What Do the CEC Standards Mean to Me? Using the CEC Standards to Improve My Practice
Crutchfield, Margaret D., Teaching Exceptional Children
2. Rate your level of mastery on each individual standard. Figures 1 and 2 show two suggested formats for creating an evaluation form.
3. After you have gone though the entire set, add up the number of items checked in each domain area (e.g., Characteristics of Learners, Assessment). Pay closest attention to those domain areas that have the highest (or lowest) scores.
4. Choose the domain area(s) that you want to work on and plan your continuing education program or professional development plan accordingly. These could be those in the domain areas that had your highest (or lowest) rating, or it could be in the domain area that would meet the greatest need you have at this particular time.
Some examples follow:
* A beginning teacher who is working with children with mild to moderate disabilities could select the Individualized General Curriculum set of standards. This set is designed for teachers working with children with disabilities who are expected to be successful in the general curriculum and most closely aligns with a mild/moderate licensure framework. By going through the preceding steps, beginning teachers can determine in which areas they feel the least confident. They can use this information to help select coursework required for continuing education licensure, inservice or conference sessions needed for continuing education units (CEUs), extra reading, and so forth.
* If a teacher is considering moving into a new role or working with a new kind of student, he or she can evaluate their knowledge and skills in the same way. For example, perhaps the principal has asked a teacher to teach a class of students with developmental disabilities, even though all his or her previous years of experience have been with students with mild to moderate learning disabilities. Following the preceding steps and using the CEC Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities set of standards, the teacher can determine which areas might be the most challenging. The teacher can provide this documentation to the principal or special education coordinator as part of a request for additional training.
* A group of teachers could also use this process. Each person could complete a self-evaluation, and then the group could evaluate their domain scores together to help plan or request the inservice educational opportunities that would benefit them the most. The group could give this documentation to the principal, district supervisor, or inservice director as a part of request for coverage of specific topic areas.
Teaching is a lifelong learning process. Men and women who leave teacher education programs are novices entering the profession. Using the CEC standards to gauge their professional development is a way for all teachers to ensure that their knowledge and skills are up-to-date and sufficient to meet the needs of their students.
Practicing special educators can use the CEC standards to help them maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the needs of their students.
The CEC standards can be a powerful tool for special educators to request and receive professional development opportunities...
How Do the CEC Professional Standards Affect Teacher Preparation?
For more than 15 years, CEC has worked with the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)-the only national organization authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit teacher preparation programs. NCATE partners with numerous specialized professional associations (SPAs) to approve teacher preparation programs in the specific discipline areas (e.g., elementary education, physical education, etc.). CEC is the SPA charged with writing standards for and reviewing special education teacher preparation programs. In this role, CEC reviews over 50 teacher preparation programs per year to determine that these programs meet the CEC standards. …