01 SES 13 B, Defining and Implementing Professional Standards
Capable teachers and effective teaching are critical in addressing today’s educational challenges. Indeed, quality teaching, among other school-related factors, may have the most impact on learner achievement and growth (Hattie, 2012; Marzano, 1998). To guarantee equity and common understandings in teacher evaluation, mutually agreed upon standards must be set to coordinate expectations in quality teaching (Goe, Biggers & Croft, 2012). The Professional Teaching Framework for English Teachers in Israel (henceforth: the Framework) aims to achieve these ends. This Framework, based on contemporary approaches and conceptualizations of language teaching, learning and assessment, guides language teachers in their professional development as they gain knowledge and competences through pre-service and in-service training, as well as from experience in the field. It includes descriptions of knowledge and skills for language teachers at all levels of professional growth, from novice to expert. The Framework consists of seven domains reflecting the major aspects of language teaching: (1) disciplinary knowledge and relevant content areas, (2) learning theories and the language learner, (3) language teaching pedagogy, (4) assessment, (5) the language learning context, (6) global competences and (7) professionalism. Each domain comprises dimensions highlighting the multi-faceted nature of teacher practice and these, in turn, contain performance indicators that describe relevant behaviors. The Framework also includes suggestions of evidence that may highlight aspects of teaching practice along with recommended questions for teacher reflection, and a checklist for self-evaluation.
This paper will address major contextual considerations and critical issues involved in the process of developing the Framework. It will also discuss suggestions and recommendations for implementing the Framework in pre-service programs that train future English teachers as an integral part of the Israeli national agenda to improve the teaching of English in schools, higher-education in general, and in English teacher training programs in particular. The Framework is believed to be of relevance for all those involved in professional development for teachers in other European contexts.
The Professional Standards Committee, comprising six experts in the field of teacher education and foreign language acquisition set out both to update an existing document and to introduce current international standards in teacher training and practice. The committee examined recent developments in the field of teacher training and professional development as well as contemporary approaches to language teaching. Amongst documents studied prior to the revision of the original document Professional Standards for English Teachers (Ministry of Education, 2003) were; The Cambridge English Teaching Framework (Cambridge, 2014); The European Profiling Grid (EPG, 2011; Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL, 2017); and the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers’ Association (AFMLTA, 2005). Two additional instruments designed for evaluating teaching in general were also reviewed, namely, Teacher Performance Evaluation in Israel (Ministry of Education, Israel, 2011) and The Framework for Teaching: Evaluation Instrument, (Ministry of Education, Israel, 2012). The latter generic instrument identifies aspects of teachers’ responsibilities that promote learning (Danielson, 2013). Insights from these documents were adapted to the Israeli context and incorporated into the current Framework. The in-progress Framework was disseminated to twenty-seven reviewers from the fields of linguistics, literature, and English as a Foreign Language (EFL). The reviewers, inspectors and counselors for English language instruction in Israel, experienced EFL teachers, academics both in Israel and abroad, were approached for their professional feedback and suggestions for implementation. Twenty reviewers sent comments that The Professional Standards Committee examined and discussed to determine suitability and appropriateness to the Framework. To date, two teacher-training colleges introduced the Framework to receive feedback on implementation from teacher trainers and pre-service teachers. Where feasible, their recommendations were incorporated into the Framework. We expect other colleges to follow suit.
The Framework addresses the needs of all parties involved in English teacher training, teachers, principals, inspectors, and policymakers. It re-conceptualizes domains and standards and includes additional content such as descriptors of performance levels, examples of evidence to determine their achievement, suggestions for teacher reflection, and a checklist for self-evaluation to track progress from novice to expert levels of professionalism. The expected outcome of Framework is twofold. First, it will serve as a practical guide for designing language education programs in Israel. Second, it will be used as a useful assessment tool for in-service EFL teachers to reflect on and improve their teaching practices and plan their individual professional development. As language teachers worldwide face similar challenges, the Framework is of relevance to a European audience.
AFMLTA (2005). Professional standards for accomplished teaching of languages and cultures. Accessed from http://pspl.afmlta.asn.au/doclib/Professional-Standards-for-Accomplished-Teaching-of-Languages-and-Cultures.pdf Cambridge (2014). Cambridge English teaching Framework. Accessed from http://www.cambridgeenglish.org/images/172992-full-level-descriptors-cambridge-english-teaching-Framework.pdf Danielson, C. (2013). The Framework for teaching: Evaluation instrument. Charlotte Danielson Group. Accessed from http://www.loccsd.ca/~div15/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/2013-Framework-for-teaching-evaluation-instrument.pdf EPG (2011). European Profiling Grid. Accessed from https://www.eaquals.org/wp-content/uploads/The_EPG_-_PDF_publication_final.pdf Goe, L., Biggers, K., & Croft, A. (2012). Linking teacher evaluation to professional development: Focusing on improving teaching and learning. National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality. Retrieved December 6, 2018 from http://www.gtlcenter.org/sites/default/files/docs/LinkingTeacherEval.pdf Guskey, T. (2000). Evaluating professional development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. New York, NY: Routledge. Marzano, R.J. (1998). A theory-based meta-analysis of research on instruction. Aurora, Colorado: Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory. Ministry of Education (2003). Professional Standards for Teachers of English: Knowledge and Performance. English Inspectorate. Accessed from http://cms.education.gov.il/EducationCMS/Units/Mazkirut_Pedagogit/English/TeachersResourceMaterials/Professional+Standards+for+English+Teachers.htm Ministry of Education (2011). Teacher performance evaluation in Israel. Accessed from http://cms.education.gov.il/EducationCMS/Units/Rama/Haarachat_Morim/Haarachat_Morim.htm Ministry of Education (2012). The Framework for Teaching: Evaluation Instrument. Accessed from http://cms.education.gov.il/NR/rdonlyres/0DC2DC8F-38B8-4DCD-A1B5-38E995C91CA4/209738/Haarachat_mitmahim_heb_2012m1.pdf TESOL (2017) Draft 2017 TESOL standards for P-12 teacher education programs. Accessed from https://www.tesol.org/docs/default-source/advocacy/tesol_standards-p12-teacheredprograms-public-draft.pdf?sfvrsn=0
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Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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