National University P20 Leadership Center Program Ambassador
(For more information on Evidence-Based Analysis, please join us for our upcoming webinar entitled Write to Provide Evidence on Thursday, March 3, at 6pm Pacific, 9pm Eastern, by visiting our Professional Development Series page HERE.)
As many people in the field of education, and especially those closely tied to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) community know, there has been a revamp of the National Board Certification (NBC) process that has been taking place over the last several years. The restructuring of the NBC process started in 2014 with a reformatting of what was the assessment center portion of the test, now called Component 1. Three of the other four Components of the entire assessment were brought on line, one per year, since then, but, up to last week, Component 4 had not yet been made public. In fact, I was meeting with a group of teachers going through their board work recently, and they asked me questions about how they might prepare for Component 4, once it becomes available in the 2017-2018 National Board cycle. I had all sorts of imaginings to offer my group, including that it likely would follow the old entry model of focusing on a teacher’s work as a leader, learner, and work with families and community.
To be clear, there is currently a field test for Component 4, as there were with the other three components, initially. Therefore, this blog post serves as an examination of what might end up as the final Component 4 assessment component of the new NBPTS Assessment. With this in mind, if you are a current National Board Certified Teacher, and would be interested in field testing Component 4, it is a great way to strengthen your knowledge of the new NBPTS structure of the component for working with candidates, or just to increase personal knowledge. For candidates, if you would like to “test-drive” Component 4 in draft stage, just to practice and prepare, taking advantage of the field-test can provide you with a risk-free opportunity, as the pilot is not link to an official assessment. Instead, the NBPTS is looking for feedback to strengthen and modify the Component prior to it going online in 2017. Access the field test HERE.
While the field test provides a wonderful opportunity to become familiar with Component 4, the real question on the minds of most current candidates is what they need to know, prepare, modify, implement, and even change, in order to best prepare for success in with this portion of the assessment. Similar to Component 2 and 3, Component 4 asks candidates to include a Contextual Information Sheet as a means to give assessors insights into the teaching context (i.e. type of school, grade(s) taught, courses, etc.). However, there are many differences between the new pilot of Component 4, from its predecessor.
Moving forward to answer the questions about what current candidates should know and be able to do, a common theme among all of the 25 certificate choices of the the Pilots for Component 4 is that candidates highlight abilities as effective and reflective practitioners in developing and applying knowledge of their students.
If I am a Candidate, What do I Prepare and Submit?:
Contextual Information Sheet: This describes the broader context in which you teach. You will identify the type of school/program in which you teach, the grade/subject configuration, and the number of students and courses you teach. Include, as well, information necessary to understand your portfolio entry and any significant information about space, staff, access to technology, and/or other constraints.
Knowledge of Students and Generation and Use of Assessment Data: Select one group of students as the focus for both the Knowledge of Students and the Generation and Use of Assessment Data sections of this portfolio entry. You will gather information from a variety of sources about this group of students; and select and use assessments (formative, summative, and student self-assessments) to effectively plan for, and positively impact your students’ learning;
Participating in Learning Communities: Provide evidence of your collaboration with families and caregivers, the community, and colleagues and of your contributions to learning communities to advance students’ learning and growth. The types of information you submit, the sources of that information, and how you use it will be specific to your subject area and the unique characteristics of your students, school, district, and community.
Some language of the entry that you will want to consider, as you mentally prepare for submission of Component 4:
Description of Professional Learning Need--
The language is: “Describe a need for professional learning by yourself and/or your colleagues that you identified as a result of your knowledge of students (either a particular group or accumulated over time).” and, “Describe the evidence you provided of how you met the professional learning need you described above.”
Description of a Student Need--
The language is: “Describe a student need (of a specific group of students or a broader population) you identified that required advocacy, collaboration, and/or leadership on your part within a larger learning community (e.g., school, district, community, professional association).” and, “Describe the evidence you provided of how you collaborated with others to meet the student need you described above.”
Formative Assessment Materials--
The language is: “Describe the assessment, including the purpose and appropriate use of the assessment, student population for whom the assessment is intended, how the assessment was developed, how it was administered, how the results were scored/evaluated, and how the results are intended to be used. If you are including student self-assessments or feedback, provide context for the examples."
As with the entire NBPTS assessment, the Component 4 portfolio entry and the rubric used to assess your submission are aligned with the Five Core Propositions and the certificate area Standards. Remember to refer to the Standards for a complete understanding of the characteristics and expectations of accomplished teaching in your certificate area.
To Summarize, taken as a whole, Component 4 asks candidates to describe or build a profile of a group of students by collecting relevant information from families and caregivers, the community, colleagues, and other sources; demonstrate that the assessment choices made in an instructional unit are based on knowledge of the students gained from collaboration with multiple sources, the learning objectives of the unit, an articulation of an understanding of sound assessment principles and practices, and how the information is used to effectively plan for and make a positive impact on student learning. What comes to light as the greatest change, between the previous Entry 4, and the pilot of Component 4 that was just released, is that Entry 4 focused on documenting accomplishments. Component 4 had a deep focus on evidence-based analysis to prove significant impact on student achievement.
For more information on obtaining National Board Certification support through our center, be sure to visit www.nbctwave.org and attend our support Webinars which includes information toward earning a Master’s with NBC as a component of the relevant coursework, or a doctoral degree with fee and time reduction.