation program are providing coaching to elementary education undergraduates as part of their junior year practicum.

Teachers and interns have positive reflections on the instructional coaching model in practice.  To hear their testimony, please refer to;

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EPP Dashboards – Faculty (Standard 5)

The faculty at ECU is united by the University’s motto, Servire, which means “To Serve.” Faculty at ECU desire that service to be of the highest quality by setting and maintaining high standards for themselves, in alignment with NCATE/CAEP.  Standard 5 states:

Data includes the number of university supervisors and cooperating teachers who have been assigned to an initial licensure candidate for the final semester of internship, and the percentage holding a license and/or additional training in their supervision area.

Data includes the number of university supervisors and cooperating teachers who have been assigned to an initial licensure candidate for the final semester of internship, and the percentage holding a license and/or additional training in their supervision area.

“Faculty are qualified and model best professional practices in scholarship, service, and teaching, including the assessment of their own effectiveness as related to candidate performance; they also collaborate with colleagues in the disciplines and schools. The unit systematically evaluates faculty performance and facilitates professional development.”

To provide the highest quality service, ECU first demands that their faculty be highly qualified.  All instructors must meet the ECU credentialing requirements outlined prior to teaching at the institution. All course instructors have prior work experience in educational settings (P-12 experience preferred).  In addition, EPP faculty members are highly qualified to teach within the content area with an earned doctorate degree or equivalent alternate credential (e.g., master’s degree or demonstrated expertise).

High quality service also demands that ECU faculty model best-professional practice in teaching. Student feedback is utilized by faculty to improve teaching practice. The institution is committed to improving the quality of the instrument used to gather student feedback. SPOTS, the Student Perceptions of Teaching survey, data are available to EPP faculty and program leadership to use as one of multiple assessments of faculty teaching.

High quality service also requires contributions to future innovations in teaching.  All teacher education faculty maintain robust research agendas and actively contribute to knowledge generation in their areas of expertise. Data compiled from faculty scholarship entries in Sedona, ECU’s documentation system for faculty activity, indicate that ITP faculty are active in research (see 5.4.e – Samples of faculty scholarly activities).

To ensure the continuation of high quality service of its faculty, the EPP conducts systematic and comprehensive evaluations of faculty performance on an annual basis (summarized by the OFE Evaluation Web page). Multiple measures are used to evaluate faculty teaching, research, and service. The University administers a student feedback survey for each course section taught at the institution, and data is shared with individual faculty and department chairs for use in annual evaluations. The ECU OFE provides guidance to all units in the EPP for institutional policies for tenured or tenure track faculty including reappointment, promotion, tenure, and post-tenure review.

For more information and examples related to Standard 5, please visit the NCATE/CAEP Exhibit Rooms on the COE Office of Assessment and Accreditation’s website.

IT Faculty and Alums Present at International Conference

The ECU Instructional Technology program was well represented at this year’s AECT (Association for Educational Communication and Technology) International Convention held in Jacksonville, FL, November 4-8. Members of the ECU faculty and masters program alumni shared their current research and participated in a variety of AECT organizational activities.

jesse_davebill_rob_abbie_kenProfessor Abbie Brown expressed great pride in ECU’s representation at the event, “It was deeply gratifying, and just plain fun, to see our alums engaging with the international community of instructional design/technology.”

Highlights of the convention included a prominent display of Dr. Sugar’s most recent book, Studies of ID Practices: A Review and Synthesis of the Research on ID Current Practices (published by Springer); Dr. Abbie Brown’s receipt of an Immersive Learning Award for the podcast series, Trends & Issues in Instructional Design, Educational Technology, & Learning Sciences; Dr. Slagter Van Tryon’s management in organizing the PacifiCorp instructional design competition; Dr. Strycker’s leadership in the Teacher Education Division; and Dr. Luterbach’s research presentations, one of which was a collaborative endeavor with alumnus Ken Hubbell.

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21 Math Ed Students Attend NCCTM Conference and Share Posters

The North Carolina Council Teachers of Mathematics held their state conference Oct 30-31, 2014 in Greensboro, NC. A delegation of 21 Senior 1, secondary mathematics education students were among those representing ECU as attendees at this event. Upon their return from the conference, these students created posters highlighting several interesting or useful ideas gleaned from the sessions and workshops. On Tuesday, Nov 11, 2014, these students hosted a special Gamma Student Chapter event to share their posters with other mathematics education students and faculty. Over 50 mathematics education students and faculty attended the event. The Senior 1 students talked to visitors about their posters and experiences at the conference. The active engagement between presenters and attendees provided participants with a greater appreciation of the exciting happenings in North Carolina mathematics education.

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What is an AFI? Areas for Improvement from NCATE 2006

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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.

 

#ECU_CAEPisComing

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EPP Dashboards – Diversity (Standard 4)

Following the 2006 NCATE review, significant changes were made to the EPP Professional Studies Core (PSC). The PSC underwent major changes in 2008-09 as part of revisions mandated by the NCDPI concerning initial licensure programs. Revisions were also made in 2009-10 for advanced teacher licensure programs.

Data includes average candidate performance on GE1 (Teacher Leadership Project) and GE2 (Cultural Proficiency). GE1 scores are based on a 3 point scale, and GE2 Scores are based on a 4 point scale.

Data includes average candidate performance on GE1 (Teacher Leadership Project) and GE2 (Cultural Proficiency). GE1 scores are based on a 3 point scale, and GE2 Scores are based on a 4 point scale.

The new PSC requires all initial teacher candidates entering Upper Division in fall 2010 to successfully complete diversity in education coursework, either EDUC 3002 or a CTE approved social science course. More recently, the OAA provides grade reports for EDUC 3002 organized by program area to inform course improvements.  Likewise, in the NCDPI revised programs, all new MAEd candidates admitted in fall 2011 and afterward, are required to complete a Graduate Evidence Portfolio, as well as a Diversity Advocacy project, as part of the required MAEd core course (EDUC 6001).

All candidates in the EPP are required to complete field experiences and clinical practice (internships).  The 38 districts in the LCSN—where ITP candidates are required to complete internship placements—have P-12 student populations averaging 44 percent minority student populations.  Many LCSN districts have high percentages of students eligible for free and reduced lunch. Data from NCDPI on ELL’s is not available, but LCSN partners report the increase in Hispanic populations during the past five years correlates to an increase in ELL students in their districts.

In an effort to align with NCATE/CAEP Standard 4, OAA focused two dashboards on the subject of diversity.  Standard 4 states:

The unit designs, implements, and evaluates curriculum and provides experiences for candidates to acquire and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates can demonstrate and apply proficiencies related to diversity. Experiences provided for candidates include working with diverse populations, including higher education and P–12 school faculty, candidates, and students in P–12 schools.”

These dashboards provide a summary of advanced programs candidate performance on Graduate Evidence 2, Cultural Proficiency (COE_1.9) and a profile of P-12 student populations in placement schools (COE_1.6).

For more information and examples related to Standard 4, please visit the NCATE/CAEP Exhibit Rooms on the COE Office of Assessment and Accreditation’s website.

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SEADAP Begins with Outreach to Local Teachers

The Science Education Against Drug Abuse Partnership (SEADAP) Program recently invited educators  and administrators from Pitt and Martin county public schools to participate in four professional development sessions. The participants were provided information to implement lessons based on the research of Dr. Scott Rawls from Temple university related to drug addiction and withdrawal on planaria. Dr. Rhea Miles, SEADAP key personnel and guest speakers from the local community came to East Carolina University to educate and encourage these middle school teachers to implement a curriculum to affect student knowledge about biomedical research.

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Abby Colley–A Pirate Who Does Us Proud

On November 6, 2014  at the NCSTA conference in Winston-Salem Abby Colley received the Outstanding Student Teacher Award.  Abby is a well-deserving graduate from the Elementary Science Concentration and is currently teaching 4th grade at Ayden Elementary in Pitt County. When she was a student at ECU her clinical teacher stated,  “She excelled in the classroom with her passion, creativity, and willingness to collaborate with other teachers…  I have seen her dedication for this field in her lesson planning, success of implementation of goals taught, and her responses to questions asked by her students…She is deserving of this award.”  Congratulations, Abby.  We are proud to have you as one of our pirates!

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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.

#ECU_CAEPisComing

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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.

#ECU_CAEPisComing