Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Analogous standards

Last Friday, I wrote about observing a PERB, the culminating performances of teacher candidates: Reading/Writing Workshop and GoodReads. On Monday morning, department faculty met to discuss approaches that we can use to meet the NCATE standards for diversity. Susan Hillman pointed out that we need to be able to show evidence of meeting the standards. A flash of insight took me back to SATs and GREs. The Educational Testing Service uses analogy questions because they probe higher levels of thinking than straight recall.

PERB is to Candidates as NCATE Accreditation is to Faculty.

As a department, we need to understand and show evidence of creating a program that meets the NCATE standards in the same way that we expect candidates to show how they have met the Initial Teacher Certification Standards. We talked about saving samples of student work to share with the accreditation review team. Early this morning, Tuesday, I saw that we have an opportunity to develop a win-win solution for students and the department. If we explain the analogy to candidates in the Technology for teaching and learning course, they will understand easily based on their prior knowledge of standards as they experience them. Then the shared resources that students create in the course can also serve as evidence for meeting the NCATE standards. We model using standards to continuously improve our practice at the same time we ask students to use standards to improve theirs.

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