Analysis of evidence that demonstrates diversity integration
Diversity is addressed by TPP at UPRM through the alignment of all course syllabi, rubrics, and evaluation instruments across 5 sets of standards: InTASC Standard 2: Learner and Learning; UPRM TPP Candidate Proficiencies 9: Demonstrate sensitivity to diversity; ISTE Standard 4b: Address the diverse needs of all learners; and PR-PST Standard 5: Diversity and Special Needs, and CAEP Standards 1, 2, and 3 (1.1.1b).
UPRM’s mission states we provide candidates with the skills and sensibility needed to effectively address and solve current challenges and to exemplify the values and attitudes that should prevail in a democratic society that treasures and respects diversity (1.1.8, UPRM Strategic Plan, page 5). The unit’s mission is to serve society by preparing professional educators who are subject matter specialists with dispositions of social, cultural, humanistic sensibilities and ethical values, who also possess competence, skills and general knowledge, all of which will allow them to be highly effective teachers. Proficiency #9 of the Ten Core UPRM TPP teacher candidate proficiencies is also aligned: Sensitivity to diversity – Recognize, understand, and value a diversity of learning styles, intelligences, and talents as well as the diversity of social, economic, and cultural experiences (1.1.1a).
Candidates demonstrate skills and commitment that provide all P-12 students access to rigorous college and career ready standards (Standard 1 narrative). The PRDE revised its grade level Academic Standards and Expectations to be College and Career Ready (1.4.2). Candidates use this normative document in conjunction with the Curricular Framework, Curricular Maps, and policy letters for the creation of lesson plans and unit plans. UPRM TPP candidates demonstrate they have the skills and dispositions required to address diverse learners. Candidates hold high scores in the State Licensure exam; passing rates and scores of UPRM candidates are higher compared to the rest of Puerto Rico (1.1.3). Regarding deep understanding of the learner and learning; content; instructional practice; and professional responsibility, candidates come from various academic areas across the university and from different socio economic households (1.4.3). Courses like the Nature and Needs of Exceptional Children, methodology and clinical practice (http://uprm.edu/p/eppcaep/syllabi) allow for multiple opportunities to observe different classes, grade levels, proficiency levels at different practice centers (http://uprm.edu/p/eppcaep/map_of_practice_centers); the TCWS allows candidates to research the contextual factors of each school (1.4.4). In the methodology course, five professors are collaborating in a national project where candidates practice on line in a cyber classroom with issues of diversity, simSchool (1.5.3, 1.5.3.a).
Candidates demonstrate their clinical experiences prepare them to work with all students. Efforts are made to train and retain highly qualified Cooperating Teachers from both private and public schools and from different towns in Puerto Rico. Clinical Experience Supervisors come from different academic areas and received their college degrees from different countries (Table 4, Clinical Educator Qualification Table). TCWS scores for aligning plans, instruction, and assessment with PR Academic Standards corroborate UPRM candidates can effectively apply content and pedagogical knowledge to support learning at the appropriate grade level (1.4.1); candidates observe and plan the accommodations, adaptations, and special strategies to prepare exceptional children(1.4.4).
Candidates demonstrate TPP is committed to outreach efforts to recruit a more able and diverse candidate pool (3.1) through four recruiting efforts carried out every year to ensure diversity of candidates from public and private schools, different towns of Puerto Rico, different academic areas (Standard 3 Narrative); the minimum admission index was established for each department (3.1.2), and UPRM candidates’ admission index is higher compared to the average UPR admission index (3.2.3). Candidates are exposed to 22 different Outreach Educational Programs at UPRM (http://uprm.edu/p/eppcaep/more_info_on_outreach_programs).
Analysis of evidence that demonstrates technology integration
From admission until the last course UPRM teacher candidates use technology to learn; and as they progress to design, implement, and assess the learning of P-12 students.
The UPRM TPP uses the university data base and student digital files to ensure candidate quality, recruitment, and selectivity (standard 3). The UPRM TPP uses electronic communication, online and paper surveys, and web pages as well as personal contact to maintain a strong relationship with clinical practice partners; both cooperative teachers and teacher practice center directors (standard 2).
The Puerto Rico Professional Standards for Teachers (PR-PST) and Puerto Rico Academic Standards (1.3.2b) view technology integration and digital learning as critical for 21st century education and for preparing educators. In accord with that view as well as in response to other state requirements, the URPM TPP integrates technology as both learning mode and goal. The TPP goals include: “the program seeks to foster that the candidate develops cognitive, affective, psychomotor, research, technological and communication skills.” As “users of technology” teacher candidates are prepared to “seamlessly integrate multimedia in learning environments as instructional and management tools to enhance learning” for all P-12 students.
As they integrate technology into designing and implementing learning experiences and assessing student learning (standard 1), candidates are asked to develop an e-Portfolio through multiple courses across the curriculum. They learn the technical skills to create an e-Portfolio in the Using Microcomputers in the Classroom course (EDPE 3129), initiate the e-Portfolio with assessments and rubrics in the Evaluation course, add lesson plans and a teaching philosophy in methodology, and finally add a complete TCWS in the teaching practice course and revise the teaching philosophy in light of that experience. Throughout these learning opportunities (1.5.4), candidates develop and demonstrate the International Standards of Technology in Education technology skills. UPRM teacher candidates: 1) Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity, 2) Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments, 3) Model digital age work and leaning, 4) Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility, and 5) Engage in professional growth and leadership.
The UPRM TPP is moving away from static unidirectional webpages to deliver digital content and towards engaging data base lessons that use multimedia, collaborative and social learning, fast feedback, and authentic assessments. There are several LMS in use across the UPR system. The UPRM TPP is using the NEO LMS (https://decepuprm.neolms.com/) and the flexibility of their packaging makes it a good candidate for the single LMS that the UPR system will choose to support.
TPP candidates have the opportunity to experience virtual education in technology enhanced face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses. TPP professors model the technology integration that virtual schools are using around the world. Virtual classrooms include “video lectures”, “screen cast tutorials”, “digital paper information”, “online discussion and forums”, and “online quizzes and tests”. Using the NEO LMS, a professor or program can analyze and use candidate performance data. In collaboration with the UPRM TPP, the campus has developed the Distance Education Resource Center (CREAD) to provide technical support for faculty incorporating technology into their courses. Trained CREAD personnel help faculty plan and develop digital material to be used in face-to-face, hybrid, or online courses. In EDPE 3129, students learn, practice, and use technology-enhanced instructional and pedagogical strategies to develop appropriate learning experiences that address the diverse learning needs of P-12 students. In other courses candidates develop the skills to engage in social learning through online communities, develop their own multimedia materials for their future students, create and use a blog as a course web page, and use online forms for online assessment. One example is the AVirMAT project in which future teachers from multiple disciplines work collaboratively to develop educational videos that enhance the introductory university mathematics curriculum (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa3CcDqEEC6v_mXuJzjMp3g).