Developed by Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (1992)
INTERSTATE NEW TEACHER ASSESSMENT AND SUPPORT CONSORTIUM
For the past eighteen months the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), a program of the Council of Chief State School Officers, has been at work crafting model standards for licensing new teachers. Drafted by representatives of the teaching profession along with personnel from 17 state education agencies, these standards represent a common core of teaching knowledge and skills which will help all students acquire 21st century knowledge and skills. The standards were developed to be compatible with the advanced certification standards of the new National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. This effort takes another step toward a coherent approach to educating and licensing teachers based upon shared views among the states and within the profession of what constitutes professional teaching.
This document addresses the knowledge, dispositions and performances deemed essential for all teachers regardless of their specialty area. It is chapter one of a long term effort. When these standards have been reviewed and revised, the Committee will begin the process of developing subject area standards for new teachers. This process will use the National Board's standards, accepted standards for student outcomes K-12 and this conception of common knowledge as its reference points. As an integral part of this process, the Committee will also work on the development of assessment prototypes for evaluating the achievement of these standards.
The intent of this document, and those which will follow, is to stimulate dialogue among the stakeholders of the teaching profession about the best thinking of their colleagues regarding what constitutes competent beginning teaching. Our work is offered to state education agencies and institutions concerned with the professional development of teachers as a resource to revisit state standards for training and licensing new teachers, and to consider ways these models might enhance their system.
We invite and encourage your comments on this draft. The draft is being widely circulated to members of the public and the profession as well as the policy making community. We invite you to make your comments in any way you like, including on the document itself. Please take time to answer the two questions about each principle. This will help us analyze the responses and make thoughtful revisions.
We thank you in advance for taking the time to review our work. It is only with public consensus on a shared vision of education that we can be successful and that our children can be assured of the education they will need to carry out the responsibilities of the future.
M. Jean Miller, Director, INTASC
Linda Darling-Hammond, Chair, Drafting Committee
Efforts to restructure America's schools for the demands of a knowledge-based economy are redefining the mission of schooling and the job of teaching. Rather than merely "offering education," schools are now expected to ensure that all students learn and perform at high levels. Rather than merely "covering the curriculum," teachers are expected to find ways to support and connect with the needs of all learners. This new mission requires substantially more knowledge and skill of teachers and more student-centered approaches to organizing schools. These learner-centered approaches to teaching and schooling require, in turn, supportive policies for preparing, licensing, and certifying educators and for regulating and accrediting schools.
As part of the many initiatives that have been undertaken to strengthen the teaching profession, a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was established in 1987 to develop standards for the advanced certification of highly skilled veteran teachers, much as professional certifying agencies do in assessing physicians, architects, accountants, and others. In the same year the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC,) a program of the Council of Chief State School Officers, was established to enhance collaboration among states interested in rethinking teacher assessment for initial licensing as well as for preparation and induction into the profession. The National Board and INTASC are united in their view that the complex art of teaching requires performance-based standards and assessment strategies that are capable of capturing teachers' reasoned judgments and that evaluate what they can actually do in authentic teaching situations.
The INTASC Task Force on Teacher Licensing
Under its current sponsorship by the Council of Chief State School Officers, INTASC established a task force last year to consider what kinds of changes in licensing standards would be needed to create "Board-compatible" standards for entry into the teaching profession. These are standards that embody the kinds of knowledge, skills, and dispositions that teachers need to practice responsibly when they enter teaching and that prepare them for eventual success as Board-certified teachers later in their careers.
The task force, chaired by Linda Darling-Hammond, is comprised of the following states and organizations: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin, The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, The American Association of Colleges for TeacherEducation, the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education, the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. A State Networking Committee, composed of 22 additional states which have requested participation in the standards development work, will work with the task force to facilitate a public review of the draft standards.
The task force's goal is to create model standards for "Board-compatible" teacher licensing that can be reviewed by professional organizations and state agencies as a basis for their own standard-setting activities. The task force will continue its work by collecting, developing, and evaluating assessment ideas and options for evaluating candidates' knowledge and performances in relation to the standards, making the results of these activities available to states interested in collaborating on assessment development.
The Starting Point: A Common Core of Teaching Knowledge
The INTASC task force decided to begin its work by articulating standards for a common core of teaching knowledge and skills that should be acquired by all new teachers, to be followed by additional specific standards for disciplinary areas and levels of schooling. Like the first tier of assessment for licensing in virtually all other professions, this "common core" is intended to outline the common principles and foundations of practice that cut across specialty areas -- the knowledge of student learning and development, curriculum and teaching, contexts and purposes which creates a set of professional understandings, abilities, and commitments that all teachers share.
Starting with this shared knowledge was viewed as important for at least two reasons. First, it is the common commitment to ethical practice and foundational knowledge that provides the glue that holds members of a profession together, creating a common language, set of understandings, and beliefs that permit professionals to talk and work together toward shared purposes on behalf of their clients. Just as pediatricians and oncologists share a knowledge of human physiology so that they can work together after they have specialized further, so teachers of mathematics and social studies must share an understanding of child development and learning that allows them to plan together and assess students' needs from a common perspective. Second, the development of assessment possibilities -- a later task for INTASC -- may be enhanced across specialty areas by having developed a conception of the underlying knowledge that informs practice in many different ways.
This draft publication presents the first efforts of the group to develop such standards for a common core of teaching knowledge. Recognizing that applications of these common understandings and commitments are manifested in specific contexts --defined by students, subjects, and school levels, among others -- we emphasize that "common core" standards are not analogous to `generic' or context-free teaching behaviors. The assessment of specific teaching decisions and actions must occur in varied contexts that will require varied responses. In some cases, these are grounded in the discipline being taught: thus, subject-specific pedagogical decisions need to be evaluated in the context of subject-specific standards. These will be developed in the next phase of the task force's work. In other cases, contextual considerations must be made part of the assessment structure and response possibilities. Evaluating how the standards might be assessed is also part of the task force's future work. We invite your comments now and as the work progresses.
The Standards: Performance-Based and Board-Compatible
An important attribute of these proposed standards--and those to be developed in the next phase of the work--is that they are performance-based: that is, they describe what teachers should know and be able to do rather than listing courses that teachers should take in order to be awarded a license. This shift toward performance-based standard-setting is in line with the National Board's approach to developing standards and with the changes already occurring in a number of states. This approach should clarify what the criteria are for assessment and licensing, placing more emphasis on the abilities teachers develop than the hours they spend taking classes. Ultimately, performance-based licensing standards should enable states to permit greater innovation and diversity in how teacher education programs operate by assessing their outcomes rather than their inputs or procedures.
The standards were developed in response to the five major propositions that guide the National Board's standard-setting and assessment work:
These propositions, articulated in much more elaborated form in the Board's background documents, will provide the foundation for the Board's standards for advanced certification. These are to be developed in each of 30 areas defined by disciplinary area (English/Language Arts; Mathematics; etc.) and developmental level of students (early childhood, middle childhood, early adolescence, and late adolescence/young adulthood). The resulting standards, in fields like "Early Adolescence English/Language Arts" and "Early Childhood Generalist," will provide the basis for performance-based assessments for advanced certification in each of these areas.
In our work, the task force used the Board's elaborated propositions, which embody criteria for identifying excellent teaching, as the basis for exploring what beginning teachers ought to be prepared to know and be able to do in order to develop into a teacher with these capacities over time. We drew on work in a number of the states that derives from a shared conception of teaching -- including recent work in California, Minnesota, New York, and Texas -- and on teacher education initiatives, including the Holmes Group's recent thinking about conceptions of teaching knowledge and Alverno College's performance-based approach to organizing teacher education. The Board's criteria remained our reference point, and they permeate these standards. However, our resulting ten principles are not organized within each of the Board's propositions, since so many abilities are interwoven and cut across several at once.
Having begun with the common core of teaching knowledge, we plan to develop specialty area standards for beginning teachers following on the heels of those the Board is now beginning to issue, area by area, for advanced certification. A decision not yet made, however, is whether to follow exactly the Board's structure for 30 certification areas and how to reconcile the different structures for licensing areas that already exist across the states.
Levels and Meanings of Standards
Licensing vs. certification
Two important issues arise in creating "Board-compatible" standards for state licensing:
Professional certification, on the other hand, is based on standards -- often more advanced or exacting ones -- established by the profession itself, sometimes through a national organization like the National Board of Medical Examiners or the National Architectural Registration Board. These standards generally are developed to represent high levels of competence and skill. Thus, certified public accountants, board-certified physicians, and registered architects have met professional standards that exceed those demanded by most states for licensure. These standards may require additional education or supervised internship as well as greater knowledge and more skilled performances in specific areas.
As these functions are evolving in teaching, states will continue to license beginning teachers and other teachers who want to move into a state to practice. The National Board will award advanced certificates to those who have met the prerequisite experience level of at least three years of practice and who voluntarily sit for and pass its examinations. If certification evolves as it has in other professions, it is likely that at some point states may accept Board certification as satisfying state requirements for incoming veteran teachers who apply for a license when they move into the state.
Beginning vs. advanced
The task force spent a great deal of time considering two other related questions:
However states handle it though, the issuing of a license should have a common meaning: that the entrant is prepared to practice responsibly as the primary teacher of record for students. We have consequently established these standards with this criterion in mind. Students' needs for well-grounded and adaptive teaching are what must ultimately define the standards for teachers.
States would be expected to apply the standards at the juncture at which they issue a license which allows teachers to practice independently as teacher of record. Then states should consider whether changes in preparation are needed to ensure that teachers have the ability to engage in the kinds of learner-centered practices articulated by the standards and have the opportunity to build their developing practice on a solid foundation that will lead to higher levels of expertise.
The related question is what distinguishes the beginning practice of a competent newly-licensed teacher from the advanced levels of teaching performance expected of a Board-certified teacher. In our deliberations about this question, we considered whether there were certain kinds or classes of knowledge, understanding, commitment, or ability that a Board-certified teacher might exhibit which would be wholly unnecessary for a beginning teacher and consequently should be omitted from licensing considerations. We could not identify any area in which this approach would not seriously undermine the capacity of beginning teachers to develop their practice on a solid foundation.
We concluded that the appropriate distinctions between beginning and advanced practice are in the degree of sophistication teachers exhibit in the application of knowledge rather than in the kind of knowledge needed. Advanced practitioners will have developed their abilities to deal simultaneously with more of the complex facets of the teaching context, with greater flexibility and adaptability, and a more highly-developed capacity to integrate their understandings and performances on behalf of students' individual needs. At the same time, to eventually become an expert practitioner, beginning teachers must have, at the least, an awareness of the kinds of knowledge and understandings needed -- as well as resources available -- to develop these skills, must have some capacity to address the many facets of curriculum, classroom, and student life, and must have the dispositions and commitments that pledge them to professional development and responsibility.
In sum, these standards aim to develop beginning professionals while contributing, at the same time, to the development of the profession. We offer them to you -- the profession and the public -- for your feedback and comments.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all children have the potential to learn rigorous content and achieve high standards and that a well educated citizenry is essential for maintaining our democracy and ensuring a competitive position in a global economy.
We believe that our educational system must guarantee a learning environment in which all children can learn and achieve their own kind of individually configured excellence -- an environment that nurtures their unique talents and creativity; understands, respects, and incorporates the diversity of their experiences into the learning process; and cultivates their personal commitment to enduring habits of life-long learning.
We believe that states must strive to ensure excellence in teaching for all children by establishing professional licensing standards and learning opportunities which enable all teachers to develop and use professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions on behalf of students.
We believe that these standards and opportunities should enable teachers to support the intellectual, social, emotional, moral, and physical development of students, respond with flexibility and professional judgment to their different needs; and actively engage them in their own learning so that they can use and generate knowledge in effective and powerful ways.
We believe that teaching and learning comprise a holistic process that connects ideas and disciplines to each other and to the personal experiences, environments, and communities of students. Consequently, the process of teaching must be dynamic and reciprocal, responding to the many contexts within which students learn. Such teaching demands that teachers integrate their knowledge of subjects, students, the community,and curriculum to create a bridge between learning goals and learners' lives.
We believe that professional teachers assume roles that extend beyond the classroom and include responsibilities for connecting to parents and other professionals, developing the school as a learning organization, and using community resources to foster the education and welfare of students.
We believe that teachers' professional development is a dynamic process extending from initial preparation over the course of an entire career. Professional teachers are responsible for planning and pursuing their ongoing learning, for reflecting with colleagues on their practice, and for contributing to the profession's knowledge base. States and local education agencies must be responsible for investing in the growth of knowledge for individual teachers and the profession as a whole, and for establishing policies, resources, and organizational structures that guarantee continuous opportunity for teacher learning.
The teacher understands how students' conceptual frameworks and their misconceptions for an area of knowledge can influence their learning.
The teacher can relate his/her disciplinary knowledge to other subject
The teacher appreciates multiple perspectives and conveys to learners how knowledge is developed from the vantage point of the knower.
The teacher has enthusiasm for the discipline(s) s/he teaches and sees connections to everyday life.
The teacher is committed to continuous learning and engages in
professional discourse about subject matter knowledge and children's learning
of the discipline.
The teacher can represent and use differing viewpoints, theories, "ways of knowing" and methods of inquiry in his/her teaching of subject matter concepts.
The teacher can evaluate teaching resources and curriculum materials for their comprehensiveness, accuracy, and usefulness for representing particular ideas and concepts.
The teacher engages students in generating knowledge and testing hypotheses according to the methods of inquiry and standards of evidence used in the discipline.
The teacher develops and uses curricula that encourage students to see, question, and interpret ideas from diverse perspectives.
The teacher can create interdisciplinary learning experiences
that allow students to integrate knowledge, skills, and methods of inquiry
from several subject areas.
The teacher understands that students' physical, social, emotional, moral and cognitive development influence learning and knows how to address these factors when making instructional decisions.
The teacher is aware of expected developmental progressions and
ranges of individual variation within each domain (physical, social, emotional,
moral and cognitive), can identify levels of readiness in learning, and
understands how development in any one domain may affect performance in
The teacher is disposed to use students' strengths as a basis
for growth, and their errors as an opportunity for learning.
The teacher stimulates student reflection on prior knowledge and links new ideas to already familiar ideas, making connections to students' experiences, providing opportunities for active engagement, manipulation, and testing of ideas and materials, and encouraging students to assume responsibility for shaping their learning tasks.
The teacher accesses students' thinking and experiences as a basis for instructional activities by, for example, encouraging discussion, listening and responding to group interaction, and eliciting samples of student thinking orally and in writing.
The teacher knows about areas of exceptionality in learning--including learning disabilities, visual and perceptual difficulties, and special physical or mental challenges.
The teacher knows about the process of second language acquisition and about strategies to support the learning of students whose first language is not English.
The teacher understands how students' learning is influenced by individual experiences, talents, and prior learning, as well as language, culture, family and community values.
The teacher has a well-grounded framework for understanding cultural
and community diversity and knows how to learn about and incorporate students'
experiences, cultures, and community resources into instruction.
The teacher appreciates and values human diversity, shows respect for students' varied talents and perspectives, and is committed to the pursuit of "individually configured excellence."
The teacher respects students as individuals with differing personal and family backgrounds and various skills, talents, and interests.
The teacher is sensitive to community and cultural norms.
The teacher makes students feel valued for their potential as
people, and helps them learn to value each other.
The teacher uses teaching approaches that are sensitive to the multiple experiences of learners and that address different learning and performance modes.
The teacher makes appropriate provisions (in terms of time and circumstances for work, tasks assigned, communication and response modes) for individual students who have particular learning differences or needs.
The teacher can identify when and how to access appropriate services or resources to meet exceptional learning needs.
The teacher seeks to understand students' families, cultures, and communities, and uses this information as a basis for connecting instruction to students' experiences (e.g. drawing explicit connections between subject matter and community matters, making assignments that can be related to students' experiences and cultures).
The teacher brings multiple perspectives to the discussion of subject matter, including attention to students' personal, family, and community experiences and cultural norms.
The teacher creates a learning community in which individual differences
The teacher understands principles and techniques, along with advantages and limitations, associated with various instructional strategies (e.g. cooperative learning, direct instruction, discovery learning, whole group discussion, independent study, interdisciplinary instruction).
The teacher knows how to enhance learning through the use of a
wide variety of materials as well as human and technological resources
(e.g. computers, audio-visual technologies, videotapes and discs, local
experts, primary documents and artifacts, texts, reference books, literature,
and other print resources).
The teacher values flexibility and reciprocity in the teaching process
as necessary for adapting instruction to student responses, ideas, and
The teacher uses multiple teaching and learning strategies to engage students in active learning opportunities that promote the development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance capabilities and that help student assume responsibility for identifying and using learning resources.
The teacher constantly monitors and adjusts strategies in response to learner feedback.
The teacher varies his or her role in the instructional process (e.g. instructor, facilitator, coach, audience) in relation to the content and purposes of instruction and the needs of students.
The teacher develops a variety of clear, accurate presentations
and representations of concepts, using alternative explanations to assist
students' understanding and presenting diverse perspectives to encourage
The teacher understands how social groups function and influence people, and how people influence groups.
The teacher knows how to help people work productively and cooperatively with each other in complex social settings.
The teacher understands the principles of effective classroom management and can use a range of strategies to promote positive relationships, cooperation, and purposeful learning in the classroom.
The teacher recognizes factors and situations that are likely to promote or diminish intrinsic motivation, and knows how to help students become self-motivated.
The teacher understands how participation supports commitment, and is committed to the expression and use of democratic values in the classroom.
The teacher values the role of students in promoting each other's learning and recognizes the importance of peer relationships in establishing a climate of learning.
The teacher recognizes the value of intrinsic motivation to students' life-long growth and learning.
The teacher is committed to the continuous development of individual
students' abilities and considers how different motivational strategies
are likely to encourage this development for each student.
The teacher engages students in individual and cooperative learning activities that help them develop the motivation to achieve, by, for example, relating lessons to students' personal interests, allowing students to have choices in their learning, and leading students to ask questions and pursue problems that are meaningful to them.
The teacher organizes, allocates, and manages the resources of time, space, activities, and attention to provide active and equitable engagement of students in productive tasks.
The teacher maximizes the amount of class time spent in learning by creating expectations and processes for communication and behavior along with a physical setting conducive to classroom goals.
The teacher helps the group to develop shared values and expectations for student interactions, academic discussions, and individual and group responsibility that create a positive classroom climate of openness, mutual respect, support, and inquiry.
The teacher analyzes the classroom environment and makes decisions and adjustments to enhance social relationships, student motivation and engagement, and productive work.
The teacher organizes, prepares students for, and monitors independent
and group work that allows for full and varied participation of all individuals.
The teacher understands how cultural and gender differences can affect communication in the classroom.
The teacher recognizes the importance of nonverbal as well as verbal communication.
The teacher knows about and can use effective verbal, nonverbal,
and media communication techniques.
The teacher values many ways in which people seek to communicate and encourages many modes of communication in the classroom.
The teacher is a thoughtful and responsive listener.
The teacher appreciates the cultural dimensions of communication,
responds appropriately, and seeks to foster culturally sensitive communication
by and among all students in the class.
The teacher supports and expands learner expression in speaking, writing, and other media.
The teacher knows how to ask questions and stimulate discussion in different ways for particular purposes, for example, probing for learner understanding, helping students articulate their ideas and thinking processes, promoting risk-taking and problem-solving, facilitating factual recall, encouraging convergent and divergent thinking, stimulating curiosity, helping students to question.
The teacher communicates in ways that demonstrate a sensitivity to cultural and gender differences (e.g. appropriate use of eye contact, interpretation of body language and verbal statements, acknowledgment of and responsiveness to different modes of communication and participation).
The teacher knows how to use a variety of media communication
tools, including audio-visual aids and computers, to enrich learning opportunities.
The teacher knows how to take contextual considerations (instructional materials, individual student interests, needs, and aptitudes, and community resources) into account in planning instruction that creates an effective bridge between curriculum goals and students' experiences.
The teacher knows when and how to adjust plans based on student
responses and other contingencies.
The teacher believes that plans must always be open to adjustment and revision based on student needs and changing circumstances.
The teacher values planning as a collegial activity.
The teacher plans for learning opportunities that recognize and address variation in learning styles and performance modes.
The teacher creates lessons and activities that operate at multiple levels to meet the developmental and individual needs of diverse learners and help each progress.
The teacher creates short-range and long-term plans that are linked to student needs and performance, and adapts the plans to ensure and capitalize on student progress and motivation.
The teacher responds to unanticipated sources of input, evaluates
plans in relation to short- and long-range goals, and systematically adjusts
plans to meet student needs and enhance learning.
The teacher knows how to select, construct, and use assessment strategies and instruments appropriate to the learning outcomes being evaluated and to other diagnostic purposes.
The teacher understands measurement theory and assessment-related
issues, such as validity, reliability, bias, and scoring concerns.
The teacher is committed to using assessment to identify student strengths and promote student growth rather than to deny students access to learning opportunities.
The teacher solicits and uses information about students' experiences, learning behavior, needs, and progress from parents, other colleagues, and the students themselves.
The teacher uses assessment strategies to involve learners in self-assessment activities, to help them become aware of their strengths and needs, and to encourage them to set personal goals for learning.
The teacher evaluates the effect of class activities on both individuals and the class as a whole, collecting information through observation of classroom interactions, questioning, and analysis of student work.
The teacher monitors his or her own teaching strategies and behavior in relation to student success, modifying plans and instructional approaches accordingly.
The teacher maintains useful records of student work and performance
and can communicate student progress knowledgeably and responsibly, based
on appropriate indicators, to students, parents, and other colleagues.
The teacher is aware of major areas of research on teaching and
of resources available for professional learning (e.g. professional literature,
colleagues, professional associations, professional development activities).
The teacher is committed to reflection, assessment, and learning as an ongoing process.
The teacher is willing to give and receive help.
The teacher is committed to seeking out, developing, and continually refining practices that address the individual needs of students.
The teacher recognizes his/her professional responsibility for
engaging in and supporting appropriate professional practices for self
The teacher seeks out professional literature, colleagues, and other resources to support his/her own development as a learner and a teacher.
The teacher draws upon professional colleagues within the school
and other professional arenas as supports for reflection, problem-solving
and new ideas, actively sharing experiences and seeking and giving feedback.
The teacher understands how factors in the students' environment outside of school (e.g. family circumstances, community environments, health and economic conditions) may influence students' life and learning.
The teacher understands and implements laws related to students'
rights and teacher responsibilities (e.g. for equal education, appropriate
education for handicapped students, confidentiality, privacy, appropriate
treatment of students, reporting in situations related to possible child
The teacher is concerned about all aspects of a child's well-being (cognitive, emotional, social, and physical), and is alert to signs of difficulties.
The teacher is willing to consult with other adults regarding the education and well-being of his/her students.
The teacher respects the privacy of students and confidentiality of information.
The teacher is willing to work with other professionals to improve
the overall learning environment for students.
The teacher makes links with the learners' other environments on behalf of students, by consulting with parents, counselors, teachers of other classes and activities within the schools, and professionals in other community agencies.
The teacher can identify and use community resources to foster student learning.
The teacher establishes respectful and productive relationships with parents and guardians from diverse home and community situations, and seeks to develop cooperative partnerships in support of student learning and well being.
The teacher talks with and listens to the student, is sensitive and responsive to clues of distress, investigates situations, and seeks outside help as needed and appropriate to remedy problems.
The teacher acts as an advocate for students.