Transforming Our Teaching and Learning: The Role of Academic Rigor, Inquiry, and Higher Order Thinking MCCCD Education Instructional CouncilSummer Project 2010 Nora Reyes, Ed.D., Mesa Community College Nancy Oreshack, M.Ed., Glendale Community College Sharon Fagan, M.Ed., Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Statement of Purpose The purpose of this summary information is to present: • Working definitions of key terms: • Academic rigor • Inquiry • Higher order thinking • Identification of relevant standards • Arizona Professional Teaching Standards • NBPTS Five Propositions • Standards for the 21st Century Learner • Implications for teaching and learning • Instructional resources
Rationale The information presented here is seen as important: • To generate a basic understanding of key terms for instructional design in teacher education programs and courses • To provide common ground for education faculty discourse and action • To present a model for “new basics” for 21st century teaching and learning • To provide resources for further investigation, reflection, and implementation
Features of Exemplary Teacher Education Programs • Extensive use of case methods, teacher research, performance assessments, and portfolio evaluation that apply learning to real problems in practice • Explicit strategies to confront their own deep-seated beliefs and assumptions about learning and students and to learn about experiences of people different form themselves • Strong relationships, common knowledge, and shared beliefs among school and university [college]-based faculty jointly engaged in transforming teaching, schooling, and teacher education Excerpted from Darling-Hammond (2006)
Assumptions This work assumes: • The way faculty teach impacts the way future teachers will teach • Education faculty should model the inquiry approach and act as reflective practitioners • Students need to understand their role in an inquiry model (as active learners, not passive recipients of information) • Future teachers will impact social change as a result of their role in the education profession
Working Definition: Academic Rigor Academic rigor suggests a level of challenge that integrates content knowledge, higher order thinking, and active engagement, and presumes: • High standards and expectations • High level of challenge • Depth over breadth of learning • Infusion of multiple perspectives • Encouragement of risk-taking • Acceptance of mistake-making as part of the learning process • Use of continuous feedback during the learning process
Working Definition: Inquiry Inquiry involves seeking knowledge and new understanding through questioning, research, and project based learning, and presumes: • Discovery • Problem-solving • Investigation and experimentation • Open-ended learning processes • Authentic application
Working Definition: Higher Order Thinking Higher order thinking includes the invocation of creative and critical thinking processes to draw conclusions, solve problems, or make decisions, and presumes: • Application, analysis, evaluation, synthesis/creation • Independent reflection, self-evaluation, and reasoning
Standards Inherent to effective teaching of content and preparation of future teachers is application of the most positive aspects of the standards movement. The following slides provide links to the Standards most applicable for developing rigorous and engaging curricula.
National Core Standards http://corestandards.org/ These standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school fully prepared for college and careers. The standards are: • Aligned with college and work expectations; • Clear, understandable and consistent; • Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills; • Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards; • Informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and • Evidence- and research-based.
National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) http://www.nbpts.org/the_standards/the_five_core_propositio NBPTS was created in 1987 after the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy’s Task Force on Teaching as a Profession released A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century. • Proposition 1: Teachers are Committed to Students and Their Learning • Proposition 2: Teachers Know the Subjects They Teach and How to Teach Those Subjects to Students • Proposition 3: Teachers are Responsible for Managing and Monitoring Student Learning • Proposition 4: Teachers Think Systematically about Their Practice and Learn from Experience • Proposition 5: Teachers are Members of Learning Communities
Professional Teacher Standardsfor Arizona https://www.azed.gov/default.asp Go to “Standards and Assessment” then to “Professional Teacher Standards” link for access to Arizona’s Professional Teacher Standards document. • Standard 1: The teacher designs and plans instruction that develops students’ abilities to meet Arizona’s academic standards and the district’s assessment plan. • Standard 2: The teacher creates and maintains a learning climate. • Standard 3: The teacher implements and manages instruction that develops students’ abilities to meet Arizona’s academic standards. • Standard 4: The teacher assesses learning and communicates results to students, parents and other professionals with respect to students’ abilities to meet Arizona’s academic standards. • Standard 5: The teacher collaborates with colleagues, parents, the community and other agencies to design, implement, and support learning programs that develop students’ abilities to meet Arizona’s academic standards and transition from school to work or post-secondary education.
Professional Teacher Standardsfor Arizona (continued) • Standard 6: The teacher reviews and evaluates his or her overall performance and implements a professional development plan. • Standard 7: The teacher has general academic knowledge as demonstrated by the attainment of a bachelor’s degree. The teacher also has specific academic knowledge in his or her subject area or areas sufficient to develop student knowledge and performance to meet Arizona academic standards. • Standard 8: The teacher demonstrates current professional knowledge sufficient to effectively design and plan instruction, implement and manage instruction, create and maintain an appropriate learning environment, and assess student learning. • Standard 9: In collaboration with other professionals and parents, the special education teacher participates in the design, implementation, and assessment of individualized education programs.
Topics for the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment (AEPA) www.aepa.nesinc.com/PDFs/AZ_fldPK_framework.pdf Three core areas each with specific indicators: • Student Development and Learning • Instructional Planning and Management • The Professional Environment
Implications: General It is assumed… • Teachers and students work as a community of learners. • Skills for life-long learning are instilled. • The integration of thinking skills and inquiry with academic rigor benefits students, culture, civic institutions, and democracy. • Dispositions of reflection and critical inquiry are fostered.
Implications for Teachers For teachers, it is assumed… • Teach from a student-centered focus to embed students’ own interests, strengths, and goals. • Reflect on own practice and plan instruction to include features of academic rigor, inquiry, and higher order thinking. • Create and administer engaging, challenging, and varied assignments, activities, assessments.
Implications for Students For students, it is assumed… • Confront personal beliefs and assumptions about learning • Take responsibility for and work toward excellence in their learning • Experience transformation to impact social change and promote social justice • Work collaboratively and with integrity
Instructional Resource: Bloom’s Taxonomy Source: http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/slatta/hi216/learning/bloom.htm
Instructional Resource: S-E-X-I State State the concept or idea in a sentence or two Explain or Say it a different way, with different words Elaborate Say more about it eXemplify Give concrete examples Implications Tell why it is important, how it applies, relevance Implementation Tell how to do it Adapted from the work of Richard Paul, Foundation for Critical Thinking
Web Sources • Principles of Learning: Study Tools for Educatorshttp://www.pps.k12.pa.us/143110127103415203/lib/143110127103415203/video/index.html • 21st Century Schoolshttp://www.21stcenturyschools.com/What_is_21st_Century_Education.html • What is inquiry-based learning?http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/inquiry/index.html
Web Sources (continued) • Intro to Inquiry Learninghttp://www.youthlearn.org/learning/general-info/our-approach/intro-inquiry-learning/intro-inquiry-learning • Understanding and Reporting on Academic Rigorhttp://pocketknowledge.tc.columbia.edu/home.php/viewfile/70989 • The Non-Negotiables of Academic Rigorhttp://www.ncpublicschools.org/academicservices/gifted/resources/reports/nonnegotiables?&print=true
Print Sources • Bush, G. (2009). Toward a Culture of Inquiry in a World of Choices. Knowledge Quest, 38(1), 12-23. Retrieved from ERIC database. • Colby, A., & Sullivan, W. (2009). Strengthening the Foundations of Students' Excellence, Integrity, and Social Contribution. Liberal Education, 95(1), 22-29. Retrieved from ERIC database. • Donnell, K., & Harper, K. (2005). Inquiry in Teacher Education: Competing Agendas. Teacher Education Quarterly, 32(3), 153-165. Retrieved from ERIC database. • Justice, C. & Rice, J., Warry, W., Inglis, S., Miller, S., Sammon, S. (2007). Inquiry in higher education: reflections and directions on course design and teaching methods. Innovations in Higher Education, 31:201-214. Retrieved from Wilson Web database.
Acknowledgements Project sponsored by the National Center for Teacher Education Maricopa County Community College District