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Penn State Teacher Education Performance Framework

The following Outcomes Framework makes specific the understandings, skills and dispositions expected of the Penn State teacher. It is based on research on effective classroom practice as well as teacher professional standards and teacher performance assessment models from the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).

This outcome framework should be used by prospective teachers and their mentors to conduct conversations about areas for professional improvement. The outcomes, while not completely parallel to the Penn State Teacher Education Model, subsume key ideas in that model and are organized around four main domains for teaching: Planning and Preparation, Instruction, Reflection and Professional Responsibilities.

A. Planning and Preparation for Learning with Understanding

A1. Demonstrates Understanding of Content

  • understands central concepts, tools of inquiry and structure of subject to be taught (i.e., English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Sciences, Social Studies, Visual and Performing Arts, Health and Physical Education)
  • understands the connections among concepts, procedures, and applications from the content areas taught to elementary students
  • seeks resources to deepen own understanding of content

A2. Demonstrates Understanding of Learners

  • understands that cultures and social groups differ in ways that are critical and affect learning
  • understands social, emotional and intellectual characteristics of learners
  • understands learner prior knowledge and uses it in planning
  • understands learner diversity and background
  • considers, accommodates, and integrates the physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and linguistic developmental characteristics of children and young adolescents into instructional plans

A3. Demonstrates Understanding of Content-Related Pedagogy

  • makes curricular decisions based on knowledge of content and learners
  • makes instructional decisions based on knowledge of content and learners
  • values teaching for understanding
  • selects learning activities in support of learning with understanding
  • plans for instructional technologies appropriately in order to support learning
  • uses local, state, and national learning goals to plan for student learning
  • anticipates learner difficulties with specific content

A4. Selects Appropriate Instructional Goals

  • develops clear, achievable learning goals
  • accounts for learner diversity in setting learning goals
  • sets goals suitable for a variety of learners
  • plans curricula that are achievable but also challenging for children at various developmental levels

A5. Designs Coherent Opportunities for Student Learning

  • acknowledges that all children can learn when developmental factors are recognized, respected, and accommodated
  • chooses learning activities to support learning with understanding by diverse learners
  • purposively sequences learning activities so they facilitate learning with understanding by diverse learners
  • purposively selects learning materials and resources to support learning with understanding by diverse learners
  • plans explicitly for instructional grouping
  • plans for seamless transitions between lessons
  • designs productive individual and group tasks
  • is creative, flexible and thorough in planning and organizing for learning by diverse learners
  • considers opportunities for ongoing assessment

A6. Plans the Learning Environment

  • supports an atmosphere of care and respect
  • supports, teaches and protects student rights and responsibilities as citizens of a democratic society
  • plans an environment that is nurturing
  • plans an environment that supports of student inquiry and intellectual risk-taking
  • supports a community of learners by planning for meaningful student participation, ownership and initiative in learning activities
  • plans physical space to support learning by all students
  • considers equitable access to all learning resources

B. The Act of Teaching: Facilitating Learning with Understanding

B1. Engages Diverse Learners

  • uses teaching approaches that are sensitive to the multiple experiences of learners and that address different learning and performance modes
  • establishes instructional groupings to productively engage diverse learners
  • selects learning tasks, technologies and instructional strategies for enhancing student engagement
  • represents content in multiple ways, appropriate to the culturally diverse and special needs inclusive classroom
  • facilitates connections of new content to student prior understandings and experience
  • chooses instructional materials to engage diverse learners
  • paces lesson to facilitate learning by all
  • structures lesson in coherent, organized sequence

B2. Assesses Student Understanding

  • understands the characteristics, uses, advantages and limitations of different types of assessment appropriate for evaluating how K-6 students learn, what they know and are able to do in each subject area
  • checks for student understanding continuously using a variety of formal and informal assessment techniques (e.g. observation, portfolios of elementary student work, teacher-made tests, performance tasks, projects, student self assessments, peer assessment, and standardized tests) to enhance her/his knowledge of individual learners, evaluate students' progress and performances, and modify teaching and learning strategies
  • provides high quality feedback to learners to facilitate continued learning
  • provides feedback in a timely manner

B3. Manages Classroom Procedures

  • productively engages individual and groups in learning tasks
  • uses a range of strategies to promote positive relationships, cooperation and purposeful learning in the classroom
  • makes transitions productive and seamless
  • establishes routines for handling materials and supplies
  • establishes routine for non-instructional duties
  • communicates high academic and behavioral expectations for all learners

B4. Manages Student Behavior

  • communicates clear standards for conduct to learners, parents, etc.
  • understands how culture influences human interactions and behavior
  • fosters respect, cooperation, and resolution of conflict
  • proactively manages student behavior
  • responds to misbehavior effectively and sensitively
  • demonstrates care and respect for students
  • creates learning communities in which elementary students assume responsibility for themselves and one another, participate in decision making, work collaboratively and independently, and engage in purposeful learning activities

B5. Communicates Effectively Using Verbal, Nonverbal, and Media Communication Techniques

  • understands communication theory, language development, and the role of language in learning among elementary students
  • understands how cultural and gender differences can affect communication in the classroom
  • anticipates possible student misunderstandings
  • uses a variety of media communication tools, including audio-visual aids and computers, to enrich learning opportunities
  • provides clear directions and procedures
  • expresses self well in oral and written forms
  • communicates using standards conventions
  • uses appropriate and effective questioning and discussion techniques

C. Reflecting on Teaching for Understanding

C1. Reflection-in-Action

  • adjusts lessons while in progress in reaction to student learning and behavior
  • captures and uses "teachable moments" as appropriate
  • reacts to understanding of students by selecting appropriate instructional strategies
  • persists in promoting learning with understanding by all students
  • seeks and considers evidence of learner understanding in making instructional decisions

C2. Reflection-on-Action

  • critically analyzes engagement of diverse learners
  • critically analyzes assessment of student understanding
  • critically analyzes management of classroom procedures
  • critically analyzes management of student behavior
  • critically analyzes communications with students
  • cites specific examples from lessons to support analyses
  • offers specific alternatives for future lessons

C3. Inquires Critically and Thoughtfully

  • uses and values critical inquiry to solve pedagogical problems
  • uses classroom observation, information about students, and research as sources for evaluating the outcomes of teaching and learning and as a basis for experimenting with, reflecting on, and revising practice
  • examines beliefs and assumptions of educational practices
  • considers new/different perspectives
  • explores ways to ensure all students are afforded opportunities to learn with understanding

D. Maintaining Professional Responsibilities

D1. Fulfills Professional Responsibilities

  • applies knowledge of current research and national, state, and local guidelines relating to the disciplines taught in elementary school
  • establishes appropriate and effective system for maintaining student records
  • prepares short range and long range lesson and unit plans as required
  • communicates effectively and professionally with colleagues and other member of a diverse community
  • is prompt, consistent and thorough in fulfillment of professional responsibilities
  • maintains appropriate personal appearance
  • exhibits initiative, motivation, and enthusiasm
  • advocates for children, families, and schools

D2. Builds and Maintains Professional Relationships

  • works cooperatively with colleagues, parents, policymakers, etc. to improve education for all learners
  • works cooperatively with university supervisor
  • works cooperatively with cooperating teacher
  • works cooperatively with specialists and other school personnel
  • works cooperatively with other university personnel
  • acts in a professional, responsible, caring and ethical manner

D3. Establishes and Maintains Collaborative Relationship with Families

  • understands different family beliefs, traditions, values, and practices across cultures and within society and uses that knowledge effectively to promote academic, social and emotional growth of children
  • respects parents' choices and goals for their children
  • communicates effectively with parents about curriculum and students’ progress

D4. Seeks and Values Professional Growth

  • continuously seeks opportunities for professional growth
  • seeks the intellectual tools necessary to explore critical learning and teaching issues
  • takes responsibility for learning to teach
  • conducts systematic research on own classroom practices for the purposes of improvement
  • is receptive to feedback from instructors, supervisors, cooperating teachers, children, etc.
  • demonstrates thoughtful risk-taking when appropriate
  • has a growing repertoire of instructional strategies
  • has a growing repertoire of assessment strategies