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What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do

What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do 32
What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do TEACHERS ARE COMMITTED TO STUDENTS AND THEIR LEARNING TEACHERS KNOW THE SUBJECTS THEY TEACH AND HOW TO TEACH THOSE SUBJECTS TO STUDENTS TEACHERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANAGING AND MONITORING STUDENT LEARNING TEACHERS THINK SYSTEMATICALLY ABOUT THEIR PRACTICE AND LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE TEACHERS ARE MEMBERS OF LEARNING COMMUNITIESTHE FIVE CORE PROPOSITIONS 1. TEACHERS ARE COMMITTED TO STUDENTS AND THEIR LEARNING. 2. TEACHERS KNOW THE SUBJECTS THEY TEACH AND HOW TO TEACH THOSE SUBJECTS TO STUDENTS. 3. TEACHERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANAGING AND MONITORING STUDENT LEARNING. 4. TEACHERS THINK SYSTEMATICALLY ABOUT THEIR PRACTICE AND LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE. 5. TEACHERS ARE MEMBERS OF LEARNING COMMUNITIES. 1PREFACE PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION LEE S. SHULMANPREFACE Pundits are fond of saying that “necessity is the that would be neither a union nor a government mother of invention.” With the National Board as its agency. Suspending our sense of disbelief, I asked primary exemplar, I prefer to think that dreams are Gary Sykes—then a doctoral candidate at Stanford— the mothers of invention. Audacity and courage are to join in this act of creative thinking and writing. its siblings. We set out to imagine a new institution, owned and operated by America’s most accomplished teach Early one morning in the late summer of 1985, I ers, designing standards and inventing forms of received a phone call from Marc Tucker, then staff assessment that had never existed before. director of the Carnegie Corporation’s Task Force on Teaching as a Profession. He asked if I could When we began to dream that dream and dis prepare a report describing what a National Board cussed it with colleagues, our visions were initially for America’s teachers might look like in the unlikely dismissed as hallucinations, as fantasies without event that it could be created and sustained. It a needed grounding in reality. The very idea of became clear that such a feat would call for new treating teachers as true professionals with clear conceptions of teaching, utterly new technologies standards and the capacity to take responsibility of teacher testing and assessment and the creation for the quality of their own work seemed absurd of a new kind of nongovernmental organization to many of our critics. While fields like medicine, 34 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do law and architecture had developed such boards, even more accomplished as a teacher. Indeed, we teaching was a very different kind of work, perhaps urged that the ideal preparation for the assessment not even a real profession. be mentorship support from Boardcertified teach ers because of the promise this kind of coaching And if that idea were not sufficiently absurd, the process held for improving the quality of practice. insane notion of disdaining the “triedandtrue” meth ods of testing and replacing them with alternatives As the National Board took shape, educators in that were closer to practice was deemed foolhardy. other countries took interest. The one assumption Indeed, when the vision of a portfoliobased assess that many of us found most dic ffi ult to disabuse was ment that could be both pedagogically authentic that this activity had to be a government process, and psychometrically sound was put forward, even controlled and overseen by officials of departments some of our earlier supporters grew pale. or ministries of education. Our colleagues in other countries could not imagine that something this As we worked collaboratively with the first gen ambitious, this pioneering, this expensive, and eration of teacher leaders who would ultimately having such a direct impact on national educational become the majority of the National Board’s board policy, could be led by a professional organization of directors, we also insisted that whatever assess of teachers that was not controlled by national or ment method was used, it needed to show promise state governments. as a positive influence on the continuing profes sional development of the teachers who elected to The original research and development effort I become candidates. Measurement precision was described took place between 1985 and 1990. not enough. If we were going to ask the nation’s During that period, the board as we know it was finest teachers to dedicate their limited time to the established. A great deal has happened since the development of a portfolio of their practice, that work began. When the number of NBCTs crossed process had to be educative for the teachers or it the 100,000 mark, it became clear our dream was would be a disservice to the profession. And if sup no longer a fantasy, our ambitions no longer a port systems or coaching services were created to hallucination. help candidates perform at a higher level for their This seminal text is organized around a mantra that portfolios, that would be fine because the only way is by now well known in the teaching world. “What to do better on the assessment would be to become 5 Preface should teachers know and be able to do” Hence, as teachers, might view our roles as professionals. the standards for accomplished teaching encom Engineering students said, “As engineers we use pass both the habits of mind needed by outstanding math and the sciences to mess with the world by teachers—their knowledge, strategies, grasp of designing and making things that people will buy subject matter and understanding of developing and use…and once you mess with the world, you’re kids—and also their skills, the technical “habits responsible for the mess you’ve made.” of practice” that accomplished professionals in What then is a teacher As teachers we use the every field of practice have honed and developed. many sources of professional knowledge, skill and Knowing and Doing are the hallmarks of deep pro experience at our disposal to engage the minds fessional achievement. and hearts of children and youth by teaching and Nevertheless, in addition to knowing and doing, to inspiring them. And once we mess with minds and habits of mind and habits of practice, Boardcertified hearts, we are prepared to take responsibility for teachers are also identified by habits of the heart, the messes we have made, the dreams we inspired, as the kinds of human beings whom we trust and the minds we have brought to life, the prejudices to whom we entrust the children of our communi we have forestalled, and the society to which we ties. We trust them to use their knowledge and skills have given hope. for the benefit of their students, their communities, and their society. In its fullest form, as you read the And yet, there’s a deeper sense of what it means pages that follow, you will see that our characteriza to take responsibility for the messes that we are tion of the accomplished teacher is defined by what destined, nay obligated, to make. We are obliged teachers should know and be able to do, as well as teachers to do everything we can to become what kind of human being they should strive to be. smarter about our subjects, our students, and our work, more skilled in the pursuit of our practice, and During a study of how America’s engineers should more ethical, selfaware and empathic as human be prepared, I asked a group of engineering stu beings that our society trusts to mess with minds dents who were completing their undergraduate and hearts. The National Board exemplifies how we preparation how they would respond to someone’s as members of the professional teaching commu question, “What is an engineer” The response nity take that responsibility. they gave provides a useful reminder of how we, 6 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do Thirty years passed. And thus, one morning in 2016, as adapted to the situations in which they taught I received an email from the new president and CEO was no longer a fantasy. The letters “NBCT” after a of the National Board for Professional Teaching teacher’s name is the highest honor a member of Standards suggesting we meet over breakfast in the profession can attain. Palo Alto. Peggy Brookins, a National Boardcerti “What” is the National Board for Professional Teach fied teacher of high school mathematics, was now ing Standards That is the question this brief volume president and CEO of the National Board for Pro promises to answer. It’s a deceptively simple ques fessional Teaching Standards, an organization that tion with exciting and inspiring answers that, at least has certified more than 112,000 teachers across all for me, extend back in time for 30 years. I am now 50 states and DC. Peggy asked if I would revisit confident that its life expectancy is unlimited, as is that newborn infant that began its life three decades its potential for bringing about a significant improve ago and prepare a personal preface to this volume. ment in the countenance of American education. I revisited the dream. Teaching portfolios, for exam ple, were no longer a weird anomaly destined to Lee S. Shulman be buried by traditional forms of assessment. The Emeritus Professor idea that teachers could be evaluated using profes Stanford Graduate School of Education sional standards created by teachers, for teachers Palo Alto, CaliforniaBY TEACHERS, FOR TEACHERS INTRODUCTIONINTRODUCTION The National Board for Professional Teaching Stan are held in common by teachers of all grade levels dards was founded in 1987 to advance the quality and disciplines and underscore the accomplished of teaching and learning by: teacher’s commitment to advancing student learn • maintaining high and rigorous standards for what ing and achievement. Together, the propositions accomplished teachers should know and be able form the basis of all National Board Standards, to do; which describe how teachers enact the Proposi • providing a national voluntary system certifying tions in particular content areas and with students teachers who meet these standards; and of particular developmental levels, and serve as the • advocating related education reforms to inte foundation for Board certification. National Board grate National Board Certification in American Certification—created by teachers, for teachers—is education and to capitalize on the expertise of the profession’s mark of accomplished teaching. National Board Certified Teachers. The explication of the Five Core Propositions in this This second edition of What Teachers Should Know edition of What Teachers Should Know and Be Able and Be Able to Do articulates the National Board’s to Do was updated in 2015 to reflect advances in Five Core Propositions for teaching. Similar to med the field in research, professional language, and icine’s Hippocratic Oath, the Five Core Propositions practice. Remarkably, the Propositions themselves 89 Introduction have stood the test of time. The stability of the Five A distinguishing hallmark of a profession is that Core Propositions is an indication of the teaching those who are in it determine what its members profession’s ability to create and maintain a body of must know and do. For this reason, how these revi knowledge that guides practice. Stylistic revisions sions took place is as important as the revisions were made to the explication of each proposition themselves. As is the case with all National Board to ensure the text resonates with modern ears, and Standards, the updated Five Core Propositions updates to the content include a stronger emphasis were written by teachers, for teachers. The Five on the roles that technology and language play in Core Propositions—in content and in authorship— students’ lives. are a statement of what our profession stands for. When What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do was first written in 1989, there were no National Board Certified Teachers. The Five Core Proposi tions established in that document anchored the development of peerreviewed standards and assessments for Board certification in 25 certifi cate areas. As a testament to the strength of that visionary document, we can now say that over 700 Boardcertified teachers contributed to the updated explication of the Five Core Propositions. They participated in the comment period, providing practicebased evaluations of the extent to which the descriptions of the Propositions have stood the test of time; they served on National Board’s staff, Certification Council, and Board of Directors, shepherding the revision process; and they made up the entirety of the committee that oversaw the revisions, basing their decisions on the comment period findings, research, and their considerable experience with students.THE FIVE CORE PROPOSITIONS Through National Board Certification, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards seeks to identify and recognize teachers who effectively enhance student learning and demonstrate the high level of knowledge, skills, abilities and commitments reflected in the following Five Core Propositions. 10THE FIVE CORE PROPOSITIONS 1. TEACHERS ARE COMMITTED TO STUDENTS AND THEIR LEARNING. 2. TEACHERS KNOW THE SUBJECTS THEY TEACH AND HOW TO TEACH THOSE SUBJECTS TO STUDENTS. 3. TEACHERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANAGING AND MONITORING STUDENT LEARNING. 4. TEACHERS THINK SYSTEMATICALLY ABOUT THEIR PRACTICE AND LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE. 5. TEACHERS ARE MEMBERS OF LEARNING COMMUNITIES.PROPOSITION 1 Accomplished teachers base their practice on the social and educational settings, not simply within fundamental belief that all students can learn and their own learning environments. meet high expectations. Acknowledging the dis tinctive traits and talents of each learner, teachers Teachers Recognize Individual Differences are dedicated to and skilled at making knowledge in Their Students and Adjust Their Practice accessible to all students. Educators are thus pas Accordingly sionate about building meaningful relationships with Teachers must know many things about the stu young people so students can advance their under dents they instruct so they can respond effectively standing and experience success. Teachers know to individual differences. For instance, one teacher that ongoing achievement depends on their con may find that in her class, Alex works with a speech viction in the value and dignity of all human beings pathologist, Maria loves science fiction, Toby is anx as well as the potential that exists within each child. ious about mathematics, and Mikayla is captivated They therefore remain attentive to human variability, by music. Yet, accomplished teachers know much its influence on learning, and the interconnected more about their students, such as where they ness of people in different contexts. Accomplished 1 call home, what their families are like, how they teachers become acquainted with students across 1 The terms “family” and “parent” are used throughout this document to refer to people who are the primary caregivers, guardians, or significant adults in the lives of children. 1213 Teachers are Committed to Students and Their Learning performed academically in the past, and who they prior knowledge. When planning a unit on genet want to become in the future. Children and young ics, for instance, a biology instructor will anticipate adults live in a wide variety of physical locations and which concepts and activities certain students may household groups; to understand their hopes and find problematic; while listening to a small group, aspirations, educators must the teacher will then look for remain attuned to students’ signs of individual student unique living situations and engagement and address any Teachers must become “ family dynamics. misunderstandings as they attuned to their students’ arise. By keeping a finger on individual situations and Accomplished teachers fur the pulse of the class, edu changing circumstances. ther understand that student cators decide when to alter learning is influenced by per plans, work with individual sonality—whether a student is shy or outgoing, students, or enrich instruction with additional exam impulsive or reflective, stubborn or eager to please. ples, explanations, or activities. For example, a shy student might not perform well on an oral presentation. Similarly, an impulsive Recognizing that students bring different language student who fills in answers hastily may receive practices and proficiencies to the classroom, accom standardized test results that do not truly reflect plished teachers also understand the complex role his or her knowledge. Accomplished educators that language plays in learning. For example, they take personality traits such as those into consider respect the knowledge, perspectives, and experi ation when interacting with students, planning for ences that English language learners possess and instruction, and interpreting assessments. That kind value the ways in which those factors can enhance of specific understanding is critical, for teachers use and strengthen the learning environment. Similarly, it constantly to tailor instruction for the individuals educators know that students use language dif 2 within their classrooms. ferently based on social or academic context, and accomplished teachers empower their students by Teachers who are accomplished respond to student providing them with access points for participat needs based on their pupils’ interests, abilities, and ing in various situations and occasions. Educators 2 All references to classrooms in this document, whether stated explicitly or not, refer to all educational settings (e.g., laborato ries, gymnasiums, libraries, offices, outdoor locations).14 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do explore opportunities to integrate diverse language deep understanding of their students and the com practices meaningfully within the learning process. munities that shape their students’ values, outlooks, and attitudes toward learning. All the information Accomplished teachers gain knowledge about their that teachers acquire about students through the students by studying them carefully and seeking course of instruction subsequently informs their additional information from various sources. They understanding of teaching and learning, which learn from experience by listening to students, transforms their practice. watching them interact with peers, observing them work in different contexts, reading their thoughts Teachers Understand How Students Develop and reflections, and otherwise examining their and Learn actions and behavior in the learning environment. In addition to attaining knowledge specific to their Teachers also look closely at how students play students, accomplished educators consult a vari so they can encourage those students to explore ety of learning and development theories to make their imagination during instruction. By engaging informed decisions about instructional content and students on a social, emotional, intellectual, and teaching methods. They are familiar with concepts physical basis, accomplished teachers enhance about teaching and learning generated by social learning at every age and developmental level. To and cognitive scientists. Moreover, educators inte inform their pedagogical decisions further, educa grate that knowledge with personal theories about tors analyze assessment data as well, considering learning and development generated from their it alongside input they receive from family members own practice. Based on their theoretical knowledge and other adults involved in their students’ lives. and practical experience in the classroom, accom plished teachers understand that each student has Such an extensive evaluation represents no easy different cognitive strengths. Educators determine feat. What teachers are able to see, hear, and learn how to capitalize on those assets as they consider about students is influenced by their prior knowl how best to nurture their students’ abilities and edge and experience as professionals. When aptitudes. working with children and young adults who have different backgrounds and experiences from their Accomplished teachers provide multiple opportu own, accomplished teachers therefore monitor their nities for students to demonstrate their knowledge impressions and thoughts carefully to acquire a 15 Teachers are Committed to Students and Their Learning and showcase their abilities, both in and out of tra urban community. That said, people share important ditional school settings. For example, students who similarities as well, regardless of their social affilia find the calculation of percentages challenging in tion or cultural background. Those similarities and school may be able to determine value discounts differences are always shifting. readily while shopping—a Thus, teachers must become mathematics instructor attuned to their students’ may thus incorporate that Accomplished teachers therefore “ individual situations and activity within an exercise use everything they know about changing circumstances. to provide students with an effective—and ineffective— By doing so, accomplished alternate way to demon practices to develop strategies teachers can develop an strate their knowledge that capitalize on their students’ array of strategies for shar and improve their abilities. varied backgrounds, using diversity ing differences, identifying Accomplished teachers to enrich the learning environment similarities, and embracing strive to appreciate and diversity within the learning understand their students’ for every student. environment. Those strate aptitudes and intelligences. gies provide educational experiences that capitalize By encouraging students to relate their personal on classroom diversity by connecting students with experience to the classroom environment, teachers various cultural experiences while broadening their help students make learning relevant and advance perspectives on learning and thinking. their skills across academic settings. Importantly, accomplished teachers recognize Teachers Treat Students Equitably that, in a multicultural world, students possess a As advocates for the interests of students, accom wide range of abilities and aptitudes that might be plished teachers are vigilant in ensuring that all valued differently by families, local communities, pupils receive their fair share of attention. Educa and schools. For instance, the knowledge, skills, tors recognize their own biases and make certain and dispositions nurtured in a Native American com that any preconceptions based on real or perceived munity may differ from those promoted in a Latino ability differences, exceptionalities, socioeconomic community. Similarly, those cultivated by a suburban or cultural background, family configuration, sexual community may differ from those developed in an 16 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do orientation, physical characteristics, race, ethnicity, part of the learning process; they show students language, religion, age, or gender do not distort how to cope with it and create environments their relationships with students. Accomplished in which learners are comfortable taking risks. teachers maintain an open mind and a balanced Through failure, children and young adults can perspective on their students. attain perseverance and resilience, which will help them achieve their potential. At the same time, That approach does not suggest that teachers treat accomplished teachers increase their students’ all students alike, because using the same tactics engagement and motivation by providing them with to address similar behavior by different students options from which to choose, fostering their own does not necessarily result in an equitable educa ership in learning, and setting high expectations. tion. Rather, teachers respond to die ff rences among Students come to understand that questioning and students, being careful to counter potential inequi goal setting are integral aspects of the learning ties and avoid favoritism. Accomplished educators process. monitor their students’ access to resources and advocate to ensure that students have the tools Teachers model all those behaviors, using them they need to learn. That level of attention requires a to help students advocate for themselves in the welltuned alertness, which can be difficult. Accom classroom and in the community. As participants plished teachers therefore use everything they of a larger world, the students of accomplished know about effective—and ineffective—practices to teachers recognize the effect that their actions have develop strategies that capitalize on their students’ outside the classroom. They therefore develop civic varied backgrounds, using diversity to enrich the responsibility and digital citizenship, becoming learning environment for every student. aware of how their actions affect others. All those lessons—important in their own right—are essential to intellectual development as well. Accomplished Teachers Know Their Mission Transcends teachers consider their students’ potential in that the Cognitive Development of Their Students broader sense when making decisions about what Accomplished teachers are devoted to support and how to teach. ing the development of character and preparing students for a successful future. To facilitate such growth, educators recognize that failure is a natural THE FIVE CORE PROPOSITIONS 1. TEACHERS ARE COMMITTED TO STUDENTS AND THEIR LEARNING. 2. TEACHERS KNOW THE SUBJECTS THEY TEACH AND HOW TO TEACH THOSE SUBJECTS TO STUDENTS. 3. TEACHERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANAGING AND MONITORING STUDENT LEARNING. 4. TEACHERS THINK SYSTEMATICALLY ABOUT THEIR PRACTICE AND LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE. 5. TEACHERS ARE MEMBERS OF LEARNING COMMUNITIES.PROPOSITION 2 If one cardinal principle of teaching is a com Teachers Appreciate How Knowledge in mitment to the welfare and education of young Their Subjects is Created, Organized, and Linked to Other Disciplines people, another is a commitment to subject matter. Accomplished teachers are dedicated to acquaint Teachers who possess a firm command of their ing students with the social, cultural, ethical, and subject areas understand factual information as physical worlds in which we live, and they use the well as major themes and concepts. They also subjects they teach as an introduction to those comprehend the process of creative investigation realms. A comprehensive understanding of sub and inquiry, whereby discoveries are made and ject matter entails more than the recitation of dates, new knowledge is formed, as demonstrated in the multiplication tables, or grammatical rules within a work of scholars and artists. For instance, physics single content domain. Rather, it requires the pursuit teachers know the role of hypothesis generation of substantive knowledge by exploring domains and and experimentation in scientific inquiry; geometry making connections to become fully engaged in the teachers know the modes of justification for sub learning process. stantiating mathematical claims; fine arts teachers understand how creative ideas are developed and meaning is conveyed through performance; social studies teachers know how historians use evidence 1819 Teachers Know the Subjects They Teach and How to Teach Those Subjects to Students to interpret past events; and English language arts understanding. Knowing that multiple perspectives teachers understand the relationship between and interpretations of each content area exist, reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Literacy, educators expose students to different modes of a foundational component of learning across con critical thinking and show them how to reason ana tent domains, is instrumental lytically about subject matter. to comprehending subject While maintaining the integ matter and connecting one rity of disciplinary methods, Whether they are specialists “ discipline to another. content, and structures of or generalists, accomplished organization, accomplished teachers use rich, complex Accomplished teachers value teachers encourage students subject matter to promote the relationships among to question prevailing norms student learning across subject areas, using those and assumptions so they can developmental levels. relationships to forge multi think for themselves. ple paths to knowledge. Thus, early and middle childhood generalists know about Whether they are specialists or generalists, accom geography and its relationship to economics and plished teachers use rich, complex subject matter history, and world language teachers know how to promote student learning across developmental political history and human migration inform an levels. By engaging children and young adults in a appreciation of language and culture. As those broad array of disciplines, educators provide stu examples illustrate, accomplished teachers under dents with appropriate points of entry to appreciate stand not only how content areas relate but also the content. For example, early childhood general how they influence student learning. ists may not delve as deeply into cellular structure as high school biology teachers do, but they present Recognizing how knowledge is established within foundational knowledge that introduces students and across subject areas is crucial to the instruc to the joys of discovery, while inspiring a desire to tion of logical reasoning. Critical thinking does not explore the natural world in which they live. Sim occur in the abstract, for thinkers always evaluate ilarly, physical education teachers may focus on something. Accomplished teachers realize the fun locomotor movement—such as walking, hopping, damental role that disciplinary study plays in the or skipping—to help students with moderate and development of critical analysis and conceptual profound physical limitations develop gross motor 20 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do skills and achieve maximum independence. Teach Teachers draw on pedagogical and subject matter ers must possess a thorough understanding of understandings to respond to common miscon subject matter to help their students develop criti ceptions within content areas; address challenging cal skills and pursue lifelong learning—the hallmark aspects of learning acquisition; and accommodate of accomplished teaching at every developmental prior knowledge, experience, and skills that students level. at different developmental levels typically bring to the classroom. For example, science teachers anticipate that some students may have misun Teachers Command Specialized Knowledge derstandings about gravity that can influence their of How to Convey a Subject to Students learning, whereas fine arts and physical education Teachers require pedagogical insight to communi teachers are prepared for young children to enter cate their subject knowledge effectively and impact school at various stages of maturity with respect students signic fi antly. Accomplished educators use to hand–eye coordination. Balancing the insights a specialized set of technical skills and abilities to of pedagogical and subject matter expertise helps convey instructional content and facilitate learning teachers evaluate and resolve daily issues—deci so students can develop bodies of knowledge and sions that include which aspects of subject matter advance their systems of thinking. Pedagogical to emphasize and how to pace instruction. Accom expertise incorporates wisdom related to the teach plished educators use a comprehensive awareness ing and learning processes, as well as the dynamic of their students, their subjects, and their practice between student needs and content demands. to structure teaching that promotes learning in Accomplished teachers use their knowledge of their schools. the most appropriate ways to present subject matter through strategies and techniques such as To remain as effective as possible in the class demonstrations, experiments, analogies and met room, accomplished educators also demonstrate aphors, interactive learning, and appropriate uses a strong commitment to learning about new cur of technology. ricular resources, such as textbook series, primary texts, classroom manipulatives, or research mate Pedagogical experience yields a repertoire of rials available through professional organizations. instructional techniques that allow teachers to Educators keep abreast of technological develop share their subject matter knowledge with students. ments that have implications for their subject areas 21 Teachers Know the Subjects They Teach and How to Teach Those Subjects to Students and their teaching, utilizing digital tools employed classroom to meet learning goals and accommo within their disciplines. Teachers understand that date student dispositions as needed. Educators are maintaining familiarity with the technology used thus aware of the value that lies in both structured by practitioners helps them remain current in their and inductive learning. They understand that teach fields. In addition, they explore ing students the concepts the influence that technology and principles that scholars has on their subject areas within each discipline have Accomplished educators use a “ because they know that it generated is useful, but comprehensive awareness of frequently affects the struc accomplished teachers also their students, their subjects, ture and process of thinking know that helping students and their practice to structure within disciplines. Importantly, develop a critical mindset is teaching that promotes learning accomplished teachers posi important. Through inquiry, in their schools. tion themselves as critical students search for prob users of technology, ensuring lems, patterns, and solutions, that it is employed to enhance student understand making discoveries and advancing their own ing. By modeling that stance, teachers help their learning. Accomplished educators model those students navigate the relationship between technol processes for students, showing them how to pose ogy and learning, empowering them to use digital problems and work through alternative solutions, tools in authentic ways that advance their knowl as well as how to examine the answers that others edge. Educators continually evaluate the usefulness have found to similar problems. of all curricular materials and pedagogical methods Posing and solving problems is central to the devel they adopt in the classroom, basing that evaluation opment of true understanding. That process moves on their professional judgment. students far beyond a rote memorization of facts, an easy manipulation of formulas, or the facile repeti Teachers Generate Multiple Paths to tion of a musical scale. Teaching for understanding Knowledge requires students to integrate discrete components Accomplished teachers wisely use the educational of knowledge within their habits of thinking, instead resources, pedagogical skills, and content knowl of storing fragmented pieces of information without edge they possess, varying their approach in the further consideration. It challenges students to think 22 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do in nonlinear ways, to approach issues from multiple vantage points, to weigh competing sets of crite ria, and to evaluate the merits of multiple solutions. Thus, in the eyes of accomplished teachers, the acquisition of knowledge does not signify a lower form of understanding. Rather, it represents a dis tinctly intellectual undertaking—a rich, demanding, creative process calling on the strategic coordina tion of skills, abilities, and dispositions to develop a deeper, more discerning matrix of understanding. That mode of thinking encourages students to apply their knowledge to new and unfamiliar problems so they can continue exploring and advancing their understanding. As they share their knowledge in all its forms with students in the classroom, accom plished teachers appreciate that this way of thinking and understanding will develop over time to support meaningful, substantial learning for a lifetime.THE FIVE CORE PROPOSITIONS 1. TEACHERS ARE COMMITTED TO STUDENTS AND THEIR LEARNING. 2. TEACHERS KNOW THE SUBJECTS THEY TEACH AND HOW TO TEACH THOSE SUBJECTS TO STUDENTS. 3. TEACHERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANAGING AND MONITORING STUDENT LEARNING. 4. TEACHERS THINK SYSTEMATICALLY ABOUT THEIR PRACTICE AND LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE. 5. TEACHERS ARE MEMBERS OF LEARNING COMMUNITIES.PROPOSITION 3 Accomplished teachers maintain high expectations environment—observing student interactions, for all students. They view themselves as facilita evaluating classroom performance, assessing all tors of student learning, helping children and young aspects of student development, and measur adults reach their fullest potential. To achieve that ing learning outcomes relative to objectives. To goal, educators create vibrant, productive work increase students’ success, teachers diligently spaces for their students, adjusting and improving manage the systems, programs, and resources organizational structures as needed while establish that support every educational endeavor—fostering ing effective ways to monitor and manage traditional positive relationships in and out of the classroom, and nontraditional learning environments. making sure classroom materials are used appro priately, maintaining schedules, ensuring student First and foremost, teachers facilitate the edu safety, and otherwise maintaining all aspects of a cational process by designing opportunities for wellfunctioning learning environment. As masters learning—planning for and presenting students of pedagogical practice, accomplished educa with inspiring material, promoting their participation, tors teach efficiently, making the most of every supporting substantive discourse, and sustaining instructional moment to maximize learning. They longterm engagement by collaboratively work are dedicated to helping young people thrive by ing with students. To track their success, teachers respecting, encouraging, and advancing student carefully monitor activity within the learning interests and student learning at all times. 2425 Teachers are Responsible for Managing and Monitoring Student Learning Teachers Call on Multiple Methods to Meet and educational settings offer distinct learning Their Instructional Goals opportunities, accomplished teachers know how and when to alter the organizational structure of Accomplished teachers possess a range of peda their classroom environments to support instruc gogical skills—for instance, they facilitate student tional objectives. They transition among teaching inquiry, advise cooperative learning groups, and methods, social groupings, and physical layouts to mediate classroom discourse. Their instructional customize their approach, and they develop strat strategies are largely informed by their students and egies based on learning goals and student needs. their subject matter, although professional knowl For example, depending on instructional objectives, edge also guides their practice significantly. Thus, outdoor experiments or classroom simulations may accomplished teachers understand what they and be more productive for stu their students can reasonably dents than would a lecture or achieve in a roundtable dis a discussion. Alternately, in cussion, when they should To increase students’ success, “ some instances, journaling or hold back and allow students teachers diligently manage note taking might be a more to determine their own solu the systems, programs, and effective way to engage stu tions, and which questions resources that support every dents in thinking and learning they can pose to provoke the educational endeavor. than would discoverybased most thoughtful classroom activities or dramatic performances. Accomplished conversation. Importantly, effective educators educators understand the full breadth of pedagog possess a comprehensive knowledge of instruc ical options available to them. They use traditional tional methods, broad and deep in scope. They methods, and they employ innovative strategies to have a strong theoretical understanding of various advance student learning in pace with the dynamic instructional modes and sound practical experi conditions of the classroom. ence implementing these strategies. Accomplished teachers examine pedagogical issues regularly and When shifting their approach, accomplished teach reflect on their practice so that they use classroom ers modify their learning environments and their time constructively. instructional materials as needed. To inspire stu dents further, teachers invite stakeholders and Because students have diverse learning styles colleagues to the classroom so they can share their 26 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do experience and communicate their expertise on different groups of students. They manage those specific topics. Accomplished educators appreciate interactions carefully, establishing social norms how the knowledge and skills of other individuals for constructive communication, helping students can complement their own talents and enhance adopt productive roles visàvis their teachers and their students’ understanding. They know the value their peers, and showing students how to assume of mobilizing students as peer tutors for the same responsibility for their learning and for that of their reason. Accomplished educators thus enlist a wide classmates. The environments that teachers create range of support—from students, teachers, and guide student behavior and support learning as paraprofessionals to family and community mem it takes place in large or small groups, in pairs, bers—to provide their students with instructional independently, or oneonone with the teacher or opportunities that will augment their learning. another adult. Accomplished teachers understand the strengths Because different pedagogical techniques may and weaknesses of the pedagogical approaches also require different types of social interaction, they take, as well as their suitability for different each carrying its own set of expectations, accom students and student groups. The settings that plished teachers remain sensitive to shifting norms teachers design, the situations they create, and that cast students and teachers in new roles. To the strategies they select are all grounded in edu ensure that the learning dynamic remains posi cational research and professional experience. For tive and responsive, educators assess the relative accomplished educators, the classroom represents value of classroom structures and organizational a world of opportunities. One activity can lead to the requirements when determining which instructional possibility of many others that will engage students strategies will best enhance student learning in their and entice them to explore subjects further, some classrooms. They continually search for new con times with their teacher, sometimes with each other, figurations that will prove effective, expand their and sometimes alone. repertoire, and keep students excited to learn. The management techniques that accomplished teach ers use are proactive rather than reactive, helping Teachers Support Student Learning in classroom participants focus on learning instead Varied Settings and Groups of controlling disruptive behavior. Educators thus Accomplished teachers know how to work with develop classroom customs and practices based 27 Teachers are Responsible for Managing and Monitoring Student Learning on their knowledge of students, social contexts, and helping them realize that frustrating moments often learning objectives, as well as their prior experience. are when learning occurs. Those moments pro duce the true joy of education, the satisfaction of accomplishment. Teachers Value Student Engagement Accomplished teachers know how to keep stu Teachers Regularly Assess Student dents motivated by capturing their attention and Progress immersing them in the learning process. Teachers Accomplished teachers monitor student perfor understand that they can build bridges between mance as well as student engagement. Bearing what students know and what they are capable of considerable responsibility for the children and learning by expanding old interests and sparking young adults they work with, educators examine new passions. Accomplished educators therefore the success of all activities they design. They assess focus significant attention on developing strategies learning experiences that they create or coordinate to promote student interests and to monitor student with the help of other educators, tracking what engagement. students do and do not learn while evaluating the Motivating students does not always mean that effectiveness of their instructional strategies. accomplished teachers make learning fun; learning Assessment is not always done for the purpose can be difficult work. For instance, developing an of recording grades; rather, it allows students and acute sense of one’s body during dance requires teachers to examine their current status. Accom intense intellectual and physical concentration. plished teachers evaluate students to determine Similarly, writing a short story requires drafting what they have learned from instruction, whether and redrafting, editing and reediting, as well as that instruction is a week of lessons on life cycles, responding to critiques from teachers and peers. a unit of photography, or a semester of athletic Teachers must know how to encourage their training. Educators use those outcomes to decide students in the face of serious challenges and pro if they should review skills within a topic, chal vide them with support as they push themselves lenge students with a related concept, or advance to new physical, affective, and intellectual planes. to the next subject. They also help students Accomplished teachers model strategies for deal engage in selfassessment, instilling them with a ing with the doubts that students may experience, 28 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do sense of responsibility for their own learning. By words—so teachers can discover what students are adding to their repertoire of assessment meth thinking and determine how best to advance their ods and by monitoring student progress regularly, learning. accomplished teachers provide students, families, Accomplished teachers evalu caregivers—and themselves— ate their students throughout with constructive feedback. the learning process, from On a continual basis, Importantly, accomplished start to finish. They monitor “ accomplished teachers monitor teachers understand that the student behavior at various the progress of individual purpose of evaluation affects times, in various situations, students, evaluate classes the form and structure of any and for various purposes. assessment—the method as learning collectives, and So, when asking questions of observation, the length during group discussions, examine their practice in of duration, and the type of teachers may determine how relation to their students and information gathered. Those well students comprehend their classes. factors, along with student information; when speaking demeanor and motivation, all affect the conclu with individuals working independently, they may sions that teachers may reach when using a specific consider ways to augment student learning; and assessment. Educators therefore monitor student when using an online assessment that provides progress using a variety of evaluation methods, immediate feedback from the class, they may gauge each with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. the relative value of an instructional technique. Accomplished teachers analyze data from stan Thoughtful assessment requires diligence. dardized examinations, and they design their own assessment tools. For instance, they define the con On a continual basis, accomplished teachers tent requirements for student portfolios, create the monitor the progress of individual students, eval scoring rubrics for demonstrations, and establish uate classes as learning collectives, and examine protocols for anecdotal record keeping. Above all, their practice in relation to their students and their accomplished teachers are astute observers of their classes. Those judgments are interconnected, students—watching their movements and gestures, although each merits attention in its own right. studying their facial expressions, listening to their The dynamic conveys some of teaching’s essential 29 Teachers are Responsible for Managing and Monitoring Student Learning tensions—educators instruct individual students To engage students further, teachers manage while guiding the development of groups—and classroom dynamics and monitor student progress they focus their efforts on students, while striving to toward the completion of their goals. Educators improve their practice. Accomplished teachers find analyze learning outcomes in relation to educa ways to accommodate what they know and learn tional objectives, showing students what they have about themselves and their students within plans for achieved, reviewing what they need to do, and for the whole group. They take individuals into consid mulating strategies with them for the completion eration, thinking across the full spectrum of ability of that work. By contextualizing evaluation within within their classrooms. Individuals may not learn the learning process, accomplished teachers use the same things or proceed at the same pace, but assessment to empower themselves and their stu accomplished teachers are dedicated to ensuring dents. They help students identify opportunities to that they all increase their knowledge, strengthen reach their goals and show them the importance of their skills, and expand their abilities. becoming active learners. Teachers Engage Students in the Learning Process Throughout the learning process, accomplished teachers work collaboratively with their students. They plan their instruction carefully—identifying educational objectives, developing them, and discussing them with students. Teachers provide children and young adults with a clear understand ing of what the objectives are and why they are relevant, encouraging students to take ownership of them. They motivate students to learn by stim ulating their interest and challenging them during instruction.THE FIVE CORE PROPOSITIONS 1. TEACHERS ARE COMMITTED TO STUDENTS AND THEIR LEARNING. 2. TEACHERS KNOW THE SUBJECTS THEY TEACH AND HOW TO TEACH THOSE SUBJECTS TO STUDENTS. 3. TEACHERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANAGING AND MONITORING STUDENT LEARNING. 4. TEACHERS THINK SYSTEMATICALLY ABOUT THEIR PRACTICE AND LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE. 5. TEACHERS ARE MEMBERS OF LEARNING COMMUNITIES.PROPOSITION 4 As with most professions, teaching requires prac then, is a reverence for the craft, a recognition of its titioners to remain open, eager for, and dedicated complexities, and a commitment to lifelong learning to the pursuit of continuous growth. Because they and reflection. work in a field marked by evolving questions and an expanding body of research, teachers possess Teachers Make Difficult Choices That Test a professional obligation to become perpetual Their Professional Judgment students of their craft. Accomplished educators Often, the demands of teaching present formidable seek to expand their repertoires, deepen their challenges that defy simple solutions. To meet con knowledge and skills, and become wiser in ren flicting objectives, accomplished teachers regularly dering judgments. They remain inventive in their fashion compromises that will satisfy diverse parties. teaching, recognizing the need to welcome new For example, a world history teacher attempting to findings and extend their learning as professionals. reconcile the need for broad coverage and indepth Accomplished teachers are ready to incorporate knowledge will do what is necessary to proceed ideas and methods developed by other educators from ancient civilizations to modern nations, while to support their instructional goals—namely, the developing student understanding of history as a advancement of student learning and the improve gradual evolution rather than a discrete series of ment of their practice. What exemplifies excellence, 3132 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do chronological events. Likewise, a middle childhood Teachers Use Feedback and Research to Improve Their Practice and Positively generalist will find a way to teach students the fun Impact Student Learning damental principles of spelling and grammar, while introducing them to an appreciation of writing as Accomplished teachers seek opportunities to culti a mode of communication and a thinking process. vate their learning. As savvy students of their own Accomplished teachers may approach circum teaching, they know the value of asking colleagues, stances such as those in different ways, but they all administrators, and other educators to observe demonstrate the strength and flexibility to negotiate them and offer critiques of their instructional prac competing goals. tices. They write about their work as well, and they solicit reactions to their teaching from students and Teachers also may face situations that cause them to families. Accomplished teachers develop strate reprioritize their goals based gies for gaining feedback on reflection, resulting in the and insights from a range modification of their instruc of stakeholders so they can An enthusiasm for, and dedication “ tional plans. For example, a reflect meaningfully on their to, continued professional teacher may delay part of a pedagogical choices and development distinguishes daily lesson to foster class improve their practice. accomplished teachers and room relationships. Another exemplifies the critical disposition instructor may address stu Accomplished teachers they nurture in their students. dent misunderstandings by also stay abreast of current reteaching a critical concept research and, when appro instead of moving forward. Circumstances such as priate, incorporate new findings into their practice. those call on teachers to employ their professional They take advantage of professional development knowledge of what constitutes sound practice, opportunities such as conferences, workshops, and giving students’ interest the paramount consider digital learning experiences. Because testing new ation. Accomplished teachers may forge a variety approaches and hypotheses is a commonplace of successful plans to balance rival objectives, habit among such teachers, they might conduct, but their decisions invariably will be grounded in publish, and present their own research, if so established theories and reasoned judgment born inclined. Accomplished educators understand the of experience.33 Teachers Think Systematically About Their Practice and Learn from Experience legitimacy and the limitations of the diverse sources love of learning, tolerance and openmindedness, they employ to inform their teaching, and they use fairness and justice, an appreciation for our cultural those sources judiciously to enrich their practice. and intellectual heritages, and respect for human diversity and dignity. Moreover, they epitomize An enthusiasm for, and dedication to, continued pro the intellectual capacities they foster: the ability to fessional development distinguishes accomplished reason carefully, consider multiple perspectives, teachers and exemplifies the critical disposition they question received wisdom, adopt an inquirybased nurture in their students. The thinking, reasoning, approach, solve problems, and persevere. In all and learning that characterize firstrate teaching aspects of their action and demeanor, accomplished are thus valuable twice over: not only are thought teachers convey the significance of reflection and ful teachers able to instruct their students more learning, of pursuit and achievement. efficiently and effectively, they also serve as pow erful models for the analytical mindset they strive to develop in children and young adults. Teachers who are exemplars of careful, logical delibera tion—considering purposes, marshaling evidence, and balancing outcomes—are more likely to com municate the importance of critical thinking to their students and demonstrate how it is accomplished. Those teachers model other crucial traits, as well, such as a commitment to creativity in their work or the willingness to take risks when exploring new intellectual, emotional, physical, and artistic realms. Accomplished teachers therefore serve as par adigms of lifelong learning and achievement. Character and competence contribute equally to their educative manner. Such teachers embody the virtues they impart to their students: curiosity and a THE FIVE CORE PROPOSITIONS 1. TEACHERS ARE COMMITTED TO STUDENTS AND THEIR LEARNING. 2. TEACHERS KNOW THE SUBJECTS THEY TEACH AND HOW TO TEACH THOSE SUBJECTS TO STUDENTS. 3. TEACHERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MANAGING AND MONITORING STUDENT LEARNING. 4. TEACHERS THINK SYSTEMATICALLY ABOUT THEIR PRACTICE AND LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE. 5. TEACHERS ARE MEMBERS OF LEARNING COMMUNITIES.PROPOSITION 5 Accomplished teachers reach beyond the boundar Teachers Collaborate with Other ies of their individual classrooms to engage wider Professionals to Improve School Effectiveness communities of learning. They connect with local, state, national, and global groups in person or via The National Board advocates proactive and cre technology to take advantage of a broad range of ative roles for teachers. Those functions involve professional knowledge and expertise. Accom analyzing and constructing curricula, coordinating plished educators draw on those resources when instruction, contributing to the professional devel instructing their students and participating in duties opment of staff, and participating in other policy that contribute significantly to the quality of schools decisions fundamental to the development of highly and student learning. Those duties address two productive learning communities. areas of responsibility: collaboration with other pro fessionals to improve the effectiveness of schools, Although state authorities and local leadership and partnership with families and other stake establish broad goals, objectives, and priorities for holders to promote the education of children and districts and schools, accomplished teachers share young adults. responsibility with their colleagues and adminis trators in determining what constitutes valuable learning for students. Educators understand their 3536 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do legal obligation to carry out public policy as rep and curricular aspects of instruction cohesively. resented in state statutes and regulations, school Accomplished teachers understand the technical board directives, court decisions, and other proce requirements of a wellcoordinated curriculum, dural documents—and they bear those mandates possess the interpersonal skills needed to work in in mind while acting as professionals. Accom groups, and exhibit a readiness to join their efforts in plished teachers thereby take the initiative to the interest of school communities. Those qualities analyze curricula critically, identify new priorities, enable educators to participate effectively in plan and communicate neces ning and decision making sary changes to the school in teams, departments, and community. To perform that other educational units Teachers work with their colleagues “ work effectively, teach outside the classroom, lab as members of a team, sharing ers must have a thorough oratory, or studio. their knowledge and skills while knowledge of their stu contributing to the ongoing Accomplished teachers dents and curricula as well development of strong schools. also are involved in the as a willingness to question arrangement of student conventions and work col services, uniting educators with a wide variety of laboratively with educational stakeholders. specializations to ensure that instructional experi Developing curricula and coordinating instruction ences remain productive and coherent. They help are key functions shared by teachers and admin teachers partner to support inclusive education istrators. Accomplished teachers work with other and create appropriate learning environments for educators to plan instructional programs that pro students with a range of exceptional needs—those mote continuity and support equitable learning who face physical disabilities, sensory impairment, experiences for all students. They help integrate or behavioral challenges, as well as those who are plans for students with general and exceptional gifted and talented. Accomplished educators foster needs by thinking strategically across grade levels, cooperation among teachers and counselors of academic tracks, and subject areas. Teachers work English learners, and others who offer highquality closely with administrators and staff to navigate programs featuring English as a new language, bilin systems, structures, and schedules so they can gual education, and English immersion. Importantly, implement improvements that modify organizational they uphold the requirements of compensatory 37 Teachers Are Members of Learning Communities education with a similar sense of vigilance and dedi work as teacher leaders, strengthening professional cation. Accomplished teachers are adept at working development and advocating improvements. Edu in tandem with other educators to provide students cators in less successful schools strive to promote with the attention they need. the same traits of excellence—to build systems, develop networks, and In addition to developing foster a culture of inno curricula and coordinating vation that will help their Accomplished teachers communicate “ instruction schoolwide, schools prosper. regularly with students’ parents accomplished educators and guardians. Teachers inform work with one another to Accomplished teach them about their children’s strengthen their teach ers undertake a variety accomplishments and challenges, ing practices. They of projects to pursue all responding to their questions, observe colleagues in those goals, participating listening to their concerns, and the classroom, engage actively in their learning respecting their views. in pedagogical discus communities to promote sions, and collaborate progress and achievement. to improve their teaching methods and explore For example, they may mentor novices, form study new instructional strategies. Accomplished groups, demonstrate new methodologies, serve instructors may focus on different aspects of on school and district policy councils, or engage in their practice, based on opportunity, need, and scholarly inquiry and artistic expression. Teachers disposition; however, they share a common com work with their colleagues as members of a team, mitment to pursuing teaching excellence in concert sharing their knowledge and skills while contribut with their peers. ing to the ongoing development of strong schools. Alongside their administrators and other school Schools that thrive and flourish emphasize a similar leaders, they assume responsibility for the quality process of continuous improvement. Accomplished of their schools’ instructional programs. This set of teachers in those schools help their colleagues expectations is integral to the mission of accom identify and resolve problems while encouraging plished teachers. It characterizes a professional them to experiment with different teaching meth approach to teaching and distinguishes the educa ods and forms of instructional organization. They tional field as a whole.38 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do Teachers Work Collaboratively with achievement. Understanding that some families Families may take more time than others to gain confidence in school–home relationships, teachers proceed Accomplished teachers communicate regularly with patiently, learning about cultures, beliefs, and pri students’ parents and guardians. Teachers inform orities while expressing respect for families and them about their children’s accomplishments and demonstrating their attention to students. Through challenges, responding to their questions, listen out the process, educators ing to their concerns, and develop skills and under respecting their views. standings that help them Teachers encourage families Any community—urban, avoid pitfalls while working to become active participants “ suburban, or rural; wealthy or to foster positive, collabora in their children’s education poor—can become a laboratory tive relationships between by acquainting them with for learning under the guidance schools and families. school programs and enlist of an accomplished teacher. ing their help to develop The changing structure of Accomplished teachers need not skill sets and foster lifelong families in our society creates learning. For instance, a teach alone. both challenges and oppor kindergarten teacher may tunities. Accomplished teachers must possess a discuss the importance of reading stories at home thorough knowledge of their students as individ and show a grandparent why engaging her child uals to work creatively and effectively with family in conversation is critical to literacy development. members. Advancing the intellectual development Accomplished teachers share the education of chil of students is a teacher’s foremost responsibility, dren with families. but accomplished teachers understand that a broad range of student needs can influence that goal, Ideally, teachers and parents become mutually rein such as the need for informed caregivers to provide forcing partners in the education of young people. guidance and support. By learning the dynamics However, various circumstances can complicate within their students’ homes, teachers appreciate relationships, such as divergent interests or mis how they can work with families to address stu trust. Accomplished teachers are alert to those dent needs and advance educational gains. The issues and tailor their practice to enhance student distinctive mission of teaching is the promotion of 39 Teachers Are Members of Learning Communities learning—a complex undertaking in and of itself; but Teachers also explore the concept of culture within accomplished teachers understand that the phys their communities and its influence on children and ical, emotional, and social wellbeing of students young adults. Accomplished educators encourage cannot be separated from their intellectual growth. students to appreciate linguistic traditions and ethnic contributions, to study social influences on their expectations and aspirations, and to discuss Teachers Work Collaboratively with the the effects that economic conditions can have on Community political views and outlooks. Although careful atten Accomplished teachers cultivate their students’ tion to diversity may challenge teachers, learning knowledge of the local community as a powerful about a wealth of cultures can help them work resource for learning. Opportunities abound for meaningfully with students. An understanding of enriching lessons, projects, and topics of study; for multiculturalism promotes an acknowledgment of example, observing the city council in action, col differences and similarities, which, in turn, inspires lecting oral histories from senior citizens, studying students to accept individuals and to adopt civic ecology at a public park, visiting a museum, drawing ideals. Accomplished teachers capitalize on those the local architecture, or exploring career options opportunities so they can respond productively to in small businesses. Any community—urban, sub their students’ diverse backgrounds. urban, or rural; wealthy or poor—can become a laboratory for learning under the guidance of an Such work rests on a delicate balance. Teach accomplished teacher. The Internet can extend ers cannot alleviate all the social problems they those experiences, giving students the chance to encounter, but they can be sensitive to those issues investigate local towns further or to explore cities, and caring toward students as they fulfill their pro states, and countries farther afield. Within all those fessional responsibilities as educators. Teachers communities, instructional partners such as gov confront the human condition daily in all its splendor ernment officials, organizational volunteers, and and misery; what they choose to share, how they corporate leaders can serve as valuable assets, respond, and how they prepare students in the face supplementing and enhancing the education of it all are the factors that distinguish teachers who of students. Accomplished teachers need not are truly accomplished. teach alone.CONCLUSION IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PROFESSIONCONCLUSION The National Board’s standards and assessment were created by educators and have been tested and revised, and the Board certification process is performancebased and peerre viewed. … If educators mapped backward from board certification, embedding the standards and the process, even as they are now, into the steps every teacher takes from preservice on, teaching in general would be stronger, and the profession would have a sturdy base on which its future could be built. What matters is the continuum and the agreement within the profession that there can be only one. That has been the key to the success of every other profession. It is the underpinning of a profession’s authority, and there is no reason to think teaching will ever achieve the same 3 status without it. Ronald Thorpe President and CEO, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, 2011–2015 3 Thorpe, R. (2014). Sustaining the teaching profession. New England Journal of Public Policy, 26(1), 1–16. 4142 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do To ensure all students receive an education that pre now do: define and strengthen a coherent contin pares them for postsecondary success and life, the uum to ensure that every teacher in America is on teaching profession must be strengthened such that a path to accomplished teaching. it systematically guarantees highquality teaching With this continuum in place, Board certification practices. In other professions, such as medicine, would be the norm, not the exception, and be fully engineering, and architecture, board certification integrated into the fabric of the teaching profession. has helped to create a culture and expectation of The Five Core Propositions, as explicated above, accomplished practice, both within the profession would serve as the guiding framework for every and amongst the public. Professions build this teacher’s ongoing development of their practice. expectation into their preparation and practice This continuum, explicitly and visibly aligned to the development pipelines by design, beginning with Five Core Propositions and National Board Stan a clear vision of what its accomplished practitioners dards, begins in preservice preparation, proceeds should know and be able to do and then mapping developmentally to and through Board certification backwards to ensure each new practitioner begins and into educational leadership, each step engi their career knowing what achieving board certifi neered to support teachers working toward more cation would mean for the level of their practice. accomplished practice. Those professions have done what teaching must Professional Career Continuum for Teaching TEACHER LEADER BOARD PRESERVICE NOVICE PROFESSIONAL CERTIFIED TEACHER TEACHER TEACHER TEACHER SCHOOL LEADER Preservice Teacher the eventual development of accomplished prac A strong preservice experience builds the content tice. Preparation of new teachers should require a knowledge and teaching skill of entering teachers to residency year with a reduced teaching load and a level of beginning proficiency with an eye towards intense supervision, enabling the practicebased 43 Implications for the Profession development of teaching skill. Highquality initial their school and school system, and build relation licensure requirements, including teacher perfor ships with their colleagues. Through infusing the mance assessments, would allow aspiring teachers content of the Five Core Propositions, the National to demonstrate they possess the knowledge and Board Standards, and case analysis of accom skills required to be effective in a classroom. plished teaching into induction programs, and by Throughout the preparation experience, Board cer ensuring novice teachers receive mentorship from tification can serve as a qualification or preference Boardcertified practitioners, teachers’ earlycareer for clinical faculty at teacher preparation programs development will be strengthened. This coherence and cooperating teachers who work with student will improve retention of novice teachers, instill in teachers during their clinical experiences and res them the practice of continuous reflection, shape idency, as it signals a teacher who understands the culture and language of professional practice in and has incorporated the Five Core Proposi their schools, and lead them towards accomplished tions into their practice. If teacher candidates, as practice and Board certification. they complete their preparation program, study the Five Core Propositions, encounter National Professional Teacher Board Standards, and analyze the practices of the Professional teachers, having demonstrated the Boardcertified teachers in schools or through case 4 knowledge and skills needed to positively impact analysis in ATLAS , they will begin their careers on student learning, benefit from ongoing professional a path to develop into accomplished practitioners learning and growth. Various systems shape and themselves. support them in this endeavor, including state licensure (or certification) systems, local educa Novice Teacher tor evaluation systems, and professional learning The early years of a teacher’s career should build opportunities offered through local education agen from their preparation experience, with a robust cies and professional associations. Importantly, mentoring and induction program for novice teach educators’ needs evolve. Engaging in the same life ers seeking to further new teachers’ efforts to long learning they want their students to embrace, improve their practice, understand the priorities of teachers are constantly striving to meet students’ 4 ATLAS, which stands for Accomplished Teaching, Learning, and Schools, is an online library of cases showing Boardcertified teachers at work with students. Each case contains video of instruction, the teacher’s analytic and reflective analysis of the instruction, and instructional materials used with the students.44 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do everchanging needs and to stay current in their Today when Boardcertified teachers attest to the field. These experienced teachers can engage more positive impact the certification process had on deeply with the Five Core Propositions and National their practice, they often remark that the pursuit Board Standards to guide their growth as they delve of Board certification was the most transformative into problems of practice and seek both individual professional learning experience they have ever and communal professional learning opportunities. had. In a profession where Board certification is Coaching and support from Boardcertified teach the norm, however, it would be the natural next ers can further help them expand their knowledge step in a career that has been coherently building and skills. When ready, professional teachers can towards the development and demonstration of begin their candidacy for Board certification. accomplished practice since day one. Increasingly, schoolbased learning communities will support teachers to work together towards accomplished Boardcertified Teacher practice and becoming Boardcertified. Ultimately, At the heart of the continuum is National Board this phase of a teacher’s career is marked by fulfill Certification, a process designed for teachers to ing a professional responsibility to their students, demonstrate, through standardsbased evidence, to themselves, to their colleagues, and to the the positive impact they have on student learning profession. as a result of their deep and abiding understand ing of students, content knowledge, pedagogical Educational Leader practice, ongoing reflection, and participation in learning communities. Under the guidance and Board certification is a foundation through which mentorship of Boardcertified colleagues and with teacher leadership, in all its many forms, can take the support of fellow candidates, candidates for hold. At its core, National Board Certification is Board certification submit evidence that their prac about demonstrating a teacher’s impact on stu tice meets the Five Core Propositions and National dent learning around a specialized body of content. Board Standards, a body of knowledge that is main Once achieved, Board certification serves as a tained by teachers. Practicing teachers, through a platform for teachers to grow professionally and to peerreview process, then assess their submis become leaders in their schools, districts, states, sions. Board certic fi ation, as in all other professions, and the profession. At the school level, teachers is a hardearned distinction practitioners bestow on can model what the Five Core Propositions look each other.45 Implications for the Profession like in action, spreading their knowledge and skills knowledge of accomplished practice upon which to help develop the next generation of accom the continuum is based becomes more and more plished practitioners. At the district and state level, visible and Board certification becomes a collec Boardcertified teachers can transform isolated tively held expectation. pockets of excellence into systemwide improve The work to codify the Five Core Propositions and ment. Boardcertified teachers can work to support the National Board Standards and to develop the fellow educators along the continuum, for example Board certification process was led by teachers, by teaching or mentoring in preparation programs, for teachers. The work to build a continuum in the leading induction programs, engaging colleagues teaching profession grounded in this body of knowl in inquiry and study of National Board Standards, edge will be no different. It will not be easy work and or by taking on formalized roles in schools, local the path to success will not be straightforward. Yet, or state agencies, or professional associations. when it is successful, it will have an immeasurable They can contribute to the body of knowledge that impact on the learning experiences and outcomes underlies teaching through research, standards for millions of students. All students—each and development, and other endeavors that impact the every student—will learn from accomplished teach professional practice of all teachers. In the future, ers every day. Boardcertified teachers will fill other roles yet to be created, roles that will emerge as the body of “Teachers, administrators, and others whose work is designed to support best practice in our schools must seize this moment to rethink every aspect of the trajectory people follow to become accomplished teachers. Getting that path right and making sure all teachers follow it asserts the body of knowledge and skills teachers need and leads to a level of consistent qual ity that is the hallmark of all true professions. The government cannot do it. Business cannot do it. Only educators can make it happen, and 5 we need to seize the opportunity we have now to do just that.” Ronald Thorpe 5 Thorpe, R. (2014). Sustaining the teaching profession. New England Journal of Public Policy, 26(1), 1–16.Second Edition Revision Committee Doretha Allen, NBCT Dat Le, NBCT Academic Facilitator Science Supervisor Dallas Independent School District Arlington Public Schools Dallas, Texas Arlington, VA Kathy Carroll, NBCT Leslee Milch, NBCT Lead Library Media Specialist K–2 teacher Westwood High School Buena Park School District Columbia, SC Orange County, CA Indira CuretonCummings, NBCT Scott Reed, NBCT Drama Teacher Physics Teacher Eau Claire High School Niles North High School Columbia, SC Skokie, IL Jaime FestaDaigle, NBCT Robyn Seglem, NBCT Social Studies Teacher and SchoolBased Assistant Professor Administrator Illinois State University Lake Havasu High School Bloomington, IL Lake Havasu City, AZ with Tracy Krause, NBCT Susan Lopez Bailey Physical Education Teacher Education Writer Tahoma Senior High School Sulobee Consulting Maple Valley, WA And Susan Lafond, NBCT ELL Teacher and Professional Kristin Hamilton, NBCT Development Associate Charisse Licorish New York State United Teachers Kim O’Neil, NBCT Latham, NY NBPTS Staff© 2016 National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. All rights reserved. NBPTS, NBCT, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Board Certified Teacher, National Board Certification, and ATLAS Accomplished Teaching, Learning and Schools are registered service marks or trademarks of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Other marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective organizations. ISBN Number: 978098615404150 What Teachers Should Know and Be Able to Do NATIONAL BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL TEACHING STANDARDS 1525 WILSON BLVD., STE. 700 • ARLINGTON, VA 22209 180022TEACH
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