The URPM TPP aligns all course syllabi, rubrics, and evaluation instruments with the ten candidate proficiencies established in its conceptual framework (see 2.2.3 UPRM Conceptual Framework). These proficiencies align with the InTASC 2013 Standards, the CAEP Standards, the Puerto Rico Professional Standards for Teachers (PR-PST), the ISTE Standards, and the UPRM Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) (see 1.1.1a and 1.1.1b for alignments). The principle TPP evaluations that show UPRM teacher candidates meet or exceed criteria based on the InTASC standards are the Classroom Observation Instrument (1.1.2) and the Teacher Candidate Work Sample (TCWS, 1.2.2). These instruments are applied during Teaching Practice. See 1.1.2c for overall performance levels in the four InTASC categories. Since most candidates, over 75%, do their Teaching Practice during the spring semester, data for these two instruments is provided for the last three spring semesters.
The Learner and Learning
UPRM teacher candidates develop their initial knowledge about the learner and learning in fundamental education courses. UPRM Agricultural Education (AgED) teacher candidates follow a unique series of learner and learning courses to become licensed agronomists and teachers serving the community. These three courses are Methods in Teaching Vocational Agriculture, Curriculum Development, and Organization and Administration in Vocational Agriculture. With a 3.60 average course GPA in these three courses over the past three academic years, beginning Agricultural Education teacher candidates demonstrate that they are more than meeting instructor expectations at this level. Agricultural Education teacher candidates completing their teaching practice over the past three academic years earned an average 3.76 GPA in these three courses.
Other UPRM teacher candidates develop their initial knowledge of the learner and learning in Human Growth and Development I & II and a Seminar on the Nature and Needs of Exceptional Children. With an average 3.23 GPA in these three courses, UPRM teacher candidates completing their teaching practice over the past three academic years met program expectations (see 1.1.5a for comparison with recent course enrollees). In addition to these three courses, Physical Education teacher candidates expand their knowledge of learners’ motor skills in the Fundamentals of Motor Learning and an Introduction to Motor Development with Laboratory courses. These candidates perform much better in the more advanced Introduction to Motor Development with Laboratory course (average GPA 3.55) than in the Fundamentals course. See 1.1.5a for Learner and Learning course GPA data.
UPRM teacher candidates practice their skills and disposition working with the learner and learning primarily in their methodology and teaching practice courses. An analysis of the available data on the Contextual Factors portion of the TCWS over the past three semesters shows that 86% to 97% of UPRM candidates fully meet each of the five criteria. See 1.1.2c pages 1 and 2 for more details, 1.2.2 page 5 for instructions regarding Contextual Factors and 1.2.2 page 12 for the corresponding evaluation rubric. An analysis of UPRM candidate performance on the five Learner and Learning items on the Classroom Observation Instrument over the past two spring semesters shows 98% to 100% reached or surpassed the target proficient level. The Classroom Observation Instrument underwent a major revision between spring 2014 and spring 2015 so item by item data is not directly comparable. Even so the data from spring 2014 shows all candidates meeting or exceeding the target proficient level. See 1.1.2b pages 1 and 2 for more details and 1.2.2 pages 1-3 for the corresponding evaluation rubric.
The bachelor’s degrees completed by UPRM teacher candidates are characterized by content depth and breadth. Over the past three academic years, the average number of academic credits taken by UPRM teacher candidates in their content area at UPRM ranges from 30 in Physics to 80 in Agricultural Education. This is well above the Puerto Rico Department of Education requirement of 21 credits in licensure area. As for depth of content, the average number of upper level content credits taken by teacher candidates at UPRM ranges from 21 in History to 65 in Agricultural Education over the past three academic years. For the range of content credits and GPAs see 1.1.5b. Candidates enrolled in a bachelor’s must meet specific content course credit and GPA requirements at transition points 2 and 3 to continue the TPP curricular sequence (see 3.1). Alternate route candidates, those who completed a bachelor’s degree at UPRM or another institution, must meet content course and GPA requirements specific to the licensure area to be admitted. See 3.1a and 3.1b for the TPP Admission Applicant Register.
UPRM teacher candidates develop their skills using and applying content knowledge in their methodology and teaching practice courses. The principal evaluation instruments are the Classroom Observation Instrument and the TCWS. An analysis of the available data on the Content items in the TCWS over the past three years shows that 86% to 97% of UPRM candidates fully meet each of the five criteria. See 1.1.2c pages 1 and 3 for more details. All UPRM candidates reached or surpassed the target proficient performance level on three of the four Application of Content Knowledge items on the Classroom Observation Instrument over the past two spring semesters. All but one of the 51 candidates reached or surpassed the target proficient level on the fourth item. The data from spring 2014 shows all but one candidate meeting or exceeding the target proficient level on Application of Content Knowledge items. See 1.1.2b pages 1 and 3 for more details and 1.2.2 pages 3-4 for the corresponding evaluation rubric.
Agricultural education candidates are evaluated with respect to content knowledge during their two student teaching courses and at two earlier instances: the curricular guide and participation in Puerto Rico’s FFA agricultural exam.
Of the 174 times that UPRM candidates took one of the five Puerto Rico High School Teacher Specialization Certification Tests (PCMAS) over the past three years, 153 (88%) were successful. See 1.1.3. These tests are designed by the CollegeBoard® to measure the knowledge and skills needed to teach each subject competently.
UPRM teacher candidates develop their Instructional Practice skills and disposition in their methodology and teaching practice courses. Overall, UPRM candidates fully meet most of the 16 instructional practice criteria in the TCWS. An analysis of the available data on the TCWS over the past three spring semesters shows that over 90% of UPRM candidates fully meet each of the eight criteria under the aspects of Design for Instruction and Instructional Decision-Making. See 1.1.2c for more details, 1.2.2 pages 8-9 for instructions regarding these aspects, and 1.2.2 pages 14-15 for the corresponding evaluation rubrics. A more detailed analysis of the data under the aspects of Assessment Plan and Analysis of Student Learning shows that 1 out of 3 candidates need to improve with respect to the technical soundness of their assessment plan and the clarity and accuracy of their analysis of student learning. It also shows that 1 out of 5 need to improve the clarity of criteria and performance standards of their assessment plan and their interpretation of data in their analysis of student learning.
Half of the items on the Classroom Observation Instrument measure some aspect of Instructional Practice. Over 90% of UPRM teacher candidates reached or surpassed the target proficient level on these Instructional Practice items over the past two spring semesters. All of the 51 candidates reached or surpassed the target proficient level on all seven items related to Strategies (InTASC Standard 8). Forty-eight (95%) of the candidates reached or surpassed the proficient level on the four items related to Assessment (InTASC Standard 7). Forty-six (90%) candidates reached or surpassed the proficient level on the three items related to Planning (InTASC Standard 6). The data from spring 2014 shows similar results with respect to Instructional Practice. See 1.1.2b pages 1 and 4 for more details and 1.2.2 pages 4-6 for the corresponding evaluation rubric.
UPRM teacher candidates demonstrate their professional responsibilities in the methodology and teaching practice courses. An analysis of the available data on the TCWS over the past three spring semesters shows that over 88% to 92% of UPRM candidates fully meet each of the five professional responsibility criteria. See 1.1.2c pages 7-8 for more details, 1.2.2 page 11 for instructions regarding these aspects and 1.2.2 page 18 for the corresponding evaluation rubrics.
Five items on the Classroom Observation Instrument measure candidate Professional Responsibility. Forty-six (90%) of the 51 UPRM teacher candidates reached or surpassed the target proficient level on all five items over the past two spring semesters. The data from spring 2014 shows similar results with respect to Professional Responsibility. See 1.1.2b pages 1 and 5 for more details and 1.2.2 pages 6-7 for the corresponding evaluation rubric.
Over the past three years, 153 (88%) of 174 UPRM prepared teacher candidate attempts to pass a Puerto Rico teacher specialization certification exam have been successful. Over the same period, 1223 (75%) of 1628 teacher candidates not prepared at UPRM were successful. Even though UPRM prepared candidates represent less than 10% of the teacher specialization exam takers, they make the highest score on 1 to 4 of the five exams each year. See 1.1.3 for a complete analysis of UPRM teacher candidate scores on specialty licensure area exams in comparison with all teacher candidate scores and an exam by exam performance analysis.
How does the provider ensure that candidates use research and evidence to develop an understanding of the teaching profession?
Beginning in their methodology course and finishing in their teaching practice course, UPRM teacher candidates prepare a Teacher Candidate Work Sample (TCWS). In the TCWS, the candidate must fully document the planning, execution, and student learning evaluation for a specific standards-based unit of instruction. The TCWS is fundamentally a classroom action research project. As such, the TCWS is a big part of how the UPRM TPP ensures that its teacher candidates use research and evidence to better understand the teaching profession. Successful completion of the TCWS is a requirement for the teaching practice course. See 1.2.1a pages 1-6 for candidate performance and 1.2.2, the TCWS Manual with Standards Alignment, for the tasks, instructions, and rubrics. During the past three spring semesters, over 80% of UPRM candidates have fully met each of the 32 criteria used to evaluate their TCWS and in the process demonstrated that they are able to conduct classroom research, reflect on the evidence to improve their teaching effectiveness, and develop a better understanding of the teaching profession.
The current Classroom Observation Instrument includes six items regarding Professional Responsibility. Pages 1-4 in 1.2.1b show that UPRM candidates use research and evidence for planning, implementing, and evaluating student progress; to develop an understanding of the teaching profession; and to reflect on their teaching effectiveness at acceptable performance levels.
How do candidates apply content and pedagogical knowledge as reflected in outcome assessments in response to Puerto Rico Professional Standards for Teachers?
With respect to Puerto Rico’s Professional Standards for Teachers, both the High School Teacher Specialization Certification Exams (PCMAS) and the Professional Skills Exam are designed by CollegeBoard®, assure that teacher candidates have the content and pedagogical knowledge and professional skills needed to teach their subject competently. Over the past three years, over 85% of UPRM teacher candidates have approved both exams. See https://cboard.odoo.com/slides/slide/boletin-especialidades-pcmas-7 and 1.3.3c for descriptions of the teacher certification exams. See 1.3.3b and 1.3.3d for a comparison of results for UPRM teacher candidates and those for all exam takers. See 1.3.1 for a summary of the exam results.
How do candidates demonstrate skills and commitment that afford all P-12 students access to rigorous college- and career-ready standards (e.g., Next Generation Science Standards, National Career Readiness Certificate, Common Core State Standards)?
UPRM teacher candidates prepare lesson plans and learning assessments in their Evaluation of Learning and The Use of Microcomputers in the Classroom courses as well as in their methodology and teaching practice courses. Every lesson plan and learning assessment must use Puerto Rico’s (college and career ready by design – see 1.4.2a and 1.4.2b) Academic Standards. Candidate Classroom Observation Instrument scores on planning and implementing sequential instruction that supports learners in meeting curriculum goals, standards and grade level expectations have all reached the competent (acceptable) or exemplary level for the past two years. TCWS scores for aligning plans, instruction, and assessment with Puerto Rico’s Academic Standards corroborate that UPRM candidates can effectively apply content and pedagogical knowledge to support learning at the appropriate grade level as defined by the standards. See 1.4.1 for further details. In addition, see 1.4.4 for how candidates observe and plan the accommodations, adaptations, and special strategies to prepare exceptional children.
With respect to commitment and diversity, UPRM teacher candidates carry out their practice teaching in more than 50 intermediate and high schools across Western and Central Puerto Rico. After carrying out their teaching practice, mostly in challenging public schools, candidates share their experiences with peers and UPRM TPP faculty in a small closing activity. The consistent passion for teaching demonstrated at these activities is remarkable. The majority of these candidates subsequently teach for $1800 monthly salaries in Puerto Rico’s public school system with its nearly bankrupt pension fund and no participation in social security. Note: in general, private schools in Puerto Rico pay less than public schools and numerous states actively recruit teachers at UPRM.
Part of the motivation to teach in one of the largest and poorest school districts in the United States likely comes from candidates’ background. See 1.4.3a to see that most UPRM teacher candidates come from diverse schools and families that gives them particular insight into the importance of rigorous college and career ready standards.
UPRM has a long tradition of community service and educational outreach that afford its teacher candidates opportunities to assist their content professors working with pre-college students. See 1.4.5 for a brief description of 22 ongoing programs and their impact.
In summary, UPRM teacher candidates use the Puerto Rico Academic Standards in their methodology and teaching practice as well as preparatory education courses. The Standards were explicitly designed to prepare students to be college and career ready. Candidate work is evaluated against the standards and measures up. Candidates demonstrate commitment to preparing all students to be college and career ready in an inclusive classroom environment.
How do candidates model and apply technology standards as they design, implement and assess learning experiences to engage students and improve learning; and enrich professional practice?
Since fall 2015, UPRM teacher candidates prepare a lesson with assessment and post in their class blog as a laboratory assignment in their Using Microcomputers in the Classroom course in which they must model and apply technology standards. Over the past year, 75% of the 190 students who enrolled in the course posted a lesson in their blog that was rated excellent. See 1.5.1 for the assignment instructions, scoring rubric, alignment with ISTE standards, results, and examples.
The revised Classroom Observation Instrument includes two criteria that specifically measure candidate use of technology in the classroom. All the spring 2015 and spring 2016 candidates were rated competent (adequate level) or better on these criteria. A total of 24 of the 28 criteria in the instrument are aligned with ISTE standards. The TCWS includes one criterion on the use of technology. Over the past three spring semesters, 96 of the 100 candidates integrated the appropriate technology in a way that made a significant contribution to teaching and learning or provided a strong rationale for not using technology to meet the use of technology criterion. See 1.5.2 for more about candidate performance with respect to the use of technology to design and deliver instruction and to assess learning during teaching practice.
This semester five UPRM TPP methodology professors are using simSchool to expand teacher candidate classroom experience. The main objective is to increase the diversity of learners that UPRM teacher candidates work with. Still simSchool gives them an opportunity to learn with technology, hence about simulation technology for learning. See 1.5.3 and 1.5.3a for more information.
UPRM teacher candidates show that they meet UPRM, ISTE, and CAEP standards for using technology effectively in the classroom to design and deliver instruction and to assess learning in their Using Microcomputers in the Classroom and teaching practice courses. They are developing their ability to work with diverse learners using the technology of simSchool. See technology learning opportunities through TPP in 1.5.4.