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Standard 1: Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions

Candidates preparing to work in schools as teachers or other school professionals know and demonstrate the content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and skills, pedagogical and professional knowledge and skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Assessments indicate that candidates meet professional, state, and institutional standards.

1.1 Statement about the evidence

Praxis exams must be taken and passed prior to program completion and alternative certification candidates must meet this requirement by the end of their first semester of enrollment (one exception: P-12 Learning and Behavior Disorders). Data were not provided on overall unit pass rates on Praxis licensure exams due to low numbers of candidates taking exams (less than 10). However, the IR states that pass rates exceed the 80% threshold annually and that, when combined, pass rates ranged from 96 to 100% over the past three years with the exception of 2008-09 when it was 83%. Data were provided (Assessment #2) indicating individual candidate (anonymous) scores. Pass rate for Other School Professionals (principal) ranges from 66.7% (2007-08, n = 3) to 100% (2008-09, n = 10). Content knowledge is assessed at two other points, called Gates, at admission and prior to student teaching. At admission, initial candidates must have a 21 on the ACT (or 1430 on SAT) or “acceptable score” on GRE or Millers Analogy Test for advanced candidates. No aggregated mean data were provided for admissions (Gate 2). Initial candidates must maintain of 2.5 in their major while advanced candidates must maintain a 3.0. GPA data indicated a range of 2.91 (reading/writing endorsement) to 4.00 (principalship).

Content knowledge of initial candidates is also assessed through clinical practice and portfolios. Evidence provided from the Student Teaching Evaluation Protocols (STEP) showed strong grasp of content knowledge with 85.7 percent (n = 12) having a 4.0 mean score (4-point Likert scale) on the criterion regarding content knowledge (Spring 2009 candidates). The same candidates’ mean scores on electronic portfolios, regarding content knowledge, was 2.668 (3-point Likert scale). No data were provided for advanced candidates’ portfolios.

Content knowledge is also assessed through surveys of program completers and follow-up surveys of graduates and their employers. The follow-up surveys of graduates included data from two sources – the KY Education Professional Standards Board (2003-04 to 2009-10) and the unit (Exit Survey, fall 2009 to spring 2011 and Periodic Review, Spring 2010). Sources reported data indicating high levels of satisfaction with preparation in regards in content knowledge. For example, 90% of the 2008-09 traditional completers and 75 % of alternative certification completers reported they were “very well prepared.” Return rate of surveys was not reported, however, there were 62 respondents to the Unit Periodic Review, 27 respondents to the First Year Teacher Survey, and 28 respondents to the 2009-10 EPSB Teacher Survey.

Pedagogical content knowledge is assessed in methods courses (e.g., the classroom management plan) work in field settings and portfolios. For example, the mean e-portfolio score on education philosophy on 30 sample students is 2.96 and 2.91 on the professional growth plan. Mean scores are reported on every KY Teacher Standard and supporting indicator. However, data are not disaggregated by specific programs. Candidates admitted after 2009-10 must pass the Principles of Learning and Teaching exam for their respective area of certification prior to student teaching. Data are presented anonymously by candidate due to low number of candidates (e.g., elementary education, scores ranged from 164 to 195 – 161 is the required passing score). Pedagogical content knowledge is assessed in field and clinical experiences using STEP. Initial candidates’ proficiency in pedagogy, as evaluated by cooperating teachers, is indicated by mean scores ranging from 3.63 to 3.82 (on a 4-point Likert scale), from fall 2007 to fall 2009. Advanced candidates’ proficiency of pedagogical content knowledge is demonstrated through the design, implementation and analysis of research and application of research to practice. No data were provided. Further, they must demonstrate in their own practice those concepts critical to their respective content areas through professional development plans, electronic portfolios, and course embedded assignments. No data was provided to substantiate this.

Professional and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and dispositions are assessed through “gates,” as a part of the unit continuous assessment plan. Candidates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in collaborating with a variety of stakeholders to design, implement and evaluate learning experiences that impact student learning. Data are collected through the STEP process to measure candidate proficiency in this collaborative endeavor. The mean score was at or above the competent level threshold on a 4-point and pedagogical knowledge and skills. The results ranged from a mean of 3.34 to 3.74 on a 4-point Likert scale. Data were not disaggregated by program due to low numbers. The survey also asked candidates to rate how the program supported their abilities to help all students learn. 100% of indicated the programs either “fairly” or “very well” prepared them.

Content knowledge for other professional roles (principalship) is measured by the Kentucky Principals Test. The pass rate has ranged from 90% (2009-10) to 100% (2008-09). Only grade point average data were provided for counselors since it was just added in 2009-10 (e.g., 4.00 in research methods, n = 24).

Dispositions assessed are: visionary, ethical, caring, reflective, creative, and knowing. Faculty identified these six behaviors to support the theme, Educator as Leader. Disposition are assessed three times while candidates are in the program: admissions, during coursework, and student teacher semester. Data indicate a mean range of 2.67 (visionary) to 2.93 (creativity) for 15 candidates in fall 2010. Twenty-eight candidates in spring 2011 reported a range of 3.03 (ethics) to 3.32 (reflective). Data are disaggregated by program for initial candidates. No dispositional data were provided on advanced candidates.

1.2 Progress toward meeting the target level on this standard. Not applicable to this standard.

1.3 Feedback on correcting previous areas for improvement (AFIs). No areas for improvement were cited for this standard at the previous visit.

1.4 Areas of concern related to continuing to meet the standard.

1.5 Evidence for the Onsite BOE Team to validate during the onsite visit

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