UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA


Department of Curriculum and Instruction
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
The Major in Elementary Education
Articulation Framework


INTRODUCTION

A significant part of UNI's identity and reputation across Iowa and the nation is linked to Teacher Education.  Approximately ten percent of UNI's undergraduate students major in Elementary Education.  Teacher education is a shared institutional commitment and elements of the major in Elementary Education draw upon a broad range of resources and academic programs throughout the University.   This webapge maps the Elementary Education major identifying the program sequence and its many links to key resources within the College of Education and the University.   Specifically this site is designed to map the Elementary Education major from admission to the University through graduation linking program goals and activities to the Eleven Teaching Principles for Teacher Candidates (INTASC Standards).  In addition this site aligns the program with Student Outcome Assessment Plan as outlined below.  

STUDENT OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT PLAN

1. Assessment Philosophy:
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers the undergraduate major in elementary education.  In addition, students choose from an array of minors and endorsement programs related to the major.  
Within the program, students experience their coursework in collaborative and interactive settings.  Personal attention and authentic task-based activities are emphasized within course offerings. Students majoring in Elementary Education develop a solid foundation in both theory and practice.  

Within the program in Elementary Education, assessment of the program requires gathering of information and using that information as a means by which student learning and instruction is improved.  Appropriate assessment methods require expectations to be specific with well-articulated outcomes that position the program to reach high professional standards. Effective assessment requires the systematic gathering, analysis and interpretation of data to determine the degree to which student performances match program expectations and standards. This information will allow program decision makers to document, articulate and increase student performance.  Effective program assessment leads to a culture of shared academic goals with a commitment to continuous program improvement. Assessment thus constructed is a cyclical ongoing process that becomes an integral part of the institutional culture.  


The diagram below illustrates a cyclical process which "closes the loop" on program planning and assessment.  
It can be found in the document Evaluating the Student Outcomes Assessment Plan: Some Criteria and Questions for Discussion, developed by the UNI Office of Academic Assessment.  


CLOSING THE LOOP


When closing the loop, consider the extent to which this process can help  answer the following questions. 
  • What do the data say about your students’ mastery of subject matter, of research skills, or of writing and speaking?
  •  What do the data say about your students’ preparation for taking the next step in their careers?
  • Are there areas where your students are outstanding? Are they consistently weak in some respects?
  • Are graduates of your program getting good jobs, accepted into reputable graduate schools, reporting satisfaction with their undergraduate education?
  • Do you see indications in student performance that point to weakness in any particular skills, such as research, writing, or critical thinking skills?
  • Do you see areas where performance is okay, but not outstanding, and where you would like to see a higher level of performance?
From Tools & Techniques for Program Improvement; Handbook for Program Review & Assessment of Student Learning, Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Testing, Western Washington University, September 2006.  Retrieved September 17, 2010, from http://www.wwu.edu/depts/assess/prog_handbook.pdf


2.  Student Outcomes and Professional Competencies:  
Because the major in Elementary Education draws on resources from multipe departments within the College of Education and departments across campus, articulating, focusing and mapping the program is a significant challenge.  For this reason the course work within the major has been aligned to the same set of standards and competencies.  These competencies provide a lens through which the  faculty can assess the degree to which the program is achieving its outcomes.  The professional competencies are based on the INTASC Standards as follows:
  • Principle #1: CONTENT KNOWLEDGE--The candidate understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.  
  • Principle #2: LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT--The candidate understands how children learn and develop, and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal development.
  • Principle #3: DIVERSE LEARNERS--The candidate understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.
  • Principle #4: INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES--The candidate understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.
  • Principle #5: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT--The candidate uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
  • Principle #6: COMMUNICATION--The candidate uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.
  • Principle #7: PLANNING INSTRUCTION--The candidate plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.
  • Principle #8: ASSESSMENT--The candidate understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social and physical development of the learner.
  • Principle #9: REFLECTION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT--The candidate is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.
  • Principle #10: SCHOOL-COMMUNITY RELATIONS--The candidate fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students' learning and well-being.
  • Principle #11: USE OF TECHNOLOGY--The candidate integrates the computer and other high and low technology into classroom teaching activities, assessment and/or documentation.


3.  Frequency of Assessments:  
Assessment activities (Critical Performances) are planned throughout the program.  The chart below identifies where each of the critical performances falls within the program.  Included are:
  • Critical Performance 1: Level I Field Experience Evaluation
  • Critical Performance 2: Praxis I
  • Critical Performance 3: Level II Field Experience Evaluation
  • Critical Performance 4: Professional Portfolio
  • Critical Performance 5: Level III Field Experience Evaluation
  • Critical Performance 6: Praxis II
  • Critical Performance 7: Professional Portfolio
  • Critical Performance 8: Student Teaching Evaluation
  • Critical Performance 9: Teacher Work Sample
  • Critical Performance 10: Alumni Survey

4.  Assessment Methods:
Critical performances are drawn from various points in the program of study as the program outline indicates.  Program faculty use summary data provided for these performances on the Teacher Education Website in order to assess student outcomes.
5.  Methods of Evaluating and Interpreting Results:
Plans for assessment of student outcomes are in the process of being developed.  As more data is available and accessible in a format corresponding to each critical performance assessment activities will be fully implemented.  




ELEMENTARY EDUCATION
PROGRAM SEQUENCE
CRITICAL PERFORMANCES

EVALUATION OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE USING INTASC STANDARDS

SOA
STUDENT OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT:
Using the Eleven Teaching Principles for Teacher Candidates to Assess Critical Performances   
1.  Admission to UNI









2.  New Student Orientation
3. Develop a plan of study in conjunction with the
 College of Education Advising Center
  1. Students meet with COE Advisors throughout their Program of Study.          
  2. Required orientations and training for Teacher Education occur at specific intervals in the Program of Study.   For example:
Incoming Freshmen
Declare prospective major:              
Transfer Students
Declare major:
4.  Plan of Study

Liberal Arts Core (LAC)
A Report by the UNI Office of Institutional Research--October 2008
Major Courses
Minor Courses
Professional Education  Sequence
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction requires students to have:
  • A major and a minor OR
  • A double major OR
  • A major and a 24-hour area of concentration
Level I Field Experience
Early in the Plan of Study (POS), before students are fully admitted to Teacher Education they are:
  • Eligible to take ONE of the following:

AASOA ANALYSIS:AAA
Inform the Elementary Education Program by analyzing data from the
 Level I Field Experience

Alignment
5.  Full Admission to Teacher Education

Requirements:
CRITICAL PERFORMANCE II:
Praxis I Information
Praxis I Test
(No Summary Data Available at this Time)

SOA ANALYSIS:
Inform the Elementary Education Program and Liberal Arts Core Program by analyzing data from  Praxis I subscores
Level II Field Experience
6.  Upper Division Courses
After successful completion of full admission requirements to Teacher Education students are:
CRITICAL PERFORMANCE III:

200:128--Teacher as a Change Agent Overview

Level II Field Experience Evaluation Form

Level II Evaluation Summary by Major

Level II Student Outcomes Survey
SOA ANALYSIS:
Inform the Elementary Education Program by analyzing
Level II Field Experience assessment data.

CRITICAL PERFORMANCE IV:

210-152--Elementary Curriculum--
Completion of Five Standards in the Professional Portfolio

(No Summary Data Available at this Time)

SOA ANALYSIS:
Inform the Elementary Education Program by analyzing student  performance on five standards in the Professional Portfolio

Level III Field Experience
7.  Professional Methods Courses
Upon successful completion of the pre-requisites listed above students are:
CRITICAL PERFORMANCE V:
Level III Participation Week

Participation Activities for Early Childhood, Elementary, and Middle Level

Level III Evaluations for Early Childhood, Elementary, and Middle Level
SOA ANALYSIS:
Inform the Elementary Education Program by analyzing Level III Field Experience Performance Data
STUDENT SURVEY OF PROGRAM EXPERIENCES (Levels I, II and III)SOA ANALYSIS:
 Student Survey Data
CRITICAL PERFORMANCE VI:
Praxis II Information
Subscores for  Praxis II
SOA ANALYSIS:
 Praxis II
subscores.
CRITICAL PERFORMANCE VII:
210:120--Elementary Classroom Management--Completion of Professional Portfolio
(No Summary Data Available at this Time)
SOA ANALYSIS:
Student  performance on five Renaissance Standards as reflected in the
Professional Portfolio
Student Teaching
8.  Placement in Student Teaching

Annually, the University of Northern Iowa Office of Student Field Experiences (OSFE) places over 700 teacher education students in student teaching settings in Iowa, other states and countries.  Faculty work to  ensure that UNI students receive high quality, personalized supervision in their student teaching and other field experiences.  In addition, the OSFE division seeks to find school placements where teachers exhibit best classroom  practices.  As a result, students graduate with competencies in content skills, classroom management, and knowledge of individual student learning needs. 

Important Information for Student Teachers provides a brief overview of the teacher education program with particular emphasis on the field experiences teacher education students will experience as they move from Level I through Levels II and III and into student teaching.   Information is also available regarding the student teaching evaluation forms and the Teacher Work Sample process.  
CRITICAL PERFORMANCE VIII:
Student Teaching Evaluation 
SOA ANALYSIS:
Analysis of data from the Student Teaching Evaluation Form.
SOA ANALYSIS:
Summary data from the Teacher Work Sample evaluations.  
9.  Graduating into the University
STUDENT SURVEY  OF GRADUATES
SOA ANALYSIS:
Analysis of feedback data from graduates.
PROGRAM ASSESSMENT RESOURCES