NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge-Secondary Ultimate Guide2019-07-16T18:45:27+00:00

NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge-Secondary Ultimate Guide and Practice Test

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NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge-Secondary Quick Facts

The NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge-Secondary exam tests your knowledge in 3 content domains: Domain I: Student Development and Learning, Domain II: Assessment, Instruction and the Learning Environment, and Domain III: The Professional Environment. Its purpose is to test an individual’s knowledge and readiness in their prospective teaching field.

The test is split up into 3 parts. There are 100 multiple-choice questions and 2 written assignments. You are given 3 hours to complete all 3 sections of the test.

Cost: 

$95

Scoring: 

Raw scores are converted to a range of 100-300. A 220 is needed to pass. 

Study time: 

Study the framework of the test and decide what materials you will need to study for each of the content domains. Once you have figured out what materials you will need to study divide the content into manageable sections to set an adequate amount of study time for each source. Allow time to go over practice test questions.

What test takers wish they would’ve known: 

  • The framework of the test
  • A better understanding of each competency
  • To read test questions carefully to not miss details
  • Allow time to reread and review your answers and work

Information and screenshots obtained from NES.

Domain I: Student Development and Learning

Overview

Content domain I has about 30 questions which accounts for about 24% of the entire test.

This content domain contains 3 competencies:

  • Human Development
  • Learning Processes
  • Diverse Students

So, let’s talk about Human Development first.

Human Development

This competency tests your knowledge of human development and how to use that knowledge to create an instructional environment that promotes student learning.

Take a look at these concepts that are likely to appear on the test.

Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development

Erik Erikson was a neo-Freudian psychologist who studied human behaviors and believed that personality develops in a series of 8 stages. The 8 stages include:

  • Trust vs. Mistrust (infant-18 months)- Caregivers who provide basic needs for babies help to develop a sense of security. Those who do not provide those basic needs can create a sense of anxiety. 
  • Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt (18 months-3 years)- Toddlers become more independent and gain a sense of self-worth and pride from their independence. Those who still rely heavily on their caregivers can feel inadequate and frustrated. 
  • Initiative vs. Guilt (3-5 years)- Children develop a sense of purpose and social acceptance at this stage. They should be given, within reason, time to explore and ask a lot of “why” questions. Children who have over-controlling and stricter caregivers who do not allow them to explore can feel a sense of guilt and feel like a nuisance to others around them. 
  • Industry vs. Inferiority (5-13 years)- Children develop a sense of personal pride and accomplishment at this stage. They compare themselves to their peers and can feel satisfied when doing as well as their peers or inferior if they do not measure up to them. Teachers play a vital role in teaching students during this stage. They are responsible for their reading, writing, mathematics and how to play sports with others. Students rely heavily on their success in these areas to feel a sense of competency. 
  • Identity vs. Confusion (13-21 years)- Young people who succeed at this stage develop a strong sense of identity. This stage is a passageway from childhood to adulthood. Those who have trouble at this stage tend to be confused by who they are or what they want. Teachers can foster students during this time by providing positive environments to promote positive relationships between their peers and others. Students need to feel a sense of loyalty towards others to make commitments and build their self esteem and self confidence. This is a vital skill needed to be able to succeed out of the comfort and safety of the school setting so students can make their own positive choices and not follow negative ones of others who might not have developed a sense of their identity. 
  • Intimacy vs. Isolation (21-39 years)- This stage is about forming healthy committed relationships with others. Fears of being alone and not finding that committed relationship is a crisis to overcome in this stage.
  • Generativity vs. Stagnation (40-65 years)- In this stage people become concerned with leaving their mark on the world. Milestone changes happen at this stage leaving some people struggling to find a new purpose.
  • Integrity vs. Despair (65 and older)- The final stage consists of reflecting back on life and feeling a sense of either satisfaction or regret. 

Lev Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory

Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist who proposed a theory about the social development of children. The Social Development Theory proposes that social interaction comes before development and consciousness and cognition are the end product of socialization. Vygotsky’s Theory includes:

  • Social interaction- Vygotsky felt that learning happened before development and that learning begins on the social level (parent to child) then on the individual level (inside the child).
  • MKO (more knowledgeable other)- Anyone who has a better understanding or a higher ability level than the child. A teacher is an example of an MKO, but the MKO could also be a peer or even technology.
  • ZPD (zone of proximal development)- The ZPD is the measure between a student’s ability to complete a task with support and the student’s ability to complete the task independently. Vygotsky proposes that this is where learning occurs for a child.

Traditionally many teachers instruct students by lecturing or giving information to students. Vygotsky’s theory opposes this type of instruction and suggests that rather than lecturing, teachers should have an active role in learning and students should have more say in planning and delivering instruction. Teachers can collaborate with students to help develop meaningful instruction and at that point learning becomes a more meaningful experience for students and teachers.

Learning Processes

This competency tests your knowledge of understanding the various learning strategies to create an instructional environment that promotes student learning and achievement. 

The following concepts are important to know.

Organizational and Time-Management Skills

Students need to be able to organize their priorities so they can understand how to manage them. Students can be successful by avoiding procrastination and setting aside adequate time for homework assignments, projects, etc. Allowing extra time for unexpected events or emergencies that may come up during that set aside time is an important time-management skill. Teachers can model these skills by conducting their classrooms in an organized manner. Starting off each lesson by explaining the objective and the goal for the day in your classroom helps to set the purpose and prioritize what activities the students will be doing that day. Showing them how to organize into groups and work with others on peer projects and assignments will help foster organizational skills they will need when they are not in settings that are teacher-facilitated. 

Grouping Practices for Effective Instruction

Teachers should choose the way students are grouped based on the lessons or activities’ purpose. It is important for teachers to carefully consider the learning objective and goal so that the appropriate grouping technique can be used.

Higher-Order Thinking

Higher-order thinking, or HOT, names the process of thinking on a level that is deeper than simple memorization or re-telling of a concept. Higher-order thinking requires students to memorize facts, then apply them in higher ways. For example, common HOT skills used in the elementary classroom are:

  • Using metaphors, similes, analogies- These help explain abstract things and connecting them with familiar concepts. For a child to use a metaphor, simile, or analogy, he/she must be able to form deeper connections than simple memorization.
  • Visualization- Using pictures, rather than words to explain something.
  • Inferencing- To draw a reasonable conclusion based on given evidence.
  • Problem solving- Encourage students to be creative and use several strategies when solving a problem.
  • Brainstorming- Students generate ideas either individually or in a group.
  • Metacognition- Thinking about thinking, or understanding the process of thinking and understanding a person’s own strengths and weaknesses.

Teachers can encourage higher-order thinking by:

  • Teaching students what higher-order thinking is and is not.
  • Encouraging students to ask questions.
  • Connecting concepts across curriculums.
  • Modeling inferencing.
  • Using graphic organizers.
  • Encouraging creativity.
  • Asking students to elaborate short answers.

Diverse Students

This competency tests your knowledge of student diversity and differences and the various learning disabilities so you are able to provide a learning environment that fosters and promotes respect of student learning. 

Check out these concepts.

Major Categories of Disabilities

English Language Learners

Over 10% of students in the United States are considered English Language Learners or ELLs. This means that most classrooms today have students who are considered English Language Learners or ELLs. Some ELLs may speak little to no English and others may speak some. Regardless, there are specific strategies for working and interacting effectively with ELLs.

  • Make visuals.
  • Incorporate group work.
  • Recognize the “silent period”.
  • Provide scaffolding in the student’s native language as much as possible.
  • Teach language across curriculums, not in isolation.
  • Provide students with sentence stems to use when providing written or oral responses.
  • Differentiate instruction.
  • Ask students to speak, write, and draw for as many assignments as possible. Using multiple modalities helps students acquire language faster.
  • Build relationships and work to understand the student’s native language/culture. 

The two items ELLs need in order to acquire English as a new language is time and practice. All of the strategies listed above are specific ways to give the student time and practice to improve their English. Another important point is that ELLs need multiple opportunities to participate in structured group activities so that ELLs are required to hear/understand English, but also to explain concepts using English to contribute to their group. While observing the group, the teacher can gauge the ELLs mastery of not only the academic concept, but also the English language. It is also important to repeat instruction regularly. When a student is acquiring a new language, they may only pick up a small part of what was said because they are working so hard to understand. When you repeat what you said, the ELL has an opportunity to process the same information again and most likely acquire more from it each time.

Domain II: Assessment, Instruction, and the Learning Environment

Overview

Content domain II has about 50 multiple-choice questions and 1 constructed-response (case study) question which account for about 50% of the entire test.

This content domain contains 5 competencies:

  • Assessment
  • Instructional Planning
  • Instructional Approaches
  • Motivation and Communication
  • The Learning Environment

So, let’s talk about Assessment first.

Assessment

This competency tests your knowledge of assessment tools and practices to use to guide instruction and communicate results to students and their families.

The following are really important concepts from this competency.

Reliability, Validity, and Bias

There are two types of assessments (more on that in the section below), but no matter what type of assessment a teacher is giving he/she needs to make sure the assessment is:

  • Reliable- How consistent student’s scores are. Also, if alternate versions of a test are given (such as a re-test or make up test) they must be equivalent so that students are not automatically scoring higher on one than the other.
  • Valid- How well does the assessment measure the specific learning objective it is evaluating. An assessment should measure content that was explicitly taught. This is important because if a teacher is making a decision about instruction or intervention based on data from the assessment, then the test should only consist of the material that students were given the opportunity to learn.
  • Lacking bias- Assessment grades should reflect a student’s mastery of the learning objective, rather than the question. For example, using idioms in a question that is not testing idiom usage would be very difficult for an English Language Learner to understand. The student might understand the concept you taught, but if you asked a question over that topic in a way that confused the student due to a lack of understanding of language, that is a biased question.

To ensure that assessments are reliable, valid, and without bias, teachers should:

  • Create assessments PRIOR to instruction.
  • Deconstruct standards carefully when planning an assessment. Know the verbs of the learning standard and understand EXACTLY what the student should know and be tested over.
  • Plan assessments as a team.
  • Consider levels of thinking.
  • Offer multiple ways to respond on the same assessment (some multiple choice, fill in the blank, short answer, etc.)

Types of Formal and Informal Assessment

Formal assessments are used to determine long-term progress and collect data while informal assessments are the day-to-day assessments used in the classroom. 

  • Formal assessments are used to compare a student or student groups mastery of the content. They are usually selected-response and taken in a secure setting. Examples include: standardized tests, state tests, end of course exams, and AP tests.
  • Informal assessments are not data-driven but content and performance driven. These assessments are used to guide instruction of future lessons. Examples include: exit tickets, give one/get one, concept mapping and reporting out, and quizzes.

Instructional Planning

This competency tests your knowledge of effective lesson planning to promote student learning.

Check out these concepts.

Learning Goal Versus Learning Objective

The learning goal is the long-term goal that you want students to meet by the end of the course. The long-term goal would not be measurable until a formal assessment at the end of the course. Each learning objective taught in the class builds upon one another to help the students meet the learning goal. 

Example: Students will be able to pass the end of course exam for Chemistry with a passing rate of 70%. 

The learning objective is short-term and is what you want students to learn at the end of the lesson. The learning objective could last anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks. These objectives are measurable based on informal assessments throughout the learning process. The data from the informal assessments guide the instruction to ultimately have students meet mastery so they can meet their learning goal at the end of the course. Each learning objective directly affects the learning goal. 

Example: Students will be able to differentiate between physical and chemical changes and properties. This learning objective would be taught and assessed over the course of 1 day to about 2 weeks or more depending on how long the learning process may take or amount of time is given to each standard.

Backwards Design

Backwards design helps teachers create lessons and units that are goal (learning) focused rather than process (teacher) focused. Since many teachers usually start planning a lesson from the beginning, backwards design can be counterintuitive, but beginning with the end in mind can be very beneficial for teachers and students. An example of the process would be:

  1. A teacher reviews and understand the learning standards for his/her students by then end of the lesson, unit, or grade level.
  2. The teacher will then make a list of the things the students absolutely need to know by the end of the lesson, unit, or grade level. 
  3. Based on the list of essential standards the teacher makes, he/she will then design an assessment that measures how well students have mastered the necessary concepts.
  4. Then, the teacher will design a lesson or series of lessons, projects, and strategies to help students acquire the skills necessary to master the standards.
  5. The teacher plans different types of formative assessments to assess students through the learning process. Based on the results of the formative assessment, the teacher will differentiate lessons and provide needed enrichment/intervention.
  6. The teacher will reflect on the plan and hopefully discuss the plan with peers who can provide feedback and suggestions. 

Advantages to backwards design are:

  • Students are encouraged to understand the overall goal for the lesson or unit and keep a focus on that rather than concentrating too heavily on the basic facts.
  • Assessments are designed prior to instruction and are planned based on the necessary standards. Instruction driven by valid assessment is very successful.
  • Instruction is focused on the “big picture” understanding and lessons are created with a clear vision of the overall goals for a unit.

Disadvantages to backwards design could be:

  • Teachers might misinterpret the standards and therefore, their whole lesson design would be skewed.
  • Textbooks and state standards are not always explicit or highlight key or broad concepts for a lesson or unit.
  • If an end goal is assumed by the teacher prior to a unit, students may not be pushed beyond that goal and some may not reach their fullest potential.

Modifying Curriculum and Instruction

Classroom and testing accommodations help support students while maintaining grade-level expectations. Common accommodations include:


– Listening to audio versions of books.
– Teacher providing a copy of class notes.
– Extra time given to complete an assignment.
– Teacher gives instructions with no more than three steps.
– Student is allowed extra time to complete an assessment or assignment.
– Student is given preferential seating near the teacher.

Classroom and testing modifications change learning expectations for students to where students are no longer expected to work on the same level as their peers. Modifications are used rarely, and only in the case that a student is significantly behind academically or developmentally compared to his/her peers. Common modifications include:


– Answer less complex questions than peers.
– Be given fewer answer choices than peers.
– Be graded using a different rubric than peers.
– Be excused from certain tests, projects, or assignments.

Instructional Approaches

This competency tests your knowledge of principles and practices of different instructional approaches and how to implement these to promote student learning. 

The following concepts are important to know.

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is an instructional strategy that involves students working together in small groups on activities or projects. The goal of cooperative learning is to help students reach academic learning targets but also to learn how to work together, agree and disagree respectfully, and use their voice. Cooperative learning can be used throughout the learning process after a topic is introduced. Students can discuss with their peers and work together to clarify any misconceptions they might have on the topic.

An example of cooperative learning is the jigsaw method. A teacher will present a topic to the class and assign each student a task that they have to complete. Each student is dependent on one another’s task to eventually come together and complete the project. 

For example: A teacher has presented a lesson over the Civil War and he wants his students to work cooperatively to understand the topic better. The teacher would start by choosing groups and assigning a role to each member of the group. One student might be responsible for researching the union side, one might be responsible for researching the confederacy side, one might be responsible for researching the generals of each army, etc. Then, once students have had time to research their topic they would come back together and share their information to better understand all sides of the Civil War. 

Cooperative learning benefits include:

  • Improved academic success- Research has proven that cooperative learning enhances learning for students across ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic demographics. When students are given the chance to work cooperatively, they are exposed to other types of learners they might not interact with otherwise.
  • Improved higher level thinking- Higher level thinking develops through encountering different ways of solving a problem and cooperative learning provides a great opportunity for students to think about various ways to solve a problem.
  • Self awareness- When students work cooperatively they are given the opportunity to discover how they learn best, what their strengths or weaknesses are and be able to share ideas in a safe place. 

Limitations of cooperative learning include:

  • Students must depend on one another.
  • There is a lot of noise and it can be difficult to tell if students are on task.
  • Can be difficult to grade.

Characteristics of cooperative learning include:

  • Dividing labor among students.
  • Students interacting face-to-face.
  • Students have specific assignments within the group.
  • Positive interdependence is required to fully complete the task/assignment.
  • Social skills develop as a result of cooperative learning.

Inquiry

Inquiry-based learning is student-centered. It takes the traditional role of lecture style teaching away from the teacher and allows students to take ownership of their learning. Students are exploring a topic and learning more about it instead of memorizing facts and being told about it. Inquiry-based learning uses different approaches to learning from small-group discussion to guided learning. Inquiry-based learning is proven to be effective. 

Benefits

  • Enhances and deepens learning 
  • Teaches cognitive and problem-solving skills 
  • Builds curiosity 
  • Enhances teamwork skills
  • Skills can be used across curriculums 

Limitations

  • Testing performance
  • Students who are reluctant to participate 
  • Students may stray from the task
  • Difficult for low achievers with lack of prior knowledge

Motivation and Communication

This competency tests your knowledge of communication and motivation strategies for promoting student engagement and learning.

Take a look at these concepts that are likely to appear on the test.

Motivational Theory

Motivational theory is the reasoning behind why people choose to do what they do. When it comes to students, this is very important to understand because students will learn at a much deeper level when they are motivated. The two basic types of motivation are intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation is self-driven and in the classroom would refer to a student who pursues learning themselves because they are excited or interested in a topic. For example, a student is passionate about astronomy, so when she is in astronomy class the student takes it upon herself to research and read as much about the topics being learned as possible. She not only is very successful on end of unit assessments, but she is also able to contribute valuable questions and discussion points to the class.

Extrinsic motivation is driven by external factors such as teachers or parents. An example would be that a student tries to make all A’s on his/her report card not because he/she was passionate about learning but because he/she was offered a reward by a parent. 

Both examples listed above explain a scenario where a student was successful. As teachers we hope to see students who are intrinsically motivated to learn. Intrinsic motivation is much stronger and lasts longer than extrinsic motivation. There are five basic factors that negatively impact student motivation:

  • Relationships (or lack of)
  • Lack of effort
  • Lack of goals, dreams, hope of the future
  • Learning difficulties
  • Stress or worry about factors in or out of the school setting

Strategies for motivating students:

  • Building strong relationships with every student.
  • Use a variety of student-centered learning activities.
  • Set realistic performance goals.
  • Do not over emphasize grades and test scores.
  • Praise much more than criticising. When criticism is necessary, do so constructively.
  • Give students as many choices in their education as possible.

Building Self-Esteem

You cannot force a student to feel good about themselves but you can foster a nurturing relationship to help a student with low self-esteem. It is important to build students up and share any growth with them, no matter how small. Students want to feel a sense of belonging and you as a teacher can help nurture that by helping a student in areas they need to grow. When students feel like someone cares about them, they are more likely to commit to their learning and not withdraw. 

  • Praise the student
  • Show the student their growth
  • Celebrate accomplishments
  • Help the student feel important in class by giving them responsibilities 
  • Encourage a sense of belonging
  • Share successes with the student’s family

The Learning Environment

This competency tests your knowledge of creating an organized, safe, and positive classroom environment that fosters and promotes learning and appropriate student behavior. 

The following are really important concepts from this competency.

Facilitating Conflict Resolution

When dealing with conflicts in school, the goal is to find a solution to the problem not finding the culprit. Be courteous but firm. Model the behavior you expect from your students. Make sure to always be respectful and show students how there are multiple sides to every conflict. 

Strategies for conflict resolution:

  • Role Playing allows for students to be placed in roles outside of their norm. They are able to see someone else’s point of view and learn to be more empathetic toward others.
  • Tracking is an assignment where students observe conflict in their own lives and in their surroundings. They write down their experiences and what they observe to better learn from how conflict resolution can help. They pay close attention to the actions and the response to those actions. This is not a time to focus on the people involved in the conflicts but learn from how they responded to the conflict in a positive or negative way. 
  • Good listening habits are an important skill to teach to students. Many conflicts start over miscommunications or misunderstandings from not using good listening habits. Teaching students to make eye contact with the speaker, listen without interrupting, ask questions, and to not give advice but instead repeat what you have heard in your own words. 

Managing Student Behavior

Setting up a classroom environment and focusing on student relationships is the first step in managing student behaviors. Make sure to take the time to build a mutual respect between your students and allow the classroom to be a safe, consistent place for students to come; this sets the framework for a successful classroom. Students flourish in environments with consistency and expectations. When you set expectations, students are able to rely on them and are more receptive when negative consequences come from not following them. 

Students will try to test their limits with their teachers. When you communicate expectations with your students, be sure to include them in the process. Allow them to ask questions and offer suggestions. Students want to feel important and feel like they contributed to the decisions. This gives them a sense of ownership in their learning environment and they are more receptive when problems arise. 

Be sure to stay connected with families and be up to date on anything going on in a student’s home environment that might affect their performance at school. If their family is not involved, you could go directly to the student to understand what might be troubling the student. When a students home life is negatively impacting them that can cause behavior problems at school. Students tend to act out when there is something wrong and they do not know how to talk to someone about it. 

Sometimes there might be a time when you put classwork aside and let the student know you are there to help them in anyway you can. Once a strong relationship has been built you can then build on helping them academically. They have to trust those around them and know that school is a place they can relax and feel safe. Never give up on a student.

Domain III: The Professional Environment

Overview

Content domain III has about 20 multiple-choice questions and 1 constructed-response (work product) question which account for about 26% of the entire test.

This content domain contains 2 competencies:

  • Effective Collaboration
  • Responsibilities, Ethics, and Professional Growth

So, let’s talk about Effective Collaboration first.

Effective Collaboration

This competency tests your knowledge of how to establish strong partnerships and collaborate with colleagues, families, and other members of the community.

Take a look at these concepts that are likely to appear on the test.

Effective Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/teacher conferences are valuable meetings where teachers have the opportunity to discuss a student’s progress, strengths, or struggles with parents. It is important to communicate these things to parents so they feel invited into the learning process for their child, and so that if their child is facing learning challenges they are aware of that. When leading a parent/teacher conference, teachers should:

  • Offer as flexible of a meeting schedule as possible.
  • Prepare for the meeting with work samples and necessary data.
  • Be sure to invite a translator if necessary.
  • Sit next to the parent, not across from them, if possible.
  • Share factual information and bring data to present to the parent.
  • Begin and end the conference with a positive about the child.
  • Avoid terms only teachers are familiar with such as education acronyms. If you need to use them, explain to the parent what the acronym means.
  • Encourage questions from parents.
  • Do not engage in any type of hostile behavior.
  • Remain professional at all times. 
  • Stay in contact/follow up with parents after the conference.

School-Home Communication

Communicating with parents/guardians is very important. Education is a team effort and one of the most important pieces is the people each student goes home to. The majority of parent contacts should be positive but some may need to deliver news parents do not want to hear. When the first contact you make with a parent is positive, the parent is usually much more receptive when something negative arises. 

The main methods of communication for teachers are:

  • Email
  • Phone call
  • Communication apps like Remind 101
  • In person

It is important that teachers understand factors that can impede and facilitate communication between teachers and parents. 

Factors that can impede communication include:

  • Language barriers
  • Work schedules for parents
  • Lack of technology in the home
  • Negative view of teachers/school

Factors that can facilitate communication include:

  • Being available before and after school.
  • Providing parents with all of your professional contact information.
  • Building positive relationships.
  • Asking parents how/when they prefer to be contacted.

Responsibilities, Ethics, and Professional Growth

This competency tests your knowledge of the roles and expectations regarding the professional environment and continuous growth in the field of education. 

Check out these concepts.

Reflection and Self-Assessment

Reflection and self-assessment are important for any occupation but essential for effective teaching. Teachers should reflect on their practice after each lesson and constantly strive to provide the best education possible to their students. All teachers have strengths and weaknesses, so identifying those and striving to amplify the strengths and improve any weaknesses is essential. One way to do this is to ask reflective questions such as:

Was the activity we did in class successful? Why or why not?
Are the relationships I have with my students helping them learn?

Could the behavior problems I have in class be managed by different expectations?
What choices have I given my students lately?

Teachers should always be striving to better their practice, it is important that teachers set realistic and measurable goals. Most teachers will do this with campus administration but it is also important to do independently so that different aspects of teaching are constantly being improved upon. Teachers can strive to learn more about training opportunities to support their area of knowledge and attend outside trainings. This is also a good opportunity to take what they learn and share with other colleagues. 

FERPA

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act which is a federal law that protects student educational records and details the information that can and can not be shared about the student. 

Due to FERPA teachers can not:

  • Use educational technology programs that the school district does not have a contract with.
  • Send grades or other confidential information containing student names through email.
    Post student information online without parental consent.
  • Connect with students on social media classroom pages without parental consent.

Schools that are found to have violated student privacy can lose federal funding and legal action can be taken.

Equity

Equity in education requires schools to put systems in place that ensure every child has an equal chance for success. To ensure equity in a school system, the schools must understand the needs (challenges) of all students/populations of students and provide support through special programs to help students overcome those challenges. An example would be programs such as Special Education, bilingual/ESL, dyslexia, etc. These programs ensure that no matter the challenge students face, every child has the opportunity for success. 

In an equitable classroom students are given support and scaffolding based on their ZPD (the difference between what a learner can do with help as opposed to without help). 

Examples:

  • Some students will have different expectations on assignments, their assignments may be shortened. 
  • Some students will have extra time on assignments based on their accommodations. 
  • Some students will have resource teachers or aides within the classroom. 
  • Some students will have below grade-level instruction outside of the classroom with resource teachers.

Constructed-Response Breakdown

Overview

There are 2 constructed-response assignments on the exam:

  1. Case study
  2. Work product

So, let’s break down the case study first.

Case Study

The case study is a scenario of a classroom and how the teacher planned their lesson with a reflection of how it went. You will be required to provide a written response in 2 parts answering the questions in each part about the case study. Make sure to read the case study and pay attention to specific details. Make sure to read and reread the questions to each part of the written assignment and plan out how you will organize your thoughts. Each written response should be 200-300 words on the topic. Be sure to proofread and edit any grammatical mistakes. The written response will be scored on a 4-point scale on how effectively you communicate your response based on purpose, professional knowledge, and rationale and support.

Work Product

The work product is a scenario based on the professional work environment. You will be asked to write a written response of 200-300 words on the topic. The written assignment for the work product will be scored on a 4-point scale like the case study of how effectively you communicate the purpose of the assignment, demonstrate accurate and effective application of professional knowledge and reflect effective reasoning and relevant support. You may not use any reference materials in your written response. Be sure to proofread your response and edit any grammatical errors. Be specific and communicate your response effectively to your reader.

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