One hundred and forty-nine teacher candidates took part in a year-long study to determine what the early childhood teacher candidate knew about education and learning. This study seeks estimates to determine information about candidates' academic teaching at program entry and exit routes.
This study explored the general question: What can we claim about the knowledge and abilities of our early childhood teacher candidate graduates? Pre-and post-evaluation of 147 EC-4 teacher candidates was arranged to measure their knowledge development from entry to exit in the program.
The following four major domains were assessed: Designing Instruction and Assessment; Creating a positive and productive environment; Effective, responsive guidance and evaluation implementation; and fulfilling professional roles and responsibilities. The results show that out of the four domains, the candidates' develop assessment (ontwikkel assessment) knowledge has increased the most in creating a positive, productive classroom environment.
The pressure to hold education colleges accountable for better performance in teacher education programs is still strong ("Classroom Excellence," 2006). In 1987, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was established to develop teacher standards and assessments (Banta, 2000). Together with the International Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has developed tools to assess teachers' content, knowledge of materials, classroom knowledge, and classroom practice.
Nevada, Michigan, Montana, West Virginia, Oregon, and Indiana colleges use professional quality boards to oversee the use of standards (Sand well and Wiggle, 2006). In Texas, the governor outlined detailed requirements to hold education colleges accountable for producing high-quality teachers ("Classroom Excellence," 2006).
Education colleges in Texas will be rated ideal, acceptable, or underperforming annually by the Tax Higher Education Coordinating Board (TEECB) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Acceptable and underperforming colleges will need to improve their performance or lose state funding ("Classroom Excellence").
The Assessment Process:
To meet NCET Standard 1 expectations, the University of Texas at Arlington College of Education developed a portal system for evaluating candidates. Each program in the College of Education has developed its dynamic diagnostic system based on national standards developed by specialized professional associations (SPAS) within an online portal.
The EC4 Program Diagnostic Activities Portal System collects quantitative data on the impact of program learning experiences on childhood teacher candidates. The portal system is a collection of candidate work that demonstrates expertise in the professional standards developed by the National Association for the Development and Education of Young Children throughout the program.
Candidates present various documents at different points of the program that provide evidence of information about their teaching principles. This portal serves as a tool for authoritative review of candidates' professional abilities (Wiggins, 1993).
The data collected through the portal provides teachers with proof of knowledge of the candidates' teaching materials and allows the candidates to set development goals during their professional education. The data collected also allows the Early Childhood Faculty to revise the current program to prepare EC4 teachers to work with children, preparing for birth through the fourth grade.