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Standard 2 Aspect C

Standard 2c: Program completers engage in professional practice in educational settings and show that they have the skills and abilities to do so in a variety of additional settings and community/cultural contexts. For example, candidates must have broad and general knowledge of the impact of culture and language on learning, yet they cannot, within the context of any given program, experience working with the entire diversity of student identities, or in all types of school environments. 

Candidate preparation includes first-hand professional experience accompanied by reflection that prepares candidates to engage effectively in different contexts they may encounter throughout their careers.


Data Sources & Analysis:

Data Source 1

LEE 230 Discussion Assignment

Perspective Captured from Data Source: Candidate

Rationale for using Data Source:
The LEE 230 Supervised Teaching in Reading/Language Arts discussion assignment highlights students’ ability to identify and reflect on the ideological/philosophical underpinnings of teaching reading, to assess their own stances, and to critically reflect on the implications of that assessment. 

Specific Elements of Data Source:

Discussion Prompt:
Traditionally, intervention and remediation have turned a blind eye toward students' diverse backgrounds, focusing instead on cognitive development in relation to 'benchmarks' of achievement. As Thomas & Dyches (2019) argue, the “basics-first emphasis commonly associated with reading intervention curricula may result in districts assigning reading intervention that helps students develop foundational literacy skills through interacting with materials that perpetuate oppressive ideologies.”

In your opinion, why is it important for teachers to focus on students’ racial, cultural, and linguistic identities when we:

  • identify students for intervention;
  • develop meaningful intervention assessments and lessons;
  • select literature and materials to use in intervention;
  • strive to see students through an asset (strengths-based) lens?

Please bring our readings into your response. Posts should be approx. 1/2 to 1 page single-spaced. Respond to at least 1 of your classmates' posts (approx. 1 paragraph).

Definition of Success for Each Element:
It is crucial for educators to understand racism and other forms of oppression not simply in terms of personal biases (i.e., bigotry), but as structural phenomena borne in policies, procedures, and shared practices. To wit, this assignment asks students to consider 1) how the intervention and remediation curriculum and processes used by their districts may carry unstated racialized assumptions about children’s epistemologies, and 2) why it is important for teachers to foreground identity vis-a-vis intervention and remediation. 

Determining “success” on such a task is not discrete, and certainly not one-and-done. In an inquiry-based program, student reflections must be ongoing and iterative. Successful student reflections are those that show a commitment to continued inquiry and that engage outside ideas, in this case, a research article and peer posts. As Britzman (1991) informs us: “practice makes practice.” Inquiry is imperfectable. 

Dataset: Truncated and anonymized discussion board posts for five random students in 2019 and five random students in 2020 are included as the data source. Because this discussion prompt in LEE 230 began in the Fall 2019 semester, we only have two cycles of data. 

Displays of Analyzed Data:
Candidates’ Understanding of the Relationship Between Student Engagement and Text Selection

Fall 2019

Student 1 The article by Thomas and Dyches really helped me to better understand the negative impact that repetitive exposure to literature written with “hegemonic ideologies” has on students of colour. . . Teachers need to be aware of the ideologies that are being taught to our students and in order to do so, teachers need to look critically at how they teach, what they teach, and how different cultures and races are depicted in literature in order to “interrupt the oppressive status quo potentially upheld by the curricular materials” (p.11-12).
Student 2 Using students’ cultures as a frame of reference when planning and allowing them access to literature that reflects their various identities improves their motivation, engagement, and performance in reading (Thomas et al., 2019, p. 3). . . Literacy comes in many forms, and by knowing what areas of literacy our students’ strengths lie, we can make better instructional decisions.
Student 3 This group’s love of books and high enthusiasm for reading, overshadows their low foundational skills. It is my duty as a teacher, to make sure my students reach their goals, but also fostering their love of learning.
Student 4 These cultural norms are prevalent in literature, and it can be difficult to find texts, design materials, and implement assessments that reflect students’ diverse backgrounds. In my opinion, these biases may be having more of a societal impact than we are aware of, and can be a factor contributing towards the negative attitudes of people of color towards their educations.  If a student who is struggling at reading is a person of color, and a teacher unconsciously chooses a story that portrays that student’s racial, cultural, and linguistic identity in a negative light, then it will only reinforce the student’s negative self concepts, and can contribute to the student’s academic struggles. . . .
Ultimately, if educators want to support students from diverse backgrounds, we need to be aware of our personal biases. Furthermore, educators need to take the time to get to know their students, and be aware of their cultural, racial and linguistic identities.
Student 5 In my opinion, it is crucial for teachers to focus on students’ racial, cultural, and linguistic identities while planning and creating lessons. Students feel empowered, understood, heard, seen, accepted, and excited when they see their racial, cultural, and linguistic identities in the classroom. When teachers take the time to do so, students are more intrigued and are "hooked" on the lesson. When students can relate and see a part of themselves and what they know, they are more inclined to want to learn more and are eager to share their knowledge with others as well. 

Fall 2020

Student 1 For example, one of the running records that we use  is from our Wonders curriculum. There is a story about a pig and a fox who they each think their house is the best. Most of my students have difficulty reading this text, not because the words are hard but because it isn't a story they can identify with. In contrast, the story that is a bit harder is a nonfiction story about frogs and toads. Most of my students can read this text with little struggles. It is something that we learn about in science and they can relate to it. It is important to focus on students' racial, cultural, and linguistic identities when I develop meaningful intervention assessments and lessons and when selecting materials for use in intervention. 
Student 2  For example, every year part of my F&P assessment uses a book about a boy and a girl making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The book is at an early level so students are suppose to know the pattern of language and to look at the pictures to help them identify the words on the page. However, many of my students aren't familiar with a jar of jelly or peanut butter, so showing a picture of it in the book is not helpful. . . If the goal of a lesson is for students to retell a story, we must be cautious that we are not also asking them to understand a new topic such as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Student 3 Therefore, as the Reading Specialist, I feel that I must use texts which are more culturally responsive and/or neutral to ensure that my students can connect with the context in order to make meaning. When I receive students, I use stories from Newsela, which are either focused on science or history.  I use these stories because they are easily understandable and relatable to my students. . . I want to make sure that they see their current and past knowledge as equally valuable as the white knowledge that they are exposed to in their education. 
Student 4 Their experiences can be built from and it is incredible to see a mix of cultures. This to me is true diversity. Scaffolding from one's own experiences and backgrounds to others is what makes them diverse, in my opinion. I also do not want to avoid materials because the main focus is a white character, as many readings suggest. As a teacher I need to bring respect and exposure to all races and cultures.
Student 5  I also feel like focusing on students’ racial, cultural, and linguistic identities will allow students to build deeper awareness and understanding of a multicultural society. It should allow for high student engagement and allow educators to see them through a strength-based lens. I feel like as educators, we often get carried away with the curriculum and just teaching by the books.

Interpretation of Data:

As highlighted in the excerpted responses above, students in both 2019 and 2020 were eager to write about the relationship between children’s racio-cultural identities and their experiences in and of remediation/intervention. Candidates wrote critically and vulnerably, interrogating themselves and their sites of practice. 

Candidates demonstrated a clear understanding of the relationship between providing students with texts that align with their interests and cultural backgrounds and students’ engagement in the learning. In order to create a positive learning environment when working with students on their literacy skills, educators need to be able to provide texts that students want to read. The responses above highlight the ways in which the program is preparing our candidates to do exactly that.

Data Source 2

Reading, Language, Literacy Specialist Credential Completer Survey

Perspective Captured from Data Source: Candidate/Completer (prior to graduation)

Rationale for using Data Source:
Although we used this data source for Standard 1, we are currently limited in the types of data we have available. This data source is a good indicator for this standard, but we will continue to develop additional data sources for future continuous improvement cycles.

Beginning in Fall 2020, the RLLSC Program began administering a survey to candidates upon their completion of the program as a way to learn more about their perceptions of how well the program prepared them.

Using the RLLSC Completer Survey allows us to capture candidates’ perceptions of how well the program prepared them to use strategies and instructional approaches to develop productive learning environments in regards to language, reading, and writing. 

Specific Elements of Data Source:

Reading Elements

Definition of Success for Each Element:
Programmatically, our goal is for candidates to rate the program at a 4 or a 5 within each area.

Displays of Analyzed Data:

Analyzed Data

Link to Full Dataset:

RLLSC Program Completion Survey Data (Names Redacted)

Interpretation of Data:
Because the program only began administering the completion survey in Fall 2020, we only have one cycle of data to analyze. Of the 12 completers surveyed, all 12 provided responses for a response rate of 100%.

Overwhelmingly, the completers who responded indicated they strongly agreed that the program prepared them to use a variety of instructional techniques  in regards to language, reading, and writing.

Data Source 3:

Reading, Language, Literacy Specialist Credential Year+ Completer Pilot Survey

Perspective Captured from Data Source:
Program completer at least one year or more out of program completion

Rationale for using Data Source:
Beginning in late Spring 2021, the RLLSC Program administered a pilot survey to program completers who completed the program at least one year or more prior to Spring 2021.  This pilot survey was administered to learn the perceptions of how well the program prepared them.

Using the RLLSC Year+ Completer Pilot Survey allows us to capture candidates’ perceptions of how well the program prepared them with content and pedagogy necessary to carry out their role as Reading Specialists/ Literacy Leaders.

Specific Elements of Data Source:

Reading Elements
 

Definition of Success for Each Element:
Because this is a new pilot survey we have not set a programmatic goal and are hoping to learn areas of need for our program with this survey. Eventually, our goal is for candidates to rate the program at a 4 or a 5 within each area.

Displays of Analyzed Data:

​​Data from May/June 2021 Data Cycle

Analyzed Data
Link to Full Dataset:
RLLSC Year+ Completer Pilot Survey (Names Redacted)

Interpretation of Data:
Because the program only began administering the Year+ Completer Pilot survey in May 2021, we only have one (partial) cycle of data to analyze. The pilot survey was sent to 56 RLLSC program completers from years 2015-2020 in early May 2021 and again in June 2021. As of July 14, 2021, five responded to the survey. 

The completers who responded indicated a range of opinions on how the program prepared them to create productive learning environments and use strategies to develop productive learning environments. Three out of five respondents (60%)  agreed the program prepared them in this aspect, one responded neither agreed nor disagreed, and one responded disagreed. There were no qualitative comments with the responses. 

Next Steps: 
The qualitative and quantitative findings indicate program candidates and completers are well-prepared to create productive learning environments. 

We will continue to collect the LEE 230 Discussion Prompt responses and send both the completer and Year + completer surveys out each year and as a program, analyze the data for feedback and trends. Additionally, we plan to conduct focus group interviews with year+ completers and develop an employer pilot survey, both of which will be created and piloted in the 2021-22 academic year. 

Aspect D →